Visa information

If you are planning to attend this year's Congress, we strongly advise you to find out if you need a visa to enter the UK as early as possible. Should a visa be required, we recommend that you apply as soon as possible, taking into consideration the visa process time. Note that July-August is the peak application period and processing times may take longer.

You can find out if you need a visa be visiting the official website: 

What type of visa should I apply for?

  • Business Visitor visa: You should apply for this category of visa if you are attending the Congress as a delegate.

How do i apply for a visa for the UK?

You must apply and pay online for your visa at the official site: Additional to the online form, you will also be required to submit your biomentric information and provide supporting documentation. It is recommended that you apply for your visa as soon as possible.

Submitting biometric information

You will need to have your fingerprints and photograph (known as 'biometric information') taken at a visa application centre as part of your application. The application will not be submitted until that process has been completed. You will be able to book an appointment to provide your biometric information at the end of the online application. Find details of your nearest visa application centre.

In countries where there is no visa application centre, you may find a temporary enrolment location is available on given days or you may need to travel to a nearby country where a visa application centre is available. If no visa application centre is available in your country, please take into consideration the additional timescales for completing this process when making your decision when to apply.

Supporting documentation

In support of your application, you should gather evidence of your circumstances, employment, ability to meet the costs of the trip and your arrangements in the UK. Access the guide to supporting documents

If you have already registered for the ERS Congress 2016, we would strongly recommend that you include a copy of the registration confirmation letter together with the ERS Congress invitation letter with these documents. If you did not request an inviation letter at the time of registration, you can request one by email at

Other useful information:

Visa processing times:

For current processing times, select your country from the list options.

Request your visa as soon as possible:

We strongly suggest that you request your visa as soon as you can but not later than three months in advance of your date of travel to the UK for the ERS Congress. Please note that July-August is the peak application period and is therefore busier during these times. The process of submitting your application to receiving the decision could take up to 20 working days. Please be aware that UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) processing times start from the day you submit your biometrics.

Priority visa services are available for late applications:

UKVI do offer priority visa services which allow you to receive your visa application decision in a shorter amount of time than is standard. If you choose this service, your visa application will be placed at the front of the queue once received by a UKVI decision making centre. This service is available for a fee and is optional.

Important note: This service does not imply or guarantee in any way that by using the priority service you will be successful in your visa application. All visa applicants must meet the requirements of the UK immigration rules.

Use the correct dates on your application:

It is essential to mention your actual arrival and departure dates to the UK on your visa application. Visas will normally be issued from the date of travel. Changes to the validity dates of a visa after it has been printed may not be possible and could result in additional charges.

Join the Registered Traveller Service:

If you are a national of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand or the USA and regularly fly in to Heathrow or Gatwick airports, you can apply to join the Registered Traveller Service to make your journey and progress through UK immigration quicker. The Registered Traveller Service allows you to take advantage of:

  • ePassport gates (if you have a biometric passport)
  • The UK/EU access channel (at Heathrow airport) or the special Registered Traveller lane (at Gatwick airport)
  • You will not be required to complete a landing card