Put simply, the UK (United Kingdom) transit visa is for non-Swiss, non-EEA nationals to transit through the United Kingdom en route to a destination country.
UK Transit Visa Eligibility
If you are:
- changing flights in the United Kingdom on the way to another country
- going through border control in the United Kingdom for purposes such as checking in luggage for a connecting flight
- leaving the United Kingdom in two days (48 hours)
then you will absolutely need a UK transit visa. Exemptions exist, yes, but only for those with a:
- EEA family permit
- Home Office travel document (applicable to stateless persons and refugees)
- UK Marriage Visitor visa
- UK Standard Visitor visa
What Kind Of UK Transit Visas Available?
The UK Transit Visa has two types, each with its own criteria, requirements and rules. There’s a UK Direct Airside Transit visa and a UK Visitor in Transit visa.
UK Direct Airside Transit Visa
Applying for this is necessary when the passenger is changing flights heading for a destination country in the United Kingdom without passing border control. However, another type of visitor visa will be necessary for people whose destination countries are the Isle of Man, the Channel Island or Ireland.
UK Visitor in Transit Visa
Applying for this is necessary when transiting the UK with a need to pass border control, usually to check in luggage for a connecting flight.
Necessary Documents For A UK Transit Visa
- Valid passport
- Evidence of permission to enter destination country (such as a green card, residence permit, valid visa)
- Proof of onward journey (confirmation from a travel agent, flight booking email, printed tickets)
Additional documents will depend on the current situation and the applicant’s country of residence.
Required Fees For A UK Transit Visa
- £35 for the UK Direct Airside Transit Visa
- £64 for the UK Visitor in Transit Visa
It should be noted that depending on the applicant’s origin country, fees may vary slightly.
UK Transit Visa Application
There are quite a few procedures that have to be completed during application for a UK Transit visa. Follow these steps:
1. Determine which UK transit visa is applicable to the transit.
2. Find out where to apply. Sometimes it’s the UK embassy in a person’s country, but other times countries have visa application centres.
3. Complete required documents.
4. Fill out the online application form. This is easy to find on the UK government’s official website.
5. Make a visa appointment.
6. Attend the appointment. A photograph will be taken along with fingerprints and biometric information.
The decision as to whether the visa is approved or denied should be out within 21 days (three weeks). Only then will a person be able to move forward and include the UK as a stopover during their travels.
The UK Transit visa is necessary when passing through the UK heading for another country. This applies whether or not the passenger needs to check luggage and pass border control. Passengers will either need the Visitor in Transit visa or the Direct Airside Transit visa.
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