Visas in South East Asia with a UK passport

An important thing to consider when you start planning a trip to South East Asia are what Visas you might need and where you can get them. Our trip has quite a few different countries on the itinery, so we had to do a little bit of research to make sure we had everything we needed to go where we wanted to. Many countries in the region have Visa exemption agreements with the UK meaning that you can have between 15 – 30 days in the country without needing to obtain a visa. Here is the list of countries we are visiting and what we needed to do to get in!

1. Thailand.

Thailand has a visa exemption arrangement with the UK meaning that British passport holders can have up to 30 days in Thailand when you cross a land or air border. You just need to have 6 months validity on your passport and onward travel plans. If you need more time in Thailand you can either cross a border and re-enter to get another 30 days or apply to the Thai embassy for a 3 month visa in London or Liverpool.

2. Malaysia.

Like Thailand, Malaysia has a visa exemption agreement with the UK, this gives you up to 3 months to stay in Malaysia – although it’s important to not overstay your visa as there are fines and possible detention if you overstay even for a couple of days! If you need longer you can apply for a visa from the Malaysian embassy in the UK.

3. Indonesia.

Again like Thailand and Malaysia you don’t need a visa to enter Indonesia for 30 days provided you have at least 6 months validity on your passport. Like the previous two it is advisable to have onward travel plans and if you need longer you can apply for a longer stay visa from the Indonesian embassy.

4. Singapore

Usually a visa is not required for entry to Singapore for 30 days, and like everywhere else it requires at least 6 months validity in your passport for entry.

5. Burma (Myanmar)

A visa is required for entry into Burma (Myanmar) which you can apply for online (e-visa) if you are arriving through an international airport. Land borders do vary for entry, with most on the Thai border seeming to be okay to travel through, however, the Chinese and Indian border seem to be a little more difficult to enter through. Some border crossing allow for exit via an international airport, however, other require you to exit through the same crossing you entered through. For the most up to date information check the Burmese embassy website – which is where you can also apply for your e-visa.

6. Laos

The entry requirements for Laos change frequently, so its advisable to check the Laos embassy website for the most up to date information, however, a visa on arrival for $35 is generally available at the border. You will need a passport photo, and make sure that you have a correct entry stamp in your passport otherwise you could face arrest and a huge fine!

7. Cambodia

Visas for Cambodia are available through the Royal Cambodian Embassy and usually cost about $35, you can also get visas from various travel agencies as well as at certain border checkpoints on the Laos and Vietnamese border.

8. Vietnam

Until recently a visa was required for Vietnam, however, until 2017 British passport holders can enter Vietnam for 15 days without requiring a visa. This is single entry and you cannot re-enter for a further 15 days so if longer travel is needed you will need to get one from the Vietnamese embassy.

Most of the visas required are relatively easy to obtain, its just important to read the guidelines from each embassy’s website and for any specific advice it’s handy to check the Foreign Office travel advice website here.


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