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This morning, I got word that the need for a transit visa for the UK is being withdrawn for Indians with effect from December 1, 2014, as long as you have a valid USA or Canadian visa.
Did you know that most Indian travelers will be able to transfer via the UK without a transit visa from 1st Dec! @LiveFromALounge
— Chris Fordyce (@fordyce_chris) October 29, 2014
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?