If you are a citizen of the United States and you are willing to visit UK either as a tourist or for business then you need to apply for UK visa. There are certain rules and regulations governed by UKBA (UK Border Agency) that need to be followed by foreign nationals while entering the United Kingdom.

United States is said to be as one of UK’s designated countries and citizens of the United States coming to UK as a tourist or as a business visitor are allowed to apply for visa upon arrival in UK.

There are different procedures and requirements to apply for UK visa according to the purpose of entry in UK:-

  1. Entry to UK as a tourist: If you are going to apply for UK tourist visa then you can enter UK without the need for some of the more formal routes of immigration. These visas are valid only for a period of up to 6 months.

You must be able to show the following to visit UK as a tourist.

  • You are going to visit the United Kingdom for not more than 6 months.
  • You are having enough money so that you can survive in UK without working or needing any help from public funds.
  1. Entry to UK as Business Visitor: If you are willing to go to UK for a small period of time for some kind of business related activities then you have to apply for a UK visa as a Business Visitor.

US citizens coming to UK as a Business Visitor should be able to satisfy the following conditions:

  • The Visitor should have a base abroad with no intentions of transferring their base to UK not even for a short period of time or temporary basis.
  • The Visitor should receive their salary from abroad. They can however receive reasonable travel allowances and subsistence expenses during their stay in the United Kingdom
  • The Visitor should not be indulged in selling goods or services directly to the members of the public.
  • The Visitor should not be replacing any other person in UK, including those people who are on temporary leave.
  • The Visitor should not be coming to UK for doing internships or work placements.

Following are the UK visa categories under which a US citizen can settle, study, seek for employment and get employed in UK:-

  • Unmarried Partner Visa
  • Spouse Visa
  • Tier 1 highly skilled migrant visa
  • Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa
  • Tier 1 investor visa
  • Tier 2 UK work permit
  • Tier 2 intra-company transfer

Identity cards for US citizens:-

If you are planning on extending your stay in UK as a student, husband, wife or partner of a permanent citizen then you need to get an identity card issued by the UKBA under the provisions of the Immigration (Biometric Registration) Regulations 2008. The issuance of these cards is mandatory.