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Is there a website or some other way to find out if I need a transit visa for a short stop in the UK on my way somewhere else? Ideally this should give me the answer for all nationalities, and take into account any other visas I may have.

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1 Answer 1

Why yes there is.

This UK government site will tell you if you need a visa to transit through the UK. You enter your nationality, desination, and any visas you already hold, and it will tell you if you need a transit visa or not. It also includes instructions for applying for one.

As a summary (but check for exceptions):

  • You must arrive and depart by air, and your outbound flight must be booked and confirmed.
  • You don't need a transit visa if you would not need a visa for a tourist visit to the UK.
  • A transit visa comes in two forms: Direct Airside Transit Visa (DATV) which is limited to 24 hours and you must remain 'airside' (i.e. cannot pass through immigration) and a Visitor in Transit Visa, which is valid for 48 hours and allows you to change terminals or airports.
  • You must have all the necessary documentation for your final destination, including any visas.
  • You are exempt from needing a transit visa if you are travelling to the US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand and have a valid visa for this country, or are travelling from one of those countries and entered it less than six months ago with a valid visa.
  • Holders of (most) residence permits from those countries or from an EU or EEA country can also transit without visa, even if they are travelling elsewhere.

If you need more information than is provided by this website you will need to check with your airline or contact the UKVI. The Home Office's Charging Procedures - A Guide for Carriers also provides some guidance on the subtler points of the rules (it's intended for professionals, not passengers, but does explain in great details when a visa is or is not required).

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I removed the reference to British embassies or consulates, I don't think they offer advice or respond to visa inquiry at all. You're supposed to determine yourself if you need a visa and lodge an official application. See e.g. gov.uk/government/world/organisations/… “Staff at our High Commission, Consulates and visa application centres cannot help with any visa enquiries.” –  Relaxed Jul 23 at 8:39
It's done, sorry. –  Relaxed Jul 23 at 13:52
It's fine. I appreciate the contributions. –  DJClayworth Jul 23 at 16:02

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