Getting here - Passport and VISA requirements when PCSing to the U.K.

All dependents must have a valid passport and visa in order to enter the U.K. Failure to have these may result in the deportation of the dependents at the airport. Your base passport office will be able obtain no-fee passports and the appropriate visas for your dependents

Who Does Not Need a Passport or Visa?

Military members on official business may travel with their military ID cards and travel orders; a passport or visa is not required.

Who Needs a Passport and Visa?

· U.S. Government civilians
· DoD sponsored contractors
· All dependents

It is highly advisable to obtain a regular "tourist" passport for your dependents as the no-fee passport is only valid for entry into the country in relation to your PCS. The no-fee passport is not intended for travelling while assigned here and you may find yourself denied entry to other countries. The military member may also consider obtaining a "tourist" passport as it makes travelling throughout Europe an easier experience.

What Is a Visa?

A visa is a stamp or impression which is placed on a page of a valid passport by a foreign embassy or consulate. The visa grants permission, as of the date it is issued, to the applicant to enter or remain in the country for a specific period of time.

What Type of Visa is Required?

All dependents, U.S. Government civilians, and DoD sponsored contractors are subject to immigration control. If they are traveling to the U.K. for a period of more than 6 months they must first obtain an entry clearance visa. This stamp must be obtained from a British consulate designated for the area in which you live. The entry clearance stamp will normally be valid for the period of time the sponsor is assigned to duty in the U.K. (to coincide with the sponsor's orders).

If circumstances change after entry into the U.K. and the sponsor's tour is extended, dependents who intend to remain in the U.K. beyond their entry clearance visa time period will be required to apply for a Leave to Remain visa stamp. That process takes place here in the U.K. and is administered by the British Home Office.

How Long Does the Process Take?

The process of obtaining a passport and visa can take three months or more to complete, so it is advisable to visit your base's passport office as soon as possible to begin the process.

Where Can I Find More Information on Passport and Visa Requirements?

More detailed information may be found on the DoD Foreign Clearance Guide at, as well as on the Military Homefront website at

Moving to the U.K. is a time-consuming process with many things to keep in mind. Please be sure to plan ahead and ensure that all dependents, U.S. Government civilians, and DoD sponsored contractors have a valid passport and visa before leaving the U.S. or they risk being deported at the airport. A little planning now will save a lot of headache later.

Lakenheath Passport Office

The Lakenheath Passport Office is located in building 977. They service Air Force active duty military and civilian personnel, family members and Civilian Personnel Office/Human Resources Office employees.

Office Hours

Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., walk-ins only. Appointments are available from 1:45 - 3:15 p.m.
If you have any questions, please email or phone DSN 226-1210.