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I'm an Indian passport holder with a valid US visa. I have an 18 hour layover in Heathrow. With a land side transit visa can I go out of the airport just to check into a nearby hotel to get some rest? Or is that visa ONLY for transiting between Gatwick and Heathrow?

Really appreciate a response from someone who has had this experience as I cannot find anywhere if the purpose of this visa is just for going between airports. In which case I have go thru the hassle of getting a visitors visa just for a few hrs

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possible duplicate of Landside transit visa in London heathrow – Karlson May 1 '13 at 18:22
Thanks but still not clear if the transit visa is only to change airports. Do I need to get a visit visa just to go out for a few hours? – Elizabeth May 1 '13 at 21:23
Once you exit airside your movements are not tracked unless there is a cause to do so. So if you want to stay overnight in a hotel. You should be able to do that. – Karlson May 2 '13 at 0:44

The landside transit visa allows you to immigrate into the country for a short period, remain there and then leave again.

It does not matter if you arrive and leave at the same location or a different one.

Normally, transit means that you arrive at one airport, do not pass immigration and stay in the 'airside' area of the aiport. Then you leave from that area again to another international destination.

A 'landside' transit on the other hand is actually more like a short-term tourism visa where you are allowed to leave the 'airside' area of the airport, pass through immigration and then can do as you like until the visa expires (often 24 or 48 hrs). This is to allow you to travel to another international airport in the same country and also allows you to stay in a hotel for the duration of the visa.

Since there is no way to let you transit from one airport to the other without immigrating into the country, you are free to behave like a normal tourist during the time of the visa duration.

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