I am travelling to Nigeria on British Airways from America on 18th December with a stop over for 15hrs waiting before my content flight at Heathrow Airport on 19th December, 2017, can I get a transit visa for sight seeing.?


1 Answer 1


No. A transit visa is only available if you are in transit within that, you going sight seeing would be in breach of the visa conditions. See this link for more information.

A transit visa will allow you to change airports within the UK, example would be if your flight arrives at Gatwick but your next flight takes off from Heathrow. A transit visa would allow you to leave Gatwick and travel to Heathrow, it would not allow you to stop in London to see some sights.

You could apply for a Visitor in Transit Visa. This will allow you to leave the airport and return again a few hours later. However, if you are from the USA then you might not need a visa at all. The UK and US have a "special relationship" which should allow you entrance to the UK for up to 6 months without a visa.

I suggest you take this short quiz and see what options you are given.

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    I think most people would call the "Visitor in Transit" visa a transit visa. Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 13:27
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    @DJClayworth it does not matter what "most people" would call something. This site is about facts and the fact is that a "Transit Visa" is not the same as a "Visitor in Transit Visa". Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 6:11
  • There's something called a "Visitor in Transit visa" and something called a "Direct Airside Transit Visa". Are you somehow claiming that leaving out the first two words in the former term is more wrong than leaving out the first two words of the latter? Or are you claiming there is something called just "transit visa" that is neither of those two? Commented May 5, 2019 at 14:07
  • @HenningMakholm this answer is nearly two years old. It could be out dated. But the quick answer to your question is YES. A "Visitor in Transit" is not the same as a "Direct Airside Transit". This is very obvious if you think about it logically, you only enter a country if you pass through passport control, if you are a "Direct Airside Transit" then you are not passing through passport control. Commented May 10, 2019 at 10:01
  • In that case you need to provide some support for your claim, other than bare assertions. Just because DATV and VITV are different things (which is true) doesn't mean that the meaning of the words "transit visa" excludes VITV. That is not obvious at all; on the contrary it looks very obviously FALSE to me. Commented May 10, 2019 at 10:47

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