What is UK Transit Visa?

UK Transit Visa
The airports in the United Kingdom are some of the busiest airports in the world. People reach the UK airports not only for visiting the country but also to catch their connecting flights. Anyone travelling to an international destination through one of the airports in the United Kingdom will need a UK transit visa. This visa will allow you to pass through the UK airport without the need to applying for a UK visit visa. However, not many people are aware of the rules of the UK transit visa and the ways of applying for them. Here we present you all the details you need to know about the UK transit visa.

Who Needs a UK Transit Visa?

You will need to apply for a UK transit visa if one of the following conditions applies in your case:
  • You will be changing flights at one of the UK airports while travelling to another country
  • You will be leaving the country within 48 hours
  • You have to undergo UK border control, as you have to check in your luggage to catch a connecting flight to another international destination.

Who Does Not Need a UK Transit Visa?

You will not need a UK transit visa if you fulfill one of the following requirements:
  • If you are an EEA or a Swiss national
  • You have an EEA family permit
  • You hold a valid UK standard visitor visa
  • You possess the UK marriage visitor visa
  • You are travelling with a home office travel document. In other words, you are a stateless person or a refugee.

Different Types of UK Transit Visas

Before you start the transit visa UK process, you need to know about the different types of UK transit visas. There are 2 types of UK transit visas, which are as follows:
  • Direct Airside Transit Visa: The Direct Airside Transit Visa is for those who have to catch an onward flight from the same UK airport at which you arrived . It is for those who do not have to pass through the UK border control. This transit visa is valid only for 24 hours, i.e., it is important to leave the UK within 24 hours of arriving at the airport.
  • Visitor in Transit Visa: The UK visitor in transit visa is for those who are passing through the UK for travelling to another country but still need to go through border control. This happens when the connecting flight is from a different airport than the one they arrived at. In this case, the passenger has to leave the UK within 48 hours of arrival.

How to Apply for a UK Transit Visa?

The process of applying for a UK transit visa is more or less similar to applying for a UK visitor visa. Here is a step-by-step guide to follow while applying for a UK transit visa:
  • The first step is to know which type of UK transit visa you need to apply for. If your connecting flight is from the same airport you arrived at, you will need a Direct Airside Transit Visa. However, if you need to go through border control, you have to apply for a Visitor in Transit Visa.
  • The second step is to know where you have to apply for your UK transit visa. This can be at a UK embassy or a visa application center in your home country or country of residence.
  • The next step is to collect all the documents you need to apply for this type of visa.
  • You can apply for your UK transit visa online. For this, you need to download the application form from the UK government’s official website.
  • Once you complete the visa application form, you need to schedule a visa meeting or interview appointment.
  • Arrive on time at the embassy or visa center to attend your interview or meeting. At the time of the appointment, you have to provide your biometric information, which includes photographs and fingerprints.

Documents Required for UK Transit Visa

Although you have to submit significantly lesser number of documents while applying for a UK transit visa as compared to a UK visitor visa, there are some important documents that you need to attach with your UK transit visa application form. The UK transit visa requirements are as follows:
  • Passport with sufficient validity
  • Proof that you are allowed to enter the country you are travelling to. This can be in the form of a green card, residence permit, and valid visa.
  • Proof of your onward journey in the form of printed flight tickets, flight booking email, or confirmation from your travel agent.
Apart from the documents mentioned above, you may have to submit additional documents depending on the country you belong to.

UK Transit Visa Fee

Along with the UK transit visa application fee, you also need to pay the fee for the same. This visa fee will depend on which country you belong to.


Once you have submitted your UK transit visa application, you will get your visa approval within 3 weeks. Hence, apply for the visa well in advance before your travel date. If applying for a UK transit visa seems tedious or confusing, you can approach a reputed visa agency to help you through the visa application process.

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