If you’re looking to make a smooth start to your journey, you need to make sure you have the right documents, such as a valid passport and the relevant visas. So if you are travelling to any other country via the United Kingdom, you might require a UK Transit Visa.
The Transit visa process is a little complicated one. To help, we’ve summarised some of the key considerations and requirements here.
What is a UK Transit Visa?
A UK Transit Visa is a permit that enables the holder to travel to any other country visa the United Kingdom. For example, if you are an Indian Passport holder traveling from Delhi to New York, with a layover in London, you may require a UK Transit Visa.
What are the types of UK Transit Visas?
There are TWO main categories of Transit Visa. Before we explain you the types of UK Transit Visas, keep the following terms in mind:
1. Airside: Airside is the area of an airport where your flight arrives. The area is beyond the customs control and security checks and you don’t have to go through the Border Control or Immigration procedures. If you arrive at London Heathrow, and your next flight is from the same airport, which doesn’t require you to leave the airport premises, you are on the airside.
2. Landside: The Landside of the airport is the area of the airport which is open to the general public without any restrictions. This show requires the passenger to cross-Border Control and undergo the Immigration Procedures in order to board their next connecting flight. For example, if you arrive at the London Heathrow airport and your next flight to your final destination is from London Gatwick airport, then you will be required to leave the airport and go the other airport.
Types of UK Transit Visa:
- Direct Airside Transit Visa (DATV) – You will need this type of visa when you land in UK and if you are from outside European Economic Area (EEA). The DATV visa is needed when you have a layover for a few hours and then take a flight to your final destination from the same airport. DATV is valid only for 24 hours.
- Visitor in Transit Visa– This visa is required by those passengers who need to change their airport or leave the airport premises and again go through the Immigration procedure. The passengers issued this visa are allowed to stay within the UK for 48 hours.
Note: If your layover in the UK is for more than 48 hours, then you will need a Standard Visitor Visa.
Documents required to apply for UK Transit Visa
To apply for a DATV, there are certain set of documents that you will need. Here is a document checklist:
You will need to provide a proof that you are allowed to enter the country you are travelling to, such as:
- A residence permit
- Green card
- Valid visa
In case you are not a resident of the country you are further travelling to, in that case you will be required show the following documents:
- Passport with a validity of at least 6 months
- Explain the sole purpose of your visit to that country
- Accommodation/Hotel details
- Flight details
- Printed tickets
- Biometrics Information
Note that your connecting flight from UK must be within 24 hours from the arrival time in the UK.
How to apply for a UK Transit Visa?
Whether you are applying for a DATV or Visitor in Transit Visa, in both the cases you have to apply for the visa before flying to the UK. As mentioned earlier getting a UK Transit Visa is rather a complicated procedure and with the UK Immigration Laws constantly changing, there is a high risk of a visa rejection.
UK Transit Visa Exemption
When you have a stopover in the UK, you require a Transit Visa, but based on certain criteria, specific passengers may be exempted from acquiring a transit Visa.
The Exemptions are as follow:
- Passengers with a valid visa of the US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand
- Passengers with Permanent Residence card or Resident Visa of the US, New Zealand, Canada or Australia
- Passengers with a valid Irish biometric Visa
- Passengers with a diplomatic or official passport.
The nitty-gritties of obtaining a UK Transit Visa is intricate, but when you apply for your Transit Visa with us, we take care of the whole process, right from applying for your visa online to scheduling your appointments.
So, when applying for a UK Transit Visa, look no further. We are here to manage all your Transit Visa hassles and ensure you have a rich and joyful time while passing through the UK.