My friend and I are working in Riyadh. We are Filipino by nationality and passport. We have Schengen visas because we will be travelling around Schengen territories. On our return to Saudi Arabia, we will leave from Berlin, Germany and fly to London Heathrow for a 16-hour layover before the flight to Riyadh.

Are we able to go outside the airport during the layover in the UK? What visa do we need to be able to tour a bit before our next flight?

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    UK is not part of Schengen, therefore as a Filipino citizen you need a UK visa
    – Ali Awan
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 8:44
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    @pnuts This isn't about a layover, OP wants to enter the UK. The fact that she intends to do so on a layover matters little to the question. I realize the English in this question is less clear than it could be, but still, it's quite clear that this is not a dupe. (It might be a dupe of another question on the site, though.)
    – Fiksdal
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 12:28
  • @pnuts I agree that this lacks research. That is a reason for downvoting, not for closing. (Although I wish it was, I'm sure you remember my meta suggestion from earlier.) If you think the answer to the other question is more useful than the answer here, that's fine, but do consider the excellent meta treatise "A friendly reminder that duplicates should be the same QUESTION, not different questions with similar answers" and the community consensus surrounding it.
    – Fiksdal
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 16:48
  • @pnuts Fine, fine. The last close-vote may pile on, but we can probably get this reopened even if that was to happen.
    – Fiksdal
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 16:51

3 Answers 3


According to Timatic, Filipino citizens do need visas to enter the UK. Timatic does not mention any exception for those who hold Schengen visas either. Therefore, you will need to apply for UK visas if you want to visit the UK on your layover (or at any time.)

The fact that you are residents of Saudi Arabia does not change anything either.

From official government sources:

Apply for a Standard Visitor visa if you’re visiting the UK for a holiday or to visit family or friends.

Regarding transit visas

In order to qualify for a transit visa, you need to be:

able to show that the only purpose of your visit to the UK is transit.

For the purposes of transit you could stay airside. Your purpose for going through immigration would not be transit, it would be tourism (visiting London for leisure.) I therefore don't believe a transit visa would be right for you. I recommend you get the Standard Visitor visa if you want to enter the UK under such circumstances.

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    No, this is not tourism. The UK has a special category of Visitor in Transit visas, which are for landside transit of not not more than 48 hours. These are (if I remember correctly) cheaper to apply for than Standard Visitor visas. The appropriate page to link to is gov.uk/check-uk-visa/y/philippines/transit/yes (only the first paragraph of which is relevant here). Commented Nov 12, 2016 at 12:46
  • @HenningMakholm That visa is for people who need the visa for transit purposes. OP doesn't. To be eligible for this you have to be "able to show that the only purpose of your visit to the UK is transit." For transit OP doesn't even need to go through immigration, so it would seem like a visa would be for something other than transit. And, indeed, OPs intention for entering is to be a tourist for a few hours. Click on the link for tourist visa from your link, and you'll see that requirement.
    – Fiksdal
    Commented Nov 12, 2016 at 12:55
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    To me it does sound like the only purpose of the OP's visit to the UK is transit. Namely, if it were not for the transit they wouldn't have gone to the UK at all. Wanting to pass the time for the duration of their transit is incidental to the main purpose of transiting, not a purpose for coming there. Commented Nov 12, 2016 at 13:02
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    Some people who have a 16-hour layover may prefer to stay in the transit area to save on cost -- but wishing to go out and, for example, find a hotel bed to lie down in is completely consistent with having transit as one's only purpose. Commented Nov 12, 2016 at 13:17
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    @HenningMakholm Also perhaps you should post a second answer.
    – Fiksdal
    Commented Nov 12, 2016 at 13:27

To begin, Filipino nationals require a visa to leave the airport. In your case you can get a Standard Visitor Visa or if your itinerary makes sense, a 48 hour transit visa.

Your itinerary is Germany - UK - Saudi Arabia, if the need for a transit visa is substantiated, i.e., it's the fastest or most convenient route, then you have a great premise. The constraint is that the maximum time you can spend in the UK is 48 hours. Note that they don't like it if, at prima facei, you have contrived an itinerary in order to create a premise.

If your itinerary appears to demonstrate an intentional visit to the UK, i.e., a destinational intent, they will refuse a transit visa application because you would need a Standard Visitor Visa instead. You did not provide enough background in your question for us to suggest the right alternative.

For your questions...

Are we able to go outside the airport during the layover in the UK?

Yes, provided you have a visa in all the passports. People spend time in the UK on transit visas to the extent that it's common.

What visa do we need to be able to tour a bit before our next flight?

The answer here is indeterminate because we do not have all of the information needed to suggest the best choice. You have two options: Standard Visitor Visa and Transit Visa.

To apply for either of these you can use the gateway at Visa4UK. Once you have entered your choice of visa, the software will guide you through the application process.

You and your family will also have to report to an Application Centre to enrol your biometrics.

Visa applications posted in the Schengen zone are processed through Croydon and take 5 - 7 days in most cases.

Your question also contains a question in its title...

How to enter the UK during a layover as a Filipino citizen?

Entering the UK is virtually automatic once the Immigration Officer has examined your visas. He will ask some questions and stamp your passports. Once that happens you proceed to the next room and you will have entered the UK. To flag a taxi or take the tube into central London, follow the "Way Out" signs into the main gallery and look for the appropriate signs.


You will be able to visit London during the layover if you have a Visitor in Transit visa, which costs 59 pounds. This visa is issued on the basis of your flight confirmation and Saudi re-entry permit, which proves your right to enter your destination.

Create an account HERE, then apply online and follow the given instructions

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