I am a South African national, traveling on a South African passport. I hold a B type residence permit from Belgium. Is this the same as a common format residence permit? I also hold a valid US visa.

I am traveling from Brussels via London Heathrow (2 hr transit)on to Johannesburg. Am I exempt from a Direct Airside Transit Visa?


"Common format" refers to the physical form of your permit, not the category. If your permit is a plastic card with a bull on it, it is a common-format permit.

Furthermore, even if your residence permit is not in the common format, your valid US visa exempts you from the DATV requirement regardless of your destination.

See https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa/y/south-africa/transit/somewhere_else/no:

You don’t need a visa if you have one of the following:

  • a visa for Canada, New Zealand, Australia or the USA (this can be used for travel to any country)


  • a common format residence permit issued by an European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland

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