Everything You Should Know About the UK Transit Visa

Travelling from South Africa via the United Kingdom and feeling a little confused about whether or not you need a transit visa? The frequent changes to visa and immigration policies have made travelling to and transiting through the UK a rather confusing affair even for the most seasoned travellers.

But this post will answer some of the frequently asked questions about the UK Transit Visa and hopefully shed some light on this widely misunderstood visa.

This information applies to South African passport holders.

london big ben

Photo credit: @arikannbusra via Instagram

Types of UK Transit Visas?

There are two types of transit visas for the United Kingdom:

A Direct Airside Transit Visa (DATV) is valid for 24 hours and does not allow you to pass through the UK Border Control (i.e. you must remain ‘airside’). This transit visa allows you to pass through the transit channels and requires that you depart from the same airport on the same day. The DATV is perfect if you are travelling to Europe and need to catch a connecting flight in the United Kingdom.

Find out more about the Direct Airside Transit Visa.

A Visitor in Transit Visa is valid for 48 hours and allows you to change terminals and pass through the UK Border Control. The Visitor in Transit visa is designed for travellers who need to re-check their luggage or catch a connecting flight at a different airport (e.g. If you land at Gatwick Airport and your onward flight departs from Heathrow Airport). You will only be allowed to stay in the UK for 48 hours.

Find out more about the Visitor in Transit Visa.

edinburgh

Photo credit: @matt_wenlock via Instagram

Who needs a UK Transit Visa?

You will need a transit visa if you have to pass through border control. You will pass through border control if:

  • you leave the airport building for any reason
  • you need to collect and re-check your luggage
  • your connecting flight departs from a different airport
  • your connecting flight departs on a different day to when you arrive
  • there is nowhere for you to stay in the airport overnight
  • you are transiting through the UK to get to Ireland

Note: You may need to re-check your luggage if you have connecting flights on different airlines.

If you want to leave the airport and visit friends or family, or just spend some time exploring the country, you can apply for a UK Visitor Visa.

brighton pier

Photo credit: @mattissima via Instagram

Who does not need a UK Transit Visa?

You do not need a transit visa if you:

  • have a valid visa for Australia, New Zealand, Canada, or the USA
  • have a valid Visitor Visa or residency permit for the UK

Note: If you have a valid visa for Australia, New Zealand, Canada, or the USA and your final destination is one of those countries, or you are simply transiting through them to get to another country, you will not need a transit visa. You will, however, need to be departing on the same day and have proof of an onward flight and all the relevant documents. This is known as “Transit Without Visa”.

london city

Photo credit: @arikannbusra via Instagram

How much is a UK Transit Visa?

Direct Airside Transit visa – about R659 (£35)

Visitor in Transit visa – about R1,205 (£64)

How long is a UK Transit Visa valid for?

Transit visas for the UK are usually valid for 6 months and allow multiple entries as long as your future trips meet the same criteria as the original transit trip (e.g. you cannot leave the airport if you were granted a Direct Airside Transit Visa). You will also be allowed to do a reverse journey with the visa (i.e. the same visa can be used on your return trip).

scotland

Photo credit: @pakhye_ via Instagram

How to apply for a UK Transit Visa?

The application process for a UK Transit Visa is the same as the UK Visitor Visa. It is done online through the GOV.UK website.

You will need to:

  • fill in the application form and answer in English
  • pay the visa fee online
  • print out your completed application form
  • book and attend your appointment at a visa application centre

Find a visa application centre

For the UK Transit Visa application, you will need:

  • A valid passport
  • A flight booking (email or copy of tickets)
  • A valid visa for the country for which you are departing the UK

Need assistance with your visa? Get a free visa quote from our expert partners at Visa Box!

canterbury kent

Photo credit: @froschgruen via Instagram

We hope this cleared up some of the confusion surrounding the UK Transit Visa. Now, all that’s left to do is book your flights and get ready to live out your travel dreams!

If you are worried about your visa being rejected and losing your money on flights, you might be interested in our Visa Denied Service. It offers a full refund of airfare and taxes if your visa is denied.

canterbury

Photo credit: @lisa_dominioni88 via Instagram

If you have any questions about the UK Transit Visa, contact your nearest visa application centre or the British Consulate.

And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to receive more travel information like this, and get the latest flight specials sent straight to your inbox.

Featured image credit: @itsjudear via Instagram

Disclaimer

All information on this blog page was correct at the time of publishing and may change at any time without prior notice. Travelstart is not affiliated with immigration authorities or their application centres and will not be liable for loss or inconvenience arising from the use of this volatile information.

Our Readers Comments

  1. I am entering the UK on a Tier Two visa which expires on July 26. My flight back home to SA leaves from Heathrow on August 31 (I didn’t realise when booking the flight home that the Tier Two visa is so strict and only valid for 2 weeks longer than the sponsorship letter). I plan to leave the UK before my visa expires and go somewhere like Ireland or Turkey, then fly back to Heathrow from there on August 31 to catch my flight home. According to their rules, I’ll need a transit visa, but what would the consequences be of not having a transit visa? Deportation? But I’m en route home anyway! Thanks.

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You won’t be allowed to board your first flight out of South Africa. If a passenger does not have all the relevant documents: visa’s, transit visa’s, passport valid 6 months from date of return, 2 blank pages, names and surname on ticket matching whats showing on the passport etc, the passenger will be denied boarding for their first flight.

  2. Hi,
    I am khan, travelling to canada having pakistani passport with stamped of visit visa with four family member.
    I was booking the tickets from British airway from Riyadh to Toronto but noticed there is flight transfer from LHR to LGW, transit time is 6 hours , please advise Should I go for Trasit visa or not need. UK board Immigration services are allow me to transfer the air port. thanks

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid we do not specialise in visa related queries for foreign passport holders. Please contact the Embassy direct or official visa handling agency. They will be able to advise if a visa or transit visa is required and if so what the cost would be, correct procedures to follow and what documentation will be required.

  3. Hi there,

    I am traveling to the US (valid visa) and would like to visit family in the UK for 4 days, would I need a transit visa.

    Thanks

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You would need to apply for a tourist visa if you are staying in the UK for 4 days.

  4. Hi there!

    I am a South African passport holder and will be traveling to Berlin via Heathrow. I have a multiple entry schengen visa, so i would like to find out if i will need a transit visa for uk even though im not going to leave the airport?

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      UK does not fall under the Schengen states. If you are in transit (even though you are not leaving the airport) you will need to apply for a UK transit visa.

  5. Good afternoon, I am a South African passport holder and will be travelling via Heathrow to Canada with a 10 hours layover at Heathrow. I have a valid Canadian visa, with proff of a connecting flight as well as paid for accommodation in Canada. Will I be able to leave Heathrow airport for the day to visit with a friend, can I do so without a UK visa?

    • Hi Brigitte,

      Thanks for getting in touch. If you are wanting to leave the airport you will then need to apply for a UK tourist visa.

  6. hi there,
    We are travelling to Rome from South Africa in June. We land at Terminal 5 (Heathrow) off our BA flight and connect to our British Airways Rome flight, also in Terminal 5. Do we need a Direct Airside Transit Visa for this change in flight? We hold SA passports.
    Thanks
    Lesley

    • Hi Lesley,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      To my knowledge you will require a transit visa if flying to Europe via the UK.

      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 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.

  7. Hi,
    I am a Lebanese citizen residing in Qatar, and I’m planning to go to Brazil via London Heathrow. Do I need a transit visa?

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid we do not specialise in visa related queries for foreign passport holders. Please contact the Embassy direct or official visa handling agency. They will be able to advise if a visa or transit visa is required and if so what the cost would be, correct procedures to follow and what documentation will be required.

  8. My wife is travelling on British Airways to USA, from Lagos. She is also passing the same route on her return journey. Does she need a transit visa? I already read that with a valid USA Visa, there is no need for a transit visa but I just need this confirmed, to be on a safe side. Thanks.

    • Hi there,

      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 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.

  9. I am a Indian passport holder traveling from Mumbai to Hamburg with layover of 3 hr at LHR. My Mumbai to LHR flight land on T5 and LHR to Hamburg flight departure is also from T5.
    Do I require a UK transit visa ?

    • Hi Raju,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      I’m afraid we do not specialise in visa related queries for foreign passport holders. For this we ask you to please contact the Embassy direct or official visa handling agency. They will be able to advise if a visa or transit visa is required and if so what the cost would be, correct procedures to follow and what documentation will be required.

  10. Thank you for the amazing post, just want to check something. I am travelling to Atlanta via London Heathrow on the 11th arriving T3 departing T5. But have a good few hours between flights and want to go into London for brunch with friends. I have a US Visa and a UK 2 year multi entry visitors visa (C) which is still valid. As I am flying on the same airline and will check my luggage through, can i go through immigration on this visa even though I am departing the same day and therefore leave the airport. Do I need any of the transit visas on top of the two visa’s i have already. Just want to make sure i get through to my final destination.

    • Hi Sheldon,

      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 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.

  11. Hello!
    My wife has Ukrainian passport and Canadian permanent resident status. She has also Shen-gen visa. We fly from Canada to Israel through London and need to change Airport in London.
    Does she need transit visa?
    Thank you.

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid we do not specialise in visa related queries for foreign passport holders. Please contact the Embassy direct or official visa handling agency. They will be able to advise if a visa or transit visa is required and if so what the cost would be, correct procedures to follow and what documentation will be required.

  12. Good day I will be traveling to Canada via Heathrow for which I have a valid visa in June 2019 but will first attend a conference in Sweden before the trip also traveling through Heathrow but don’t intend to leave the airport Do I need a transit UK visa for the two transits and which of the 2 types of visas do I need? I am not sure if I need to go through border control or not?

    • HI Engela,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      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 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.

      However if you hold a Canadian Visa and travelling via the UK to Sweden you will need to contact the Embassy or official visa handling agency to see if your visa will cover you while in transit in the UK or if you would need to apply for a UK transit visa.

  13. Hi
    We are planning a cruise from Copenhagen to Barcelona. We stop in Southampton and Gibraltar for a few hours. Using an RSA passport what visa will We need for these two stops. We will also have schengen visas.

    Brian

    • Hi Brian,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      Interesting question, I would think still a tourist visa and not a transit visa. However best to contact the official visa handling agency or Embassy direct for the most up to date information.

  14. Hi,

    I am travelling from South Africa to Dublin, Ireland with a lay-over in London, Heathrow. And I also have a valid tourist visa for the USA expiring in 2020.

    I will arrive with Virgin Atlantic, Flight VS452 in London Heathrow, on the 5th July 2019 at 08h00 and my connecting flight is at 09h50 via Aer Lingus EI155 (so the lay-over is 1 hour, 50 min if not less) and arrive in Dublin at 11h20.

    The return flight is on Monday, 8th July at 17h00 from Dublin on Aer Lingus EI176 to London, Heathrow and I will arrive on Monday, 8th July 2019 at 18h20. The connecting flight will be from London, Heathrow on Virgin Atlantic VS449 at 20h05 (so a lay-over of 1 hour, 45 min maximum)

    What kind of UK transit visa do I require?

    Kind Regards
    Lizette

    • Hi Lizette,

      If you travelling to the USA via the UK I know the US visa will cover you while in transit. Things could have changed where if you travelling to Europe and you have a valid US visa it will now also cover you while in transit in the UK.

      However we recommend you contact the official visa handling agency or Embassy direct, they will advise if this is the case or if you need to apply for a UK transit visa.

  15. Hi, I’m in the same situation as the question asked by Marc on February 15, 2019. (South African passport, Johannesburg to Dublin with a 2 hour layover in Heathrow, and no baggage re-check required).

    Would I need a Direct Airside Transit visa, or a Visitor in Transit Visa?

    Also when following the visa check steps on the gov.uk website, I land up on this page:
    https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa/y/south-africa/transit/republic_of_ireland

    Which says you need a full-on standard visitor visa? it’s all very confusing…

    Thanks appreciate the help.

    • Hi Dane,

      What is the difference between Landside and Airside at the airport?
      Airports are divided into landside and airside areas.
       Landside:
      Refers to the area of the airport that you would have access to before Immigration Control:
      a. If you are going to be taking a flight, landside would be the area that you are leaving when you go through security and immigration to board your flight. Or
      b. If you’re connecting to another flight at a different airport, it would be the area of the airport that you enter after Immigration Control to take your taxi or transport to the airport in question.
      In simple terms, landside would be the area that you would say goodbye to friends/ family that are not travelling with you, and where people would receive you upon arrival.
       Airside:
      Refers to the section of the airport that you have access to after going through Immigration Control:
      a. If you are taking a flight, airside would be the area that you are entering when you are about to board the plane.
      b. If you’re connecting to another international flight at a different airport, it will be the area that you leave when you go through immigration control.
      c. Connecting to International flights at the same airport will be on the airside.
      In simple terms, airside would be the area that in most cases, you would be able to make duty free purchases.

      Please go to http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/ for more information or feel free to contact us on 0861 837 221 or at PTA.VisaEnquiries@fco.gov.uk.

  16. Hi. I am planning to go to Canada on touristnvisa. I have SA passport. Will I need a transit visa for Heathrow.

    • Hi Tracey,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      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 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 this information could change at anytime so we do recommend you contact the Embassy or official visa handling agency direct to get the most up to date information.


  17. I stayed overstaying three years ago in UK. in now can I pass through London in transit with Canada visa???

    • Hi there,

      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 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 if you have overstayed on a previous visa this is kept on record. It is up to the discretion of the airline and the check-in agent / manager on duty if you are allowed to board your first flight. We are not able to advise on this.

  18. Hello,
    I’m traveling to Bahamas from Cairo for work
    And I’ve got Bahamas Visa and a direct airside transit Visa through Heathrow airport, but I’ve a transit in Heathrow for 22 hours from 12 PM until 10 AM the following day, and I read that it’s valid for 24 hours from my arrival in the UK also I’ll arrive on terminal 5 and will leave from the same terminal, Is everything okay or no ?

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you have a valid transit visa this should cover you while in transit. However we recommend you contact the Embassy or official visa handling agency direct to get confirmation before you travel.

  19. Hi there,

    I am P. R of China citizen with US green card. I am going to Sweden for business and have Schengen visa. My flight is transit through London and have only 2 hours overlay (no luggage checkout) at London airport before flying to Sweden. In this case, do I still need transit visa for UK?

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid we do not specialise in visa related queries for foreign passport holders. Please contact the Embassy direct or official visa handling agency. They will be able to advise if a transit visa is required and if so what the cost would be, correct procedures to follow and what documentation will be required.

  20. Hi,

    Thanks for the detailed information. I have a question. My parents are flying from India to Germany(Schengen Tourist visa) via UK Heathrow. Additionally, they hold valid USA tourist visa for 10 years. Do they still need to apply for UK transit visa? There is no clear information as to what category of USA visa is allowed to travel without transit visa. Any help on this would be appreciated.
    Thanks!

    • Hi Sherya,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      Please contact the Embassy direct as they will be able to provide you with the correct and most up to date information.

      As visa information changes all the time, the Embassy or official visa handling agency will be able to advise accordingly.

  21. Hi could you please tell me how much a transit visa is thanks.

    • Hi Allison,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      You welcome to read through our blog: Everything You Should Know About the UK Transit Visa

      http://www.travelstart.co.za/blog/uk-transit-visa/

      Here we provide all the relevant information. However visa rules and cost could change at anytime so we do recommend you contact the Embassy or official visa handling agency as they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  22. Hi, thanks for the information. I’m traveling to the UK from Jamaica, I’m a cruise ship worker will be joining the ship in Southampton. Please if u can tell me if I will be needing a Transit visa?

    • Hi there,

      This depends on what passport you would be travelling on. If you are travelling on a South African passport and in transit in the UK, you would need to apply.

      Please contact the Embassy or official visa handling agency, they will be able to assist and answer any visa related queries you have.

  23. Hi,

    Thanks for this article. Really helpful! I am AJ, travelling from India through British Airways to the US and have a layover of 8.5 hrs in Heathrow Airport. And, I would like to leave the airport and spend some time exploring the city. I have a B1/B2 US visa (business/tourism) valid for 10 years. Therefore, do I need to apply for UK Transit Visa? If yes, can I apply online? How much time it takes to apply for the visa from the airport itself? Any additional information would be highly appreciated on the above context.

    Thank you so much in advance.

    Regards,
    AJ

    • Hi there,

      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 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.

      However this transit visa will not allow you to leave the airport. If you wish to leave the airport you will have to pass through immigration and need to apply for a tourist visa.

      You welcome to read through our blog: Everything You Should Know About the UK Transit Visa here we provide information on how to apply for a visa. One is not able to say how long it will take this will depend on the Embassy.

  24. Hi am South African with a German residence permit, i need to fly via Heathrow to China for work.Do i need a Transit Visa? Were are flying from Berlin to Terminal
    5 and then to China from the same Terminal.

    • Hi Carmen,

      If you are flying on our South African passport and in transit in the UK on you way to China you will need to apply for a UK transit visa. They look at the passport you are travelling even if you hold a permit for another country.

      However to get the most up to date information please contact the Embassy or official visa handling agency, they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  25. I will be travelling to USA on May 16 but I have a layover in Gatwick Airport in London. According to your blog. If I have a valid USA Visa Then I don’t need a transit visa. And if I’m travelling to usa then i don’t need a transit visa. So i don’t need a transit visa?

    • Hi Rox,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      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 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.

  26. Hi there need clarity
    I’m zambian national and passport holder,i intend to fly from OR joburg transit through Heathrow london without leaving the airport/go through border control to connect the next flight to the bahamas in 2 hours upon upon my arrive in Uk.I was wondering if i need a visa if am flying on south african airline

    • Hi Johnson,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid we do not specialise in visa related queries for foreign passport holders. Please contact the Embassy direct or official visa handling agency. They will be able to advise if a visa or transit visa is required and if so what the cost would be, correct procedures to follow and what documentation will be required.

  27. Hi

    Please advise. I am travelling from South Africa to France on a South African passport. I have to transit in the UK at Heathrow for 2 hours for my connecting flight to France. I obviously need to apply for a UK transit visa. The UK visa site (Gov.uk) states I cannot apply unless I have a Schengen Visa. When speaking to CAPAGO, the official french visa service, they will only supply a Schengen visa once I have a UK Transit visa. How does one arrange this as after several phone calls/emails I am at a total loss? Your help would be so appreciated.

    • Hi Grant,

      Sorry to hear the complications you are going through to get your visa’s. I would suggest contacting the French Embassy direct to see what they advise.

      I’m afraid we don’t specialise in visa’s so best to contact the Embassy direct instead of the official visa handling agency and see what they advise.

      Hope you come right.

  28. Hi there,

    We (south african passport holders) will be flying to Vienna with BA, stopping over at Heathrow terminal 5 and flying out to Vienna via terminal 3 within 24 hours (and same on the return trip). Would we require the Direct Airside Transit visa or the Visitor in Transit visa?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Jeanne,

      If you are flying to Europe and via the UK you will need to apply for a transit visa.

      Please contact the official visa handling agency direct. They will be able to provide you with the most up to date information on correct procedures to follow when applying, what documents are required when applying and the cost.

  29. I will be travelling from Atlanta, Georgia to Venice, Italy with my wife. I’m a US Citizen. My wife is from Kazakhstan but she has a US permanent resident (Green Card). Our flight leave from Atlanta and stops in London Heathrow and then from Heathrow on to Venice. I’ve travelled through Heathrow a few times and I remember that you need to get on a bus and then change terminals but I can’t remember if there were passport controls or not, I just remember the baggage scanners. Would my wife need a transit visa?

    • Hi Greg,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Even if you don’t pass through passport control or don’t have to collect luggage. Some citizens of certain countries will require a transit visa if you are flying via the UK and in transit.

      Please contact the Embassy direct or official visa handling agency. They will be able to advise if a transit visa is required (while in transit) and if so what the cost would be, correct procedures to follow and what documentation will be required. They Embassy look at the passport you are travelling on.

  30. hi i am younas from pakistan. i have a barazil visa i want to stay in london for 4 days.how i can stay in london.

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You would need to apply for a UK visa. Please contact the Embassy or official visa handling agency. They will be able to advise one what documents would be required why applying for the visa, the correct procedures to follow and the cost.

  31. Hello,
    I’am an Albanian citizen holding an Albanian passport and Canadian Visa, and have my ticket with transit in London Heathrow airport.
    My flight is with Lufthansa Tirana Franfurt London Ottawa.
    Do I need transit visa in Uk. The arrival and departure are from the same terminal.
    Thank you

    • Hi Linda,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid we do not specialise in visa related queries for foreign passport holders. Please contact the Embassy direct or official visa handling agency. They will be able to advise if a visa or transit visa is required and if so what the cost would be, correct procedures to follow and what documentation will be required.

  32. Hi there..On flights from Miami/Heathrow/Johannesburg on 4 July 2019. Layover in Heathrow 13 hours 07h00 to20h00..S A Citizen holding a USA Visa. Intend taking in some London sights during this layover. Does the “Transit without visa “apply if I wish to leave the airport terminal through immigration etc? or must I apply for a Transit Visa or Tourist visa? Time in U.K. 13 hours Thanks ..

    • Hi Alan,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      If you are wanting to leave the airport / pass immigration and later return that day, to my knowledge you would need to apply for a UK tourist visa.

      However we do recommend you contact the Embassy or official handling agency direct, they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  33. If I have a valid Canadian tourist visa and am passing through the UK (i.e. I have one day in the UK) and would like to leave the airport – do I need a transit visa?

    • Hi Lauren,

      Thanks for getting in touch. If you are wanting to leave the airport to my knowledge you would then need to apply for a tourist visa.

      However please contact the Embassy or official visa handling agency direct. They will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  34. Hi,
    My mother-in-law is on a South African passport flying to France from Cape Town on BA via London, Heathrow return. She will have a Schengen visa for France. Her layover in London, Heathrow between flights on the return leg is 24 hours and she would like to leave the airport to sleep and return the next day to resume flight out of London, Heathrow to Cape Town. Does she qualify for a Transit Visa in this s case or does she require a tourist visa?
    Apologies if already asked,
    Thanks,
    James

    • Hi James,

      To my knowledge no she would not qualify for a transit visa. If she is flying in and out of Heathrow Airport and wants to leave the airport she would need to apply for a tourist visa, so to pass through immigration.

      However please contact the Embassy or official visa handling agency direct. And they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  35. I’m a Philippine passport holder, travelling to US for a visit visa from Qatar on May 17, 2019 and I have a layover for 3 hours at Heathrow Airport, London with British Airways. I have no plan to go outside of the airport. Do I need to get transit visa for that?

    • Hi Eugene,

      I’m afraid we do not specialise in visa related queries for foreign passport holders. Please contact the Embassy direct or official visa handling agency. They will be able to advise if a visa or transit visa is required and if so what the cost would be, correct procedures to follow and what documentation will be required. However to my knowledge you would. Even if you are only in transit.

      However I recommend you contact the Embassy direct and they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  36. Hi,
    I am a Chinese passprot holder, and i hold the long-term residence permission issued by Swedish immigration board. I am planning to travel from Gothenburg in Sweden to Hong Kong via London Heathrow, and in LHR, i am changing the airline from British Airways to Cathay Pacific, it may need me to re-check the luggage. I just wanna ask whether i need to apply for DATV if i need transit in LHR.

    • Hi Tianyi,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid we do not specialise in visa related queries for foreign passport holders. Please contact the Embassy direct or official visa handling agency. They will be able to advise if a transit visa is required and if so what the cost would be, correct procedures to follow and what documentation will be required.

  37. Hi There,

    I have a South African passport and flying with BA direct Durban to Heathrow, then on the same evening 2 hours later flying Heathrow to Ireland/Dublin. Would I need to get a Visa for this? Much appreciated.

    • Hi Marc,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      Yes you will need to apply for a UK transit visa if you are flying via the UK from South Africa to Dublin on a South African passport.

  38. I am an Indian passport holder, travelling to US on a visit visa and have a stop over at Heathrow airport, London, for 6-7 hours. My brother stays in London. Can I visit him? I don’t want to opt for UK Visitor Visa as it costs very high. What other visa I can go for and how can I apply it?

    Thanks,

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid we do not specialise in visa related queries for foreign passport holders. Please contact the Embassy direct or official visa handling agency. They will be able to advise if a visa or transit visa is required and if so what the cost would be, correct procedures to follow and what documentation will be required.

  39. Hi,
    This is preethi. I have to travel from Toulouse to Dubai on march 16th 2019 through LHR(London Heathrow) with British airways. In LHR I have to change the terminal from 3 to 5 and the layover is 3.55 hrs and I have no plan to go outside of the airport. Do I need to get transit visa for that? Please clarify

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you are a South African passport holder travelling from France to Dubai via the UK and are in transit, you will need to apply for a transit visa.

  40. Hi Marcelle, thank you for your post. I am a Chinese passport holder and I am also an Australian permanent resident. I will fly from Australia and stay one night in London, then forward to Paris. I have two enquiries: 1. I read the http://www.gov.uk and noticed that UK doesn’t accept Australia e-visa. But Australia do not issue visa label since 2015. Do you have any idea what kind of documents UK will accept? 2. Could you confirm the max hours I can stay in UK? Same day or 24 hours or 48 hours? Thanks a lot.

    • Hi Maureen,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      I’m afraid we do not specialise in visa related queries for foreign passport holders. I would suggest to please contact the Embassy direct or official visa handling agency. They will be able to advise what visa is required and answer any other visa related queries you might have.

  41. Hi

    I have a valid US visitor Visa. I am traveling from SA with a SAn passport to USA both ways am transiting via UK, upon my return from US to SA I have a UK 15 hours layover. Do I need to get a transiting visa for UK? I would like to explore London in that 15 hours.

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      If you are wanting to leave the airport you will need to apply for a tourist visa allowing you to pass through immigration.

      Please contact the UK Embassy or official visa handling agency for the most up to date information.

  42. Hello,

    Holding a d -visa (dependant visa to germany). Do I require a transit visa to uk if i travel via london to hamberg.

    pls clarify.

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Germany falls under the Schengen state. One would need to apply for a Schengen visa when visiting Germany. I’m afraid UK does not fall under the Schengen States.

      For any further information please contact the UK Embassy or official visa handling agency for the UK and they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  43. Hi, I am an Indian passport holder with valid Canadian visa, and will be traveling from Mumbai to Toronto via Heathrow. I have a layover of 19 hours at Heathrow, so in the meantime want to explore London. So do I need to apply separately for a transit visa?

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid we do not specialise in visa related queries for foreign passport holders. Please contact the Embassy direct or official visa handling agency. They will be able to advise if a visa or transit visa is required and if so what the cost would be, correct procedures to follow and what documentation will be required.

  44. Good day

    I am traveling via Heathrow en route to Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. I have a 4 hour stop over and all my flights are with British Airways. I have a South African passport and a valid US visa but this route does not pass through the USA.

    Would I need a transit visa to pass through or am I still covered by the US visa or proof of onward journey(and same airlines, same day)?

    Much appreciated

    • Hi Steph,

      I’ve heard if you have a valid US visa and not actually trying to the USA this should still cover you while travelling via the UK. However, this is not a guarantee and rules change. I would recommend you contact the Embassy direct to get the most up to date information.

  45. Hi, my (south african passport) daughter is studying in the USA on an F1 student visa. If she flies from USA to SA via Heathrow, will she need a transit visa? This will determine which airline we use…. thank you

    • Hi Michele,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      For this you would need to contact the Embassy direct to see if your daughters US student visa will cover her while in transit in the UK.

      They will be able to provide you with the correct and most up to date information.

  46. Hello
    I have a friend who is travrlling from ecuador to edinburg.She have the uk visa but the ticket is with a transit in madrid.She have ecuador passpprt and i want to know if with uk visa a person can pass as transit in europe

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      The UK is not part of the Schengen State so this visa would not cover one if they are travelling through Europe.

      I’m afraid we do not specialise in visa related queries for foreign passport holders. Please contact the Embassy direct or official visa handling agency. They will be able to advise if a visa or transit visa is required and if so what the cost would be, correct procedures to follow and what documentation will be required.

  47. We are travelling to the Netherlands on 22 May until 17 July. During this period we would like to visit England.
    what do we need and where can we apply for the necessary documents?
    We have valid Shengen Visas.

  48. Hi,

    I have an Indian passport and travelling from USA to India transit through LHR airport by British airways/American airlines.
    The layover is 3 hrs and I have no plan of going out of the airport.
    Can you please tell me if I need a transit Visa?

    Thanks,
    Dipu

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid we do not specialise in visa related queries for foreign passport holders. Please contact the Embassy direct or official visa handling agency. They will be able to advise if a visa or transit visa is required and if so what the cost would be, correct procedures to follow and what documentation will be required.

  49. Have applied for transit visa it’s more than 15 working days now no new or email from the Embassy from 19th nov 2018 the only mail I got from the Embassy was 26th November they are working on my visa

  50. how long does it generally take for a visitor in transit visa to arrive, i applied on the 21st of november and am supposed to leave for Ireland on the 14th of december, just hoping i get it back in time

    • Hi Jess,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      They say it usually takes 3 weeks, however it could be longer if it is over peak season (School holidays where they receive most of their applications)

      We hope you receive it soonest.

  51. Hi
    i am traveling from Nigeria through London Heathrow to Barbados.
    I know i need Direct Airside transit visa. The question is can apply for the the visa on getting to the airport?

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      This depend on what passport you are travelling on.

      For this I would recommend you please contact the Embassy direct or official visa handling agency. They will be able to advise if a visa or transit visa is required and if so what the cost would be, correct procedures to follow and what documentation will be required.

  52. Hi,

    Thanks for your post. I am a Nigerian passport holder. I’m travelling to Lagos from JFK, 3hr stopover at Heathrow, same-day departure. I have a valid Canadian Visa, would I still need a UK transit visa?

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid we do not specialise in visa related queries for foreign passport holders. Please contact the Embassy direct or official visa handling agency. They will be able to advise if a visa or transit visa is required and if so what the cost would be, correct procedures to follow and what documentation will be required.

  53. Hi please guide me I m travelling from Toronto Canada to India and my halt is 21 hours at Heathrow Airport London . Do I need transit visa but I’m not going outside I m student and studying in Canada . I also have Canadian valid visa for 3 years

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      This will depend on what passport you are travelling on.

      Please contact the Embassy or official visa handling agency. Provide them with your route and passport details. They will be able to advise accordingly.

  54. Hi there,

    if you are transiting through the UK, do I need a visa going to South Africa from Ireland

    • Hi there,

      If you are travelling on a South African passport from Ireland to South Africa and transiting through the UK you will need to apply for a transit visa.

  55. Hi, we have been booked on a cruise ship in the Caribbean for 28 days from 13 December 2018. We land in Heathrow, depart at Gatwick on the same day. We have applied and payed for 2 Visa in Transits but are still awaiting our official flight schedules from cruise company as they are booking everything for us. I have supplied all other documents necessary. Should we be worried that the visa will be denied due to lack of a copy of the flight tickets? We leave in 4 weeks?

    • Hi Nico,

      When applying for a visa, what ever documents the Embassy require needs to be submitted. If some documents have been left out, this could have implications if the Embassy will grant the visa or not.

  56. Hi There–NEED HELP..
    I am a South African passport holder with an Irish work visa/permit.(non EEA document)
    I normally fly SA/Ireland and back via Paris (no visa required)
    I am currently in Ireland and want to fly to SA in December–the cheaper flights are via Heathrow–Do i need a to apply for a DATV (Direct Airside Transit Visa) ? or is my non EEA work permit sufficient documentation to get my connecting flight in Heathrow to SA?

    Many thanks!!

    • Hi Andre,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      To my knowledge you would need to apply for a UK transit visa if you are transiting through the UK. Even if you have a work visa for Ireland, you would be travelling on a South African passport.

      For the most up to date information you can contact the Embassy or official visa handling agency.

  57. Hi I booked a flight with British airways from Amsterdam to Heathrow. I will then have a 2 hour transition time and then take a flight with Virgin Atlantic to New Delhi. I am unsure if I have to pass through immigration control to go and re-check my bags for my second flight or if they will be connected to my second flight automatically. Where can I obtain this information as it depends on what type of visa I require?

    • Hi there,

      You welcome to contact the airline direct and give them your airline booking number. They will be able to advise accordingly.

      For any visa related queries please contact the Embassy or official visa handling agency direct to get the most up to date info on what visa you would need to apply for. They can advise on the correct procedures to follow when applying, what documents you need to submit and the cost.

  58. Hello,

    I am a Peruvian citizen and I have a US Green Card. I will travel to Czech Republic but i have a layover for 1 hour in London and then forward flight to Czech Republic. Do i need a transit visa?

    • Hi Claudia,

      I’m afraid we do not specialise in visa related queries for foreign passport holders. Please contact the Embassy direct or official visa handling agency. They will be able to advise if a visa or transit visa is required and if so what the cost would be, correct procedures to follow and what documentation will be required.

  59. we are egyptian family, we will book flight ticket to rio de janiro and will transit in london and we hold usa visa
    do we need tansit visa as usa is not our final destination

    • Hi there,

      I’m afraid we do not specialise in visa related queries for foreign passport holders. Please contact the Embassy direct or official visa handling agency. They will be able to advise if a visa or transit visa is required and if so what the cost would be, correct procedures to follow and what documentation needed when applying.

  60. Hi,
    I am transiting through Heathrow to Barcelona with British Airways. Bags will be booked all the way through to Barcelona. I arrive in Heathrow and depart from Heathrow on the same day. Layover approximately 2hrs. I have a change of Terminals. Will I need a UK transit VISA?

    • Hi Tracy,

      If you are a South African passport holder and transiting through the UK to Barcelona you would need to apply for a UK transit visa.

  61. We are landing in London on our way to reykvajek, I want to visit my cousin for the day. Which Visa must I apply for?

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You will need to apply for a tourist visa.

  62. Thank you so much for your post! It is very timely for the planning of our trip!
    We’re planning to go to Paris (our Schengen visas are ready), but we’re landing at Heathrow. We don’t have visa for the UK, as it’s only easier for travel-time. Do we need a travel visa to take the chunnel to Paris?

    • Hi there,

      If you are transiting through the UK you will need to apply for a UK visa. If you are passing through immigration in the UK you will also need a UK visa.

      Please the official visa handling agency for the UK for any further information. You can provide them with your itinerary and they will advise you on what visa to apply for, the correct procedures to follow, the documents required when applying and cost involved.

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