I am a Ghanaian student studying in the US. I am scheduled to be travelling to Ghana via the UK. I have a 3 hour layover in the airport and then my flight for Ghana departs. I have a valid F-1 visa for the US so do I need to apply for a transit visa for the UK?

  • Ghana is a DATV country (meaning you generally need a visa) but it seems you might qualify for a “transit without visa” concession since you are returning from the US with a valid US visa, see the UK Border Agency website. – Relaxed Dec 12 '13 at 20:59

Short: A UK transit visa (formally a 'direct airside transit visa or 'DATV) is NOT required in your case as long as all your travel documents and visas as required for the US and Ghana are in order and you complete the transit within 24 hours.

Longer / Because:

You will not need to have a DATV to transit UK airspace because you meet the following conditions:

  • You are a national of a country covered by the DATV system (Ghana) and

  • You are arriving and departing by air

Provided that:

  • Your onward flight is confirmed and

  • You depart within 24 hours (as planned) and

  • You have proper documentation for your destination, including a visa if necessary.

  • You must hold a valid entry visa for the USA, and a valid airline ticket for travel via the UK, as part of a journey between the US and Ghana.

The above is obtained from the UK Border agency site - Do I need a visa to transit airside? which is the one that 'Solver' cited.

I get the opposite answer to him after reading:

  • 3rd paragraph headed "You can transit the UK airside without a visa if:"

  • Pop out list at bottom of page with heading "Nationalities requiring a DATV", which advises that Ghana IS one such country BUT

  • this is modified in pop out list at bottom of page headed "Transit without visa' concession - DATV exemptions" - which provides the conditions which I summarised above

You also do not need a DATV if the following applies to you:

  • You are recognised as stateless under the 1954 UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons

  • You hold a valid travel document issued by the UK government

  • You are recognised as stateless under the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and qualify for the DATV exemption under the 'transit without visa' concession - see under 'More information' below.

  • 1
    Under the exemptions there's a long list titled Additionally, you must hold: which might exclude OP and require OP to get a visa. – Hanna Dec 13 '13 at 5:35
  • The OP said he or she is Ghanaian, why is everybody copying/paraphrasing all the stuff about stateless people? – Relaxed Dec 13 '13 at 10:38
  • @Annoyed Why are you posting complaints about what "everybody is doing" on my answer when it does not apply to me. Yes, I did add a comment about stateless people on the bottom for completeness, but the summary mentions them not and the main answer relates directly to her (presumably) case - having omitted much material that was superfluous to increase clarity. I'd have thought that adding additional as a footnote and clearly separated would be considered a bonus. Apparently not :-). – Russell McMahon Dec 14 '13 at 10:22
  • @jOHANNES. No. Or, yes, but I've covered it :-). The list that you cite includes "or" after every item - ie you need to satisfy a minimum of 1 of them. The one relevant to Akosua is the very first, requiring her to hold a valid entry visa to the US (in this case) plus a valid airline ticket to Ghana from the US via the UK (in this case). I covered this in my answer in point 4 under "Provided that". | I suspect that as her journey is US to Ghana, if she was not returning to the US, then the entry visa requirement may not apply, but I included it as the rules do not make the distinction. – Russell McMahon Dec 14 '13 at 10:32
  • @RussellMcMahon But it does apply to you… Copying the whole content of the website without tailoring it to the question, – including some pretty exotic cases – does not seem very useful. – Relaxed Dec 14 '13 at 10:35

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