I am Indian citizen

Came to US: Sept 2013

US Visa Type: H4 (My husband has valid H1B and i797 valid till Sept 2015)

US Visa Validity: Sept 2015

In Nov 2014, I am planning to travel to India via London airport through Virgin Atlantic airline. I have to visit London only because my flight US->Londing->Bombay (Same airlines and checked baggage will be delivered directly to Mumbai Airport india.

I checked on UK gov website regarding Transit Visa and wording is totally confusing and nobody understand what they say.

Can anybody say YES/NO whether i need UK Transit Visa? My US visa is valid till 2015 and I am an Indian citizen. Travelling in Nov 2014.

Any prompt help is much appreciated.

  • 1
    @Karlson You sure about duplicate? There suggested to go to site and check but result on that link is not easy to analyze. UK Gov website not saying anything clear whether i need to have Transit VISA or not. Based on my visa and nationality there has to be single answer "YES" or "NO". But everybody keeps answering something weird. – Jigisha Aug 8 '14 at 20:46
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    Because besides your nationality the source or destination of travel and other visas you may hold can play a role in your needing a Transit Visa. If you follow: gov.uk/check-uk-visa/y/india/transit/no and check the exemptions you will find that you will need a transit visa since you've entered US more then 6 months you won't need one on the way back. – Karlson Aug 8 '14 at 20:53
  • It's true that the rules aren't particularly clear. Short of trying your luck at the airport or waiting for someone who has been in your exact situation before, there are two things you might want to try: (1) ask the airline (to find out about their interpretation of the rules, as they will be the first to assess your visa situation, long before you set foot in the UK) and (2) contact the UKVI – Relaxed Aug 9 '14 at 1:01

NO, you don't need a UK visa. Simple.

It's very plain and simple and honestly I don't understand why the wording is confusing you. As the Gov.UK website mentions for your conditions,

  • are travelling from Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA and it’s less than 6 months since you last entered that country with a valid entry visa

That's it. This condition applies to you and exempts you from the transit visa requirement. Nothing else matters after this anyway. The I-797 story you mentioned is for US Permanent Residents who are waiting for their Residency Card to be renewed.

You have a valid US visa, period. You don't need a UK visa (only to transit, so you should not try to cross border control with this i.e. you cannot enter the UK, you can only remain in the transit region of the airport).

  • But that's not what the sentence you're quoting is saying?! What about the “6 months since you last entered that country” clause? – Relaxed Aug 9 '14 at 7:13
  • Well you are right per se. But I perceived it as - as long as your visa has not expired more than 6 months ago. If you still have a valid visa and you are allowed to go "to" the country without a transit visa, you are allowed to come without a transit visa as well it seems. I say this because I have tried this in practice and know many others who have as well (all Indian citizens with F1 visas) – Aditya Somani Aug 9 '14 at 7:35
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    @AditySomani It sounds like a reasonable interpretation and could presumably be a way to deal with people returning from the US without valid visa (as that's not required to stay in the US if you have valid status) but it's phrased somehwat more clearly, e.g., in Schengen regulations. That's precisely what I find confusing about the website. – Relaxed Aug 9 '14 at 7:38
  • @Relaxed Yes, you are absolutely correct. I kind of agree now that my interpretation of only this sentence is uncommon. I'll edit the answer to add the other sentence as well and add a written clarification for future users. – Aditya Somani Aug 9 '14 at 7:40

From the site in the Duplicate:

If you will be passing through Customs:

Leaving the airport
Apply for a Visitor in Transit visa if you’ll be going through UK border control but leaving the UK within 48 hours.

You can also apply for a long-term Visitor in Transit visa if you can prove you need to frequently pass through the UK over a longer period.

Otherwise, if only a Gate Change is needed:

You should apply for a Direct Airside Transit visa if you’ll be changing flights in the UK without going through immigration control.

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    This is wrong. There is no need for a visa if a valid visa for US is available only if the destination is the US. When coming from the US if the length of stay is more then 6 months a visa is necessary unless Green card is available. – Karlson Aug 8 '14 at 21:15
  • you just contradicted yourself My answer agrees with the last comment you made in the OP's question, and you're now saying it's wrong??? According to the site I read and the one you posted earlier, she needs a DATV(September to August is 9 months), so am I still wrong. If I am, no wonder she's confused – eyoung100 Aug 8 '14 at 21:21
  • You can Skip Applying for a Visa if you have a Valid Visa, which you indicate you already posses - your first premise. Which is completely conditional on the destination of travel, so yes it is wrong. Conditions matter. That is why the answer from a duplicate question is worded exactly as it is. – Karlson Aug 8 '14 at 21:33
  • I'll Edit it then to clarify what I meant – eyoung100 Aug 8 '14 at 21:37
  • 1
    Thanks for the answer. I was going through exemption list and not able to understand this - "have a valid US permanent residence card issued on or after 21 April 1998 (or an I-797 extension letter issued by the Bureau of Citizenship if it’s expired)". I have valid i797 letter issued in 2012 valid till Sept 2015. Are they talking about same? or something else. That is what is confusing to me. – Jigisha Aug 8 '14 at 21:42

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