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I am a US permanent resident but I am a Filipino citizen. I am planning to travel to the Philippines and wanted to get a ticket with a 15 hours layover in the UK. Am I allowed to go out of the airport and have a tour to London?

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to clarify, you're travelling on a Filipino passport, with a US permanent resident visa inside? – Mark Mayo Apr 29 '13 at 8:03
    
Not sure if this is an exact duplicate: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/703/…, travel.stackexchange.com/questions/16835/… – Karlson Apr 29 '13 at 12:57
    
@Karlson No, since s/he does not have Schengen visa like in the other question. – uncovery Apr 29 '13 at 14:56
    
@uncovery But the basic premise is the same I'm transiting through London and I want to visit it during the layover. The end destination and possession of the Schengen visa is irrelevant here. – Karlson Apr 29 '13 at 15:14

You can transit without visa (TWOV) landside (i.e., you are allowed to leave the airport). Citizens of Philippines can TWOV.

A visa national who is going to the UK simply to travel on to another country may enter without a visa if these conditions are met:

  1. They arrive and depart by air
  2. Their onward flight is confirmed and departs within 24 hours
  3. They are properly documented for their destination and have a visa if they need one

Source: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/carriers/ukvisarequirements.pdf

See also: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/transitthroughtheuk/visa-to-transit-landside/

It is a good idea, however, to have some supporting documents (e.g. work contract) available, be dressed reasonably well etc., because TWOV is a concession.

The concession is operated at the border where you arrive in the UK and is at the discretion of Border Force officers. You may not be permitted to benefit from this concession and may be refused entry to the UK.

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TWOV would probably not be granted just for sightseeing, though -- unless the layover is overnight or involves a change of airports it would be difficult to argue that the purpose of entering the UK is "simply to travel on to another country". – Henning Makholm Apr 2 at 10:31

The quick answer is no without a visa. As a Philippines national you need a visa to go through the uk border.

This is clearly explained by the uk border agency here http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/transitthroughtheuk/visa-to-transit-landside/

Check the "Are you a visa national" section under "more information"

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The comment from @R-traveler that seems to contradict mine refers to transit without visa "airside". This is not what the question is about. The original question is about leaving the airport "transit land side". The law allows this if within 24 hours, as per the question, but is subject to the discretion of the customs police. This needs to be requested "in situ", can't be requested in advance. The custom police is unlikely to grant this – Manu May 16 '13 at 20:18
    
I have successfully used this concession when traveling with a Thai Citizen when transiting through LHR to and from the US. We explained our intent was to avoid the monotony of a 10 hour airside wait, and to get a decent bacon sandwich! One thing that was asked on both occasions was whether we had checked baggage. – PassKit Apr 2 at 13:12

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