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 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).