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My friend – a Ghanean citizen, holding a Ghanean passport valid until 9 March 2021 – is supposed to travel from Italy to Denmark. Preferably via London (most likely Stanstead) as it far the cheapest option. In case he will be travelling:

Schengen/Italy -> [not-Schengen/UK transit] -> Shengen/Denmark.

In addition to his passport he holds an Italian Carta D'Identita and a PERMESSO DI SOGGIORNO (hard plastic card) with the following data:

  • Valido fino al: 24.09.2020
  • Luogo e data di rilascio: PN 10.05.2019
  • Tipo di permissio di soggiorno: Lav subordinato

He will most likely (flight not booked yet) arrive at Stanstead close to midnight and travel on to Aalborg, Denmark - also from Stanstead - early in the morning the following day. He will only carry hand-luggage.

Thus he should - in my imagination - only move from one gate (arrival) to the other (departure), without leaving the airport/not getting outside the immigration control area.

My question is, whether he needs a visa for this transit or not? The UK link https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa/y/ghana/transit/somewhere_else/no has the following text:

Check if you need a UK visa: You’ll need a visa to pass through the UK in transit (unless you’re exempt) You should apply for a Direct Airside Transit visa if you arrive in the UK on a flight and leave again without passing through immigration control.

Exemptions You don’t need a visa if you have one of the following: (...) - a common format residence permit issued by an European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland


According to this, you are exempted from the visa requirement, if you hold "a common format residence permit issued by an European Economic Area (EEA) ..."; does the hard plastic PERMESSO DI SOGGIORNO card meet the criteria of being "a common format residence permit"? (implying that I don’t need a visa for the transit)

Furthermore: Are there any other - formal or practical - issue he should be aware of regarding this travelling?

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