This is my first time posting on this forum. I am a resident of U.A.E. and a Pakistani national. I was born in U.A.E.

I am planning to transit through UK to Colombia for visit during June / July 2015 and will spend few days (5 days) in London on my way back from Colombia. I am confused as to what kind of visa for UK would I be needing for this? My scenario is explained below:

15 June 2015: Flight from Abu Dhabi to London

16 June 2015: Transit to Colombia via London

30 July 2015: Return to London from Colombia

05 July 2015: Return back to Abu Dhabi

Two visa choices:

(1) I can obtain Business Visitor Visa (I have traveled to UK on Business Visitor Visa in past). Can this visa be used to transit to another country?

(2) If I obtain Visitor in Transit Visa, I can't stay in London for more than 48 hours.

Would I need BOTH the Business Visitor and Visitor in Transit visas?

Any suggestions would be appreciated!


2 Answers 2


You only need one kind of visa, and the one you need will be determined by the purpose of your visit to the UK.

If your previous Business Visit visa has not yet expired, you can use that to safely transit.

On your outbound journey (UAE to Columbia), you'll need a DATV (airside transit visa) if you are transiting through the same airport and are not going to stay at the airport for more than 24 hours.

If you are changing airports, or your transit window is greater than 24 hours, you'll need a Visitor In Transit visa.

The same applies to you on your return journey.

  • I only need one kind of visa? But isin't it really 2 visas? Business Visitor + DATV? My Business Visitor visa is no longer valid and I am going to apply for a new one. If I am not mistaken, I would first need to get Business Visitor stamped and then apply for DATV? What if I would need to change terminals at Heathrow? From my understanding, DATV would only work if I am not changing terminals; not sure though.
    – Kami
    Apr 5, 2015 at 12:00
  • 1
    @Kami If you have a valid business visitor visa, you do not need a separate transit visa. You may transit with the business visitor visa, either airside or leaving the airport. Apr 5, 2015 at 14:47
  • Hi Michael ..... the General Visitor and Business Visitor pages state this under "Eligibility": "You can apply for a General Visitor visa if you’re: - not in transit to another country, except for Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands" ... what does this mean? I am all confused .... can I transit straight from UK to Colombia without entering UK if I have a valid Business Visitor visa?
    – Kami
    Apr 5, 2015 at 18:13
  • Those are the conditions to apply for the visa. If you already have one, which expired, you can only apply for another if you can demonstrate valid cause for one. You should apply for the visa that matches your reason for travel and not one you think you might get. Having previously been granted a visa does make you known to the services and it may help with your current application. However make sure you apply for a transit visa. Apr 5, 2015 at 18:16
  • @BurhanKhalid .. if I apply for Transit Visa, I won't be able to stay in London for more than 48 hours, would I?
    – Kami
    Apr 6, 2015 at 5:06

OK ... I got this reply from UK Immigration and Visas Enquiry:

"If you intend to both visit and transit the UK, you should apply for both a transit and a visitor category UK visa, as per your purpose of coming to the UK. Please, be advised that you must be holding a valid UK visa fit for your purpose of coming to the UK to be able to enter or transit the UK."

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