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Do I need transit visa for the UK for my direct flight (AI 172 from Newark to Ahmedabad)? It has a brief 2-hour break in London, but no plane change is involved.

I am not sure whether I need to exit the plane or not at London; if I do, would I need to go through the immigration process, or will they just check the boarding pass and passport?

The visa stamped on my passport is expired but I have valid I-797 extension and traveling to India to appear for my interview to get my visa stamped during this trip.

I am an Indian passport holder residing in the US on an H1B visa.

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    Welcome to TSE. You have not indicated your citizenship, but you can check whether or not you need a transit visa using the website at gov.uk/check-uk-visa . – choster Nov 8 '16 at 15:40
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    @pnuts not quite. The question is whether they will even step off the plane. – chx Nov 8 '16 at 15:46
  • Voted to reopen that one, then we can close this one as a dupe of that one. – chx Nov 8 '16 at 15:52
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    @chx let's update the canonical rather than creating a separate Q – JonathanReez Supports Monica Nov 8 '16 at 16:15
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    Air India specifically warns that you need to check visa requirements for the UK if you take this flight. – Michael Hampton Nov 8 '16 at 16:24
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With an expired US visa, you will not need a UK DATV to transit Heathrow if and only if it's been less than 6 months since you last entered the US, and it is up to the airline to check that you comply with this requirement. Since you're not switching flights, you definitely won't clear immigration, though there are still rules for airside transit (not involving UK immigration)

An I-797 extension letter in and of itself will not do for a visa holder, only for a permanent resident (green card holder).

A Manual from the Home office states:

Expired I-551 Green Cards issued after 21 April 1998 can be accepted if the passenger also has a valid I-797 letter authorising the extension of the card

and

DATV nationals may TWOV airside if they satisfy the three conditions set out above at 2.6 and have one of the exemption documents listed in section 2.5 OR one of the additional exemption documents listed below:

When the passenger has a valid visa for USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand

or

When the passenger is travelling from Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the United States of America and has a valid ticket to travel through the UK not more than six months after he entered one of these countries with a valid visa.

Furthermore, Timatic, a database used by Airlines, states:

Passengers may make a landside transit if traveling from Australia, Canada, New Zealand or USA, provided transiting the United Kingdom less than 6 months after the date they last entered Australia, Canada, New Zealand or USA with a valid visa for the respective country, even though the visa may have expired at the time of transit through the United Kingdom.

As such, the I-797 is useless to you, because you're an H1B visa holder and not a green card holder.

Consequently, if you last entered the US less than 6 months ago, you will not need a UK DATV. Otherwise, you will need a UK DATV

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    @Crazydre There is already a question answering this. – DJClayworth Nov 8 '16 at 17:03

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