Visas, ETAs and other Travel Documentation

This page is being heavily edited, and is liable to change.

Information on this page is subject to change and cannot be guaranteed to be accurate. Please check the UK Government website for the most up-to-date information.

This section covers the travel documentation and papers you will require when travelling to the United Kindom.

This description is slightly simplified: for complete and accurate information please check the UK Border Control web site.

In general, in order to enter the UK, each person looking to enter must have a passport. There are limited exceptions to this: Irish Passport cards are acceptable. While National identity cards from EU countries, Ireland, Switzerland, Norway and Lichtenstein are also valid if you have applied for settled or pre-settled status and you have applied for a visa, we would expect this applies to very few convention attendees.

The passport must still be valid (that is, in-date, not expired) when you plan to leave the UK. While there is no other validity requirement apart from this, airlines have been known to misunderstand this and demand three or six months' validity beyond your date of leaving the UK. We'd recommend that you make sure you have plenty of validity left on your passport.

Passports can take a long time between application and receipt: if you think a new one is necessary or even useful, we also recommend applying as far in advance as possible.

While visitors from many countries do not need a visa to enter the UK, there is a long list of countries for which a visitor needs a visa.

Whether or not you need a visa, you may be asked a number of questions regarding to prove that you are here for tourism, including what you will be visiting, how you are able to support yourself and your family during your trip, the accommodation arranged for your stay, how you will be able to pay for your return or onward journey (or have funding from someone else) and how you’ll leave the UK at the end of your visit. Make sure you have evidence of this.

Registration at Glasgow 2024 can help with an invite letter, to show why you are visiting.

If you are a citizen or national of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, you may apply for an electronic visa waiver. These are electronic documents and can be applied for at the Electronic Visa Waiver service page.

An Electronic Visa Waiver costs £30, last for six months, and allows you to travel to the UK for tourism, business, study or medical treatment. They must be applied for no more than 3 months and no less than 48 hours before travel.

Please note: Visa Waivers are being phased out and are being replaced by Electronic Travel Authorisations. See the section below.

The UK is rolling out Electronic Travel Authorisations over the course of 2024. These operate in a similar manner to The US's ESTA and Canada's eTA. Once fully rolled out, anyone who does not need a Visa to enter the UK will need an Electronic Travel Authorisation. These will cost £10 and last for two years, or until the expiry of your passport if that is sooner.

These are being rolled out in stages, initially replacing Electronic Visa Waivers.

If you are from Qatar, you will need one if you are travelling to the UK on after 15th November 2023. You will be able to apply for one after 25th October 2023.

If you are from Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates, you will need one if you are travelling to the UK on or after 22nd February 2024. You will be able to apply for one after 1st February 2024.

Other countries will be regularly added to this list: it is likely that by the time of the convention, many other countries will be added. We recommend checking the UK electronic Travel Authorisation website. often, and well before you travel.

  • Last modified: 2023/09/04 18:11
  • by alan