I am an Egyptian citizen residing in Italy. I have had family residency for five years. I am traveling from Rome to Iceland with a transit in London. I will pass through the border area to change airports. Will I be allowed to do so?

This is the residence card that I own:


4 Answers 4


Accourding to Visa to pass through the UK in transit - GOV.UK, persons with a EEA family permit (which is what you have) do not require a Visitor in Transit visa (that allows passing through UK border control and a transit within 48 hours).

The Check if you need a UK visa (found from inside the above link) also list other exceptions:

  • you have a common format residence permit issued by an European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland
  • you have a uniform format category D visa for entry to a country in the EEA or Switzerland

The Transit caseworker guidance quotes only Article 1 of (EC) No 1030/2002.

2020-12-01 V5: Transit caseworker guidance - GOV.UK
DATV: transiting without a DATV (Page 35 PDF)

  • valid common format Category D visa for entry to an EEA state or Switzerland
  • valid common format residence permit issued by an EEA State pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 1030/2002(1) or Switzerland


The Immigration (Passenger Transit Visa) Order 2014
Exemption from the requirement for a transit passenger to hold a transit visa
Artical 4 (1)
(i) a valid common format Category D visa for entry to an EEA state or Switzerland;
(j) a valid common format residence permit issued by an EEA State pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 1030/2002 F14 or Switzerland;

Changes to legislation:There are outstanding changes not yet made by the legislation.gov.uk editorial team to The Immigration (Passenger Transit Visa) Order 2014. Any changes that have already been made by the team appear in the content and are referenced with annotations.

  • F14: OJ L157, 15.6.02, p. 1.

Council Regulation (EC) No 1030/2002 of 13 June 2002 laying down a uniform format for residence permits for third-country nationals

Official Journal L 157 , 15/06/2002 P. 0001 - 0007

Article 1

1. Residence permits issued by Member States to third-country nationals shall be drawn up in a uniform format and provide sufficient space for the information set out in the Annex hereto. The uniform format may be used as a sticker or a stand-alone document. Each Member State may add in the relevant space of the uniform format information of importance regarding the nature of the permit and the legal status of the person concerned, in particular information as to whether or not the person is permitted to work.

2. For the purpose of this Regulation,

(a) "residence permit" shall mean any authorisation issued by the authorities of a Member State allowing a third-country national to stay legally on its territory, with the exception of:

(i) visas;

(ii) permits issued pending examination of an application for a residence permit or for asylum;

(iii) authorisations issued for a stay of a duration not exceeding six months by Member States not applying the provisions of Article 21 of the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement of 14 June 1985 between the Governments of the States of the Benelux Economic Union, the Federal Republic of Germany and the French Republic on the gradual abolition of checks at their common borders(9);

(b) "third-country national" shall mean any person who is not a citizen of the Union within the meaning of Article 17(1) of the Treaty.


  • 3
    This answer is incorrect. An EEA family permit is a document that was formerly issued by the UK, but is no longer issued because the UK has withdrawn from the European Union. The document shown above is an article 10 card issued by Italy, and the EEA FP was an article 10 card issued by the UK, but the UK never used the phrase "EEA family permit" to refer to article 10 cards issued by other countries.
    – phoog
    Apr 5, 2021 at 2:57
  • 3
    @MarkJohnson And that list does not include the document shown by the OP (it's not in the “common format”). Even it did, it still remains that it is not an EEA family permit. After your edits, your answer confuses several things, quotes outdated documents and ist still plain wrong. Your habit of never ever editing anything out nor correcting mistakes while dumping irrelevant extensive quotes and oddly formatted links to try to hide them is becoming very dangerous here.
    – Relaxed
    Apr 5, 2021 at 9:03
  • 3
    "p. 1" means page 1, not article 1. In any case, OP's document is not in the common format. You quoted the definition of a residence permit, not the definition of a "common format residence permit", which can be only interpreted as a residence permit issued in the uniform format laid down by EC 1030/2002. EC 1030/2002 only concerns the format, not motives. OP's document is not in the uniform format.
    – xngtng
    Apr 5, 2021 at 9:54
  • 3
    And I'm not sure why you keep ignoring "common format". They are not just adding the words for fun. Many people on Spanish student residence permit (NIE) got denied boarding or got stuck at immigration because it was not in the common format.
    – xngtng
    Apr 5, 2021 at 10:59
  • 3
    @MarkJohnson Good so we don't have to get into the niceties of regulation 1030/2002 because this conclusion is absurd on its face. It wasn't the case before Brexit and it isn't the case now. The “check if you need a UK visa” website and the caseworker guidance are crystal clear, the exemption covers “common format residence permit” (i.e. not all of them, just those in the common format). How is there any doubt in your mind about that?
    – Relaxed
    Apr 5, 2021 at 13:12

Your residence card does not suffice for visa-free transit in the UK.

The Guide from the UK government to airlines mentions explicitly the need for a common format residence permit, that is, a credit card-sized plastic card or sticker in passport with either a bull (old format) or an European map (new format) on it.

The only residence permit issued pursuant to EC 1030/2002 is one in the specified format. Other permits not subject to EC 1030/2002 are of course not issued based on EC 1030/2002.

Passengers having a valid common format residence permit issued by an EEA state or Switzerland. Passengers who have a valid common format residence permit issued by an EEA state or Switzerland do not have to be travelling to or from the country which issued the permit. Please note that there are several forms of residence permits issued by EEA states but the only acceptable permits are those which are issued following the directions given in the Council Regulation (EC) No. 1030/2002.

These permits may take the form of a vignette (sticker) in a passport or a plastic card. There are several common features of these cards all set out in the directive – the permits are coloured mainly pink and blue, each has an EU Kinegram, also printed on the permits is the image of a bull and five stars. All other permits such as the large A4-sized Italian Permesso di Soggiorno, or an Irish Work Permit sticker are not common format residence permits and are not acceptable as an exemption document for DATV nationals seeking to TWOV.


If I were you I would get a visa.

The document you have is not an EEA family permit, which was the name the UK gave to the documents that it issued like the document you have, but the UK never used that name to denote such documents issued by other countries.

The document you have is not a common-format residence permit. It is certainly a residence permit, but it is not in the common format specified by European Union law.

The document is not a visa of any sort, and it is certainly not a uniform format visa.

Now obviously in the spirit of the transit visa exemptions you ought to be able to transit without a visa. But the document you have does not comply with the letter of these restrictions. It is better to be safe than sorry.

  • 3
    @MarkJohnson What's the bigger risk? GBP 64 per person for an application or being denied boarding, losing all the money in the tickets or worse getting in trouble with British authorities?
    – Relaxed
    Apr 5, 2021 at 9:08
  • 2
    @BLALALI The intention of the regulation is that all countries eventually move to the plastic cards, many other EU countries have already done it and do issue plastic cards to people in your situation. Most regular residence permits (workers, students) are certainly covered as well. Documents issued to refugees vary (and they also need a passport/travel document, which might trigger other rules for transit).
    – Relaxed
    Apr 5, 2021 at 9:10
  • 1
    @BLALALI the direct answer is that this document is not sufficient, because it is not a "common format" document. See zhantongz's comment: "Many people on Spanish student residence permit (NIE) got denied boarding or got stuck at immigration because it was not in the common format."
    – phoog
    Apr 5, 2021 at 13:52
  • 1
    @MarkJohnson "The Immigration (Passenger Transit Visa) Order 2014 (4)(j) refers only to Article 1 of (EC) No 1030/2002 (thus ignores Article 5 which exclude family members)": that is correct. The effect of the exclusion in 1030/2002 Art. 5 is that EU countries are not required to use the common format for the residence cards they issue to these family members under 2004/38/EC Art. 10 or 20, and Italy has chosen to use a different format. That is why the document in the question is not a common format document.
    – phoog
    Apr 5, 2021 at 14:03
  • 2
    @MarkJohnson if document security is taken into account, it is not surprising that the two would be treated differently, since one has a polycarbonate document full of security features while the other has a paper document with relatively few security features. "For paper documents this claim would be justified, but could be added...": It doesn't need to be added because it is already present in the phrase "common format residence permit."
    – phoog
    Apr 6, 2021 at 13:28

I will pass through the border area to change airports. Will I be allowed to do so?

As a general rule in any country, in order to change airports you need a full permission to enter the transit country (visa or visa-exemption), namely as a tourist.

Your transit circumstance makes no difference within the scope of the question, if you must change airport or terminal. Even if you can show air tickets, the general rule is that you must prove that you have right to enter and stay in the transit country. This check will be enforced in Rome, where the airline is responsible for boarding.

The explanation is super simple. A person with intent to illegally immigrate into the UK could buy a fake onward ticket and not use it. After clearing immigration, one is free to go anywhere.

  • 2
    (+1) Excellent point, although the UK does have special rules for just that scenario. You still need a visa but it's a cheaper one with different requirements than a Standard Visitor visa. The Visitor in Transit visa doesn't give you the right to stay for more than 48 hours in the UK.
    – Relaxed
    Apr 6, 2021 at 13:06
  • Many countries, including the UK, have a transit visa that does allow passing through immigration controls but does not allow staying for tourism, business, or or other purposes normally associated with short-term visits.
    – phoog
    Apr 6, 2021 at 14:07

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .