I am travelling from India and have 7.5 hours of layover at Heathrow airport for my connecting flight to Canada. I am arriving on terminal 4 and connecting flight departs from terminal 2. In the meantime of my layover a few of my friends wants to visit me at the airport so do I need DATV to meet them personally? Or is it possible to meet friends at the airport without any transit visa as I am not going out of the airport premises. Do I have to collect my bags and recheck-in if I have DATV? Is there any other possible way to spend the layover time with my friends at the airport?

  • ‘DATV’ means Direct Airside Transit - you have to remain airside. There’s no way you can meet your friends airside unless they happen to be flying out of LHR on the same day/same time / same terminal. However, assuming you have the correct visa for Canada you don’t need a transit visa at all.
    – Traveller
    Jan 30, 2019 at 21:33

1 Answer 1


DATV means Direct Airside Transit Visa. The only thing it is good for is being allowed to board a flight towards an UK airport when you do not expect to need to pass immigration there.

If your friends are not traveling themselves, they can't come airside to meet you, so your only chance of meeting up is if you pass through immigration to meet them landside. Having a DATV is irrelevant for that.

You have two options:

  • Pay to apply for a Visitor in Transit visa in advance, which will allow you to enter the UK.
  • Hope the immigration officer will let you enter the UK under the Transit Without Visa scheme. Since you presumably have a visa for Canada you meet the formal conditions for this, and it is free. (However, beware that if I understand correctly they don't have to grant it, and the immigration officer may take the position that since you can stay airside for your transit, you should. The risk of this is probably small in practice).

There's no reason why you would need to see your baggage during the layover, if you can get the departing airport to tag it through to Canada (which they usually will if your flights are all on one ticket).

  • so If I want to see my friends during the layover I have to apply for Visitor in Transit visa even if I am not going out of airport premises? and If I have Visitor in transit do I have to go through immigration? Jan 30, 2019 at 21:40
  • @KrushaBhatt You obviously have a Canadian visa or permanent residence card, so you don't need a visa
    – Crazydre
    Jan 30, 2019 at 21:43
  • @KrushaBhatt: The thing that matters for visas an immigration is whether you need to pass immigration or not. The "boundary" is the line between the airside part of the terminal building and the landside part of it. The outer walls of the terminal (or for that matter the airport's property lines) have no significance whatsoever. Jan 30, 2019 at 21:43
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    Alright. Thank you so much clarifying. Much appreciate. Jan 30, 2019 at 21:53
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    @KrushaBhatt For Heathrow flights, they will normally distribute the landing cards on the plane, so fill it out while onboard. If not, they're available in the immigration hall. Like I said, that, the Canadian visa and your connecting boardingpass or e-ticket
    – Crazydre
    Jan 30, 2019 at 21:54

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