I am an Indian citizen. I am going to study in Canada with a study-permit. I am planning to have my flight via London. I've a layover there at London for almost 9 hours. Is it wise to visit the city for 4-5 hours during the layover? Additionally do I need a Transit Visa to visit the city? or do I need a General Visitor Visa for this short-trip at London?

Edits: Arriving and departing both the flights are from London Heathrow airport.

DATV suggests that if I am heading to Canada, I don't need DATV. https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa/y/india/transit/no

Visitor in Transit Visa suggests that I can pass border control with this Visa. I may also get a Transit without Visa concession if I satisfy this three:

  • you arrive and depart by air
  • have a confirmed onward flight which leaves within 24 hours
  • have the right documents for your destination (eg a visa for that country)

And I am also heading to Canada, this also can help me to get this concession.

So, do I need a Visitor in Transit Visa to visit the city? At least website suggests that. However, I'm not sure as no one can tell it with confirmation. Hope someone helps out here.

  • 1
    Would both the flight into and out of London be from the same London airport, or might you fly into one and onwards from the other?
    – Gagravarr
    Commented May 23, 2014 at 18:19
  • 1
    This is a combination of 2 questions: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/9926/…, travel.stackexchange.com/questions/6740/…
    – Karlson
    Commented May 23, 2014 at 18:20
  • @Gagravarr edited the question. Please see.
    – soham
    Commented May 24, 2014 at 3:25
  • 1
    @Karlson I read those. However, I'm not sure which Visa I should choose. If I don't even consider to leave the airport, then also do I need a Visa? If yes, which one? DATV or Visitor in Transit Visa? If I choose to leave the airport for 4-5 hours, can I choose Visitor in Transit Visa and just roam around the city and come back to the airport to board to the next flight? or will I be needing General Visitor Visa in that case? gov.uk/check-uk-visa/y/india/transit/yes This link suggests that I may apply for Visitor in Transit Visa and can cross border control to visit the city.
    – soham
    Commented May 24, 2014 at 3:41
  • @soham.m17 What is assumed with regard to a transit visa is that you ONLY wish to travel to the next airport. I'm not sure, but I believe you will be asked why do you wish to leave the airport when the flight for your next destination leaves from the same airport. Commented May 26, 2014 at 1:14

1 Answer 1


If you wish to visit London, present at the UK border:

  • Passport open at the page with the Canadian visa
  • Filled-out landing Card
  • Connecting boarding pass (or e-ticket if you don't have it)

You'll be able to enter the UK and stay until 23:59 the next day.

If fulfilling these conditions, you do not need a visa.

  • If a visa is not needed, which page is the visa page?
    – MadHatter
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 1:06
  • 2
    @MadHatter The page with the Canadian visa
    – Crazydre
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 10:11
  • This is the correct answer
    – BritishSam
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 12:43

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