The UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are known as the Common Travel Area.
Nationals of some countries are known as ‘visa nationals’ because they will normally require a visa to come to the UK. These countries are listed on the UKBA website.
If you are a visa national, or if you are recognised as ‘stateless’, you may need a visa to transit the UK on your way to or from a Common Travel Area destination.
Travelling to a Common Travel Area destination
If you are passing through the UK on your way to a destination in the Common Travel Area, you cannot transit airside and will need to enter the UK during your journey. You can do this without a visa if:
- you are not a visa national; or
- you hold a valid travel documentissued by the UK government; or
- you are a visa national or recognised as ‘stateless’ and meet the ‘transit without visa concession – see our separate Post.
If you do not meet any of these requirements, you will need a visitor visa to pass through the UK.
Travelling from a location in the Common Travel Area
If you are passing through the UK on your way from a location in the Common Travel Area, you cannot transit airside and will need to enter the UK during your journey.
Important note: Direct Airside Transit visas and Visitor in Transit visas are not valid for travel within the Common Travel Area.
This text is an adapation of the contents of the UKBA website. 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 The information provided here may be out of date, or just based on personal experience/knowledge.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.