Hello everyone this is my first question ever here. I apologize in advance if i have neglected any guideline or policy while asking my question here. So my question is about transit visa at Heathrow Airport. I have an Indian passport and I will be travelling to USA on valid F1 student visa. My flight will have 19 hours overlay at Heathrow. To be honest i have selected this flight as i want to meet a very dear friend in London. I would like to ask if any one has any experience on this. What are the chances that i will be allowed outside the airport given that i have all documentation and proof that ill leave UK next day. Is there any thing i can do to make my case stronger so that i am granted Transit without Visa. I have checked here https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa/y and I found that i may be eligible for transit without visa as i have a valid US visa. I would be thankful if anyone can share there experience.

EDIT: My Flight Timings are

  • 2 Aug, 17:30 Arrival at Heathrow terminal 3
  • 3 Aug, 10:30 Departure from Heathrow terminal 3
  • What are your flight times? 19 hours at Heathrow almost guarantees you are arriving one day and leaving the next. It's not possible to stay airside overnight at Heathrow.
    – Berwyn
    May 17, 2016 at 15:48
  • @Berwyn Really? Lots of less busy airports thats possible in, but not any terminal at LHR?
    – CMaster
    May 17, 2016 at 15:52
  • "Heathrow also has a voluntary ban in place that prevents flights scheduled between 4:30am-6am from landing before 4:30am" "We also do not schedule any departures between 11pm and 6am" heathrow.com/noise/heathrow-operations/night-flights
    – Berwyn
    May 17, 2016 at 16:03
  • @Berwyn I don't see that your comment is relevant to the question of transit passengers remaining overnight in the airport (e.g., arriving at 11pm and leaving at 6am)
    – phoog
    May 17, 2016 at 16:06
  • You can't stay overnight at LHR airside, so you must pass through immigration if you have an overnight connection. A 19 hour connection means that this must be occurring.
    – Berwyn
    May 17, 2016 at 16:10

1 Answer 1


It seems that you would probably be OK, although as ever, if you want to be "safe", then applying for a visitor in transit visa makes things much more straightforward.

You can find the full rules for Transit Wiwhout Visa (TWOV) on gov.uk (sections v7.6 - 7.10).

As we already know that you meet the requirements of v7.8(a), I'll quote V7.7 here so you can make sure it's all covered:

V 7.7 The applicant must:

  • (a) have arrived by air and will be departing by air; and
  • (b) be genuinely in transit to another country, meaning the purpose of their visit is to transit the UK and that the applicant is taking a reasonable transit route; and
  • (c) will not access public funds or medical treatment, work or study in the UK; and
  • (d) genuinely intend and be able to leave the UK before 23:59 hours on the day after the day when they arrived; and
  • (e) have a confirmed booking on a flight departing the UK before 23:59 hours on the day after the day when they arrived; and
  • (f) be assured entry to their country of destination and any other countries they are transiting through on their way there.

Note that all of those requirements must be met. You may have a "landing interview" where you are quizzed on your plans. If the border officer is not satisfied that you are a "genuine visitor" you may then be denied entry. Having an existing visa (transit should be fine I think) makes this more likley to go smoothly.

  • @phoog better now?
    – CMaster
    May 17, 2016 at 16:26
  • @CMaster Thanks for the information. I am confident that i can prove that i meet all the above requirements as in V 7.7. Though i am still waiting if someone could share their real life experience. I can apply for a Transit visa but it clearly mentions that i can't apply for transit visa if i intend to do sightseeing or meet friends.
    – Urmi
    May 17, 2016 at 16:37
  • 1
    @Urmi if you want to be strictly above board then maybe you should apply for a standard visitor visa. But maybe not: the purpose of your visit is in fact transit, and seeing your friend is incidental to that. Anyway, I suspect very strongly that your chances of having problems with a visitor in transit visa are minimal.
    – phoog
    May 17, 2016 at 16:49

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