I understand that landside transit (entry into the UK) is possible if the passenger is going to or coming from the US provided he meets all the requirements.
My question is how likely it is to get a landside transit if the layover exceeds 12 hours?
The passenger has
previously lived in the UK for 5 years as a student and has always abided by his visa conditions.
decent travel history.
never been denied visa or entry to Britain or any other Western country.
is passport holder of Pakistan which is, unfortunately, one of the countries with high levels of visa noncompliance.
I am asking because I have heard reports that immigration officers do not give landside transit easily even if the passenger meets all requirements. Since granting of entry is at the sole discretion of the visa officer, young men travelling solo, especially, are refused as a rule of thumb.
This leads me to a supplementary question.
If landside transit is sought and denied, would that information be recorded into the system and available to the authorities when and if the person applies for a visa next time, one, two, four years later?? The passenger would not want to take the risk and apply for landside transit if this means what I've just transcribed.
Is it possible to make an informal inquiry to the immigration official about the likelihood to being granted landside transit and only formally proceed with the application if the passenger gets an affirmative nod?
I apologise if this sounds confusing. Such as the world we live in, the passenger does not want to be in a situation where a refused entry or even a withdrawal of application (if applicable in this case) might be entered into the system as it would adversely affect chances of future visa applications, especially since it is not the end of the world if he would be required to spend the layover of 16/17 hours at LHR looking like a homeless Joe.
Any first or secondhand reports, and advice, would be highly appreciated.