I'm an Indian citizen and will be travelling JFK-Delhi-JFK next month with Kuwait Airways transiting at Kuwait each way. I've a US visa, of course, but I really want to know what other visa(s) I need.

Transit Visa needed for Kuwait?

By this answer, it seems I will not need a transit visa for Kuwait since my layovers are both less than a day.

However, I was also recently told by a friend (a EU national) that the JFK-Kuwait flights stop (apparently to refuel) at London in between. I also saw this online


At what place or places does the Kuwait-JFK flight stop actually? Is this still true? If so, do I need transit visa(s) for this?

I also went to the UK visa website and used their tool to see if I needed one. It told me that normally, Indian citizens on air side transit (no immigration) do not need visa while flying to or from the USA (among other countries). What sort of transit is this one? I've never ever been on a flight stopping for maintenance.

Is there a way to find out if I need a transit visa for a layover in the UK?

Also, this answer. I couldn't find anything about the 'security' stop at Ireland.

I'd appreciate some advice on this. Is there anyone here who has made this journey (JFK-India) by Kuwait before? There is still time for me to get transit visas, but it's extremely important for me to not miss any of these flights because of tight schedule and budgets.

If you're not sure, you can also give me places I could contact to be absolutely sure before I fly.

Please note that this question is not an exact duplicate of either question linked above. What I'm primarily asking are:

(i) Where does this Kuwait-JFK flight stop in between? (ii) At these places, do passengers pass immigration and/or security and if so, is there any reason to require transit visas?

I've contacted the airline, but the two times I called, they gave contradictory info. The operators on the line seem to have not much clue.

Thanks in advance.

Update: I've been able to further figure out that when I travel, there will be no operational stop at Ireland, but one at London Stansted. Stansted has no air side transit, so I'll need to pass immigration. The UK visa website says that an Indian national with valid US visa and onward ticket 'might' be able to pass immigration. I have never encountered 'might' in visa eligibility rules before. What is this supposed to mean?

Further update: This concerns a different flight of the same airline, again with a stopover in UK.


They say that if one has a valid US visa, they don't need a transit visa- unless, they are Indian nationals. That is just outrageous in my opinion, because clearly the UK visa authorities don't have this 'unless' clause anywhere (and even if they did have something like this, I think it very unnatural to apply to nationals of only India). So that is that.

  • 2
    Apparently the refueling point varies , sometimes it's Shannon in Ireland, sometimes it's London Stansted in the UK.
    – user4188
    Apr 1, 2017 at 5:43
  • By this blog, from April it'll be London Stransted.
    – user173185
    Apr 1, 2017 at 5:56
  • 2
    In any case you are exempt since you have a valid US visa
    – JonathanReez
    Apr 1, 2017 at 6:04
  • 2
    So strange that they'd switch from Shannon, which has a preclearence facility, to Stansted, which doesn't, given that the primary purpose of the stop appears to involve Kuwait's continued failure to satisfy US security requirements (or, depending how you look at it, the US's refusal to certify that Kuwait satisfies the requirements). Apr 1, 2017 at 9:29

1 Answer 1


Announced on March 22, 2017, Kuwait Airways flight 117 to New York (JFK) will stopover at London Stansted. In mid-2016, KU-117 began making a security stop at Shannon. The return legs of these flights do not make a stop.

The two-and-a-half-hour Shannon stopover also included passenger and baggage screening by the US Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Routes Online provided this summary

Kuwait Airways on Wednesday (22MAR17) adjusted planned intermedia stop for Westbound Kuwait City – New York JFK route, which will be in effect from 21APR17. From this date, the 777-300ER will operate via London Stansted, replacing current stop in Shannon.

Kuwait Airlines has made no further announcement on the impending stopover change and has yet to clarify how this may affect passengers.

However, specific to you and your nationality, and courtesy of the Timatic search tool on Emirates, here are the details that exempt you, as the holder of a US visa, from any additional visa requirements. These are excerpted for brevity; go to the link for the full information.

Transit - Kuwait (KW)
Visa required.
TWOV (Transit Without Visa): Holders of onward tickets for a max. transit time of 24 hours.
In case of transit connections beyond 8 hours, passengers must remain airside and be accommodated in the airport transit hotel.

Transit - United Kingdom (GB)
Visa required.
Visa Exemptions:
TWOV (Transit Without Visa):
Passengers holding confirmed onward tickets passing through United Kingdom immigration to make a landside transit to a third country on a flight that departs before 23:59 the next day.

Passengers may make a landside transit if holding a valid visa which allows entry into Australia, Canada, New Zealand or USA and traveling as part of a journey to, from or transit through the country that has issued the visa.

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