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Indian National with Stamp 1 Irish visa and valid Schengen visa

Booked tickets from Dublin-Stansted and Stansted to Budapest on the same day I understood from uk immigration website that i do not require visa in transit as I thought I was covered under the exception of common format residence permit issued by a EEA country. However I was denied boarding by Ryan air stating that the exemption is just valid for Stamp 4-EU Fam. Please advise if they are right or if not, the appropriate action from my side. I researched online however could not find a clear answer.

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  • 1
    Note that Stansted Airport has no air-side transit facilities, so all transit passengers need to go through border control. However following the UK government's site Check if you need a UK visa it says you are exempt if: - you have a common format residence permit issued by an European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland. Jun 28, 2023 at 12:54
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    The usual problem with a self-transfer like here is that for the first airline, your final destination is the UK, not Schengen, so they will often check for eligibility to enter the UK for tourism rather than transit (which would require a visitor visa unless you have a British or EU family member living in the UK and the relevant paperwork, a family permit issued by the UK). Not sure if this the rule they applied here, but it seems at least vaguely consistent. Otherwise, did you have your Irish residence permit card (and not just the stamp in the passport)?
    – jcaron
    Jun 28, 2023 at 12:57
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    Airside transit is impossible for flights from Ireland regardless, as they are treated as domestic UK flights on arrival and do not go through UK border control.
    – MJeffryes
    Jun 28, 2023 at 12:58
  • ...exploring that previous UK gov check did not ask where coming from, only the destination so RoI was not mentioned. But going in the other direction, to the Republic of Ireland, it states E-visas or e-residence permits are not acceptable for transiting through immigration control without a visa. Perhaps the rules are different, but if you have a return ticket, perhaps that's the reason. Jun 28, 2023 at 13:13
  • @jcaron yes I did have my Irish residence permit card and insisted multiple times that it’s just mentioned common format residence permit in the exemption rules (and not Stamp 4) Jun 28, 2023 at 13:14

3 Answers 3

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Stamp 1 indicates permission to work or operate a business in Ireland, subject to conditions. If your permit is an Irish Residence Permit (see example here) that does not have the EU Kinegram and the image of a bull and five stars, it is not a common format residence permit and is therefore not acceptable as an exemption document for DATV nationals seeking to TWOV.

Source: section 2.6 (6) Charging Procedures: A Guide for Carriers S40 The Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (as amended)

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  • This is very helpful. Thank you. Jun 28, 2023 at 22:02
  • A search for “stamp 1 IRP” on Google Images yields pictures of cards (marked Stamp 1) with the bull and stars. Of course can’t check the kinegram.
    – jcaron
    Jun 29, 2023 at 22:08
  • So the EU issued regulation 2017/1954 (back in 2017) which amends regulation 1030/2002 and defines a new common format (which no longer has the bull and stars, but plenty of other features). IRPs switched to the new format in 2022, and they are definitely common format. The UK guide linked to above is not up to date. Pretty sure this is thus not the reason for the denied boarding.
    – jcaron
    Jun 29, 2023 at 22:25
  • @jcaron If the OP’s Irish Residence Permit card was issued before Mar 2022 it will be the old version, see the example in the first link in my answer irishimmigration.ie/registering-your-immigration-permission/… I can only assume this is the version the OP has, since my answer was accepted.
    – Traveller
    Jun 30, 2023 at 6:44
  • @Traveller the old version was in the previous common format, it has the bull and stars etc.
    – jcaron
    Jun 30, 2023 at 6:56
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When you self-transfer (buy separate tickets, which is the only option with most low-cost carriers), many airlines will consider only their own flight and nothing else. They don’t care about transit, connections or onward flights: for them they are transporting you from A to B, and you need to have documentation to enter B as a regular visitor, even if you are actually just transiting to C.

If this is the rule they applied, then it is perfectly normal for them to deny boarding: to enter the UK as a visitor, if you are not a citizen of a visa-free country, you would need a visa, with a limited number of exceptions.

They do this for multiple reasons, including:

  • It’s easier and quicker for them if agents only have to check against a single set of rules (which is already complex). If they accept transit, they have to check that you are eligible to travel to your final destination and to fly to the intermediate destination for transit. Transit rules are often extremely complex, as they often depend not only on your citizenship, documents and destination country (like for entry), but also on the actual airport, the combination of airlines, whether you have checked bags or not, whether you will need to go through passport control or not, and so on.
  • They would have to check that you actually have an onward flight meeting the criteria. They have no way of doing so if it’s a different airline, and it’s easier if they are consistent.
  • Since the two flights are booked separately, if you miss your second flight, you may be stranded at the connecting airport, and then they would have an issue with the immigration authorities of that country (having to fly you back and having a fine to pay).

Things would be different if you had actual connecting flights, booked on a single ticket: in that case the airline would have taken into account your whole itinerary, checked for documentation for transit in connecting countries and entry in the destination country. Also if there are any issues with the connection they have to take care of you and rebook you to your final destination (or fly you back if this is your choice). All of this costs them more, which is why LCCs don’t want to do it and only sell point-to-point rather than connecting flights.

So you have two options:

  • Either you book actually connecting flights, and then documentation requirements for transit at intermediate airports are actually valid;
  • Or you check requirements for entry (as a visitor, e.g. a tourist) for intermediate countries where you self-transfer (this would require a visa for the UK).

Of course the simplest option is a direct flight if the option exists (it does in your case).

You could argue that the UK rules do not mention anything about a self-transfer or actual connecting flights and they the denied boarding was unjustified. I have no idea which way this would go in court and if you thus have any chance of getting a refund and/or compensation. I’m not aware of case law in either direction. You may want to enrol the services of one of the specialists who claim for you (in exchange for a hefty commission of course), they would probably be able to tell you quickly if you have any chance of success or not.

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You might need a Visitor in Transit visa to transit through a UK airport (Stansted) on your way to Budapest.

Your itinerary shows that you are traveling from Dublin to Stansted, and then from Stansted to Budapest. Ryanair doesn't offer connecting flights on a single ticket in Stansted, so you would need to cross the UK border. This is known as landside transit.

The GOV.UK website lists accepted documents for landside transit.

Ryanair may have wrongly denied boarding to you — and you might be able to make a claim for compensation. The immigration rules are complex, and airlines sometimes make mistakes.

Even if you already have an accepted document for transit, it might be easier to apply online for a Visitor in Transit visa from the UK. Airlines don't want to pay penalty charges for transporting passengers without the right documentation. Showing a Visitor in Transit visa at the airport would make it easier for you to complete your itinerary (even if it is unfair).

Or you could buy a ticket to fly directly from Ireland to Budapest. You would need to show proof that you can enter the EU, but you wouldn't have to show proof that you can enter the UK for transit purposes.

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  • This doesn’t address the OP’s question, it’s not much more than a reiteration of information the OP already had.
    – Traveller
    Jun 29, 2023 at 19:16

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