I am an Indian citizen, travelling to USA by an American Airlines flight (which is operated by British airways for the first leg). I have a valid tourist/business visa (B1/B2) for USA. My flight will arrive at Terminal 5 at 7 am, and leave from Terminal 3 at 9.30 am at Heathrow, giving me 2.5 hours to make the connection.

I had the following questions -

a) Do I need a direct airside transit visa (DATV) or a visitor-in-transit visa for this connection?

b) Both flights will be on a single ticket. Given this, will I have to pass through UK borders, customs or immigration?

c) Given that I need to move from Terminal 5 to Terminal 3 - are 2.5 hours sufficient to make the connection?


2 Answers 2


Heathrow has airside transfer buses between the terminals for flight connections, so if you have your baggage checked through, you do not need to pass through the UK immigration or customs control.

Having a valid USA visa exempts you from the airside transit visa requirement that usually apply Indian nationals.

2½ hours should be plenty for an airside connection.


As Henning said, you will not need a UK DATV since you have a US visa. In fact, even if you did need to enter the UK to pick up baggage (which you won't because it's on one ticket), you could do so on the basis of your US visa.

Also, since your trip is on one ticket, you need not worry about the connection time at all. Even if you were to miss it due to your inbound flight being late, American is obliged to take care of you without you paying a penny

  • Arriving late at the American destination might, depending on the traveler and purpose, have consequences that justify worrying about the connection time, though. Oct 1, 2016 at 11:49
  • Thanks for your comment. Since all the other similar threads mentioned an immigrant visa for USA, I was wondering if a tourist visa will be sufficient. But now it seems it will be. Thank you. Also a relief to hear about the connection time - though I'd prefer to make the original flight, of course.
    – Shreya
    Oct 1, 2016 at 13:50
  • @Shreya Immigrant visas (and green Cards) are OK too, but so is any US visa
    – Crazydre
    Oct 1, 2016 at 13:51

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