My daughter and I are travelling to Vancouver, Canada through Heathrow but staying all night to get connected. I have a valid multi-entry visa to the UK that I obtained for previous travel, but my daughter does not because her destination is Canada. Do we need a visa to spend the night at a hotel close to Heathrow? We both have Ethiopian passports.


If you stay at a hotel near the airport, then you need to exit the airport. That means that you must ensure that you can legally pass border control.

From the link for the Gov.UK website @Karlson provided,

You’ll need a visa to pass through the UK in transit

You should apply for a Visitor in Transit visa if you arrive on a flight and will pass through immigration control before you leave the UK.

Transiting without a visa You might be eligible for the ‘transit without visa concession’ if:

  • 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)

One of the following must also apply:

  • you’re travelling to Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA and have a valid visa for that country

As you might expect the transit with visa concessions is entirely up to the Immigration official, so if you want to be absolutely sure, get a Land side transit visa.

The ‘transit without visa concession’ is decided by the immigration officer at the border. You won’t be allowed to transit if they decide you need a visa, so you might want to apply for a transit visa before you travel.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.