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My visa to UK is valid starting from June 25 but my flight to LGW is June 24 10:30 PM (edit: this is landing time not departure based on VCE-LGW flight times presented by easyjet.com). I still have 1.5 hours until my visa becomes valid. I prefer not to change my flight because I don't want to pay extra charges.

  1. Will the EasyJet airlines going to allow me on board? I will be coming from Venice.

  2. How long does it take from landing to Immigration in London Gatwick?

  3. Can I stay longer in the airport before I pass through Immigration? Can I still see my luggage in the conveyor belt after 1.5 hours? How much time before they take away my luggage from the belt?

  • Do they have WiFi in the arrival area? Any pubs? restaurants? – Harper May 29 '17 at 18:48
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    @Harper No, just a corridor to border control and the transit area (the latter of which closes at night) – Crazydre May 29 '17 at 20:23
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    Just a quick note, since there seems to be some confusion in the answers--the relevant flight appears to be EZY8070 which arrives at LGW at 22:30; there is no departure from VCE to LGW at 22:30. – waiwai933 May 29 '17 at 22:34
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    You can also apply for a change of date of the visa instead of rescheduling the flight. – Quora Feans May 29 '17 at 23:44
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    @QuoraFeans honestly contacting the British and asking them what they want you to do is the best plan. They might change your visa, tell you to not worry about it, tell you to arrive at check-in and just wait 90 minutes, or tell you to reschedule your flight. better to ask up front. – Harper May 30 '17 at 0:37
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Lingering in the passageways (or disappearing into the toilets) at Gatwick for 1.5 hours is a naive idea, it's called "suspicious behaviour" in the contexts of both security and attempting to evade immigration control. For them, it means someone deplaned but did not reach one of the other control points and they will check where the leakage occurred with their cameras.

Since it's a suspicious event, they will dispatch a unit to make eyes on contact. The unit may or may not include one of the medical cyclists on call around the clock, but for sure would include at least one security staff. They will make a welfare check and wait outside the toilet for you. Unless you are seriously ill they will conduct an id check and escort you to the primary control point for a more intensive line of enquiry.

When it all becomes clear that this was a simple matter of passenger convenience and not a seriously ill passenger, the IO can decide what to do.


Note: the controlling technical reference for this question is Paragraph 31A of the rules, which says...

Where a person has arrived in the United Kingdom with leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom which is in force but was given to him before his arrival, he may apply, on arrival at the port of entry in the United Kingdom, for variation of that leave. An Immigration Officer acting on behalf of the Secretary of State may vary the leave at the port of entry but is not obliged to consider an application for variation made at the port of entry. If an Immigration Officer acting on behalf of the Secretary of State has declined to consider an application for variation of leave at a port of entry but the leave has not been cancelled under paragraph 2A(8) of Schedule 2 to the Immigration Act 1971, the person seeking variation should apply to the Home Office under paragraph 32.

(And note that paragraph 32 is no longer viable)


For your more specific questions...

Will the EasyJet airlines going to allow me on board? I will be coming from Venice.

This is dependent on nationality and staff diligence and intangeable factors at (I assume) Marco Polo. The answer is indeterminate.

How long does it take from landing to Immigration in London Gatwick?

At 22:30 it should take about 10 minutes max; the queue at the control point may be lengthy but no longer than about 20 minutes for a non-EU arrival.

Can I stay longer in the airport before I pass through Immigration?

See above

Can I still see my luggage in the conveyor belt after 1.5 hours? How much time before they take away my luggage from the belt?

Once the counts at each point have matched they will pull it and store it, but this will take a much longer time for them to get around to it.


TL;DR

There is no such thing as hiding in Gatwick for any noticeable length of time. One way or another you will need to explain yourself and your options are (1) under suspicious behaviour or (2) passenger convenience.

70

I am the OP. This is what I did:

  • Called and emailed easyjet, they said I should rebook
  • Called the LGW airport immigration. The officer was very polite and helpful by the way. He said I can't stay too long in the airport as securities might be asking questions
  • Emailed the UK Embassy in Singapore, since they're not processing Visa here and need to send it to Manila, they advised me to rebook

Now I can go on and rebook this flight.

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    No problem. You didn't break any rules because most of your answer actually is an answer. I just commented to let you know in the future - especially given that this looks like you didn't post on Stack Exchange network much. – Mołot May 30 '17 at 9:34
  • Unless U.K is some fascist state, I hardly see the problem in waiting in the arrival hall before passing immigration. In fact, they probably wouldn't mind if you approached them with a visa that would become valid in 2 hours. The flight company on the other hand, as you already stated, might have a problem with this. It all depends how anal the people at the check-in and boarding are. I once flew home on an expired passport. The check-in manager let it slide. – dan-klasson May 31 '17 at 5:10
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    @dan-klasson Flying home on an expired passport is entirely different from flying to a foreign destination with an invalid visa. No country will prevent their own citizen from entering on an expired passport. Although your passport is expired, you are still a citizen of your home country and an expired passport is sufficient to prove that. On the other hand, airlines get fined if they don't properly check the validity of their passenger's visas. – MJeffryes May 31 '17 at 10:49
  • @MJeffryes Yeah I get that. It was meant as an example that sometimes airlines relax their rules. Which they should in this case as his visa would be valid 2 hours after landing. In other words, it would be totally reasonable for them to accept it. – dan-klasson May 31 '17 at 15:23
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    @dan-klasson You may doubt it, but are you willing to risk your job on it? Which is what the gate agent may be doing by letting him board. – MJeffryes May 31 '17 at 15:29
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The sterile corridors at Gatwick before immigration are open even at night, as there are a number of nighttime arrivals, so in theory you could go to the toilet and wait until midnight before heading down to immigration (although you'll likely be noticed by the cameras and have to explain why you're doing this - in this case be honest)

In practice, it is unlikely that the airport staff in Venice will let you board your flight, because the UK could heavily fine easyJet for transporting you too early. With easyJet being a budget carrier, they will be particularly careful about this.

Furthermore, your passport info gets sent to the UK in advance, so the airport may get a "DO NOT BOARD" alert from them.

If I were you, I would re-book the flight immediately, or apply for a change of dates of the visa.

4

my flight to LGW is June 24 10:30PM

If that is your departure time from Venice you have 15 minutes to spend walking to immigration after landing. That is in perfect world, not calculating any possible delays during disembark. The flight is 2h15m, if you factor in timezone change, you should land at 2345...

I would still check with EasyJet whether they will allow you to board though. My uneducated guess is they will not.

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    The given time is arrival time, as has subsequently been clarified. – David Richerby May 30 '17 at 15:51

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