UK Visas – A Quick Guide to Entering the UK

If you are entering the UK from another country, you may need to apply for a visa. It can be overwhelming and confusing when faced with so much information, so we have put together this short guide to entering the UK to help you.

Please remember that this is a basic guide. We are not official representatives of the UK Border Agency or Home office and rules about visa can change frequently. Therefore, you will need to check this with the Government bodies of the UK and your country of origin.

London: Potography by TJ Morris on Flickr (Creative Commons 2.0)

London: Photography by TJ Morris on Flickr (Creative Commons 2.0)

Entering the UK – Do you Need a Visa?

Whether or not you need a visa to enter the UK will depend on many things, including your Nationality, reason for entering the UK and your current country of residence. The UK Border Agency have developed a quick questionnaire to help to determine whether you need a visa.

Entering the UK from the EEA as an EEA Country National

If you are entering the UK from another EEA country, as a national of that country, you will probably not need a visa. The UK Border Agency states that ‘Nationals of countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland have the right of free movement and residence in the UK’.

Entering the UK from other EU countries

If you live in another EU country and hold an EU passport, you may not need a UK visa. However, check first, as some new members of the EU are still in transitional stages, for example, Romania and Bulgaria. Free movement and residence in the UK is not coming into place for these countries until at least 2014. If you are unsure, it is always best to check.

Entering the UK – Different types of UK Visa

If you are entering the UK as a visitor, you will need to check whether you need a visa, as this is dependent upon your country of origin. If you enter as a visitor, this is usually for up to 6 months.

If you are entering the UK to study, depending on your nationality and country of origin, you may need to apply for a student visa. If you are entering the UK on a student visa, make sure that you check all of the visa rules and requirements. For example, there may be restrictions on how many hours you are allowed to work while studying in the UK. If you breech the terms of your visa, you could end up losing the right to study and stay in the UK.

If you are entering the UK for work, you may need a work visa. The type of work visa that you apply for or get awarded may be dependent upon the work that you do. For example, the UK Border Agency may distinguish between skilled workers and temporary workers. For more information on working in the UK, click here.

Contact Details for the UK Border Agency and Home Office

It is advisable to contact the UK Border Agency or Home Office directly to find out about your visa requirements or visa application. The work of the UK Border agency will soon be returning to the Home Office and will be split into two parts, focusing on the visa system and on immigration law enforcement.

The UK Border Agency or Home Office will always have the correct and most up to date information. You can apply online for most visas.

When you arrive in the UK

When you arrive in the UK, you will probably want to keep in touch with your family back home. Remember that with Pocketdial UK you can get cheap international calls from just 1p per minute.

The Nepali and Thai New Year: Bisket Jatra and Songkran

New year in many of the South East Asian calendars, such as the Thai New Year, fall around the beginning of springtime, around 10th – 15th April. The Nepali New year and Bisket Jatra celebrations also happen at this time. You will find many other celebrations going on in other parts of South Asia, such as in Tamil Nadu an Gujarat (India). In this blog, I will introduce you to the exciting celebrations of Thai and Nepali New Year.

The Water Festival

If you are lucky enough to spend April in Bangkok, you will be there for the Thai New Year festival of Songkran, the water festival. The water festival is also celebrated in many other South East Asian countries and is traditionally celebrated on the day of the full moon in the 11th month. The water festival is known by different names in different countries. In Burma it is called Thingyan and in Laos it is called Pi Mai Lao.

Thai New Year

In 2013 and 2014 the Thai New Year water festival celebrations will start on 13th April. It is known as Songkran. Traditionally, family members sprinkled water on each other as a sign of respect. Nowadays it can happen to random strangers and passers by, and it can turn into quite an exciting water fight. So if you are travelling through Thailand at this time, beware!

Nepali New Year

Nepali New Year celebrations will commence on 10th April in 2013 and 2014. New Year is celebrated all over Nepal, but if you can, visit Bhaktapur for the nine day celebration called Bisket Jatra – the celebration of the death of the serpents.


Legend has it that anyone who married the Princess of Bhaktapur would die on the night of their honeymoon, and so she remained single as men were too scared to marry her. Finally, a brave young Prince came along and married her, vowing to solve the mystery. On the first night of their honeymoon, he stayed awake and saw that two serpents appeared from her nostrils. The Prince took out his sword and chopped off their heads.

If you manage to get to Bhaktapur for Bisket Jatra, you will see a huge chariot with deities being paraded through the streets, with ribbons that represent the serpent.  The chariot usually pauses for a game of tug-o-war between the East and the West sides of town. When the chariot ride has finished, they get to Khalna Tole, where a 25m high giant pole is erected. The following day, it is torn down in yet another Tug-O-War! This is certainly one of the best times of year to visit Nepal. To read more about the Bisket Jatra, click here.

Happy New Year from Pocketdial UK!

If you are celebrating Nepali or Thai New Year, Pocketdial UK would like to wish you a very happy new year! If you would like to call your relatives in Thailand over the Thai New Year, with Pocketdial UK, you can call Thailand from the UK for just 1p a minute.

International Dialling Codes for making International Calls

Making international calls to both landlines and mobiles can be confusing. With so many different international dialling codes, how do you know which ones you need? Don’t worry, Pocketdial UK is here to help. We have summarised the dialling codes that you will need when making an international call. We have also researched the most frequently used dialling codes.


Image Credit: iMorpheus on Flickr (creative commons 2.0)

What International Dialling Codes will I need?

If you are making an international call, you will need two international dialling codes. Firstly, you will need the exit dialling code for the country that you are in.  Secondly, you will need the international dialling code for the country that you are calling to.  For example, to call India from the UK, you would need the following international dialling codes…

UK exit dialling code: 00

India International dialling code: 91

Complete phone number: 00 + 91 + ### ####


Top Ten Most Popular International Dialling Codes

Destination Exit code (dialling out) International Dialling code (dialling to)
Australia 0011 61
Brazil This will depend on the provider of your phone service in Brazil. 0014 (Brasil Telecom)

0012 (CTBC)

0021 (Embratel)

0025 (GVT)

0023 (Intelig)

0031 (Oi)

0015 (Telefonica), 0041 (TIM)

China 00 86
India 00 91
Pakistan 00 92
Philippines 00 63
Poland 00 48
Saudi Arabia 00 966
Syria 00 963
USA 011 1

How to find out International Dialling codes and Exit Codes

At Pocketdial UK, we recently found a great gadget on  This is a quick and easy way to find out exactly what international dialling codes you need to dial one country from another, mobiles included. You can simply enter the country that you are calling from and the country you are calling to. After one click, the exit calling codes will appear.  It will also give you the international mobile dialling codes and city codes.

Don’t forget, if you are in the UK, you can make cheap international calls from a mobile using Pocketdial’s instant international call service.

Leave your comments on our blog!

Which country do you call most frequently? Do you find it easy or difficult to make an international call? Do leave your comments on our blog, we’d love to hear from you.