Take the 2-minute tour ×
Travel Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for road warriors and seasoned travelers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My wife is a US Permanent Resident with a valid green card which does not have an expiration date. This time, when I took a flight through British Airways from San Fransisco to Bombay via London (LHR), British Airways did not allow her to board the flight on account of not having a transit visa for the UK.

They did not refund my ticket and are requesting for a date change penalty. I have flown with other airlines before and this was not an issue. How can I fight with the airlines when our immigration should ideally be valid.

share|improve this question
1  
When you say that other airlines didn't have a problem with this, were those airlines which had you transiting somewhere other than Heathrow? Only the rules for who does/doesn't need transit visas vary based on the country you're transiting in, so just because you're valid to TWOV in country A doesn't automatically mean you're valid for country B –  Gagravarr Jun 30 at 8:19
    
While both the UK and the Schengen countries allow visa-free transit for US permanent residents, the rules are slightly different so it might explain the discrepancy. –  Relaxed Jun 30 at 9:00
add comment

1 Answer 1

I'm going to presume your wife is an Indian national.

Indian nationals will normally require a visa to transit through the UK, however there are a few exceptions. In particular, an Indian national may transit the UK without a visa if they have :

  • a valid U.S. I-551 Permanent Resident Card issued on or after April 21, 1998; or
  • an expired I-551 Permanent Resident Card issued on or after April 21, 1998, provided accompanied by a valid I-797 letter authorising the extension, issued by the Bureau of Citizenship; or
  • a stand alone U.S. Immigration visa Form 155A/155B (attached to a sealed brown envelope).

Given your wifes Green Card does not contain an expiry date, this means that it was issued between 1977 and 1989, and thus it does not meet the requirements to transit the UK without a visa.

The airline was absolutely in the right in denying boarding, as she did not have the correct paperwork to be able to transit the UK. In order to travel via the UK she will need to either obtain a visa to transit the UK, or obtain an updated Green Card.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.