I'm a Kenyan citizen transiting through the UK on the way to Jamaica. I have an Italian ID card (the kind that is issued to foreign nationals who work with specialized agencies, and exempts the holder from having a residence permit). Can I use this document to transit through the UK?

Please note: I do not have a permanent residence card.

Also note that I am seeking to transit through the UK, and not visit (though I will need to pass through Immigration control, as my flight leaves the UK on the following calendar day).

  • From a U.K. perspective it is citizenship, not residency, that counts, unless you have a residence card that explicitly says it is issued to a "family member of a union/EEA citizen".
    – Traveller
    Jan 27, 2019 at 21:02
  • @Traveller I am not sure it would be any better if he got an EU Family visa from another country other than the UK. However, he may be able to transit without a visa if the flights meet certain conditions. He should check the answer you pointed out.
    – gstorto
    Jan 27, 2019 at 21:13
  • Just to make sure, your Itailan permit is not a common-format residence permit (with a bull design on the left above the photo)? Jan 27, 2019 at 21:22
  • @Traveller: Residency does count for some purposes -- as relevant in this case, a common format residence permit from an EEA state will qualify the holder for the (landside) Transit Without Visa scheme. See Visitor Rules, paragraph V 7.8(h). Jan 27, 2019 at 21:31
  • @Henning, thanks for your reply. No it is not a common-format residence permit. It is an Italian ID card issued to employees of international organisations. At the back of the card it states, "This ID exempts the bearer from the permit of stay and together with a valid travel document, it entitles the bearer to enter the territory of any Schengen state." So what I'm seeking clarification on is: (cont.) Jan 27, 2019 at 21:39

1 Answer 1


Kenyan citizens generally need a Direct Airside Transit Visa to transfer in the UK even without leaving the transit zone of the airport.

In some cases one may be exempted from the DATV requirement, or be allowed to transit landside without a visa, but but none of those cases apply to you.

Some of the exceptions are for people who travel to or from the major Anglosphere countries with valid visas -- but Schengen countries (or, for that matter, Jamaica) are not on that list.

Then there's an exemptions for holders of a valid common-format residence permit from an EEA country of Switzerland. Since your permit is not common format (and the regulations to take pains to say "common format" whenever they mention this expcetion), that won't help you either.

So you need to apply for an appropriate visa.

(The Schengen countries themselves accept a wider range of each other's residence permits that are not in the common format, but that has no effect in the UK).

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