UK Airside Transit
You transit the UK airside if you arrive there on a flight, remain in the arrival lounge of the airport without passing through UK immigration control, and then depart on another flight from the same airport.
The UK immigration authorities operate a Direct Airside Transit visa (DATv) system for some countries. You can find a list of countries covered by the DATv system below (valid as at August 2012).
You can transit the UK airside without a visa if:
- you are a national of a country that is not on the DATV list (check the UKBA website); or
- you are recognised as stateless under the 1954 UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons;
- You hold a valid travel documentissued by the UK government
- You are a DATV national or recognised as stateless under the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and qualify for the DATV exemption under the ‘transit without visa’ concession – please see our Post “Airside Transit – Transit without Visa Concession Airside for more information.
If you do not meet any of the above requirements, you must get a direct airside transit visa before you can transit the UK airside.
It is important to note that you cannot transit the UK airside if you are on your way to or from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
How to apply for a direct airside transit visa
Depending on the country where you live, you may need to make your application online or using a paper application form.
To find out which application method you should use, please visit the UKBA website.
This text is an adapation of the contents of the UKBA website.
DATv nationals (list correct at 2 August 2012 – please check UKBA website for updates!):
- People’s Republic of China
- Democratic Republic of Congo – including travel documents issued by the former Zaire
- Ivory Coast
- FYR of Macedonia
- Palestinian Authorities
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus – the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is not recognised by the UK government. Visas are issued on an EU uniform format ‘Form for affixing the visa’
- Venezuela (except those holding a passport issued by the Republic of Venezuela which contains biometric information held in an electronic chip)
- Yugoslavia – documents issued by the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, by present Yugoslavia authorities or by the UN mission in Kosovo
Remember, immigration law is complex and subject to continuous change. The information provided here may be out of date, or just based on personal experience/knowledge. The use of these pages is therefore entirely at your own risk. Before applying for any type of visas, you should always seek information from the authorities direct via their official websites. You will find some useful website details on our Links page.