UK to allow Indians transit without UK Visa

Regular readers of the blog must remember the incident where my passport got stuck with the British consulate in Mumbai and I could not make it to a meeting in time in Europe.

This was the result of a long time policy of the UK, which ensured that Indians had a transit visa or a visa of some sort for the UK, if they were just transit through the country, and were not going to enter the borders. The policy did not apply if you were transiting to go to the US/Australia/New Zealand, or had a valid residence permit in the EU.

This morning, I got word that the need for a transit visa for the UK is being withdrawn for Indians with effect from December 1, 2014, as long as you have a valid USA or Canadian visa.

That is the Country Manager of India for British Airways right there making this information public. So how does it work? You still do need a visa to your eventual destination country, but as long as you have a USA or Canadian visa, you can transit the UK for any destination.

This goes into effect from December 1, 2014, and should be updated on the UK Consulate page soon. So, that should make UK an easier choice to transit, though transiting through Heathrow is another ball game, well…

Will this make UK a choice of transit airport for my Indian readers?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. @Kapil To follow up @Ravi ‘s question, did you stay in the US for more than 6 months before you travelled to India. I ask this because I’m some confusion with the information of the UK website regarding the need for a direct airside transit (DAT) visa for indian nationals who possess valid US visas. I have a valid F1 visa (valid for another year) and will be traveling from US to India with a 5 hr layover at Heathrow T5. I have not left the US for 2 years running. The website says ( ) whereas the following two government documents provided to carriers contradict what is online. ( and ) According to the latter 2 documents, I would ok without a UK DAT visa but according website, I wouldn’t. Thanks.

  2. Just to be clear

    The current requirement for people who had their US visa expired and moved to us 6 months before require transit visa to enter UK.

    Is there any change to that?

  3. I went through this on Sunday. I was doing PHL-LHR-BLR on BA and there were some issue with the aircraft leading to a 27 hr delay at PHL and then passengers missing the subsequent rebooked LHR-BLR flight. We were then booked on the flight next day. Since BA was arranging for hotel accommodation and meals, I was issued a 24hr transit visa on the spot. I have a B1/B2 visa only and no previous UK/ Europe travel. The immigration officer did ask me some questions about my visit and employer etc. and actually made detailed notes on my entry card before stamping.

  4. Isn’t this the equivalent of having a long term UK visa. Just substitute UK for US.
    Don’t really see many benefiting.

    • @Raju a long term UK visa will allow you to enter UK borders, this provision will allow you to transit UK without a visa. so it is massively different. Also, a 10 Year US multiple entry visa costs about 7-8K INR, while that is 9K INR is the cost of a 6 months UK visitor visa.

    • @Jiren, I hope you read the post to understand that if you now have a USA visa, you will not need the transit visa at all while using a UK airport.

  5. I am not sure what the news is here. This has always been the case that you dont need a transit UK visa if you have a valid US visa.

  6. this is the best news i’ve got from you. especially since just yesterday I got my award ticket confirmed to TXL via LHR. I have to transit Heathrow for 1 hour only, and the thought of applying for a transit visa just for that seemed just silly and impractical. Well this comes as a relief.

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