I am traveling from NY to Mumbai via London, on H1B visa. If I am allowed to board at NYC, will I be sure I will not be troubled at London for immigration reasons? In other words with the British Airways agents do due diligence at JFK while checking my passport / visa's etc ?

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    Are you actually asking whether you need to go through immigration in London?
    – DCTLib
    Jul 18, 2015 at 18:40
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    I have a feeling this is an XY problem question. As I understand it (and people here know much more than I do), a holder of USA H1B visa traveling on an Indian passport, which is my guess for Mumbai, does not need a Direct Airside Transit Visa for the UK. So unless the OP is on some serious watch list, won't (s)he be able to do an airside transfer with minimal interference from the UK Border Police? To answer the question as asked, by repeated experience is that British Airways is very strict in checking visa documentation. Jul 19, 2015 at 22:10
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    This is actually confusing to me. Does India even use H1B visas? Isn't an H1B a US Visa? Are you an Indian citizen traveling to India on your Indian passport? If so, what does the H1B visa have to do with this travel? If so, why would any immigration officers anywhere trouble you, since you are already attempting to fly home.
    – CGCampbell
    Jul 21, 2015 at 14:37

2 Answers 2


Yes, airline staff in general will do a check that you have the necessary documentation to enter your destination country. This is because they are subject to costs if they fly a person who is not permitted to enter the country. So if you do not have the necessary documentation you will not be permitted to board the aircraft.

On the other hand, just because you have been allowed to board the aircraft does not mean that you will be allowed to enter the country. Airline staff are not border officers, and can't give you permission to enter. If you are on a security watch list, or your visa is a forgery, or the immigration official simply decides that your story does not add up, you can be excluded at the border.

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    Critically, airline staff aren't immigration officers, so they can't guarantee that you won't face any trouble (like CBP can if you're flying to the US from an airport with preclearance).
    – cpast
    Jul 18, 2015 at 18:11
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    +1 Beside having to carry them back, in many countries, airlines can also be fined for bringing passengers without proper documentation, incidentally.
    – Relaxed
    Jul 19, 2015 at 21:01

You do go through a security check at LHR, but it is pretty perfunctory (by British, attack-dog standards). If you are traveling to India on an Indian passport, they won't ask any questions.

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