I am traveling to Cork, Ireland on a short stay (C) visa. It is not a biometric visa. I hold an Indian passport and am traveling from USA where I am a permanent resident (green card) holder. I am transiting through London Heathrow. Do I need a UK transit or short stay visa? The information on the gov.uk website is quite confusing when it comes to transiting to Ireland due to common travel area reasons.

But, most documents/websites I have seen indicate that anyone with a valid US green card issued after 1998 are exempt from needing a visa (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/648410/UK_Visa_requirements_Oct_2017.pdf) and can transit without visa (TWOV).

Can someone on this forum please confirm this?

Thanks, Yogesh

1 Answer 1


Per the GOV.UK Website, you need a UK Standard visitor visa since your Irish visa isn't biometric, because in the eyes of the UK, you aren't actually in transit, as they treat the Common Travel Area as a single country (Ireland doesn't share this viewpoint though).

If you were in transit to outside the Common Travel Area, your green card would be enough, both for airside and landside transit. But you're going to Ireland, so this doesn't apply (because again, transit to Ireland does not count as transit)

On the other hand, as an Indian you wouldn't have needed an Irish visa in addition, as the UK visa lets you enter Ireland for a stay of max 3 months.

  • Hi Coke, thanks for your quick response. Per the link you provided from gov.uk, it states, "You’ll need a visa to pass through the UK (unless you’re exempt)" One of the exemption criteria for landside transit is for people carrying a valid US permanent resident card. Am I not reading this correctly?
    – Yogesh
    May 13, 2018 at 6:27
  • 1
    @Yogesh No, you're not reading it correctly. Transit to Ireland doesn't count as transit, so therefore a green card doesn't help. If you were in "real" Transit, to somewhere outside the Common Travel Area, your Green card would be enough. That's why the GOV.UK Website asks if you're goint to Ireland/the Channel Islands or elsewhere
    – Crazydre
    May 13, 2018 at 6:45
  • 2
    @Traveller "I’d check with your local U.K. embassy" No Need - OP Needs a Standard visitor visa, period! The Information is Crystal clear and not contradictory at all. To get the US PRC exemption you need to not select Ireland, but "Somewhere else" as your final destination
    – Crazydre
    May 13, 2018 at 6:45
  • thanks very much for your replies. The language in the document I attached is still vague for landside transit. They have mentioned clearly that airside transit does not apply to Ireland, but for landside transit, there is no such limitation. The exemption docs include either a US green card OR a biometric visa to Ireland. I will call up the embassy and try to find out since I dont have enough time to get a UK standard visit visa
    – Yogesh
    May 13, 2018 at 21:26
  • 1
    @ Coke Thank you very much for the response. I am rebooking to land directly in Ireland
    – Yogesh
    May 14, 2018 at 0:59

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