Overseas visitors permit

If you are a UK resident and want to act as a sponsor for overseas visitors, please see our advice below. 

Please read our advice and guidance before making an application.

Advice and Guidance

  • Applications should be made in plenty of time - preferably four weeks in advance of the visit. This will give us time to issue the Firearms Licence permit and allow the sponsor time to post it to the visitor. 
  • Where a permit is required at short notice, we will try our best to issue it in time for the visit. The responsibility to get the permit to the visitor will always remain with the sponsor.
  • The form can be used for either an individual visitor or a group of up to 20 visitors who will be using firearm/shotguns for sporting purposes on the same private premises during the same period, or will be participating in the same competition or event or series of competitions or events.
  • The submitted form must be the original with the sponsor’s signature. Faxes are not acceptable.
  • Applications from residents of European Community Member States should be supported by a valid European Firearms Pass (EFP) which is valid for the duration of the visit to the UK and details the firearms that the visitor wishes to bring into the UK.
  • Applications in respect of visitors from non-EC Countries should be supported by their valid gun licences/permit as appropriate to their country of origin.
  • A copy of a current passport should support applications from visitors who reside in countries where no form of firearm control exists. In these cases applications should be submitted at the earliest opportunity so any necessary background enquiries may be conducted.
  • All applications must include the visitor's address while in the UK and the secure storage arrangements which will be put in place to safeguard the firearms/shotguns. Security considerations might include:
  1. Obtaining accommodation which provides secure facilities (many country hotels offer this service).
  2. Separating and retaining possession of the integral parts of the firearm to prevent it being used.
  3. Using portable security devices such as security cords.
  • Reasons for the visitor requiring firearms or shotguns in the UK should be specified. In the case of shotguns as an example “game shooting” would be sufficient. 
  • In respect of firearms for sporting use, the land on which the rifles are to be used must be detailed. As an example “Deer shooting on the X Estate, Perthshire, Scotland".  Where the permit relates to a firearm for target shooting an example might be "Target shooting at X Meeting, Bisley, Surrey."
  • Ammunition requirements for Section One Firearms must be specified on the application form.
  • Permits will normally only be issued for the duration of the visit. However, where a visitor is to make a number of visits to the UK in close succession, consideration will be given to the issue of a permit to cover the group of visits.

Where can I get an application form?

You can request an application by emailing [email protected] or by downloading the Overseas Visitors Permit.

How much will it cost?

  • The fee should be enclosed with the application. An individual permit costs £20 per permit for the first five permits of the same type on the same application. For 5 to 20 permits of the same type on the same application the fee is £100.
  • It should be noted that the fee relates to a single type of permit, so where an application relates to a visitor who wants both a shotgun permit and a firearm permit a fee is due in respect of each permit issued.
  • All fees should be paid by cheque or postal order and made payable to Suffolk Constabulary. Do not send cash in the post.

Where do I send my application and fee?

Applications should be sent to:

Firearm Licensing Unit

Suffolk Constabulary

Portal Avenue




If you need further assistance please contact us.