Guide to Obtaining a UK Transit Visa 2024

UK Visa

The United Kingdom regularly receives an outpouring influx of tourists from all over the world thanks to some of the busiest airports in the world situated in the region. Many are visitors, some immigrants, and some are just travellers passing by for a short duration. If you are someone, who is merely passing through any airport in London i.e., A transit traveller, then you need to be informed about the transit visa norms of the UK. If you are wondering what it’s all about, we have compiled a short guide to give you all the information first-hand, so you don’t have to worry when the time for your UK transit visa need arises.

What is a Transit Visa?

A transit visa is a temporary travel authorization that allows the visa holder to enter a country for a short, specified period to board a connecting flight. You need a transit visa to wait in an airport for the necessary amount of time to board a flight to another location. This is a short-term, single-entry, non-extendable visa granted to the applicant for a few days. On a transit visa, one can leave the airport and enter the city for sightseeing before catching their connecting flight. It is an ideal utilization of time rather than lounging in the airport. However, whether or not one can leave the airport and wander in the city on a transit visa varies from country to country.

Understanding The UK Transit Visa

For those planning to travel through the United Kingdom as part of their journey, obtaining a UK transit visa is vital. It is equally essential to understand how it functions. In the case of a UK transit visa, an applicant can apply for it in two ways depending on whether border control will be crossed or not. The requirement for a transit visa also depends on the applicant’s country of citizenship. Before applying for one, you must verify if you need a UK transit visa. You do not need one if :

  • You have an EU Settlement Scheme family permit.
  • You have a Home-Office travel document issued to refugees and stateless persons.
  • You hold a UK Standard Visitor Visa.
  • You hold a UK Marriage Visitor Visa.

Your citizenship and whether you have a permanent residence visa for Australia or New Zealand, or a visa for Canada, the United States of America, Australia, or New Zealand, are other factors that affect whether you need a transit visa or not. Before applying for a UK transit visa, you should review the other credibility requirements on UK travel visa official websites.

Uk Image

Types of Transit Visa

You should check which transit visa you qualify for before scheduling a stopover in the UK. Whether you will go through border/immigration control or not will determine this. The airline with which you are flying will inform you whether or not you need to go through border control. There are two categories of transit visas:

  • Direct Airside Transit Visa: You must apply for this visa if you are changing flights without going through UK Border Control.
  • Visitors in Transit Visa: If you are required to board a flight after passing through UK Border Control but will be leaving the UK within 48 hours, you must apply for a visitors in transit visa.

A transit visa in the United Kingdom is only valid for 48 hours. If you must stay in the UK  longer than 48 hours, apply for a Standard Visitors Visa. Visitors from Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man have different requirements for applying for a UK transit visa.

How to apply for a UK Transit Visa?

A UK transit visa is a pre-approved visa that an applicant should acquire before arriving at an airport in the destination. UK transit visa requirements are straightforward, and the paperwork consists of a handful of documents that you should provide for a successful application, such as:

  • A valid passport with at least six months validity after arrival in the UK.
  • Evidence shows that you are eligible to enter the country you are visiting, such as a valid passport, residency permit, green card, or visa for permanent residence.
  • Details regarding the purpose of the visit if the country you are catching a connecting flight to is not your home country. The documentation should include flight booking details, hotel accommodation, and confirmation from a travel agency.
  • All the documents and the application form should be in the English language.

The next step is to complete the online transit visa application, choose a visa application centre, submit the required paperwork along with your biometric information i.e., fingerprints and photographs, and pay the visa fees. Do note that once you have selected a visa application centre, you cannot change it to a different location. Providing your biometric data is mandatory. Once this process is complete, the visa application process starts, and you must wait for an email notification indicating whether your visa request was granted or denied.

UK Transit Visa Fees and Processing Time.

UK Transit visa processing time would vary depending on the country you have applied from. Usually, it takes about three weeks for a visa to get processed. It can get delayed in case additional documents are required or further information is needed via interview. The UK Transit Visa fees would depend on the type of transit visa you have chosen. A Direct Airside Transit visa is priced at approx. GBP 35, and Visitors in Transit Visa costs around GBP 64 per visa. All prices are subject to variation depending upon which country nationality you belong to and in which country you are applying for the transit visa.

Now that you know about a UK Transit Visa, you can go ahead with this newly acquired knowledge and apply for your visa. You can always take the help of a reputed UK visa consultant if you feel overwhelmed to apply for the visa on your own.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *