I am a Indian National, currently studying in San Francisco on a Valid F1 visa. I came to India for a month long visit and will be leaving via Heathrow. Unfortunately i have a 18hour layover there. Will I be able to get out of the Airport without a Visa? My flight lands 6 pm in the evening and leaved 1 pm the next day. I basically plan on just hanging out for the night and staying a hotel later on.

I really dont think the immigration people expect you to stay at the airport for the whole 18 hours. I was reading the info in the other topics as well as the UK visa website. But nowhere did I find a clear answer, mostly everyone has just quoted what has been stated on the UK website. Is there anyone who has been under the same situation?


1 Answer 1


Probably. You can't count on it though...

As you have an Indian passport, a valid US visa, and are in transit between the US and India, you qualify for the 'Transit without visa' concession (click to expand the section on that page for details). Under that concession, you will be able to do a landside transit of up to 24 hours between your flights.

However, as warned at the bottom of that page:

Please note that this concession is operated at the UK Border Agency's discretion. Our officers may therefore prevent you from using the concession. If you are unsure whether you meet the concession's criteria, you should get a visa before you travel.

So, they may not allow you to enter the UK, and you may be required to spend the whole time airside within the airport. I don't know how common that is, but be prepared to show evidence of why you will return to the airport to catch the onward flight in case you're challenged!

  • 1
    Yeah, ill be checking in my baggage right here at India for SF, Plus i have an i20 with signatures of the School officials. And of course a confirmed flight. Im just worried because i haven't really heard from anyone having done the same thing. Or maybe no one posts about it online :P
    – bloodhawk
    Jul 1, 2013 at 16:27

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