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This question already has an answer here:

I know this has been asked multiple times, but I am unable to get answer for my case for transiting through London - Heathrow International (LHR). I am not sure if, I would be crossing the border control as mentioned on their official site. I also checked with Finnair and they are also not sure.

I read at lot of places that terminal is closed at night so you need to get out, I don't see any official information related to this.

Also I don't plan to leave the airport, I would just to be inside till the next flight. I am mostly concerned about the return flight where there is an overnight layover.


Final question:

I seem to fulfill all the transit visa exemption criteria except below one, where I feel ambiguity in second part, does it mean same day before midnight or next day before midnight.

"have a confirmed onward flight that leaves on the day you arrive or before midnight on the day after you arrive" 1

Origin: Canada / Destination: India

Arrives: 06:25am (day1) - T5 / layover: ~04h / Departs: 10:20am (day1) - T3

Origin: India / Destination: Canada

Arrives: 20:40pm (day1) - T3 / layover: ~15h / Departs: 11:40am (day2) - T5


Added more details: - So I believe I don't need a transit visa. Thanks folks for your help.

Transiting without a visa

You might be eligible for ‘transit without visa’ if:

o you arrive and depart by air Yes

o have a confirmed onward flight that leaves on the day you arrive or before midnight on the day after you arrive Yes

o have the right documents for your destination (eg a visa for that country) Yes

One of the following must also apply:

o you’re travelling to (or on part of a reasonable journey to) Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA and have a valid visa for that country Yes

marked as duplicate by Michael Hampton, Mark Mayo Aug 5 at 22:05

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • I have read that thread, however I am confused with the below requirement "have a confirmed onward flight that leaves on the day you arrive or before midnight on the day after you arrive [and]" – Vishal Aug 5 at 20:19
  • 11:40 am is before the end of the day. – Michael Hampton Aug 5 at 20:20
  • Do you have a valid visa or residence permit for Canada? – phoog Aug 5 at 20:23
  • Yes, I have valid Canada WP. – Vishal Aug 5 at 20:23
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    "leaves on the day you arrive or before midnight on the day after you arrive" means that if you arrive at 6:25 am you must leave within 41 hours and 35 minutes. If you arrive at 20:40 you must leave within 27 hours and 20 minutes. – phoog Aug 5 at 21:56
1

Short Answer:

Flying from Canada to LHR to India, your stay at LHR is only a few hours. You can stay airside, not pass through UK Immigration, and transit without a visa.

Flying from India to LHR to Canada, you'll be in the UK overnight. Because the Terminal closes at night, you'll need to pass through UK Immigration to landside when you arrive, spend the night somewhere else, and reenter the Terminal the next day for your flight to Canada. To exit the airport and enter the UK for this overnight, you will need either a Visitor in Transit visa, or you may approach UK Immigration upon arrival from India and seek to transfer without visa, i.e., without having previously secured a visa.

Long Answer:

The previously-cited SE thread contains this govt.uk link which discusses transit and the need for visas. The govt.uk page contains this text:

You might need a visa to pass through the UK in transit (on your way to another country).

Check if you need one before you apply.

To get a transit visa you must prove that:

  • you’ll be in transit to another country, with enough funds and the intention to travel on
  • you can enter that country
  • the only purpose of your visit to the UK is transit

You do not need a transit visa if you:

  • are from the European Economic area (EEA) or Switzerland
  • have an EEA family permit
  • have a Home Office travel document, for example you’re a refugee or stateless person
  • have a Standard Visitor visa
  • have a Marriage Visitor visa

Following the "check if you need one link" takes you to a question wizard. Answering the question about trip purpose (which I assume is "transit") eventually generates this text:

You’ll need a visa to pass through the UK in transit

You should apply for a Visitor in Transit visa if you arrive on a flight and will pass through immigration control before you leave the UK.

You don’t need to apply for a Visitor in Transit visa if you already have a Marriage Visitor or Standard Visitor visa.

The govt.uk page goes on to discuss an exception, a method to enter the UK for transit purposes without having previously obtained a UK visa:

Transiting without a visa

You might be eligible for ‘transit without visa’ if:

  • you arrive and depart by air
  • have a confirmed onward flight that leaves on the day you arrive or before midnight on the day after you arrive
  • have the right documents for your destination (eg a visa for that country)
  • One of the following must also apply:

you’re travelling to (or on part of a reasonable journey to) Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA and have a valid visa for that country

...

You won’t be able to transit without a visa if a Border Force officer decides you don’t qualify under the immigration rules. You can apply for a transit visa before you travel if you’re unsure whether you qualify for transiting without a visa.

Because your flight to Canada leaves before midnight on the next calendar day after your arrival, and you have a confirmed onward ticket, and the correct paperwork for entry to Canada, UK Immigration should grant you leave to transit without a visa.

  • This is my first travel via LHR so I'm not sure about few things. "landside" - is it inside the airport building? I don't have any plans to get out of the airport. I just want to kill the time by staying inside the terminal (preferably T5) or airside or landslide or airport building, whatever is allowed. Is overnight stay allowed? – Vishal Aug 5 at 22:42
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    "Landside" is out in the world, the areas the public can get to on the "land" side of security. Airport departure halls with airline check-in counters are Landside. "Airside," on the other hand, is next to the boarding gates, and only accessible after passing through airport security. On your Canada > LHR > India flights, you'll have to stay Airside at LHR. On your India > LHR > Canada flights, you cannot stay airside overnight, because the Terminal buildings close. Upon arrival at LHR from India, you must pass through UK Immigration, exit to Landside, and return to the terminal the next day. – David Aug 5 at 22:50
  • Perfect, that makes sense now. Sorry for the follow-up question, please bear - can I stay overnight in landside, I assume so since I fulfill all the criteria for "Transiting without a visa". – Vishal Aug 5 at 23:07
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    I think you qualify for "transit without visa," as I said at the end of the Answer. Once you pass UK Immigration, you are Landside: i.e., outside the secure area ("Airside") of the airport, and out in the world where there are buses and trains and taxis and hotels and restaurants. You can go down to London or stay closer to the airport. You will have to find a place to stay (reserving a room in advance might be easier than finding one in the moment) and return to the terminal the next day for your flight to Canada. – David Aug 5 at 23:54

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