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?
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
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:
(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.
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.
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.
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.