UK Transit Visa for South Africans

Travelling from South Africa and via the UK and feeling a little confused about whether you need a visa or not? You’re certainly not alone, since Britain introduced the requirement of a visa for South Africans, transiting the UK has quickly become the murkiest of waters in the immigration world. Here is some info which might shed some light on this:

What is a transit visa?

Citizens of certain countries, like South Africa, require visas to enter the UK and in most cases to travel through a UK airport to another country. The transit visa is a slightly cheaper visa which allows the holder the opportunity to pass through the UK but not to enter Britain for any purpose other than to transit through it.

When is a transit visa not needed?

In certain circumstances one does not need a visa to transit via the UK (Transit Without Visa or TWOV), the rule for this is, in technical speak, as follows:

Visa required, except for Passengers who may be granted permission by the Immigration authorities to enter the United Kingdom, for a stay not exceeding 24 hours. […] and have no purpose in entering the United Kingdom other than to pass through in transit.
Nationals of South Africa may only use this administrative concession (TWOV) above if holding:
– a visa which allows entry into (or transit through) either Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA; and
– holding a valid ticket for travel from a third country or territory via the UK as part of a journey TO (or through)
Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA.

In plain speak, you can only enter the UK without a visa if:

  1. You enter on a ticket which departs from South Africa and the destination of that ticket is either the US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand
  2. You’re holding a visa for one of the countries mentioned above (point A)
  3. You are staying in the UK for no longer than 24 hours, in transit, to either the USCanadaAustralia or New Zealand
  4. You have no reason to be in the UK other than transiting there (e.g. no business to conduct sites to see or people to visit) while on your way to either the USCanadaAustralia or New Zealand

If you do not meet all of the above criteria, you will need a visa to transit the United Kingdom.

Transiting between London Heathrow and Gatwick

You’ll find very few people who will give you a straight answer about transiting between Heathrow and Gatwick, mostly because the repercussions of giving you the wrong information are high – you won’t be allowed onto your flight, or worse yet, you will be detained and deported upon arrival in the UK. Officially you are allowed to travel between Gatwick and Heathrow without a visa, provided the above rules are met, and we do know of people who have successfully done this. But getting a direct answer out of the High Commission is very difficult, so here are your options:

  1. Risk it, as no where does it say you cannot travel between the two airports if you’ve met the above criteria.
  2. Apply for a transit visa (R638 at the time of this post) and avoid all the risk.

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Our Readers Comments

  1. My wife and I want to visit our children and grandchildren in UK. How much is the cost of our visas? (6 month). We then want to go across to Holland to visit my sister, do we need a visa? If so where will we get this and how much will it cost?
    Thankyou

    • Hi Dave, sorry for the delayed reply, been away from the blog for a few days on leave. The visa will cost you R950 each for the UK visa. You’ll need a schengen visa to go to the Netherlands which you will need to apply for before you leave South Africa, this costs an additional EUR60 (about R660) per person. You’ll need to get a series of documents in order, eg proof of accommodation in the Netherlands, return tickets to that country, travel insurance, application forms, photos, proof of sufficient funds to travel. For more info on the application process, click here: http://southafrica.nlembassy.org/Config/Right_column/Directly_to/Visa

  2. Hi Nick

    My fiance and I are planning and booking our honeymoon overseas for next year. Our flights are going to take us from JHB via Frankfurt on to Paris where we will spend a few nights before moving to the south of France. We will then make our way across to Manchester and London before flying from London back to JHB via Frankfurt again. What visas will we need and the costs involved both travelling on SA passports?

    • Hi Terrance! Sounds like a great trip you’ve got planned!

      You’ll need a visa for the UK and for France, the French visa is a multiple-entry Schengen visa and will cost 60 Euros (about R640). The UK visa will cost around R988. The prices are per person. I hope this helps 🙂

  3. Hi Nick,
    Please help – my husband is travelling to Dublin in February. He is not staying over in the UK and from my research I see he needs a visa to transit landside. I’m battling to find any further info in terms of what the requirements are to obtain this visa, as well as costs. He has a South African passport.
    Can you help me please?

    • Hi Debbie, yes, if he’s going to Dublin via the UK he will need a visa for the UK. The fee is R689 for the transit visa, he can find more out about fees here: http://bit.ly/v1jLvc and click here to find out more about applying for one: http://www.vfs-uk-za.com/ . Although I find there’s actually more information available through the first link. Hope this all helps 🙂

  4. Hi Nick.
    If one has a BA ticket Johannesburg/Paris via London Heathrow but only transit via this airport (i.e does not get out of the airport), do we need a UK visa?
    Thanks so much

    • Hi Alan, for that flight you will need a transit visa. It’s only if you travel on to the USA or Canada where you won’t need a transit visa. It’s unfortunate, but true I’m afraid! Hope this helps!

  5. hi Nick want to visit my friend in the UK for a month and go visit some family in USA for 2 weeks and back to SA via UK my question is do i need 2 visas (UK & USA)how much will it costs

    • Hi Julia! Sounds like a nice trip you’ve got planned! To answer your question, yes you will need 2 visas for that trip, one for the UK and one for the USA. The UK visa will cost R1,026 currently, the US visa is USD140 currently.

  6. Hi Nick
    I am getting so confused. I have a SA passport and will be travelling from USA (B1/B2 visa) via London to Spain (valid Schengen visa). Please advise if a transit visa is required. Also, I have previously been denied a visitor visa for the UK. Help please

    • Hi Gwyn, thanks for getting in touch. If you’re going to Spain via the UK, you should need to have a UK transit visa, the visa-exemption is only if the US is your destination. If you’ve been denied a visa for the UK, to my knowledge, they still review each application on a case to case basis and provided that you were not denied for a some gross infringement in the past, they should consider your application again. Have you looked at direct flights from the US to Spain? It might save you some grief at the Embassy. BA and Iberia are now one company so there’s a chance they’ll let you reroute your ticket (if you’re on BA currently), they may not, but it could be worth a shot.

  7. Hi Nick

    I’m planning a trip to Canada with a transit stop at Heathrow. From what I understand, a transit visa won’t be necessary, but what happens for the return trip? Is a transit visa then required?

    Also, the info on the UKBA website (http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/customs-travel/transitthroughtheuk/visa-to-transit-landside/#) refers to “Additionally, if you are a national of country covered by the DATV system, you must hold…” What does DATV refer to?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Lee-Ann, that’s a good question, luckily it’s easy to answer! Because it’s all on one trip and you’re returning from that trip to your home country, you don’t need a transit visa to go via London if you’re just transiting and you’re spending less than 24 hours in the country.

      The DATV is a Direct Airside Transit Visa, that’s the UK visa you’d need if you were flying to say, Amsterdam via London. South Africans don’t need a DATV if they are going to the USA or Canada, hold a visa for that country, are spending no longer than 24 hours in the UK, are only in the country for the purposes of transit and are continuing on the next available flight. Hope this helps!

  8. Hi Nick, I am travelling on a SA passport and returning to Athens from Dallas USA via Heathrow – 3 hour stopover. I live in Greece and have a temp residency permit (for Greece – renewable every year) and a USA visa in my passport. Do you think I would need a transit visa for UK.
    On the way over I flew via Madrid. i am leaving in 2 days – should I just wing it?
    Many thanks,
    Janet

    • Hi Janet, that’s a tough one, but I think it should be okay if you have the temporary residence permit and a visa for the USA in your passport (and the trip is the one where you utilised that visa)

  9. Hi Nick
    We are working in France with valid work visas for the country. We are planning a trip to the Canary Islands which we don’t need additional visas for since the French ones are valid for the Canary islands. We are travelling via Gatwick, just stopping over for1.5hours. Does this mean we will not need transit visas for the UK since we hold valid visas for the country we are travelling to? (point B in your article above).
    Thanks a million. Oh yes we are SA’s.

  10. Hi Nick

    Im due to travel overseas via the UK and want to apply for a DAT visa. How long would I need to wait for an appointment in SA and do I have enough time to apoly for one if I leave the beginning of Feb?

    • Hi Danielle! The wait time varies depending on the time of the year, but usually it’s only a few days you need to wait, and then a further few days until getting the visa. If you apply now, you should be safe 🙂

  11. I don’t need a transit visa travelling CPT-PHL via LHR. Does this mean I can leave the airport to sight see on my 8 hr stopover or does it mean I am restricted to Heathrow?

    • Hi Rosemary, I typed up a whole response to you the other day and it seems it got deleted somehow! Terribly sorry!

      Your visa to the UK only allows you to transit there, you can’t enter the UK for any reason other than to transit the country – according to the rules. I suppose you could always ask the immigration officials if you could go through to the city, but I don’t know if they’d allow it as technically it’s not permitted. Also you don’t want to have trouble coming back in to the airport, since by leaving the airport, you aren’t technically in transit and they may interrogate you as to what you’ve been doing since you were here in transit.

      I would say that you’re probably going to be restricted to Heathrow unfortunately 🙁

  12. Hi Nick, I am a RSA resident. I plan on visiting the Netherlands in March, going to the UK for a few days and returning to the Netherlands. Here is the catch. I plan to travel with the Eurostar to the UK. I need to travel from Amsterdam to Brussels to be able to do that. After my stay in the UK I will then reverse my steps via Brussels, ending in the Netherlands again.What type of visas do I need. Do I also need a seperate visa for Belgium?

    • Hi Tersia! Sounds like a great trip. Luckily the answer to your question is quite simple – you will need 2 visas, one for the UK and one for the Schengen states (Netherlands, Belgium etc). The Schengen visa allows you entry into multiple countries in Europe including Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Greece, Poland and many more. You’ll apply for a multiple entry Schengen visa and you’ll likely need to show when and how you’re leaving the Netherlands and when and how you’re coming back – they’re a little pedantic. You’ll need to show this with your return train tickets. The UK will probably ask you if you to show how you’re getting to Europe and then on to the UK too! So it may be best to apply for the Schengen Visa first so that you have everything booked which you need for your visa. Hope this helps!

  13. Thanks Nick!!

  14. Hi Nick

    I’m travelling back home from the USA on a SA passport on a flight via London. Would I need a transit visa? I have a valid B1/B2 visa.

    • Hi Mia, if I’m not mistaken, the B1/B2 visa is the tourist/visitor visa. Basically if you hold a visa for the USA and your trip is for the purposes of visiting the USA (as in, you can’t hold a visa for the USA, transit the UK and go to Ireland instead, your trip must be for travel to/from the USA), then according to the info at my disposal, you don’t need a visa to transit the UK:

      “TWOV (TRANSIT WITHOUT VISA):
      VISA REQUIRED, EXCEPT FOR PASSENGERS WHO MAY BE GRANTED
      PERMISSION BY THE IMMIGRATION AUTHORITIES TO ENTER THE UNITED
      KINGDOM, FOR A STAY NOT EXCEEDING 24 HOURS.
      THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS MUST BE COMPLIED WITH:
      – PASSENGERS HOLD CONFIRMED RESERVATIONS FOR AN ONWARD FLIGHT
      WITHIN 24 HOURS; AND
      – CONTINUE TO A THIRD COUNTRY; AND
      – HAVE NO PURPOSE IN ENTERING THE UNITED KINGDOM OTHER THAN TO
      PASS THROUGH IN TRANSIT; AND
      – HOLD ALL DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR THE NEXT DESTINATION.
      – ***WARNING*** NATIONALS OF SOUTH AFRICA MAY ONLY USE THIS
      ADMINISTRATIVE CONCESSION (TWOV) ABOVE IF HOLDING:
      – A VISA WHICH ALLOWS ENTRY INTO (OR TRANSIT THROUGH)
      EITHER AUSTRALIA, CANADA, NEW ZEALAND OR THE USA; AND
      – HOLDING A VALID TICKET FOR TRAVEL FROM A THIRD COUNTRY OR
      TERRITORY VIA THE UK AS PART OF A JOURNEY TO (OR THROUGH)
      AUSTRALIA, CANADA, NEW ZEALAND OR THE USA, WHICHEVER THE
      VISA IS APPLICABLE TO (E.G.: DEL-LHR-JFK, DEL-CDG-LHR-JFK,
      DEL-LHR-CDG-JFK OR DEL-LHR-JFK-MEX).
      OR:
      – A VALID VISA FOR ENTRY INTO AUSTRALIA, CANADA, NEW
      ZEALAND OR THE USA; AND
      – A VALID AIRLINE TICKET FOR TRAVEL VIA THE UK AS PART OFA
      JOURNEY FROM THE COUNTRY IN RESPECT OF WHICH THE VISA IS
      HELD TO ANOTHER COUNTRY OR TERRITORY.
      OR:
      TRAVELLING AS PART OF A JOURNEY FROM EITHER AUSTRALIA,
      CANADA, NEW ZEALAND OR THE USA, PROVIDED TRANSITING THE UK
      LESS THAN 6 MONTHS AFTER THE DATE THEY LAST ENTERED
      AUSTRALIA, CANADA, NEW ZEALAND OR THE USA WITH A VALID VISA
      FOR THE RESPECTIVE COUNTRY, EVEN THOUGH THE VISA MAY HAVE
      EXPIRED AT TIME OF TRANSIT THROUGH THE UK (E.G.:
      JFK-LHR-DEL, JFK-CDG-LHR-DEL OR JFK-LHR-CDG-DEL).
      NOTE: THIS DATV EXEMPTION IS NOT APPLICABLE IF HOLDING A US
      VISA FOIL TYPE “YY” OR “ZZ” ENDORSED “NOT A VISA. FOIL
      PREPARED AT DHS REQUEST” NOR THE US ADIT STAMP WORDED
      “PROCESSED FOR I-551″ (TEMPORARY FORM I-551).”

  15. hi there. my family and i are south african passport holders with indefinate leave to remain in the uk. we are going to south africa on hols in april flying via madrid. we wont be leaving the airport and so was wondering if we need transit visas for our stopover there? many thanks

  16. Hi Kelly! On a South African passport, you will never require a visa to transit through an EU airport, provided you don’t stay longer than 24 hours, don’t leave the transit area and are continuing on the next flight available. From the sounds of it, your trip doesn’t break any of these rules, so you should be fine 🙂

  17. We hold rebate ( Airline discount ) tickets to travel Cape Town – London – Houston and return 2 weeks later. This is a valid airline ticket but we are not allowed to book a confirmed seat on a flight. This means that we are on standby for the next flight after arrival in Heathrow 8 hours later. The airline which we are travelling Cape Town – Houston has told me there are 72 seats available on the sector London – Houston. We were issued with a 10 year B1/B2 USA visa. Is there any legal document available to show to the Airline in Cape Town that we have authority to stay in transit for 24 hours. I spoke to the British Consulate in Cape Town which informed me that I only need a valid ticket, not a booked ticket and a valid visa for the USA. PLEASE HELP. The airline concerned does not what to accept us without a transit visa. We planned to start our yourney on 17 January 2012. Thank you

    • Hi Arno, thanks for getting in touch. At the end of the day, it is up two parties if you’re allowed to go in this flight. 1) The British Consulate/Embassy, they have to be happy that you meet all the requirements – it seems they are. 2) The Airline has to be happy to board you as well, they get hefty fines if you arrive in London and aren’t allowed to enter the airport by immigration, so they will be wary.

      From what you’re saying I understand it as you won’t have confirmed seats for the London-Houston leg of your trip either. I take it, it’s British Airways you’re flying with too? It would make sense that they’re wary as there’s a very real risk of you arriving in London and then you cannot continue within 24 hours to Houston, if the flight fills up. So what I would say here is, officially, you don’t need a visa to do this trip, but if the airline is insisting they won’t let you board, you may need to check with them if getting a transit visa would make them let you board the flight.

      The rule states as follows:

      “THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS MUST BE COMPLIED WITH:
      – PASSENGERS HOLD CONFIRMED RESERVATIONS FOR AN ONWARD FLIGHT
      WITHIN 24 HOURS […]
      – A VALID AIRLINE TICKET FOR TRAVEL VIA THE UK AS PART OFA
      JOURNEY FROM THE COUNTRY IN RESPECT OF WHICH THE VISA IS
      HELD TO ANOTHER COUNTRY OR TERRITORY.”

      It’s a tough one but ultimately both parties need to be satisfied, the UK Border Agency and the Airline, in order for you to travel, if one says they’re happy but the other is not, you have to check with the unhappy party what you can do to make this trip happen.

      Hope this helps, even if just a bit.

  18. I am a South African working in Kuwait and I intend visiting the US via London (purely transit and no airport change). return will be the same route. I have the US visas, do I need a UK visa?

    • Hi Haroon!

      So long as you have all the documents proving you have the right to remain and work in Kuwait, and documents proving you have the right to do so upon your return, all the information at my disposal says you won’t need a visa for the UK, if you comply with all the above-mentioned rules (see comment by myself to Mia). I would suggest getting a letter from your employer in Kuwait too, explaining that you are on leave and are expected back at work on X date.

      Hope this helps!

  19. Hi Nick!
    I’m going to Europe on a Contiki trip in June and our flight arrives in London the day before our trip starts and leaves for the Netherlands. We’re planning on spending that evening before the trip with friends in London, as well as a night with them after our tour ends and we fly back to South Africa. I’m getting a Schengen visa for the Contiki tour, will I need a visa in order to overnight in the U.K. before we leave for the tour? This visa process has me a little confused!

  20. Do you still need a transit visa for London (going to Dubai) if you are living/working in Europe but doing so on a South African Passport?

    • Hi Lindy, according to our info, you will need to get a visa for the UK even if you are living and working on continental Europe. If you’re residing in a Schengen state you will be allowed to visit any other Schengen states without another visa, but the UK is not a Schengen State. If you are a European National (as in have a European passport) you won’t need a visa to visit or travel via the UK.

  21. Hi Nick
    I will be travelling to Canada in July 2012. I will have a Canadian and USA visa. On my way there I will be in transit at Heathrow – which from reading the posts above, I wont need a transit visa. However my return trip will be via Frankfurt. I will also be in transit for 9 hours, do I need a transit visa for Germany?
    Thanks

    • Hi Sandra, you seem to be all in order for your trip. The good news is that the British are the picky ones! The Germans are happy for any South African to transit in their country without a visa regardless of the destination, so you’ll be fine there. All in all, you seem set (visa-wise) for your trip!

  22. Heard that one now requires a direct airside transit visa even if in possession of US/Canada Visa

    • Hi James, thanks for the heads up. All the official sources still say a visa is not required. Will keep an eye out for this.

  23. Hi Nick

    I am traveling from S.A. to Geneva, with an hour and a half stop over at Heathrow. then coming back a week later via heathrow again. Do i need another in transit visa for the return trip? If so how much will it be?

    • Hi Warren, thanks for getting in touch. You’ll need just one visa. What will happen is the UK embassy will give you a transit visa valid for the duration of your trip which allows you to transit the UK at any point(s) during that time. Hope this helps

  24. I am South African I am travelling to Canada in April via Heathrow , I will be in transit for 5 hours I have a canadian visa Do I need a transit visa for UK , If I previously have been refused entry into the UK 2004 and have been refused visa .The agency kept on convincing me that I will have no problem. I still am not convinced that I will have no problems. And should I Apply for a transit visa I dont think they will give the visa even should I Meet the requirements .

    • Hi Famida, this is a tough one. According to the rules, if you’re holding 1 ticket for a journey through from South Africa via London to Canada and are transiting the UK for less than 24 hours and have a visa for Canada in a South African passport you will be allowed to travel that way. No where does it mention anything about previously being denied a visa for the UK as a criteria for denying entry for transit.

      According to that you’d be safe to travel this way. I do however understand your reservations. I would suggest contacting VFS, the UK visa handling service on http://www.vfs-uk-za.com/callcentre.html to get some more official advice.

  25. Hi Nick

    My wife and I are South Africans, but with permanent residency cards for Canada (we have a house there and I work between here and Canada). I normally only transit through the UK, which is fine, but if I want to enter into the UK, as Canadian PR, would I still require a visa? The British Consulate in Halifax, Canada does not think so, but I suspect they were misinformed…..?

    • Hi Danie, thanks for getting in touch! According to my info, you do need a visa to enter the UK, even if you are a Canadian permanent resident – though this does sound silly to me. It seems to be linked to the passport you’re holding rather than your residency. If you can get it in writing from the consulate then it should be good for entry into the UK, but if they won’t do this for you, you’re going to have to apply for a visa for the UK.

  26. Hi Nick,
    Thanks for the great website! I am planning a trip to the UK in May (travelling on a SA Passport) and know that I will need a visa for my stay in London. But my partner and I are considering taking a trip from there to France. What visas do I need? Many thanks! 🙂

    • Hi Natasha! Thanks for getting in touch. For this trip, you will need a UK visa for London and a Schengen visa for France. The UK visa costs around R1000 and you will need to apply for it here: http://www.vfs-uk-za.com/ . The French Schengen visa costs about R650 and you can apply for it here: http://www.myeuropevisa.com/FR-ZA/ Hope this helps!!

  27. Hi Nick.

    My grandmother and I are travelling to the UK in April. We have got our UK visas but now I need to know whether we need inter transfer visas. We are travelling form SA to Frankfurt to London and back via London, Zurich, SA. Please advise urgently as we are leaving on the 1st of April.

    Kind regards,

    Isabelle Kinnear

    • Hi Isabelle, for this trip, if you have your UK visa, you don’t need a transit visa for any Schengen European countries (this includes Germany and Switzerland). I hope this helps!

  28. family of 5 – 2 adults and 3 children (17 – 14 – 11 years old) travelling : 1st April 2012 Jhb – London, London – Athens (2.14 hours in transit) and then returning on 15th April 2012 Athens – London (n transit for approx 6 hours) London – Jhbo be taken regards a transit visa. Thank you – Sharon

    • Hi Sharon, thanks for getting in touch.

      For all travel via the UK to Europe, a transit visa is needed.

      According to my information, the UK requires each passenger to pay, regardless of age, this is currently R663 per person travelling.

      You will require a Schengen visa for Greece, that is currently approx R650 per traveller over 11 years and R400 for 6-11 year olds.

      Hope this helps.

  29. Hi, I hope I am right. I fly home to SA via London. I am on a SA passport, but have Permanent Residence for Germany and NOT a Schengen Visa. I haven’t applied for a transit visa since I think I fall un TWOV concession. Am I right? Thanks!

    • Hi Joe, according to my info, you are correct providing that:

      “(TWOV) PERMITTED PROVIDED HOLDING A VALID,COMMON FORMAT RESIDENCE PERMIT ISSUED BY AN EEA MEMBER STATE ”

      Germany is an EEA state. Hope this helps!

  30. Thanks for your help! Yes my Residence Permit was issued here in Germany and is without an expiration date.

  31. Thanks Nick! Great website.

  32. Hi Nick
    I have bought a last minute flight to Miami via Heathrow. I gave the visa no thought…
    Do I require one? And if so, how long does it take to arrange one? I have 48hrs…

    Thank you
    Christiaan

    • Hi Christiaan, thanks for getting in touch. If you’re on a permanent South African passport and are only in the UK for the purpose of transiting and are there for no longer than 24 hours and hold a valid visa for the USA and you are travelling there only on this trip, you will not need a transit visa for the UK.

  33. Hi Nick

    Im planning a trip to Barbados via London, i am a South African passport holder, do i need a transit visa for the UK, i also have a C1d visa.

    • Hi Haroldine, if you are travelling via the UK on a regular permanent passport, you will need a transit visa for the UK. As far as I know, unless your destination is the USA on this trip the C1/D visa will not count towards you transiting the UK visa-free. If you are merely going from SA – London – Barbados, to my knowledge, you will need a transit visa for the UK.

  34. Hi Nick,

    My mother booked a ticket on Iberia from Johannesburg to Amsterdam via Madrid

    Iberia decided to pull out of SA. BA is will apparently honour these tickets and her flight to Amsterdam will be rerouted via London.

    Does she have to get a transit visa for this whole exercise?

    • Hi Jason!

      Thanks for getting in touch. Unfortunately the airline doesn’t have the power to issue these visas so they can’t throw in a free visa for her unfortunately. It really is a very unfair situation indeed.

      What the airline will do is allow a full refund, but you’ll have to see if it’s going to be worth buying a new ticket to Amsterdam, or just paying in the R600 odd for the transit visa and be done with it.

      Contact whoever you booked the ticket with to find out about the refund and how much a new ticket might cost, if it’s less than R600 more it might be worth going that route.

  35. Hi Nick,

    I would like to visit a friend on the Isle of Man. I’m on a South African passport. Would I need a transit visa or general visitor visa if I go via the UK? There is also a route from Dublin, Ireland and am wondering if I can get the Isle of Man that way without any visa?

    Many thanks

    • Hi Carolyn, as far as I am aware the Isle of Man falls within the UK’s borders so is governed by the UK’s border control rules meaning you need to have a visa as a normal South African passport holder to visit the Isle of Man. I believe you can apply either for a UK or a Manx visa, though these are identical and the UK visa allows you entry into both the Isle of Man and the UK. This would be the regular UK visa.

      I hope this helps!

  36. Hi Nick,

    I have dual citizenship with passports from SA and EU.
    I am on transit through Heathrow from Johannesburg to Madrid. I’m sure
    I don’t need a visa, is that right?

    • Hi Manuella, if you have a valid EU passport you will not need a visa to travel via or to anywhere in the EU, provided that you enter any of those countries on that passport.

  37. Hello Nick,

    I am traveling from New Delhi, India to Montreal, Canada via London/Heathrow. Stay in London airport is about 5 hours. I have valid passport of Indian citizenship and a valid VISA for the destination country Canada. VISA type is Work permit.

    Do I need to have a transit VISA for London/Heathrow stay on airport ?

    Thanks for help !

    • Hi Vinay, I’m afraid I only really have experience dealing with South African passport holders and would advise you to check with the local visa handling agency for the UK there in India.

      To my knowledge though the process is the same meaning you would not need a UK visa for this trip. But please double-check locally too.

  38. Hello,
    My name is Reza. My wife and I are from Iran. We live in Malaysia. We are postgraduate students in University of Malaya. Our parents live in Dublin, Ireland. We want to visit them, and we have already applied for Ireland visa. We want to transit from Heathrow Airport in London to Dublin. Our flights information is as follows:

    Depart

    Kuala Lumpur International Airport

    London ‑ Heathrow

    Dublin

    Malaysia Airlines

    11:40 PM (02 Jul)

    5:50 AM (03 Jul)

    Biritish midland International (BMI)

    21:50 (03 Jul)

    23:10 (03 Jul)

    Return

    Dublin

    London ‑ Heathrow

    Kuala Lumpur International Airport

    Biritish midland International (BMI)

    07:00 AM (31 Jul)

    08:20 AM(31 Jul)

    Malaysia Airlines

    10:00 PM(31 Jul)

    5:25 PM(01 Aug)

    As you can see, in our depart and return flight, we stay in London less than 24 hours, and in UK website for visa it is mentioned that we don’t need to apply for transit visa. This information is provided in the following link in which it mentions:

    [ http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/transitthroughtheuk/visa-to-transit-landside/# ]

    [If you are a visa national or recognised as stateless, you may be able to transit the UK landside without a visa. To qualify for this exemption:

    o you must arrive and depart by air;

    o your onward flight must be confirmed, and must depart within 24 hours; and

    o you have proper documentation for your destination, including a visa if necessary]

    My question: Referring to this information, we do not need to apply for transit visa (landside). Yes?

    Please reply my email

    Thank You

    • Hi Reza, thanks for getting in touch. I am afraid my area of experience is with South African passport holders departing South Africa. I won’t be able to accurately advise you on the visa requirements for your unique situation.

      I would suggest contacting the official visa handling agency appointed by the UK government there in Malaysia, they should be able to advise you accordingly.

  39. Hi Nick.

    Does a UK 6-month tourist visa cover transiting as well?

    Here’s my situation: I’m flying to Spain via London, in transit for 2 hrs. Two weeks later, I return to London, but this time to stay there for 5 days before coming back to SA.

    So, do I have to apply for a transit visa as well as a tourist visa? Or can I just apply for a multiple-entry UK tourist visa (even though that first entry is just in transit).

    Please help. Nothing on the UK Border Agency site seems to cover my situation?

    Thanks.

    • Hi Sanjiv,

      to my knowledge the tourist visa trumps the transit visa in that it allows you multiple entry to the UK, which includes transit.

  40. Hi Nick. You might have answered this question before seeing that I have not read all responses on the website. I am travelling from Cape Town (SA) to New Jersey (USA) via Heathrow and will return the same route. My US Visitors Visa (B1-B2) is valid till 2022. My stopovers at Heathrow are 3 hours and on return 8 hours. I am totally flabbergasted by the Airside, Landside, Visitors Visa debacle. If I’m off to USA then I’m OK right? I fear some lady saying ‘Access Denied…you have no Airside Visa!’

    • Hi Natasha,

      thanks for getting in touch. I think you will be safe as you’re departing from SA and returning to SA and are just in the UK for the purposes of transit and you hold a visa for the USA and are travelling to that destination on this trip. Seems to me you meet all the requirements.

    • Hi Natasha, I have exactly the same problem you had. Did you have to get the DATV in the end?

  41. Hi Nick,

    I’m travelling to the US next week Thursday and on my way back to SA I have quite a long layover. Can I leave the airport on my way back to South Africa or is this only will in transit to the US?

    Thanks,
    Neil

    • Hi Neil,

      sorry for the delay in responding to you.

      If you have a valid US visa on a normal South African Passport and you are travelling via the UK and are only there to transit the UK and are travelling to the US on this trip and are returning to SA directly on the return trip then you will not need a visa to transit the UK.

  42. Hi Nick,
    I’m organizing a couple cricket players from Zimbabwe and South Africa to come to Canada. They have applied for their temporary Canadian visa already.
    Their flight has a stop over in Amsterdam… so they will NOT need a transit visa for the trip here and back?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Shalene,

      I am not too clued up on the requirements for Zimbabwean nationals, but the South Africans if they have a valid visa for Canada they should be fine. (I’m not sure what you mean by temporary visa though, so you may need to double check this info if this is not a proper visa which they have).

      The info I have at my disposal says they they won’t need a transit visa for the UK or Netherlands if they are only transiting there and are there for more than 24 hours. They may not leave the airport.

  43. Hi Nick
    I am SA citizen. I am traveling from USA to SA, via London Heathrow. I will be in transit for 8 hrs. I have USA visa. My questions are; Do I need a transit visa for UK? Are they going to allow me to pass security if want to be outside airport?

  44. Hey Nick :),
    im going to transit in london without a visa and my layover time is 20 hours so i will have to sleep somewhere,I have my relatives in london and im going to meet them ,Should i say that to the office or that will make him refuse to give me a 24 hour transit visa as u said i shouldnt have people to visit ? 🙂 Thanks alot for your help..

    • Hi Abel,

      if you’re on a South African passport, I would suggest you apply for the regular UK visa to be safe as you are not supposed to be doing anything other than transiting in the UK. It may upset the authorities if you are going to wander around London and stay with family while there. So for safety’s sake I would say apply for the regular visa.

  45. Hi Nick, lovely blog you got going here. I am travelling with a Nigerian passport with a canadian visa in my passport. I am heading back to Nigeria and transiting in UK. Will i require a transit visa to travel to Nigeria? Also, would i require a uk visa to transit heathrow travelling from Nigeria to Canada…

    • Hi Yinka,

      thanks for getting in touch, and thanks for the compliment. I’m afraid I am not too experienced on the visa requirements of Nigerian passport holders.

      The information at my disposal does indicate that no visa is required if you hold a valid visa for Canada and if Canada is on your itinerary for this journey and you are not entering the UK for purposes other than transit and you are not in the UK for longer than 24 hours.

      I would suggest double-checking this info with the UK High Commission in Canada though to get the answer from the horse’s mouth, so to speak: http://ukincanada.fco.gov.uk/en/

  46. Hi Nick.

    I am a Madagascan passport holder, living in South Africa. I am flying to the US via Heathrow, changing terminals. Do I need to have a transit visa? I have to wait for 12h at Heathrow airport on my way back to SA.

    Thanks for help.

    • Hi Ando,

      thanks for getting in touch. I’m not 100% sure of what happens with Madagascan passport holders, though the information at my disposal indicates that the same rules apply as with South African passport-holders.

  47. Hi Nick,
    I am travelling to Germany for business trip on Schengen visa. I have Indian passport with US green card.
    I am planning to book return flight via London with stopover of less than 24 hours. Do I need landside transit visa for less than 24 hours?
    Is transit visa service available at Heathrow airport?
    Appreciate your comment.
    Thanks.

  48. hi nick.i was born in congo ,but i am asouth african citizen now.i would love to take my wifeand son on a holiday to usa (7 days).want to know if i have a long lay over in uk do i require a transit visa to enter uk to show them sights .how much money do i need,and what kind of visa must i apply for.

  49. Hi Nick

    I’m traveling to London for 2 weeks and wanted to spend a day in Paris. Do I need an additional visa to do this? Also, the Paris trip is not a definite – just an option if time permits. If I do need a visa, would I be able to get one without a ticket to Paris?

    Sorry, if this is a repeat of an early question – didnt have the time to go through all the above questions.

    Thanks

    Anoushka

  50. Hi,

    I am a South African resident carrying a South African passport with a USA visa. I am now in US and will be travellling to SA but need to connect in Germany. Do I need an intransit visa for this?

    Thanks

  51. Hi Nick
    I hope you can answer a simple question as I am having no luck while searching both the Netherland and French consulate sites. My question being. My husband, daughter and myself are traveling to South Korea at the end of July this year. My husband and I are on British passports but my daughter is still on her South African passport. We have established so far that no visa is required to visit South Korea up to 30 days but we are traveling through both Paris Charles De Gaulle on the way out and Amsterdam on our return. Both stops are for transit purpose only and will be short stops giving us enough time to change flights. Does she require a transit visa for these stops. She has an indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom and has being living here for 8 years. All I need to know is does she require these two transit visa’s.
    Thanks in advance.
    Liz

  52. Hi

    I haven’t traveled in a few years so I’m unclear on what travel documents I
    need.
    Traveling from the US through Heathrow staying for about 8 hours before
    flying to South Africa that evening. My US student visa has expired but I
    extended it while here so I have legal documents.Do I need a transit visa?

  53. Hi Nick –

    I have a South African passport and I have been to the UK already this year on a Business trip. I have a Type C, multiple entries Visa. However, I want to go back, but transit to Ireland. DO I need a Transit Visa? I will be going on to Spain so I will have a Shengen too. Thanks.

  54. My daughter is a South African citizen and works on the cruise ships.She has a 6 months UK visa and it expired in April already, her contract has been extended. She will be flying from Spain into Heathrow to get a connecting flighack to SA. She will ot be leaving the airport, because her fli is only the following ay. Will she need a visa just to get a connecting flight and she has valid seamansbook?

  55. Hi Nick. Thanks for all the great information. I am a South African citizen travelling to Canada via Heathrow. On the return trip we have a 14 hour stopover in Heathrow. Without a transit visa, are we behind some security gate where no one can visit us or are we going to be in an ‘open’ area where family in the UK can come visit us in the airport?

  56. Would just like to find out what forms/documents need to be filled out before flying to the USA being a German Passport Holder.

    Regards
    Bronwynn

  57. Hi there

    Would just like to find out what forms/documents need to be filled out before flying to the USA being a German Passport Holder flying from South Africa.

    Regards
    Bronwynn

  58. Hi there…

    I’m transiting for 14 hours in the UK on the way back from a family trip to the States. It’ll be ridiculous to sit at Heathrow for that long – do we need transit visas if we want to pop into the city for a few hours?

    Aden

  59. Hi Nick.
    I have an SA Passport & a USA Greencard. I am currently in Ireland & I am returning to SA from Dublin via Glasgow & Dubai. My stay in Glasgow airport is about one hour! Surely I do not need a transit visa???

    Thanks,
    Loren

  60. Hi

    Thanks for the tons of useful information that I haven’t been able to find elsewhere.
    By what I understand is that when I go from Cape Town, transit in London and arrive in New York, I don’t need a transit visa for the UK, nor for the return trip. I was wondering whether there was any official piece of writing that I could print out to put me at ease while going through Passport Control.

    Also, on a separate trip: From the UK, I’m going to Germany and the Netherlands for 2 days each and then returning to the UK. Does this require a single entry Schengen visa because I only enter the Schengen area once, or do I need double entry visa because I’m visiting 2 countries?

  61. Hi Nick,
    Thank you for answering so many questions that seem to be unanswerable on so many other websites!
    I am in the UK on an ancestral visa. I am planning to travel home to visit my folks in December and the cheapest flights often have a stopover in an EU airport (Frankfurt/Zurich). Am I right to assume that South Africans DO NOT need a transit visa if they are not leaving the airport and are at the airport for less than 24 hours? Thanks!

  62. Hi Nick,

    My wife and I are travelling to Botswana via South Africa, however we will be driving down to Botswana, my question is if we apply for a South African transit visa, will we be permitted to leave the airport? or is it safer that we apply for the visitor’s visa.

    Your assistance is appreciated.

    Looking forward to your reply.

    Cheers
    Gerrard

  63. Hi

    My wife and i are going on holiday to spain
    we are both south african passport holders, flying via Heatrow to Madrid, transit time is an hour, do we need an UK transit visum?

    Thanx

  64. Hi Nick,

    In September I’ll be flying JNB – Heathrow, Heathrow – Helsinki, and on the way back Lisbon – Heathrow, Heathrow – JNB.

    Does this mean I will need to apply for two transit visa’s or is there one that will span my 2 week trip?

    Also, in your experience, where is the most efficient place I could go to/through to apply for the Transit Visas?

    Thanks Nick!

  65. Hi Nick. My daughter has a job on the Queen Mary 2 cruise liner. She holds an SA Passport and must report to Southampton to join the ship. She will obviously fly to London then transit to Southampton. Will she need a transit visa?

  66. Hi Nick,

    Great website!

    I’m currently in Saudi Arabia and will be flying via LHR on BA to Canada. I’m holding a visitors visa for Canada and will be leaving 2 weeks later.My transit is 4 hrs in LHR…Just wanted to confirm that I don’t need a transit visa, right?!

    Thanks

  67. Hello Nick, I am a SA passport holder and citizen working in Tanzania and will be in transit to Ireland (Cork) and back via the UK every 9 weeks on rotation. It seems that I will need a transit visa, the question is can I get a multiple transit visa valid for an extended period?
    Regards,
    Paul.

  68. Hi Nick

    I am a SA resident and would like to go to Canada for a month. Which one is the best exchange place without any complications? I will be having tha Canadian visa only with my SA passport.

  69. Hi Nick, firstly thanks for a superb and informative blog. I and my son will travel to SA from Dublin Ireland,via Heathrow,on 8 August 2012. We are in possession of an EEA Family Permit which allows us to travel providing my wife accompanies us. The dilemma is that although we leave Dublin on the same day, we travel on different flights about 2½hrs apart, my son and I leaving later. This means she will arrive at Heathrow before us and technically we are not with her at the time of arrival. How will it effect us.

  70. Hi Nick
    Im planning on travelling to the UK end of July. Do I apply for my visa or first buy my ticket?
    Thanks
    M

  71. Hi Nick,

    I have an SA passport.
    Is it still correct that you dont need an airside transit visa for the UK if flying to US/Canada? Havent seen this info anywhere else.

    Also, if you are flying to another country other than US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, via London, would I need 2 transit visas? One for either direction?

    Thanks for the help.

  72. Hi Nick,

    I’ll be travelling from the UK to Istanbul via Rome. I won’t need to exit the airport at all – pretty much a hop-off, hop-on flight.

    Will I require an airport transit visa for Italy?

    Thanks

  73. Hi nick
    Im on a Canadian work permit, and will be travelling with my partner she is Canadian and our 3month old to SA to vist family for 7weeks. Then flying back to Canada,we will have a connection flight in Heathrow on our way back to Canada. Any transit visa required for the UK?

  74. Hi Nick,
    My husband holds an Italian passport and our 6 year old daughter (South African) previously traveled on his passport to Italy. Can she enter the Uk on his passport or will she need a visa?
    Thanks.

  75. Hi Nick.
    Thanks for all the informtion above. I would just like clarity on 2 issues. As I understand, a south African traveling to Canada via heathrow (6hour) delay each way, does not require a visa? I am traveling on a hereditary British passport on the same trip. Do you know if I will require a visa either for transit in England or for entry into Canada.
    Thanks

  76. Hi Nick

    My brother is returning to the States after a year of being on holiday in South Africa.He has now a new 3 year student visa.(He has been studying in the US for 7years) He is traveling from Johannesbug-Heathrow-Atlanta and there is a 6hr layover at Heathrow airport. I wanted to know if I could meet him at Heathrow airport for lunch before he flies out again. I have U.K Residency (indefinate leave to remain) or will he require a transit visa? I have driven him from Heathrow to Gatwick a few years ago as his flight was dep from Gatwick.
    Thank you very much.

  77. Hi Nick

    I am traveling to the States via Heathrow on the way there and the way back. On the way there our layover is 1 hour and on the way back 8 hours.

    I do have a friend I would like to see on our way back – do you suggest getting a normal visiting visa? So that I am covered on the way there and then be able to leave the airport on the way back? Or a transit visa?

    Thanks so much

  78. Hi Nick

    I wonder if you can give me some advice. I am a South African living and working in Istanbul – Turkey for the last 2 years. I am currently in South Africa for a one month holiday and would like to do the necessary paperwork before returning to Istanbul in October.

    Living in Istanbul means Europe is on my doorstep for weekend or holiday travel. Greece is literally an hour away by ferry. How would I go about to get a Schengen visa to ensure I take the advantage of living in Eastern Europe as a South African. It is an easy thing to travel to Italy for a weekend or Austria ect.

    Could you give me some advice with regards to apply for an extended Schengen visa – probably starting at the Greece embassy (I am in Durban right now). I have no air tickets booked to Greece. I do have my Turkish residence permit and Istanbul address, employers contact details…ect.

    Would it be possible for me to apply for a mulitple schengen visa for 6mths or a year?

    Do you know the costs off hand?

    Any information will be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks

  79. Dear Nick

    I am an exchange student from South Africa, who got a transit visa to fly through Heathrow to Schiphol.

    Can I use my transit visa to visit London for a weekend? Seeing that I am allowed 48 hours in the UK for the next six months.

    Thanks

  80. Hi Nick. Upfront, apologies for my question being similar to Arno’s (posted in Jan) but there is just a slight extension of it which I was wondering about. I am travelling Cape Town-Heathrow-JFK in November this year, and returning JFK-Heathrow-Cape Town on rebate tickets (hence, standby). I have a valid B1/B2 USA visa in my passport, and the tickets are booked (but obviously a seat is not yet confirmed). Like Arno, I having been trying desperately to find out whether a visa is necessary or not, and if so, which one. This is difficult to find out, despite speaking to numerous representatives of all kinds of offices etc. Thus, I have decided to bite the bullet and apply for a transit visa. I even considered applying for a full visa, in case I miss a flight and my transit visa expires (you have 24 hours with a TV right?), but this is tricky as they want to know “where you’ll be staying etc”. Anyway, I’m happy to apply for a transit visa. My question is simply, in you your opinion, if I had a transit visa, would that make my intention clear enough and ensure that I get to the States? What if I got one, and by some highly unlikely chance, I had to wait in the airport for longer than the 24 hours the TV gives you? Sorry for the essay and thanks in advance! Tried everything else!

  81. My wife and I are South African Passport holders and have USA visas. We want to fly from South Africa to London Heathrow and then Landside within 12 hours from Southamton to New York by ship. On our return the reverse will apply. We will have return tickets from SA to London and also tickets from Southamton to New York and New York to Southamton. Do we require transit visas.

  82. My son is travelling to Vancouver, Canada via Heathrow. He is a Canadian resident and has the required documentation in his South African passport. He has a 10 hour layover in Heathrow. Can he leave the airport for a couple of hours during this time?

    Regards
    David

  83. Hi Nick

    Please help. Myself and my 7year old are travelling on South African passports with a valid Canadian Temporary Resident Visa(TRV)to visit family in Canada. We have a layover of 6 hours in London on the way to Canada and then a layover of 12 hours in Frankfurt on the return. Besides the Canadian TRV, do we need any transit visas to go through the UK or Germany? I am particulary worried about going through the UK withour a transit visa as I get conflicting information from various sources. Please help!!

  84. Hi Nick

    I have to attend a business meeting in Dublin, I believe South African Passport holders do not require a visa to visit Ireland, but do I need a transit visa if I go through Heathrow, or are there alternatives to get to Dublin without going through the UK?

  85. hey
    sorry, i just want to make 100 % sure. I am travelling to canada, via london, heathrow airport.
    I do have a visa for canada and i do stay in transit for less than 24 hours.
    I do not then need a UK transit visa, right?
    thank you

  86. Hi Nick. I’m in a big dilemma. Please help!
    I’m a Spa manager on a Cruise ship. I am leaving for SA November 3rd. I have a return ticket from Heathrow to OR Tambo (booked October 2011). I will be flying from Nice to Heathrow that same day. My stop over is about 4 hours. My UK Visa expired in April already but I did not pay attention to this as my company advised me to only get a 6 month Business Visa, which is shorter than any contract we ever sign.
    My recruiter in SA sais I’m fine to pass through UK and that’s how all the girls do it, my purser on the ship sais I’m not and can’t pass through UK as I will get arrested. She had been denied flights herself before because of Visa issues.
    I also have a C1/D (USA) Visa which obviously does not help in this situation. Furthermore I have a SA Seaman’s book.
    PLEASE HELP!!!

    Naomi

  87. Hello Nick,

    I live in the US and my fiance is South African with a US visa. According to what i’ve read she won’t need a transit visa to pass through Heathrow on her way to visit me in the states, is that correct? Layover is only 4 hrs. What would she do if she got to the airport and they told her no?

  88. Hi Nick

    We want to go to LA in December, traveling via Londen. Not sure if anything has change since May regarding in transit visa’s for UK not needed if we have USA visas?
    Thanks

  89. Hi Nick i’m travelling to south Africa on South African passport through London for 2 weeks holiday i work in Ireland do i need transit visa ,the information ihad was idon’t need now ifound out that ido and i only have aweek travel.

  90. Hi Nick
    Iam a South African working in Ireland i hold stamp 4 that permits me to work and live in Ireland.Iam travelling to South africa on my leave for two weeks do i a visa need another visa to transit just for 2 hours changing plane to johannesburg.Pease help

  91. Hi Nick,
    My husband, myself and our 2 kids (16 and 14 years) will be flying to Las Vegas via London (Heathrow)in December to visit my sister. Myself and the 2 kids have SA passports and hubby has a British passport. Would we need a transit visa?? We need to get from Heathrow to Gatwick as well for the connection flight and would also like to know if there are any shuttles of buses between the airports and costs of it as well please? Is is possible for us to meet friends at Heathrow or will we not be allowed to get out?

  92. Hi Nick

    Just wanted to ask your advice. I’m returning to South Africa from New York and have a layover in London. I have a valid B2 USA visa. Will I need a transit visa for the UK? Thanks.

  93. Hi Nick, im a south african passport holder and currently working in sierra leone. I plan to go to the dominican republic via london and miami. Do i need a transit visa for the uk and for the the us.

    Regards

  94. Hi Nick.
    Please help!!! Im traveling from Jhb via Heathrow to Boston in December (YAY!) with my very wild 2yr old (!!!) and another baba in the belly (big enough to add to exhaustion but small enough to still fly)
    We have two long lay overs at Heathrow, 12 hours on the way there and 10 hours on the way back 🙁
    we need to go outside the airport for the sake of sanity!!!!
    We both have valid B1/B2 US Visas
    Im not sure we qualify for the TWOV because we dont technically have to leave the airport to change airports.
    My feeling is that we do have to apply for transit visas but it would be great if you could give me your opinion……i wont hold you too anything ok!?!

  95. Hi Nick

    I have been working for the past 9 months on a cruise ship and are comming to the end of my contract, I hold a USA C1/D visa and are wondering if I need a transit visa for the UK as that is where I have to change tickets to fly back to South africa. Can you help my please

  96. Please please help!!!!!!!!!!! My hubby and I are going to Ireland on honeymoon but I’m South African and he is Irish. We have been on the websites to apply for transit visas but have no luck it’s just so confusing and I dont know what to do. If we lanc in Heathrow for 2.5 hrs then onto Dublin do I still need a visa. I looked at the airside one but because we going into Ireland I can’t apply for that one………this is very frustrating…….please help me.

  97. Hi Nick

    I am travelling on a SA passport from Cape Town to Los Angeles via London with a 2 hour stopover. On the way back form Washington to Cape Town I have a 14 hour stopover in London and want to visit friends. Do I need a Tourist or Transit visa if I want to leave the airport (even though I have a ticket to/from the USA.

    Many thanks
    Sandy

  98. Hi Nick,
    I realise you published this site just over a year ago. So I’m wondering if this info is still relevant. I will be departing JHB via Heathrow to Miami International. Will I need a transit visa?

  99. Hi Nick
    We are flying via Heathrow to Zurich beginning of January next year. Our transit is approximately 2 hours and will return to South Africa 10 days later, again via Heathrow. I know we need to apply for a direct airside transit visa but am unsure how long this visa will last. Do we need to apply for 2 visas or will one visa cover us for the duration of our travels?
    Thanks very much 
    Chris

  100. Hi Nick,

    I am travelling on a South African passport to Jamaica via Canada.I have a Canadian visa. On my trip back I will be stopping over in Canada for two nights and back home via Heathrow. Our flight lands at 6am in the morning, our flight to South Africa at 9pm that evening. Will I need a transit Visa to go into London for the day?

    Would appreciate the help.

  101. Hi Nick, my inlaws are planning a trip to Savannah USA on the 25th of December and their flight option has a brief stop over in Heathrow of about 4 hours. They hold Zimbabwean passports. Please advise if they need transit visas and the costs 🙂 thanks

  102. I have a South African Passport and a USA Green Card.
    Will be visiting London for 3 nights in May 2013.
    Do I need a Visa and if I do, which Visa must I apply for?
    What is the price and how long does it take to process?

    • Hi Alan,

      You will require a visa for the UK – the type, cost & processing time all depend on the purpose of your visit.
      Applications have to be made with VFS Global – please see their website for details: http://www.vfs-uk-za.com/

    • Hi Alan,
      I see you are asking the same question I need an answer for. When you do get a answer won’t you please forward it to me. I am also South African with a green card and I am going to london at the end of May for 1 week.
      Many thanks,
      Margaret

    • I will be travelling to the USA in June and have a ticket via London I have a green card do I require a transit visa.
      Thanks for your help Jonathan

  103. My son is coming from Los Angeles through Heathrow London to Cape Town, South Africa – in transit for 5/6 hours travelling on a SA Passport and holding a USA GREEN CARD.
    WILL HE NEED TO GET A TRANSIT VISA ???????
    PLEASE HELP !!!!!
    Thanks
    Bev

    • Hi Bev,

      Your son should not need a transit visa but I strongly advice that you contact the airline he is flying and check with them.

    • i dont think he really need a visa since he is not getting out of the airport.

  104. Hi my boyfirend is flying from South Africa to Ireland to vist, he does not need a visa for this. However his flight stops in Paris and he will have change over to connect to his flight to Dublin. Will he need a transit visit or is it safe to change over without? His time in transit is only 3hrs.
    Thanks
    Rebecca

  105. My wife and I are flying to Los Angeles from Cape Town International via London Heathrow with a 3 hour stop over for a connecting flight. We have South African Passports with USA Visa’s will we need UK Transit Visa’s?
    Please Help!
    Kindest Regards,
    Angelo

  106. Hi,

    I am travelling to the USA on holiday in June/July from Sweden and want to get a flight with a connection through Heathrow. I have a South African passport and a visa for the USA. I have a residence and work permit for Sweden, which is where I currently live.

    The transit in Heathrow will only be for roughly 4 hours.

    Do I need a transit visa for the UK? I know that I normally wouldn’t need one if I was flying from SA, but since I am flying from Sweden I am unsure if that changes things.

    Thanks for the help,

    Igor

  107. Hi my families use SA passport to travel,from your blog when they transit heathrow and destinate usa and canada will not need the transit visa.but what about return flights from say los angelas transit heathrow back johannesburg need visa or not?

  108. Hi I’m travelling to dublin ireland and I have a south africa passport..british airways said I need to have transit visa I wanna know how it cost coz I stay far from high comission

  109. If I’m flying to Canada, with a visa for Canada, from South Africa, via Heathrow airport, Transit Airside: Do I still have to arrange permission not to have a UK visa/ What about coming back from Canada, via heathrow , Transit Airside? Or, can I just fly without contacting the UK commissioner about permission?

  110. A compassionate case of a lady travelling SA to LHR on SAA with CONFIRMED direct transfer flight to Zurich and has a two year valid Schengen Visa. Does she require a transit visa or does SAA transfer her air-side to the Swiss flight to Zurich. Connecting time is 2-3 hours after landing at LHR. Passenger travelling tomorrow 8TH APRIL. for compassionate reasons as relative has had serious operation in Zurich. Thanks.

    • she dont need a transit visa

  111. I’m planning to visit a friend in London, Cornwall on 29 May to 08 June 2013. Tell what travel arrangements do I need to do. Do I need a visa? How much is it?

  112. Hello,
    Thank you very much for this post. SO just to be clear we are travelling from South Africa to America via London. We will be flying via Heathrow to New York, we arrive at Heathrow and have a 3 hour in the same terminal before departing to New York.
    On our return trip we stop at Heathrow again for 7 hours and depart from the same terminal. The travel agent says we are holding an American Visa and therefore dont need a UK transit visa. But I was told it just depend who the customs officer is that you get on entering the UK. So now I am so confused what do I do? go get the transit VISA just in case. We are 2 adults and 2 kids.

  113. On the website it says:
    You can transit the UK airside without a visa if:
    – you are a national of a country that is not in the list below; or
    – you are recognised as stateless under the 1954 UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons;
    – You hold a valid travel document issued by the UK government
    – You are a DATV national or recognised as stateless under the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and qualify for the DATV exemption under the ‘transit without visa’ concession – see under ‘More information’ below.

    If you do not meet any of the above requirements, you must get a direct airside transit visa before you can transit the UK airside.

    This is the reason for my confusion

  114. We plan on going to the USA in about September and the only flights are through the UK where we change planes, do we need a transit visa? From my understanding we don’t as we are South Africans travelling to the USA with multiple entry visa’s into the USA.

    thanks you.

  115. Hey.
    I am traveling to the US for 23days. And want to transit at heathrow london. Do i need a transit visa for landing in london and getting on a airplane to Ireland in less than 24h?
    I have a South African passport.
    I read something about having a US tourist visa and that i can transit through london to Ireland without a london transit visa
    is this true?

  116. Hi there,

    Hope you are well,

    My daughter is a South African citizen holding a South African passport and has a US tourist visa. She is living in the United States and is a permanent resident. She will be travelling to South Africa from the US with American Airlines and will be in transit via Heathrow on her way to South Africa. Does she need a transit visa if she remains in the transit area and not enter the UK?

    If she does need a transit visa how will she go about applying for one in the US?

    Thanks

    Regards

    Edwina

  117. Hi!
    I am a south African citizen with schedculed travel to canada & usa via LONDON heathrow from johannesburg ( return trip). I have visa issued for both Canada and USA. MY transit time in london to canada ( 5-6 hrs) and from Canada to johannesbirg in london ( 12hrs). TOTAL time 18 hrs in transit in total.

    PLease advise me as whether i need a visa for transit in london. Am quite stressed out!

    Thanks !

  118. Hi, I will be travelling through London Heathrow from the USA to South Africa. The connect time is 50 minutes. With the maximum time of 24 hours allowed to not require a transit visa, what happens if through no fault of my own, I miss the connection and have to wait for the flight the next night? I would be in London in transit for 26 hours. Would the airline and immigration people consider this as still OK not to need a transit visa as it is not intentional on my side. Please advise.

    Regards
    Chris

  119. Hi,
    Could you help me?
    I have a SA passport and am flying to the US in 2 weeks time.I am gettig conflicting ideas of what visa I will need as I am landing at Heathrow and departing 5 hours later from Gatwick. UK Border Agency says I need a “Transit without a Visa (TWOV) concession, but WHERE do I get one..here in SA, or is it issued once I land at Heathrow?
    Kind regards
    Ron Duffett

  120. Exactly reverse. Canada, to Heathrow, to Jhb. Do I need a transit visa to go through Heathrow? The site is clear that I do not need one leaving from SA going through Heathrow to Canada; so does the same apply headed back to SA? I do not have a US visa. Thanks

  121. Hi Nick My son will be travelling from Johannesburg to Denver, Colorado via LHR on American Airlines( BA codeshare) . Does he need a transit visa?

  122. Hallo, I am in the USA at the moment and have a SA passport. I am on my way to Europe via London. I plan to take a bus/train from London to Europe. Do I need a transit visa?

  123. Hi
    I i ntend to fly from antigua via the US and then via London BACK to SA. I have a valid B1B2. I will only transit in Heathrow, a few hours. Am I exempt from a transit visa or is it only towards the US?
    thanks
    SD

  124. hi now i am in saudi arabia i want to go india i have indian passport via europe
    can i try please tell me & also can i get transit visa

  125. Hi, I have a SA passport but I live and work in Qatar I’ll be going to the USA for a business meeting and on the way back from USA to Qatar I will be in transit at Heathrow for about 2,5 hours, but I will need to go from Terminal 5 to Terminal 4.

    Will I require a transit visa if i’m travelling BACK from the USA and have a USA Tourist Visa?

  126. We are travelling to the USA on 15th Jan, flying with BA.
    Do we need a transit visa and how do we go about getting one?

  127. I am south african with green card. Want to spend one night on Heathrow Airport hotel before going on to USA. Will I need transit visa? I will not be going out from Heathrow Airport

  128. My wife and I are SA passport holders. We are flying BA from Durban to Toronto via Heathrow. From Toronto to Rome via Heathrow and again from Rome to Durban via Heathrow. At no stage are we in transit more than 3 hours. Do we need a transit visa?

  129. I will be travelling with a South African passport and schengen visa via Heathrow to Germany on British Airways. It is an emergency as I will be attending a family member’s funeral and flying on in two days time. Do I need a transit visa?

  130. Is this original post by Paul still valid in 2014. I am traveling Joburg to turkey and wanted to fly British airways but then need to transit at heathrow?

    Thanks Diane

  131. Hi we have a problem to obtain a visa for Germany as we were told we can’t enter it or will be deported, we tried to explained to consuler that we just transiting to UK for only 4 hours. Now we dinied visas.
    The only thing left is to do transit British visa wher we will stay only 4 hours within the airport.

    We so lost as we left with 7 days to do our travel and we spent alot of cash to buy tickets from johannesburg ,new York, Germany and n transit Britain

  132. Our son is traveling from New Zealand with a stop in the USA. He has this visa for the USA visit, then on to South Africa, (transiting through Heathrow) and then onwards again to return to New Zealand. He has a student visa to stay in New Zealand. Wiil he need a visa to go through London.
    Thanks
    Geoff

  133. Hi, please can you assist. I am traveling to the US and transit through UK via Heathrow. However, I have a temporary passport with my expired passport (US visa in old passport). I am not switching airports (only Heathrow for 2 hours). Will I be able to transit with a temporary passport?

  134. Hi!
    Will I be allowed to take a fight to US via London if I hold a Temporary Passport I need to be at US on the 22 August 2014. What other documents that can help that I need.

    Please help its agent

    • Hello Leon, unfortunately you will need an actual passport, the UK does not recognise Temporary passports at all. Hope this helps, if you need any further information – please contact one of our agents for assistance on 0861 878 278/+2721-468-4300

  135. The UK can go to hell. I now boycott any products from the uk, I boycott any British airlines, and the UK will never see a dime from me as a tourist or investor, there are plenty of countries out there who appreciates the South African people.

  136. I am traveling to Canada and will be in transit at Heathrow for 4 hours, do I need a British visa?

    • Hello Kedi, thank you for contacting us! If you are travelling on a SA passport, you do not need a transit Visa for the UK en route to Canada. For more assistance with this, you can contact our agents on 0861 878 278 / +2721-468-4300, Almene

  137. hi

    I will be traveling from madrid to heathrow and then to SA, arriving in terminal 5 and leaving from terminal 5 2 hours later all with British airways… my bags will be sent straight through to SA.. do you know if i still need to get a transit visa if im not leaving the terminal?

    thank you

  138. Hi,
    I am a south African going on holidays to Ireland for two months. I have a stop over in Heathrow for a few hours before my connecting flight. Do I need a transit visa for this? Im finding it hard to navigate around the UK.Gov website and don’t know what visa I need to apply for exactly. This is very urgent as my flight is in Four days time. The Transit visa never even came into my mind as I do not require a visa for Ireland. Do they ever make exemptions? Or is there anyway I can get one and fast!!!

    Any help at all would be great Im in a panic!!

    • Hi Fiona, if you’re travelling to Ireland via the UK on a South African passport you will require a transit visa. Only journeys to the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand transiting through the UK don’t require you to have a transit visa for the UK, if you have a visa for your destination. The visa can take a few days to come through, so you may need to postpone your trip. Find the handling agents contact details here: http://www.ge2za.tpcontact.co.uk/ Apply ASAP.

  139. Hi Nick, I live in Canada and have permanent residency, however, still travel on a South African passport as I await my Canadian passport. Planning a short holiday and fly from Canada to South Africa which has a 2hr lay over in the UK. My return flight will follow the same route i.e SA, layover UK, then back to Canada. In this situation would I still require a transit visa or am I exempt? Thanks

    • Hi Brian, if you have proof of your permanent residency/work permit for Canada in your valid South African passport, you should be allowed to transit the UK no problem. If your SA passport or work permit has expired though, this will be a problem.

  140. Hi Nick, I have a valid UK Business Visitor visa. I am travelling from Johannesburg via London to Dublin (2 hour stop over) then returning to London via Amsterdam I have a schengen Visa). On the return leg I have a number of meetings in London for which I believe my Business Visitor visa is valid. Do I need an additional transit visa for the Johannesburg-London-Dublin leg? Thanks a mil

    • Hi Franc! That’s a very interesting question. To my knowledge your business visa should cover you for your transit, provided your transit is within the validity of the visa. I would suggest getting this from the horse’s mouth, so to speak though. Double-check this info with the UK Border Agency here: https://ukvi-international.faq-help.com/ I would provide them with full details of your existing visa (validity dates especially) for them to give you the right answer. I would also suggest getting the response in writing (email) so that you can show the airline when checking in, though I don’t think you would have a problem.

  141. We are a family of 4 travelling thru Zurich en route to Canada in Dec. Our layover in Zurich on the way back is about 8 hours. We have valid Canadian visas. Do we need a swiss visa to exit the airport for the layover or can we enter zurich without one?

    • Hi Gayle. For transiting any EU state you don’t need a visa provided that you don’t leave the transit area. If you want to exit the airport, that means you’re leaving the transit area and as a South African passport holder, you will need a visa to enter Switzerland. You will have to apply for this before you depart South Africa and it will take around 2 weeks to get your passport back usually.

  142. I am a south african citizen with a USA visa. I am travelling to USA via heathrow and on my return I will be in transit at Heathrow
    for 10 hours. I wish to see a friend who will come to the airport and visit me. is it possible to see each other without me having a UK visa?

    • Hi Jeanette,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Travelstart.

      If you are wanting to leave the transit lounge to visit a friend, you will need to obtain a visa for the UK.

      Below you will see 4 points in which a UK visa / transit visa will not be needed.

      1. You enter on a ticket which departs from South Africa and the destination of that ticket is either the US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand

      2. You’re holding a visa for one of the countries mentioned above (point A)

      3. You are staying in the UK for no longer than 24 hours, in transit, to either the US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand

      4. You have no reason to be in the UK other than transiting there (e.g. no business to conduct sites to see or people to visit) while on your way to either the US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand

      Have a great day further.

      Enjoy your travels to the USA 🙂

      Marcelle

  143. Hi all.

    My son and a mate left for Ireland yesterday for a weeks vacation. My sons mate has a SA passport which carries a USA valid visa (10 year) As per this blog and information I gleaned from the UK gov Web site we were under the impression he did not require a transit visa to pass through heathrows transit onto Ireland (1 HR in transit) …..well he was detained in a holding cell told he did in fact require a transit visa even though he had a US visa? He missed his connecting flight. All his personal items were removed, he couldn’t even call and let us know what the situation was! He was eventually escorted onto a flight to Dublin and his passport was returned to him! What the hell…….does anyone have any clarification on the transit visa issue?

    • Hi Louise, thanks for reaching out. Wow this sounds like a really rough situation. The rules listed in this post apply to travel to/from the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and so don’t cover travel to Ireland, as in point one on the post:

      “You enter on a ticket which departs from South Africa and the destination of that ticket is either the US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand”

      So travel to Ireland is not covered. I’m afraid Ireland is part of what’s known as the “Common Travel Area” which is all of the British Isles and Channel Islands. Though the UK is now accepting visa-free transit for holders of a valid US visa, this rule does not apply to the British Isles unfortunately.

      I’m sure this information doesn’t help you now, but did your son manage to get out of the UK fine? Technically he shouldn’t even have been allowed to board the flight in SA, it seems even the airlines are confused with this as they let him board.

  144. Hi there

    My husband and I are going to London for 10 days. We would like to do a day trip to Paris. Will we need a Schengen visa for that?

    Thank you

    • Hi Eimy, yes you will need a separate visa to visit Paris, you will need to apply for that before you depart South Africa within 3 months of your departure for Paris. You can do this through the official handling agency Copago: http://www.capago.eu/FR-ZA/index.php/en/

  145. Hi.
    I need your advice here. My wife is Irish and we living in South Africa. I travel on a South African passport. We travel once or twice a year back to Ireland. We always fly through Amsterdam, but the tickets via the UK is much cheaper. I saw something about an EEA family visa. Will this help me?
    Thanks for your time

    • Hi Henry, as far as I am aware this should help you travel via the UK as it allows you entry into the UK. Check more information on it here: https://www.gov.uk/family-permit/overview It is only valid for 6 months though!

  146. I live in Cayman Islands and will be visiting CT end Feb/beg March and would like to travel/transit via London, Heathrow – a few hours only waiting for my connection. My UK visa expired a few years back and I currently hold a 10-year US visa and 5 year Canadian visa – although will not fly via the States. Can I safely book my flight via UK without a current visa. For the past 14 years I have been flying to Harare so head straight to Jnb via Atlanta or NY but since my Mum died I would like to fly straight to my dau in CT thereby cutting a few hours off an horrendously long trip? I did read your posts above but it mainly was for SA passport holders flying out of SA and as I plan to fly direct from here to London – catch a 2nd flight direct to CT.

    • Hi Barb, I’m going to assume you’re on an SA passport here. If that’s the case, technically you’re allowed to transit visa-free through the UK if you hold a valid US or Canadian visa and you’re not staying in the UK overnight and you’re not leaving the transit area. For information from the horse’s mouth, see: https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa/y/south-africa/transit/no

  147. Hi, My husband urgently needs a visa to travel on his south african passport to london. We only realised his british passport has expired so now only his south african passport is valid. He is supposed to travel tomorrow evening at 8:30. Can we get an emergency visa

    • Hi Alison, by now I’m sure you would have realised that this is not possible unfortunately. The shortest time it can come back in is about 5 working days I’m afraid.

  148. Hi, We are from South Africa but travelling on British Passports. (I am South African tho’, my husband British). If we travel from Cape Town to UK, go to Channel Islands for a week – then on to USA and then return – what visas will we need? Thanks

    • Hi Jenni, for South African passports, a visa will be needed for both the UK and the USA. For British passports an ESTA (electronic visa) will be needed for the US, for more info on that, please see: http://www.esta.us/

  149. Hi we are travelling on a south african passport to Dublin, but via Amsterdam, does one need a transit visa if not leaving the airport? Thx

  150. HI, I am traveling from Johannesburg to Tampa, USA via London.
    We land at Heathrow and need to get to Gatwick as our outbound flight leaves from there. We have no intention of leaving the airports for any reason.
    Do we require a in transit visa?

    Thanks

    • Hi Jenny, great to hear from you. If you are a South African passport holder with a valid US Visa, a transit visa would not be required. We do suggest you take a look on the following website, which will give one the most up to date information, advising if one requires a transit visa or not.
      https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa
      Have a great trip to the USA 🙂

  151. Thanks Nick for your response. I ended up booking SAA via NY as it seems a bit of a grey area. If I did not start my flight in the US which was not my intention was advised to apply for a transit visa. Too long and costly to have issues on the day so when I get back am going to apply for a visa for next time. Tanks again.

  152. Hi Nick.
    I’m traveling to South Africa via London from Germany.
    I have a South Africa passport.
    I have a befristete aufenthaltstitel / residency card and a valid US B1/B2 visa.
    Do i need a transit visa?
    Many thanks

    • Hi Gerda, Great to hear from you! To my knowledge you would still need a transit visa as the UK is not part of the Schengen Area. However we do recommend that you check the following website:

      http://www.ge2za.tpcontact.co.uk/visa-centres and https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa

      Alternatively you welcome to contact the British Embassy who should also be able to advise accordingly.

      British Consulate in Cape Town
      Address: 15th Floor Southern Life Centre 8 Riebeeck Street , 8001 Cape Town
      Tel: 27 (0) 21 405 2400

      Have a great day!

  153. Good Day

    i am just checking if i need to fly from Johannesburg to LHW , then to canada and USA my last destination , i have the USA visa.

    Do i need transit visas?

    • Hi Dean,

      Thanks for reaching out. You mentioned above, you flying from Johannesburg to LHW (Lanzhou, China) Were you referring to China, or did you mean LHR (London Heathrow)?

      If you are flying on a SA passport and will in Transit in London Heathrow, holding a valid America Visa you will not require a transit visa.

  154. Hie

    I have a zimbabwean passport and travelling to Philadelphia USA via Heathrow london..I will also be returning from philadelphia via heathrow to joburg. I have a valid B1/B2 tourist visa but I’m confused if I need a DATV when I get to London. I’m being told different things so please advice if I need a DATV

    • Hi Lily,

      Thanks for reaching out. I know for a South African passport holder, who is holding a valid US Tourist visa you will not require a UK transit visa when transiting through the UK. However I would recommend you contact the British Embassy direct and they will be able to give you the most up to date information if a transit visa is required or not.

      British Consulate in Cape Town
      Address: 15th Floor Southern Life Centre 8 Riebeeck Street , 8001 Cape Town
      Tel: 27 (0) 21 405 2400

      British Consulate in Pretoria
      Address: 255 Hill Street, Arcadia, 2 Pretoria
      Tel: 27 (0) 12 421 7500
      Fax: 27 (0) 12 421 7555

      Best of Luck!

  155. Hi Marcelle
    My son is traveling on the Topdeck tour end of June and flies with a South African Passport from South Africa to London and will be visiting Paris, Lucerne, Italy, Prague and Amsterdam and then flies back to South Africa from London again. Does he only need one Schengen Visa to visit all these countries? and would he need a visa for London?

    Thanks

    • Hi Gina,

      Great to hear from you.

      Sounds like an amazing trip! Sure your son is going to have an awesome time and great experience 🙂

      All cities you mentioned above are part of countries which form part of the Schengen States. So only one visa will be required.

      I would recommend you contact Rose (Republic of Service Excellence) who specializes in visa requirements and they will be able to give you the most up to date information.

      Rose contact details:

      Tel: 0100015060
      Email: jean@visaservice.co.za
      MainWeb: http://www.visaservice.co.za
      DirectWeb: http://www.rosejnb.co.za

  156. Hi All,

    Has anyone successfully managed to do the Gatwick / Heathrow transfer without a visa?

    My family and I are travelling JNB=>LHR=>ATL returning MCO=>LGW LHR=>JNB with a 12hr delay

    We are traveling with a 4 and 2 yr old, so want to make sure there are no untoward issues that may arise.

    I assume we would be able to catch UBER from LGW to a park, let the kids run around for a couple hrs before moving on to LHR?

  157. Dear Sirs,
    I am a SA passport holder with indefinite leave to remain in the UK. I intend travelling to SA in Dec., on holiday. There is an interconnecting flight in Paris to JHB. Will I require a Transit or Schengen visa to go ahead to JHB?

    • Hi Neville,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      The following website: http://www.consulfrance-jhb.org/Visa-application mentions that South African passports holders do not need a transit visa as long as they stay in the international zone at the airport.

      In saying this I would suggest you contact the French Embassy to get the most up to date information, as this could have changed at anytime.

      Have a great day!

  158. Hi Marcelle,
    We are traveling direct to London. myself and my wife have duel uk/sa citizenship but our son only has a sa passport due to some paperwork we require being in the uk. We are going to apply for his uk passport while we are in the uk. We are also going to Germany for a few days does our son require visas for the uk and Germany despite him traveling with someone who has eu citizenship. Thanks steve

    • Hi Steve,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      To my knowledge yes he would need a UK visa and Schengen visa as he is travelling on a South African passport.

      You welcome to contact Contact Visa Box 021 551 8829 they assist with visa applications and might be able to shed some light on what is required.

  159. Hi Marcelle

    Sorry to ask the same question that everyone else is asking, but travelling from JNB to Atlanta via LHR. I have a US visa.

    I phoned the British Consulate and they make it clear that they do not offer advice relating to visas. I checked http://www.gov.uk in relation to transit visas, and it *seems* that I don’t need one.

    It says:
    “You should apply for a Direct Airside Transit visa if you arrive in the UK on a flight and leave again without passing through immigration control.
    Exemptions
    You don’t need a visa if you have one of the following:
    #a visa for Canada, New Zealand, Australia or the USA (this can be used for travel to any country)”.

    The only foreseeable problem is if I have to go through border control to check my bags onto my connecting flight. My question is: If I’m flying with Virgin from JNB to LHR and Virgin from LHR to ATL, what is the likelihood that Virgin won’t check my bags through for me? How do I check that?

    • Hi Julia,

      Great to hear from you.

      If you have purchased a “through ticket”, meaning all sectors are on the same “fare basis” then you should be able to check your bags straight through from OR Tambo to Atlanta.

      I have done a search using your name and surname, unfortunately I am not able to locate your booking. If the ticket was not purchased with Travelstart we do not have access to the booking for security purposes and wont be able to provide the correct information. You will need to contact the Travel Agent where you purchased the ticket from and they should be able to look into the booking and assist accordingly.

      It is also up to the discretion of the airport check-in staff if they will check your bags straight through or not.

      Maybe Rose (Republic of Service Excellence) who specializes in visa’s would be able to shed some light.

      Johannesburg Regional Office

      Tel: 0100015060
      Email: jean@visaservice.co.za
      MainWeb: http://www.visaservice.co.za

      Best of Luck!

  160. Hi there

    We are flying to LA in April via Heathrow. We are only going to be at the airport for 2 hours to get a connecting flight. Will we require a transit visa?

    Hopefully our luggage will be check through to LA from Johannesburg.

    • Hi Shaz,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you are flying on a valid SA passport and holding a valid American Visa you will not require a transit visa when transiting through the UK.

      Regarding your luggage being checked straight through, if you have purchased a “through” ticket, where all your sectors are made on one booking or flying with the same airline, then you luggage should get checked straight through from OR Tambo to LA

      We also suggest you contact the airline you will be flying with, to to make sure, to avoid any disappointment.

      Have a great holiday!

  161. Hi there
    My girlfriend and i are traveling to the USA in June we have a two hour lay over on the way there and then a 14 hour lay over on the way back 2 weeks later, would i be able to leave the airport for that day or do i need a transit visa for the day. Please let me know. Thanks.

    • Hi Clayton,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you are not holding a valid UK visa you will not be able to leave the transit lounge when returning from the USA.

      In the past the immigration officials “might” let one leave the transit area and go into London for the day, however it is up to their discretion. However it doesn’t often happen.

  162. Good day

    We flying to Paris and will like to take the Eurostar to London for a day.
    Do we require a UK visa?

    • Hi Mel,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Any South African passport holder going into the UK will need a visa to enter.

  163. I am a green card holder for the United States. Myself and my wife will be traveling to South Africa and may have to fly through Heathrow airport. Do I need a transit visa for this trip and for the way back.? How much is the visa?where in the US can I apply for it?

    • Hi Riaan,

      Thanks for getting in touch!

      If you are a South African passport holder and have a valid USA permanent residence card issued by the USA on or after 21 April 1998 you should not need a UK transit visa.

      In saying this, we suggest you go onto the following website to get the most up to date information: https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa/y as this information could change at any time or contact the British Embassy direct and they should be able to answer any queries you might have.

      To find contact details of a British Embassy nearest to you, you welcome to go onto http://www.google.com

      Best of Luck!

  164. I have a South African passport and a valid US visa. I will be flying via LHR Virgin Atlantic to LAX in June. I gather I do not need a visa for this leg, however I return 3 weeks later and transit UK with an overnight stop at a hotel and then via the chunnel to Belgium and Netherlands. I have a vallid Schengen visa for this trip. The departure is within 48 hours so a landside visa would apply. I need to know how long this is valid for as I return via the chunnel 4 weeks later and depart LHR on the same day for my return flight to South Africa. I understand that a long term transit visa can be applied for at a cost of GBP300. Is it possible to rather apply for a general visitor visa for GBP83 (if necessary I can stay another day in London) or two landside transit visas for GBP53 each?

    • Hi Gail,

      Thanks for getting in touch and the interesting question.

      Unfortunately we do not specialize in visa’s or issue them. Only the British Consulate would be able to give this information on what you are querying about.

      I would suggest contacting them, and they should be able to answer any queries you might have on which visa is permitted for your travels.

      Their contact details:

      British Consulate in Cape Town
      Address: 15th Floor Southern Life Centre 8 Riebeeck Street , 8001 Cape Town
      Tel: 27 (0) 21 405 2400

      British Consulate in Pretoria
      Address: 255 Hill Street, Arcadia, 2 Pretoria
      Tel: 27 (0) 12 421 7500
      Fax: 27 (0) 12 421 7555

      Best of Luck!

  165. Good Day

    I would like to know if it is possible for me to apply for a US transit visa while in the UK. I have applied for a UK visa and I am still awaiting for it to be finalized and this will mean I won’t have enough time to apply for my US transit visa.

    I will be in the UK for a couple of days…

    Thanks

    • Hi Grace,

      Thanks for getting in touch!

      To my knowledge I do not think this is possible. If you do not have all the visa requirement when departing they will not let you board.

      I suggest you contact the US Embassy direct as they would be able to give you the most up to date information.

      Best of Luck!

  166. Hi marcelle

    I just recently had my South African passport done a few weeks ago and Id like to travel to the UK for a few days to go visit my boyfriend.. How do u go about applying for a visa to Manchester? How long does the visa process take? And what documents do I need to apply for one and in order for it to succeed? I’d like to travel to Manchester as soon as possible.
    Thank you in advance

    • Hi Dolly,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You can go onto the following website: https://visa-fees.homeoffice.gov.uk/ to see visa costs for the UK.

      With the information I inserted the fee given was: R1573 I am not sure on the processing time as this depends on if they have a backlog on visa applications.

      The following link http://www.ge2za.tpcontact.co.uk/visa-centres says its currently under maintenance.

      However you are welcome to try: https://www.gov.uk/general-visit-visa

      Alternatively you are welcome to contact the British Embassy direct:

      British Consulate in Cape Town
      Address: 15th Floor Southern Life Centre 8 Riebeeck Street , 8001 Cape Town
      Tel: 27 (0) 21 405 2400

      British Consulate in Pretoria
      Address: 255 Hill Street, Arcadia, 2 Pretoria
      Tel: 27 (0) 12 421 7500
      Fax: 27 (0) 12 421 7555

  167. Hi,

    My fiance and I are travelling to Italy for our honeymoon this year. We will be there for 10 days and while we are there we will book flights to visit her family in London for 4 days. I hold a SA and EU passport, she holds an SA passport. Please could you advise what the VISA requirements would be for each of us?

    Thank you

    Michael

    • Hi Michael,

      Thanks for getting in touch. As you hold an EU passport you will not need a visa to travel to UK or Italy. However you will need to travel with both your valid SA and EU passports.

      Your wife will need to apply for a British Visa as well as a Schengen visa covering her for Italy.

      Visa requreiments for an Italian Schengen visa:

      Tourism Requirements For all Tourism visa cases please provide the following standard documents – (equal to or less than 90 days)
      Passport – Cannot be older than 10 years and must be valid for at least 3 months from date of return with 2 valid, blank and consecutive pages. Copies of previous Schengen visas that have been issued in last three years to be submitted.
      Schengen Application Form – All necessary fields to be completed (online form recommended for better legibility, please print and bring it to appointment, alternatively download the form. Form MUST be signed by applicant. In case of minors form MUST be signed by one of the parents.
      2 Recent colour ID photos taken within past 6 months as required by Schengen standards. Photos can be taken at Capago office (Cpt and Jnb only). Background must be white.
      Proof of transport: Copies of return flight bookings from South Africa as well as entry into Italy or other Schengen countries must be provided with name of applicant on booking.
      International Health Insurance – One or two page health insurance policy certificate to be provided, (Schedule of benefits, policy wording or claim form is not required). Must display name of insured person; policy number, amount of cover which should be for at least 30,000 €; duration of cover. Insurance must provide for evacuation, repatriation and emergency transportation as well as emergency in/out of hospital medical treatment.
      Proof of accommodation: copies of accommodation bookings / tours for the period of stay in the Schengen area. Applicants hosted by friends or family must have a Host Declaration / Lettera D’Invito form completed by their host and accompanied by a copy of their ID.
      Proof of Funds: Recent 3 months bank statements or credit card statements or forex receipt (full name of applicant must appear). Approximately 30 euros per day. Dependents who are sponsored will require a letter from their parent or spouse accompanied with a copy of their bank statements and ID.
      Proof of employment (if applicable): Confirmation of employment on company letter head and pay slip if applicable. If owner of company, provide the company registration documents, or SARS tax returns.
      Proof of residence: A recent utility bill showing names and physical address of applicant. Also accepted accounts are telephone/cellphone, satellite/DSTV statements, bank statements.
      For Minors, please add:
      Parental Consent – Only if one or neither of the parents are travelling with the minor (up to 18 years) This document is downloadable and mandatory for travelling minors. It must be signed in person by both the parents/legal guardians at the Capago Visa Application Centre, or by Commissioner of Oaths. Please attach to this form: Minor Unabridged Birth Certificate, signed copies of the parent’s passports (new SA Passports already have signature embedded on info page), Marriage Certificate (if applicable) and the flight tickets of the accompanying parent(s). One of the parents must also please provide their employment letter and 3 months banks personal statements. If parents cannot provide their signed passport copies they may submit a copy of their temporary passport or their SA driver’s licence. If one parent is out of the country and thus unable to be present, they must add an affidavit from the commissioner of oaths explaining the reason for their absence.
      Unabridged Birth Certificate: Please provide copy of Unabridged Birth Certificate which shows names of both parents and child. If no Unabridged Birth Certificate, provide and Abridged as well as receipt from Home Affairs of an application for an Unabridged Birth Certificate as well as an affidavit from both biological parents.
      Letter from School/University/College – A signed letter declaring that applicant is a pupil/student currently registered at the School/University/College. It should stipulate that the school is aware of the dates of travel.
      Letter of Responsible Adult of School Group (For Cultural tour groups only) Letter from school or organisational body confirming the identity of the adult(s) accompanying the tour that will be responsible for the school group and list all scholars in the tour group.
      Proof of payment: Capago operates a cashless system and only accepts EFT transactions, credit/debit cards payments (can be done on-site) or cash deposits made at any FNB branch. Regrettably Diners, American Express cards, cheques and cheque deposits are not accepted. Please see website for further conditions.

      Applying for a UK visa:
      Steps on applying – Days Closed – Office Hours – Contact details
      Important Note Register on Teleperformance after booking your appointment – otherwise you risk unnecessary delays. See GOV.UK for more information regarding visa applications, paying your fee and booking your appointment for one of the visa application centres online.

      This international enquiry service will provide an improved service to visa customers. https://ukvi-international.faq-help.com/

      Contact details:
      021 300 3758 or 00 44 1243 218 173
      Please note! The above numbers are a paid service and there is a cost of +- £1.37 UK Sterling per minute in addition to your standard network charges. Please have a valid credit or debit card ready to process your payment.

      Children under the age of five are required to apply for their UK visa in person in order to attend a biometric enrolment appointment. New rules governing the collection of biometric data comes into effect at this time, requiring all applicants to provide a live-capture digital photograph. Parent will also need to book an appointment at the UK Visa Application Centre for any children under the age of 5 when applying for a UK visa. Children under 5 are not required to provide fingerprints.

      The site provides you with a guide to apply for your visa. It also gives you information about the visa application centres and the type of added value services that are provided.

      South African passport holders transiting the UK en-route to the US, Canada, New Zealand or Australia may travel to the UK under the ‘Transit Without a Visa’ (TWOV) concession.
      The TWOV concession applies when: A flight to the US, Canada, New Zealand or Australia is confirmed, departs within 24 hours of the passenger entering the UK and the traveller is in possession of the correct documents to enter the next destination. The concession allows passengers to transit the UK airside if you arrive here on a flight, remain in the arrival lounge of the airport without passing through UK immigration control, and then depart on another flight from the same airport. However, passengers transiting to any of the 25 Schengen countries and who hold a category C Schengen visa must still obtain a UK visa.
      More information on transit visas and other UK visas can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/

      There are two types of transit through the UK:

      Airside transit if you arrive on a flight, remain in the arrival lounge of the airport without passing through immigration control, and then depart on another flight from the same airport.
      Landside transit if you arrive on a flight, pass through immigration control and then leave the UK within 48 hours (or 24 hours if you are travelling under the ‘travel without visa’ concession).
      If you want to spend longer than 48 hours in the UK before continuing your journey, you must come to the UK as a visitor.

      Whether you are transiting airside or landside, you may need to obtain a UK visa before you begin your journey. Go to http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/ for full details

      The “transit without visa concession” is decided by the immigration officer at the border. You won’t be allowed to transit if they decide you need a visa, so you might want to apply for a transit visa before you travel.

      Services available at Teleperformance:
      Priority visa processing £100 (non-settlement). Please note, that the purchase of this premium service in no way guarantees the right to obtain a visa, a booking if none are available, or faster processing of your application by UKVI. No refund of fees will be provided in the case of an application withdrawal by the applicant. Please note that you should not purchase Priority Visa Service after you have submitted your application.

      Courier return service: £9.95
      Applicants can choose to have their passport returned to them by express courier at the end of the application process. Use of the Return Courier Service is dependent upon availability of courier delivery to the address provided by the applicant and will be determined at the centre at the time of application.

      The cost of this service is in addition to your visa application fee and is non-refundable. If you wish to use these services, and are eligible to do so, you should log into your personal account on the Teleperformance site and select this option on the Added Value Service page.

      Steps on applying
      STEPS ON APPLYING FOR YOUR VISA
      Step 1: Find Out What Visa You Need, Make an Online Application, and Book Your Appointment

      Before you create a Teleperformance account you should visit the UK government’s visas and immigration website gov.uk to find out what visa you need and make your online application.
      From this website you can pay your application fee and book your appointment at our Visa Application Centre.
      Some centres require a fee to use them. You will be able to pay this fee on the UK Visas and Immigration website when completing your application – please bring a copy of the receipt with you to your interview.
      After completing and paying for your application on the UK Visas and Immigration website, you will receive a unique GWF number – please make note of this as you will need it when registering to the Teleperformance website.
      After selecting an appointment time you will receive an email confirming the date and time of your appointment, the location of the Visa Application Centre and the documents you should bring.
      You will be able to check your appointment details whenever you log on to the UK Visas and Immigrations website.
      Step 2: Register Your Details on Teleperformance Ltd

      Once you have booked your appointment, you will need to register your details on the Teleperformance Ltd website. If you don’t, you will not be able to attend your appointment.
      Once you have registered on this site, Teleperformance can contact you if they need more information about your application.
      Step 3: Purchase Optional Added Value Services

      Registration on the Teleperformance website will allow you to choose and pay for a range of added value services that are provided at this visa location. See value added services page on website for more information.
      You will also be able to pay for your appointment if you are required to pay to use the visa centre that you have chosen.
      These services are optional. They are not necessary for you to complete your application and do not influence the outcome.
      Step 4: Prepare Your Documents For Your Appointment

      When you attend your appointment at the Visa Application Centre, you will be need to bring a number of documents with you. These include printed copies of your appointment confirmation and online application form, your passport, and any other documents you want considered
      You will need to decide for yourself which documents best show you meet the Immigration Rules. For suggestions about the additional types of documents you might bring, see gov.uk
      If you have documents that are not in English or Welsh, you need to provide a full translation that can be independently verified by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
      Each translation must include a signed statement from the translator, confirming that it accurately reflects the original document. This statement must be dated in the DD/MM/YYYY and include the translator’s full name and contact details.
      Step 5: Attend Your Appointment

      You must check in at the Visa Application Centre’s welcome desk in person at the time and date stated in your confirmation email. If you are late, you may have to rebook your appointment. This will significantly delay the application process.
      You will then be redirected to an agent who will review your documents.
      Next your photo and fingerprints, known as biometrics will be taken. Once this has been done your visa fee is no longer refundable.
      Step 6: Visa Processing and Passport Return

      You application will be considered by UKVI, part of the UK government,. Teleperformance does not make any decisions relating to your visa applications.
      UKVI may ask for more information, another document, or for you to attend an interview. If this happens, you will be contacted by email.
      Once your passport has been returned to Teleperformance, they will contact you by email and update your personal account page on the website. This email will tell you how you can collect your passport from us.
      Following your application, Teleperformance will remove your personal information from its records.

      However we do suggest you contact the Embassy’s prior to applying as visa information is not guaranteed.

      Italian Consulate:

      Consulate-General of Italy (Johannesburg)
      Telephone No : (011) 728-1392/3

      British Consulate in Cape Town
      Address: 15th Floor Southern Life Centre 8 Riebeeck Street , 8001 Cape Town
      Tel: 27 (0) 21 405 2400

      British Consulate in Pretoria
      Address: 255 Hill Street, Arcadia, 2 Pretoria
      Tel: 27 (0) 12 421 7500
      Fax: 27 (0) 12 421 7555

  168. Hi there
    We want to visit family in Ireland and take the ferry to Isle of man to watch the TT bike race. We are South African. Will we require a VISA to go from Ireland to Isle of Man?

    • Hi Jessica,

      Thanks for getting in touch!

      That is correct a UK visa will be required to visit the Isle of Man.

  169. Hi there

    my husband and myself are travelling to canada in May via London, we have to break our journey and visit Ireland first then 5 days later travel to canada, are we still exempt from applying for a transit visa?

    • Hi Jessica, no in this case will need a UK visa as the visa exemption doesn’t cover travel to the Common Travel Area (UK, Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man).

  170. Hi Nick,

    I am a South African passport holder currently living in France. I am in the process of applying for my French Residence Card. I have a valid Maltese Residence card as an EU spouse (my husband has a British passport).

    Do I need a transit visa?

    • Hi Yoriko,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you are transiting in the UK on a South African passport a transit visa will be required.

      I would suggest you contact the British Consulate in France just to double check as they should be able to answer any further queries you might have.

  171. Hi

    Please can you confirm if I need a transit visa for the UK. I am flying to Rome via LHR departure and return. My layover time is only 1.5 hrs both ways. I have a Schengen visa for Italy. I will be travelling with my husband and children who all have SA and British Passports.

    • Hi Lila,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      A UK transit visa will be required if you flying via the UK onto Rome.

      You also welcome to check on the following website:

      https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa

      However if you hold a valid visa for Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA you will be able to use it to transit airside via the UK to anywhere in the world without obtaining a Direct Airside Transit Visa.

    • Thank you Marcel, I do have a valid USA visa so I understand then that I do not need to apply for any transit visa is that correct ?

    • Hi Lila,

      Thanks for your reply.

      That is correct, if you are holding a valid US visa you will not require a UK transit visa while transiting through the UK.

  172. hi I am traveling from US to south Africa, my US visa is still valid, do I need a transit visa in London to south africa

    • Hi Mantsha,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      You will not need a UK transit visa if you still have a valid US visa. This will cover you while in transit in the UK.

  173. Hi

    I hold a US and a 1 year multiple entry Schengen visa. Would I need a UK transit visa if I connect through Heathrow straight to France?

    Please help, thanks Callan

    • Hi Callan,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      The Schengen visa does not cover you while in transit, however if you have a US visa which is still valid, this will cover you while in transit in the UK.

  174. Good day

    Im planning on visiting friends & family overseas. My itinerary would look something like this:
    Depart South Africa -> Belguim -> London -> Spain -> Austraila -> New Zealand -> Return South Africa
    – What would i require regarding Visas and specific requirements from each country eg. UK, Schengen, Aus?
    – Would i be able to shift dates of flights if i wanted to stay longer at a certain country?
    – Im assuming they would need a return flight booked.

    • Hi Justin,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You will need a Schengen visa to cover you for the Schengen states and a UK visa. SA Citizens visiting NZ for tourist purposes (ie. holiday only, excludes visits for work, or medical consultation or treatment) do not require visas for a visit up to three (3) months.

      I depends which Embassy you are applying through for your schengen visa. Only then one can provide which information is required.

      With regards to shifting flights, one would need to look at the rules of the ticket, if changes are permitted then it should not be a problem doing date changes.

      Yes you would need to book a return flight as this is one of the requirements the Embassy needs to see before they will grant a visa.

  175. Hi.
    Is there anyway to get a transit visa for UK fast without paying R11 000?
    We going to Portugal.
    Regards
    Linda

    • Hi Linda,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      A UK transit visa is roughly R1100

      Unfortunately there is no way around this fee if a UK transit visa is required.

      The only South African passport holders who are exempt from paying this fee are South African nationals who hold a valid visa for Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA they will be able to use them to transit airside via the UK to anywhere in the world without obtaining a Direct Airside Transit Visa.

      Travellers who hold visas to these countries can transit the UK (airside) given that they provide an expanded list of exemption documents in place of a Direct Airside Transit Visa.

  176. Hi, Im stopping over at Heathrow on route to Canada, I of course have a canadian visa, I have a long lay over in Heathrow (7 hours), will I be able to leave the airport landside – would like to meet up with some friends for a couple of hours….

    • Hi Gerald,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you are flying into and out of the same airport eg: Heathrow you will not be permitted to leave the transit area.

      If you have a landside via where you will be flying into Heathrow and out of Gatwick, you will have to take a taxi to Gatwick, and pass through immigration. The officials will not know if you will be meeting friends along the way when catching your taxi to Gatwick.

  177. Hello

    We are South Africans wanting to travel to Dublin and then on to the UK… Would we be able to apply for a UK visa in Dublin itself? Or would we have to apply from South Africa?

    • HI Emma-Jane,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You will need to apply for your UK in South Africa before departing or you will be denied boarding if UK is showing on your air ticket.

  178. Hi there

    My brother applied for a uk transit visa so he can come to ireland. He is south african and im irish. According to their letter, ireland is a broad place to travel so they refused his visa application and they told him to apply for a uk visa. The problem is that his coming for 5 days to a family wedding. He has no interest in the uk so why is he forced to fork out R11 500 for another priority visa when a transit visa is what we need plus they refused him a week before his flight is due to take off. Thank you. Blanche

    • Hi Blanche,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      That does sound strange. However unfortunately we will not be able to advise as to why the Embassy denied him his visa or why they have requested him to apply for a UK visa even if only in transit.

      You will need to go back to the official visa handling agency or contact the Embassy direct only they will be able to answer your queries as to why they have asked him to apply for a UK visa.

  179. Hi there, Im planning a trip to UK for 2 weeks, I have a South African passport and a US green card (permanent resident) Do I need visa for this trip?
    thank you

    • Hi Denise,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      To my knowledge you would need a UK visa as you will be travelling on a South African passport.

      You welcome to contact the British Embassy direct to see what information they provide with regards to your query.

  180. Hi. I am leaving for the USA, departing from Johannesburg via London. Very short overlay at London Heathrow . Am I right that I wont need an UK transit visa, seeing I have a USA visa?

    • Hi Louise,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      Yes that is correct if you are traveling on a South African passport and hold a valid visa for the USA you will not require a transit visa for the UK if you are there less then 24 hours.

  181. Hi I am traveling to London Gatwick. Would there be a problem if I don’t have a return ticket. I’m going on a family holiday visa for 6 months. Any suggestions or advice

    • Hi Darran,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      This depends on what passport you are traveling on. If you have a South African passport when applying for the visa they will need to see your return ticket. Also at immigration you will need to show your return ticket as to my knowledge you might have a problem at immigrations or even in South Africa they might not let you board.

      I would suggest you contact the British Embassy direct they will be able to answer any queries you might have.

  182. Hi,

    I am traveling to ireland via london. for a week conference would i need a transit visa to pass via london?

    • Hi Noxolo,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you are flying on a SA passport and do not hold a valid America, Canadian, New Zealand or an Australian visa you will need a UK transit visa to transit through the UK.

  183. Hi Nick

    Myself and my wife and kids are attending my brother in laws wedding in the Isle of man , we are currently applying for the standard visitors visa (6 Months ) we are flying JHB – Abu Dhabi – Dublin then Isle of man , do we need additional transit visas passing through Abu Dhabi ? And then Dublin ?

    • Hi Jaques,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      The below is just a guideline and we suggest you contact the official visa handling agency to get the most up to date information.

      Click on the link below and it will take you to all the necessary information required with regards to visas and transit visas for Abu Dhabi.

      http://www.thegsa.co.za/index.php?nav=destination_country&view=170

  184. Hi Marcelle Finix

    Myself and my wife and kids are attending my brother in laws wedding in the Isle of man , we are currently applying for the standard visitors visa (6 Months ) we are flying JHB – Abu Dhabi – Dublin then Isle of man , do we need additional transit visas passing through Abu Dhabi ? And then Dublin ?

  185. Hi its me faruk.I have indian passport n m holding south african green card I would like to knw its possible for me to get uk visit visa

    • Hi Farouk,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid I won’t be able to advise you on the visa requirements for an Indian passport holder as we specialise in South African travellers.

      You would need to contact Teleperformance who are the official visa handling agency they will be able to assist on the visa process for an Indian Passport holder:

      The website address is : https://ukvi-international.faq-help.com/
      Tel: (021) 300 3758 or 00 44 1243 218 173. These numbers are a paid service so there is a charge of £1.37 per minute over and above your network charges. It is therefore necessary to have a valid credit/debit card ready to process payment.
      Office hours for the Application centres are: 0900-1700 Mon-Fri

  186. Hi, just looking for a little advice.

    I am a South African passport holder and currently in the USA (B1/B2 visa). My return flight from the USA back to South Africa will be via London, Heathrow (UK)

    I have done research but can’t find solid answers. It states that traveling via UK “to” the USA no sternest visa is necessary. But it says nothing in connection with traveling “from” the USA via UK back to SA.

    I have a valid USA B1/B2 visa, valid RSA Passport, and have travelled to the UK (expired visa) a few years back with no problems and leaving the UK before my UK visa expired.

    So, my question is, would I need to obtain a transit visa to travel “from” the USA via UK to RSA?

    • sorry, auto correct, transit visa

    • Hi Calvin,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      South African nationals who hold a valid visa for Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA will be able to use them to transit airside via the UK to anywhere in the world without obtaining a Direct Airside Transit Visa. If you have purchased a ticket eg: OR Tambo – JFK – OR Tambo and transiting in the UK on your outbound and return journey your valid American visa will cover you while in transit in the UK>

      Travellers who hold visas to these countries can transit the UK (airside) given that they provide an expanded list of exemption documents in place of a Direct Airside Transit Visa.

      The criteria are that the traveller:

      • must arrive and depart by air from the same UK airport and on the same day to another country outside the Common Travel Area1 (i.e. a travel zone that comprises the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland);

      • is properly documented for your onward destination;

      • holds a valid exemption document in accordance with one of the following:

      – a residence permit or visa that allows entry to Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the United States of America, regardless of their route and final destination

      – an EEA or Swiss category D visa or residence permit, regardless of their route and final destination

      – an Irish biometric visa, regardless of their route and final destination.

      In addition, the United Kingdom made changes recently to its transit visa policy, which is positive news for South Africans. The direct airside transit visa fee was reduced to £30 (R536,19) in October this year, and its routine validity was extended to two years.

      Different rules apply to Landside Transit Visas where en route restrictions do apply to the exemption document criteria. Landside Transit refers to passengers who arrive at one airport but are catching an onward flight from another UK airport or who have to pass through UK immigration to collect and re-check baggage before their onward journey, and therefore need to enter the UK.

  187. Hi There. I have a client that is traveling from South Africa to the USA. He is transiting in Spain and also the UK on route to the USA. Will he require a Transit Visa or does he fall in the visa waiver for UK

    • Hi Nardene,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If your client is a South African passport holder and has a valid US visa he will not need a transit visa for the UK.

      We do suggest you contact the Embassy direct to double check.

  188. My kids are travelling to Isle of Man on SA passports and will be staying in Manchester for 1 night and then getting the ferry across. Do they need visas?

    • Hi Karin,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      This information should be used as a guide only. Please confirm requirements with the embassy or official visa handling agency direct to get the most up to date information.

      As your children will be staying in Manchester, South African passport holders require a UK visa.

  189. Hi there,
    We are South African Passport Holders traveling from Johannesburg to Tampa Bay in the USA for holiday in December. Our first leg is from Jhb to Heathrow UK with a connecting flight five hours later from Gatwick to Tampa Bay. We have already obtained our US Visas. Your site has provided more clarity and detail than we have previously found on the internet, but would like to know if you deem it necessary for us to acquire the in transit visa than to risk trying to get through without one. Thanks for you informative Blog Site. Await your response, Sandy

    • Hi Sandy,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      This information should be used as a guide only. Please confirm requirements with the official visa handling agency.

      If you flying into Heathrow and out of Gatwick the same day (landside) you shouldn’t need to apply for a transit visa if your connecting flight is to the USA and you holding a valid visa for the USA.

      However we do recommend you contact Teleperformance who are the official visa handling agency to get the most up to date information:

      Tel: (021) 300 3758 or 00 44 1243 218 173. These numbers are a paid service so there is a charge of £1.37 per minute over and above your network charges. It is therefore necessary to have a valid credit/debit card ready to process payment.
      Office hours for the Application centers are: 0900-1700 Mon-Fri

  190. Hi Marcelle,

    My Husband and I wish to visit Dublin Ireland in the new year, being 2016. We are both South Africans’, and will departing from Johannesburg OR Tambo Int Airport. We would like to find out: If we booked our tickets using an airline that needs to land in Amsterdam, France or UK, do we need a Schengen visa or a UK Transit Visa, even if we wait in the airport for our connecting flight to Dublin?
    Thank you for a informative site. Jocelyn

    • Hi Jocelyn,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      If you fly via the UK a UK transit visa will be required.

      Flying via Amsterdam or Paris, if you are in transit and not passing through immigration you will not require a Schengen visa.

      However I do suggest you contact the Embassy direct to get the most up to date information.

  191. Hi i have been issued a EEA Family Permit visa and I have booked one way tickets for my partner and I.
    Will i have a problem at border control at Heathrow for not having a return ticket?

    thanks

    • Hi Barry,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid I wont be able to answer this question. Its best you contact the official visa handling agency Teleperformance or the British Consulate, they should be able to answer any questions you might have.

  192. Hi Nick

    My family and I are going to the USA in December for a three week holiday to visit my brother. We have our USA visas. However We are flying into Heathrow on the way and then have to get to Gatwick within 5 hours fro our connecting flight. We are all a little unsure and stressed as to whether or not we will need a british visa to get from one airport to the other- we do not want tp pay the fee if it is unnecessary but also do not want to be stuck if we dont get them. Please help!!!!! No one can give us a direct answer. What do u suggest

    • Hi Sarah-Dee,

      South African passport holders transiting the UK as part of their flight en-route to the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, CANADA, NEW ZEALAND or AUSTRALIA may travel to the UK under the “Transit without a Visa” (TWOV) concession. This will allow passengers to connect to the next leg of their route without a visa provided that the passenger:

       Has a confirmed flight to the next destination (USA, Canada, New Zealand or Australia)
       Has the correct documents to enter their next destination (i.e. a valid visa to the US, Canada, New Zealand or Australia)
       Will be leaving the UK within 24 hours of arrival.
      The TWOV concession allows passengers to connect to onward flights both airside or at an alternative airport as long as the connecting flight to the onward destination is taken within 24 hours
      What does this mean?
      Example: Should you be travelling to the US with a transit in the UK, but you are landing at Heathrow and your connecting flight is at Gatwick, you can use the TWOV concession to get from one airport to the other as long as the connecting flight takes place within 24 hours of your arrival in the UK.
      Please note: South African passport holders holding a category C Schengen visa must still obtain a UK visa if transiting the UK enroute to a Schengen country.

      The above should be used as a guideline as this information could change at anytime. I do suggest you contact the official visa handling agency: Teleperformance as they will be able to give the most up to date information.

      https://uk.tlscontact.com
      Tel: (021) 300 3758 or 00 44 1243 218 173. These numbers are a paid service so there is a charge of £1.37 per minute over and above your network charges. It is therefore necessary to have a valid credit/debit card ready to process payment.
      Office hours for the Application centers are: 0900-1700 Mon-Fri

  193. Hi, I am working in the uk on an ancestral visa South African passport and would like to do a day trip to Paris and a 2 day stay in Amsterdam, do I need to get a visa for France and the Netherlands.

    Thanks

    • Hi Virginia,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      To my knowledge yes you would need a Schengen visa as you are still traveling on a South African passport.

      You welcome to check with the Embassy direct to see what they say. You would need to apply through the country you are staying in the longest.

  194. Hi

    I would like to travel to Ireland and connect in Paris. Would I need a transit visa?

    • Hi Zukiswa,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you are a South African passport holder you will not need a transit visa if you are transiting in Paris nor a visa if traveling to Ireland.

      However I do suggest you contact both Embassy’s to get the most up to date information.

  195. Hi
    i am an american citazan living in south africa on a spous visa. My husband is a south african citazan with a USA visitors visa (B1/B2) we are going to see my family in the USA This December. Our return flight (January 12th 2016) has a 10 hour layover in Switzerland. Do either one of us need a transit visa? And can either one of us exit the airport for sight seeing with out a visa? If a visa is reqired for us to exit the airport, what type of visa would be required for about 5 hours of exiting? Would it be something we can get at the airport? or something we should aply for before our trip? and how much would it cost?

    • Hi Hardisaky,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid I won’t be able to advise you on the requirements for an American passport holder as we specialise in South African travellers.

      If a South Africa passport holder is only passing through one Schengen state on their return flight they will not require a transit visa while in Switzerland. If they wish to leave the airport they will need to apply for a Schengen visa before they depart on their holiday.

      As we do not specilize in visa’s I do suggest you contact the Swiss Embassy direct to get the most up to date information.

  196. Sorry i sent my question with the wrong email address. I have the same question just please reply via this email address. Thank you,
    “Hi
    i am an american citazan living in south africa on a spous visa. My husband is a south african citazan with a USA visitors visa (B1/B2) we are going to see my family in the USA This December. Our return flight (January 12th 2016) has a 10 hour layover in Switzerland. Do either one of us need a transit visa? And can either one of us exit the airport for sight seeing with out a visa? If a visa is reqired for us to exit the airport, what type of visa would be required for about 5 hours of exiting? Would it be something we can get at the airport? or something we should aply for before our trip? and how much would it cost?

    • Hi Hardisaky,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid I won’t be able to advise you on the requirements for an American passport holder as we specialise in South African travellers.

      If a South Africa passport holder is only passing through one Schengen state on their return flight they will not require a transit visa while in Switzerland. If they wish to leave the airport they will need to apply for a Schengen visa before they depart on their holiday.

      As we do not specilize in visa’s so I do suggest you contact the Swiss Embassy direct to get the most up to date information.

  197. Hi, I’m returning to South Africa. Im flying from Antigua to London. Then I want to fly from London to Zurich where my return flight is back from to SA, I have a valid B1B2 visa and schengen visa.
    Do I need a UK transit visa? I will be flying out from same airport as arrival in UK ,same day.

    • Hi Burger,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      The only time you will not need a UK transit visa while in transit in the UK is:

      If you a South African national who holds a valid visa for Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA, you will be able to use them to transit airside via the UK to anywhere in the world without obtaining a Direct Airside Transit Visa.

      Travellers who hold visas to these countries can transit the UK (airside) given that they provide an expanded list of exemption documents in place of a Direct Airside Transit Visa.

      We do however suggest that you contact the Embassy or the official visa handling agency to get the most up to date information.

  198. Hi there, hope you can help. I will be travelling to Cork, Ireland in January for 1 week on a conference and training and will transit via the UK. Both UK transit options (DAT & Visitors in Transit) are not available for travel to the Republic of Ireland.

    Which VISA do I require? I have an RSA passport.

    Thanks

    • Hi Prineel,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      A transit visa will be required however you will need to contact the official visa handling agency Teleperformance.

      They will be able to advise what visa they require you to apply for.

      The website address is : https://ukvi-international.faq-help.com/
      Tel: (021) 300 3758 or 00 44 1243 218 173. These numbers are a paid service so there is a charge of £1.37 per minute over and above your network charges. It is therefore necessary to have a valid credit/debit card ready to process payment.
      Office hours for the Application centres are: 0900-1700 Mon-Fri

  199. If I am transiting uk, with a South African passport to New york,( have a visa for usa) and flights are delayed in London due to bad weather, and my 24 hour limit is up, what happens? They cant send me home. Can they ?

    • Hi Hildur,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If your original booking met the requirements and your flight was then delayed due to bad weather, this would be out of your control and they would not put you on the next flight home. You would however need to stay in the transit area for the duration of the time.

  200. Good Morning

    My family and I are traveling to South Africa in March. My wife and kids are South African passport holders but we are currently residing in the USA they have L2 -visas. We will be in transit at Heathrow airport do they still need a transit visitors visa? And if so how do we go about to get them the transit visas? Will we be able to stay in the hotel at terminal 4 with these visas?

    • Hi Alex,

      The below is just a guideline and we suggest you contact the Embassy for the most up to date information:

      South African nationals who hold a valid visa for Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA will be able to use them to transit airside via the UK to anywhere in the world without obtaining a Direct Airside Transit Visa.

      Travellers who hold visas to these countries can transit the UK (airside) given that they provide an expanded list of exemption documents in place of a Direct Airside Transit Visa.

      The criteria are that the traveller:

      • must arrive and depart by air from the same UK airport and on the same day to another country outside the Common Travel Area1 (i.e. a travel zone that comprises the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland);

      • is properly documented for your onward destination;

      • holds a valid exemption document in accordance with one of the following:

      – a residence permit or visa that allows entry to Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the United States of America, regardless of their route and final destination

      – an EEA or Swiss category D visa or residence permit, regardless of their route and final destination

      – an Irish biometric visa, regardless of their route and final destination.

      If you wish to stay at the hotel in terminal 4 this means you have to pass through immigration and they will then need to apply for a UK visa. For this you will need to contact the official visa handling agency or Embassy direct they will be able to assist with the application and advising on the correct documentation would be required and procedures to follow.

  201. Hi

    My partner and I are are South Africans, travelling from Johannesburg in March on a month long trip. We’re travelling from Johannesburg to London, then climbing on a flight to Paris for a week. We then return to London for a week after which we’re travelling to NY and Vancouver for a week each. We’ve obtained our Canadian, USA and UK Visas. Since we’re travelling to UK as our first stop and then from London to Paris, do we require a seperate Schengen Visa, or would the UK visa suffice?

    Kind regards
    Morne

    • Hi Morne,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      UK is not part of the Schengen State so your UK visa will not cover you while in France. You will need to apply before you leave, for a Schengen Visa for this part of your trip.

      Some visa process are quite lengthy and we do advise to apply as soon as possible.

  202. My son, (British) his wife and daughter (South African) are travelling from Cape Town, via Dubai, via Manchester an on to Cork in Ireland. The first part of their trip will be with Emirates and they will change in Manchester to Aer Lingus. Please can you tell me if it is necessary for them to get a transit visa to land In Manchester? Emirates and Manchester airport tell us that it is not necessary but research and travel agents tell us differently. They are leaving on the 20th January so it does not leave much time. If it is necessary please advise how we do this. Also do they need to have a return flight? As they are going to stay in Cork for some time.

    • Hi Sharon,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      South African nationals who hold a valid visa for Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA will be able to use them to transit airside via the UK to anywhere in the world without obtaining a Direct Airside Transit Visa.

      Travellers who hold visas to these countries can transit the UK (airside) given that they provide an expanded list of exemption documents in place of a Direct Airside Transit Visa.

      The criteria are that the traveller:

      • must arrive and depart by air from the same UK airport and on the same day to another country outside the Common Travel Area1 (i.e. a travel zone that comprises the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland);

      • is properly documented for your onward destination;

      • holds a valid exemption document in accordance with one of the following:

      – a residence permit or visa that allows entry to Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the United States of America, regardless of their route and final destination

      – an EEA or Swiss category D visa or residence permit, regardless of their route and final destination

      – an Irish biometric visa, regardless of their route and final destination.

      If they do not hold one of the above valid visa’s they will need obtain a UK transit visa.

  203. Hi Nick

    My fiancé and I have planned a trip from SA to Europe. We fly from SA to Munich and have sorted out our Shengen Visas. Our return flight is from Rome via Heathrow back to JHB. We are catching a connecting flight within 1h30minof landing in Heathrow. Do we need a transit visa if passing through the UK heading BACK to SA? Everything seems to talk about passing through the UK into other countries, but what about a return flight with less than 24hrs change over (in our case less than 2hrs)? Thanks in advance

    • Hi Dane,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Whether it’s your outbound or return flight and you transiting through the UK you would require a UK transit visa and the UK is not part of the the Schengen State.

  204. I plan to move to Florida in United States currently living in Cape Town South Africa my boyfriend is living there what type of visa do I need and documents is required that I should need

    • Hi Theressa,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid we do not specialize in people wanting to immigrate / moves to another country. For this you will need to contact the Embassy direct they will be able to advise on the correct procedures to follow and what documents are required

  205. Good day,

    My 9mo son is travelling with me, a UK passport holder. He has a South African passport. We are flying from SA to Italy via Heathrow (1 hour transit going there, 4 hours coming back) I assume he needs a transit visa. How does one apply? Do they give two visas for the departure and return flight?

    Thanks,
    Clea

    • Hi Clea,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      that is correct your son will need to apply for a UK transit visa.

      You will need to apply through Teleperformance who are the official visa handling agency.

      Below is information on where to apply. For any further information please contact Teleperform they will be able to advise on the correct procedures to follow, what is required and the cost.

      Note: visa information is not guaranteed. Kindly confirm details with the relevant authorities.

      Important Note – Steps on applying – Days Closed – Office Hours – Contact details
      Important Note Important notice: Customers applying to visit the UK for longer than six months must pay a ‘Health Surcharge’. This does not apply to visitor visas.

      Register on Teleperformance after booking your appointment – otherwise you risk unnecessary delays. See GOV.UK for more information regarding visa applications, paying your fee and booking your appointment for one of the visa application centres online.

      This international enquiry service will provide an improved service to visa customers: https://ukvi-international.faq-help.com/

      Contact details:
      021 300 3758 or 00 44 1243 218 173
      Please note! The above numbers are a paid service and there is a cost of +- £1.37 UK Sterling per minute in addition to your standard network charges. Please have a valid credit or debit card ready to process your payment.

      Children under the age of five are required to apply for their UK visa in person in order to attend a biometric enrolment appointment. New rules governing the collection of biometric data comes into effect at this time, requiring all applicants to provide a live-capture digital photograph. Parent will also need to book an appointment at the UK Visa Application Centre for any children under the age of 5 when applying for a UK visa. Children under 5 are not required to provide fingerprints.

      The site provides you with a guide to apply for your visa. It also gives you information about the visa application centres and the type of added value services that are provided.

      South African passport holders transiting the UK en-route to the US, Canada, New Zealand or Australia may travel to the UK under the ‘Transit Without a Visa’ (TWOV) concession.
      The TWOV concession applies when: A flight to the US, Canada, New Zealand or Australia is confirmed, departs within 24 hours of the passenger entering the UK and the traveller is in possession of the correct documents to enter the next destination. The concession allows passengers to transit the UK airside if you arrive here on a flight, remain in the arrival lounge of the airport without passing through UK immigration control, and then depart on another flight from the same airport. However, passengers transiting to any of the 25 Schengen countries and who hold a category C Schengen visa must still obtain a UK visa.
      More information on transit visas and other UK visas can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/

      There are two types of transit through the UK:

      Airside transit if you arrive on a flight, remain in the arrival lounge of the airport without passing through immigration control, and then depart on another flight from the same airport.
      Landside transit if you arrive on a flight, pass through immigration control and then leave the UK within 48 hours (or 24 hours if you are travelling under the ‘travel without visa’ concession).
      If you want to spend longer than 48 hours in the UK before continuing your journey, you must come to the UK as a visitor.

      Whether you are transiting airside or landside, you may need to obtain a UK visa before you begin your journey. Go to http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/ for full details

      The “transit without visa concession” is decided by the immigration officer at the border. You won’t be allowed to transit if they decide you need a visa, so you might want to apply for a transit visa before you travel.

      Services available at Teleperformance:
      Priority visa processing £360 (non-settlement). Please note, that the purchase of this premium service in no way guarantees the right to obtain a visa, a booking if none are available, or faster processing of your application by UKVI. No refund of fees will be provided in the case of an application withdrawal by the applicant. Please note that you should not purchase Priority Visa Service after you have submitted your application.

      Courier return service: £14.95
      Applicants can choose to have their passport returned to them by express courier at the end of the application process. Use of the Return Courier Service is dependent upon availability of courier delivery to the address provided by the applicant and will be determined at the centre at the time of application.

      The cost of this service is in addition to your visa application fee and is non-refundable. If you wish to use these services, and are eligible to do so, you should log into your personal account on the Teleperformance site and select this option on the Added Value Service page.

      Steps on applying
      STEPS ON APPLYING FOR YOUR VISA
      Step 1: Find Out What Visa You Need, Make an Online Application, and Book Your Appointment

      Before you create a Teleperformance account you should visit the UK government’s visas and immigration website gov.uk to find out what visa you need and make your online application.
      From this website you can pay your application fee and book your appointment at our Visa Application Centre.
      Some centres require a fee to use them. You will be able to pay this fee on the UK Visas and Immigration website when completing your application – please bring a copy of the receipt with you to your interview.
      After completing and paying for your application on the UK Visas and Immigration website, you will receive a unique GWF number – please make note of this as you will need it when registering to the Teleperformance website.
      After selecting an appointment time you will receive an email confirming the date and time of your appointment, the location of the Visa Application Centre and the documents you should bring.
      You will be able to check your appointment details whenever you log on to the UK Visas and Immigrations website.
      Step 2: Register Your Details on Teleperformance Ltd

      Once you have booked your appointment, you will need to register your details on the Teleperformance Ltd website. If you don’t, you will not be able to attend your appointment.
      Once you have registered on this site, Teleperformance can contact you if they need more information about your application.
      Step 3: Purchase Optional Added Value Services

      Registration on the Teleperformance website will allow you to choose and pay for a range of added value services that are provided at this visa location. See value added services page on website for more information. Important note: you need to print and show the receipt(s) of payment of Added Value Services which you purchased when submitting your visa application file at the visa centre. At the Visa Application Centre, every visa applicant MUST show the printed receipt(s) of payment of Added Value Services purchased on uk.tlscontact.com.
      You will also be able to pay for your appointment if you are required to pay to use the visa centre that you have chosen.
      These services are optional. They are not necessary for you to complete your application and do not influence the outcome.
      Step 4: Prepare Your Documents For Your Appointment

      When you attend your appointment at the Visa Application Centre, you will be need to bring a number of documents with you. These include printed copies of your appointment confirmation, printed receipt(s) of payment of Added Value Services if applicable, original documents, online application form, passport, and any other documents you want considered
      You will need to decide for yourself which documents best show you meet the Immigration Rules. For suggestions about the additional types of documents you might bring, see gov.uk
      If you have documents that are not in English or Welsh, you need to provide a full translation that can be independently verified by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
      Each translation must include a signed statement from the translator, confirming that it accurately reflects the original document. This statement must be dated in the DD/MM/YYYY and include the translator’s full name and contact details.
      Step 5: Attend Your Appointment

      You must check in at the Visa Application Centre’s welcome desk in person at the time and date stated in your confirmation email. If you are late, you may have to rebook your appointment. This will significantly delay the application process.
      You will then be redirected to an agent who will review your documents.
      Next your photo and fingerprints, known as biometrics will be taken. Once this has been done your visa fee is no longer refundable.
      Step 6: Visa Processing and Passport Return

      You application will be considered by UKVI, part of the UK government,. Teleperformance does not make any decisions relating to your visa applications.
      UKVI may ask for more information, another document, or for you to attend an interview. If this happens, you will be contacted by email.
      Once your passport has been returned to Teleperformance, they will contact you by email and update your personal account page on the website. This email will tell you how you can collect your passport from us.
      Following your application, Teleperformance will remove your personal information from its records.
      Days Closed High Commission: 01 Jan / 21, 25, 28 Mar / 27 Apr / 02, 27, 30 May / 16 Jun / 09, 29 Aug / 16, 26, 27 Dec
      Teleperformance: 01 Jan / 21, 25, 28 Mar / 27 Apr / 02, 27, 30 May / 16 Jun / 09, 29 Aug / 16, 26, 27 Dec
      Office Hours Teleperformance: 08h30-15h30 Mon to Fri
      10h00-15h30 Mon to Fri (Passport return)
      Contact Details British High Commission (Pry)
      Physical Address : 255 Hill Street, Arcadia, Pretoria, 0028
      Tel No : 012 421 7500
      Fax No 086 535 5422
      UK Visa & Immigration – International Enquiry Service
      Tel No : 021 300 3758 or 00 44 1243 218 173
      Email Address https://ukvi-international.faq-help.com/
      *Please note: This is a paid service, at a cost per minute
      Teleperformance Ltd
      08h30-16h30 Mon to Fri
      Johannesburg : 2nd – 3rd Floor, 24 Central, 6 Gwen Lane, Corner of Gwen and Fredman Drive, Sandton
      Pretoria : 1st Floor, Menlyn Corner, Frikkie de Beer Street, Corner of Lois Avenue and Atterbury Road, Menlyn
      Durban : 3rd Floor, Office Tower, The Atrium Overport City, 430 Peter Mokaba Road
      Durban
      Cape Town : Media Quarter Building, Corner of Somerset
      Road and de Smidt Street, De Waterkant,
      Cape Town
      Port Elizabeth : Ground floor, Building 66, Fairview Office Park,
      Greenacres, Port Elizabeth
      Web Address : http://uk.tlscontact.com/
      https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa/y

  206. Hi Nick
    Firstly, Thanks to Travelstart for great service. We made a number of bookings via yourselves last Year.
    Totally Confused.
    I am trying to find out if I need a UK Visa or not. Can I travel with a “TWOV”. I basically refuse to pay for a Visa if my sole purpose is to connect to an outward flight within a couple of hours of arriving at Heathrow.
    I hold valid Visas for both USA and Canada. Last year the main leg of our flight was JNB to New York, Dublin to JNB via Munich. We booked a number of local flights separately among others Toronto to Dublin/Ireland were we spent a month before returning home. Unfortunately we missed our connection in Munich (Airlines fault) and not having a Schengen Visa had to spend the night in Munich Airport. Due to unavailability of flights (to my surprise) the Airline flew us back to Dublin the following day so that we could at least get out of the airport. One of the flights that they could offer was via Heathrow. I made it very clear that I would only accept if I got written confirmation from UK Immigration. Obviously this did not happen. A week later we flew home via Munich.
    Is the fact that we were coming from Ireland the cause of the confusion?
    My reason for asking is that we are planning a trip which could end up something like JNB to Dublin, Dublin to St.John’s Canada return. On both journeys we plan to stop over in Ireland for a period of time. The first leg of the trip as well as the last return leg could result in having to go via Heathrow. Do I or Don’t I need a Visa?
    Other than the fact that we are flying out of or into Heathrow to or from Dublin I see no reason why I need a Visa and should be able to transit “TWOV”.
    Regards Andre

    • Hi Andre,

      Thanks for getting in touch and the great feedback on our service.

      South African passport holders transiting the UK as part of their flight enroute to the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, CANADA, NEW ZEALAND or AUSTRALIA may travel via the UK under the “Transit without a Visa” (TWOV) concession. This will allow passengers to connect to the next leg of their route without a UK visa provided that the passenger.

      We do advise that passenger check with the Embassy direct or official visa handling agent as these laws could change at anytime and they would be able to give the most up to date information.

  207. Hi Marcelle
    Thanks for the feedback. I have emailed UK Immigration a few times, but it’s like talking to a robot. No matter how you put your question you seem to get the same automated reply. I will try the Embassy. If still no joy I will print all the relevant documentation and take with but I am not getting a Visa unless the current laws change.
    The fact that the decision to allow a passenger to transit without a visa (TWOV) under the scheme is decided by an immigration officer at the UK border is absolutely ridiculous to say the least.

  208. HI I am travelling to UK to transit to Republic of Ireland. I never new I needed a transit or DATV. I am leaving on the 19th. Please help. What do I do. I am based in Pretoria. The websites are confusing.

    • Hi Delana,

      thanks for getting in touch.

      You will need to contact Teleperformance the official UK visa handling agency.

      They specialize in this area and will be able to advise if they are able to assist or answer any questions you might have.

  209. I can’t find help anywhere – tried phoning the British High Commission as well as Immigration Consultant.
    We are South Africans going to Netherlands. On the way back to SA we are transiting for 2 hours in UK. Do we need transit visas?

    I would really appreciate an answer. Thanks

    • Hi Liezel,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you are flying back from Europe and transiting via the UK (flying on South African passports) you will need to apply for a UK transit visa before you depart.

      Please do so as soon as possible as the processing time for visa’s can take some time.

  210. We will be traveling to the US end June via London Heathrow (3:30 layover), we’ve got our US Visa’s. I’ve tried phoning the British High Commission as well as Immigration Consultant without success to find out if we’ll be needing transit visa’s but if i read the info on your blog is seems like we don’t need transit visa’s because we’ve got US visa’s. Am I correct?

    • Hi Theresa,

      South African passport holders transiting the UK as part of their flight en-route to the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, CANADA, NEW ZEALAND or AUSTRALIA may travel to the UK under the “Transit without a Visa” (TWOV) concession. This will allow passengers to connect to the next leg of their route without a visa provided that the passenger:

       Has a confirmed flight to the next destination (USA, Canada, New Zealand or Australia)
       Has the correct documents to enter their next destination (i.e. a valid visa to the US, Canada, New Zealand or Australia)
       Will be leaving the UK within 24 hours of arrival.

      The TWOV concession allows passengers to connect to onward flights both airside or at an alternative airport as long as the connecting flight to the onward destination is taken within 24 hours

      However we do suggest you contact the the UK Embassy just to double check as they could change rules at anytime from their side.

  211. I am travelling from South Africa to Tel Aviv in July and i Hold both an Australian and an American visa. The american visa is in my old passport and my Australian visa is in my new passport but linked to the barcode and no actual visa in the passport. Do i still require a transit visa for the transit in the airport?

    • HI Jarred,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you are referring to transiting in the UK, yes you would require a UK transit visa. Only if your flight is enroute to the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, CANADA, NEW ZEALAND or AUSTRALIA may you travel to the UK under the “Transit without a Visa” (TWOV) concession. This will allow passengers to connect to the next leg of their route without a visa provided that the passenger.

      If you are traveling to another destination and just holding the an American or an Australian visa from a previous trip this will not cover you.

      You will need to apply for a UK transit visa.

      However we do suggest you contact the British Embassy as they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  212. Dear Nik
    I am traveling in Aug 2016 to New York from Saudi Arabia. I have a South African passport and already my US visa. I will fly with British Airways via Heathrow airport, London to JFK, NY.
    Do I need a transit visa for the UK and how can I apply for it. Do you know how long it will take to get the transit visa?

    • Hi Gwen,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you are a SA passport holder who is transiting the UK as part of your flight en-route to the USA (and hold a valid US visa) you may travel via the UK under the “Transit without a visa” (TWOV) concession.

      This will allow you to connect to the next leg of your route without a visa.

      Provided you have:
       A confirmed flight to the next destination (USA)
       The correct documents to enter their next destination (USA)
       Will be leaving the UK within 24 hours of arrival.

      However these rules could change at anytime so please contact the Embassy direct for the most up to date information

  213. Hi Nick, I am travelling on British Airways on a South African passport from South Africa to USA transiting Heathrow. I have a US visa and understand I therefore don’t need a visa for UK for that leg of my journey. I then fly from the US to Dublin for a weekend and return to South Africa from Dublin and have to transit Heathrow from Dublin to get my flight to South Africa. This transit is for one hour and 15 minutes. My travel agent told me I didn’t need a UK visa for this leg, but your posts seem to suggest I might need a direct airside visa. Is this correct?
    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my query.
    Regards, Terry.

  214. Hi! I am ship crew. I do have a C1/d visa and a UK transit visa. I’m South African. Do i need a visa as i have to meet the ship in Dublin.

    • Hi Amiena,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you are asking if you need a visa when entering Republic of Ireland you do not. However I am not sure on your travel movements so I suggest you contact the Embassy direct they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  215. Good Morning
    I am travelling on a SA passport via Schipol en route to Canada in September, but on my return leg I will transit via London back to SA. Do I need a UK transit VISA as I am getting mixed messages varying from definitely yes to no?

    • Hi Marlene,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      South African passport holders transiting the UK as part of their flight en-route to the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, CANADA, NEW ZEALAND or AUSTRALIA may travel to the UK under the “Transit without a Visa” (TWOV) concession. This will allow passengers to connect to the next leg of their route without a visa provided that the passenger:
       Has a confirmed flight to the next destination (USA, Canada, New Zealand or Australia)
       Has the correct documents to enter their next destination (i.e. a valid visa to the US, Canada, New Zealand or Australia)
       Will be leaving the UK within 24 hours of arrival.
      The TWOV concession allows passengers to connect to onward flights both airside or at an alternative airport as long as the connecting flight to the onward destination is taken within 24 hours

  216. I am now totally confused please help.

    I am traveling one leg of the trip from Geneva, Switzerland via London, Hethrow to Johannesburg South Arica. I will be at Heathrow for 1.5 hours to change flights. My bags will be checked through from Geneva to Johannesburg.

    Do I need a visa for the UK?

    • HI Peli,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you are traveling on a South African passport for the route you mentioned you will be traveling, you will need to apply for a UK transit visa.

  217. Thank you for clarifying this for me.

    • Hi Peli,

      Only a pleasure. Hope it helped.

  218. Hi there, please will you assist me with the following information. My daughter is flying to the USA via Heathrow from Johannesburg, with a 5 hour layover. She will be changing terminals. She has a USA visa. She therefore does not need a transit visa on the way over to the USA. Our concern is the return trip to South Africa. Again she flies from the USA via Heathrow, with a 6 hour layover. She will be changing terminals. Does she need the transit visa for her return???

    Thank you
    Natalie

    • Hi Natalie,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      To my knowledge she will not require a transit visa for your outbound or return flight.

      However as visa regulations could change at anytime, we do advise you contact the Embassy direct as they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  219. Hi My son (16) is currently studying in Costa Rica (CR) and would like to fly from CR via the UK. The best possible route lands at Gatwick with a connecting flight from Heathrow to Jhb. The flight departing from South Africa goes via LHR to Miami then to CR. I know that I would need a US transit visa for Miami to CR. What must I do for the trip to SA and how do I get him from Gatwick to LHR.

    • Hi there Kantha,

      Thank you for getting in touch with us regarding Visa information please contact the following company that will be able to assist :

      Visa box
      Tel : 021 551 8829

      http://www.visa-box.co.za

  220. Very Confused

    This thread is so long I’m not sure if anyone has asked this yet. If so I’m sorry for the repeat.

    I’m traveling through Heathrow to Stuttgart with a schengen visa. I’ll be spending less then 4hrs in Heathrow. Do I still need a transit visa? is there a number I can call to get more information?

    thanks

    • Hi there TJ Smith,

      Please be advised that we do not advise on Visas however you may contact Visa box Tel : 021 551 8829 http://www.visa-box.co.za, for further information. -Stacey

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