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Visa to pass through the UK in transit

Overview

You might need a visa to pass through the UK in transit (on your way to another country).

Check if you need one before you apply.

To get a transit visa you must prove that:

  • you’ll be in transit to another country, with enough funds and the intention to travel on
  • you can enter that country
  • the only purpose of your visit to the UK is the transit

You do not need a transit visa if you:

Types of transit visa

The visa you need depends on if you’re going through UK border control when you arrive in the UK.

Your airline can tell you if you’ll go through border control.

You’re not going through UK border control

Apply for a Direct Airside Transit visa (DATV) if you’ll be changing flights in the UK and will not be going through UK border control.

You’re going through UK border control

Apply for a Visitor in Transit visa if you’ll be going through UK border control but leaving the UK within 48 hours.

You’ll need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa if:

  • you need to stay longer in the UK
  • you can prove you need to frequently pass through the UK over a longer period

Fees

  • Direct Airside Transit Visa (DATV) – £35
  • Visitor in Transit visa – £64

The cost may vary slightly depending on which country you’re in.

Direct Airside Transit visa

You might need a Direct Airside Transit visa (DATV) if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland and you:

  • will be changing flights in the UK on your way to another country
  • will not go through UK border control

Check if you need a transit visa before you apply.

You do not need one if you have a valid:

You must apply for another type of visitor visa if you’re travelling to or from Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Documents you need

To apply for a DATV, you must have a current passport or other valid travel identification document.

You need to provide evidence that you’re allowed to enter the country you’re travelling to, such as a:

  • residence permit
  • green card
  • valid visa

If you’re not a resident or national of the country you’re travelling to, you may need to explain why you’re going there. You may need to provide details of where you’re staying.

You must also provide evidence that your onward journey is booked or confirmed, such as:

  • a flight booking email
  • printed tickets
  • confirmation from a travel agent

Your onward flight must be within 24 hours of your arrival in the UK.

Bring your visa and documents with you when you travel through the UK.

Apply outside the UK

You must apply online for a Direct Airside Transit visa:

You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centre as part of your application.

You may be able to get your visa faster or other services depending on what country you’re in – check with your visa application centre.

North Korea

You cannot apply online if you’re applying from North Korea.

Download the application form.

Read the instructions for applying from North Korea.

Visitor in Transit visa

You might need a Visitor in Transit visa if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland and you’ll:

  • be changing flights in the UK on your way to another country
  • go through UK border control, for example, to check in your luggage for a connecting flight
  • leave the UK within 48 hours
  • not work or study while in the UK

Check if you need a transit visa before you apply.

If you will not be going through UK border control, check if you need a Direct Airside Transit visa instead.

You do not need a transit visa if you have a valid:

You need to apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa if you’re staying in the UK for more than 48 hours.

Travel to the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland

You might need to apply for a visitor visa to travel through the UK to get to the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland.

You’ll usually need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa unless you’re exempt.

You do not need a UK visitor visa if:

  • you have a valid visa for the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man
  • you have a valid Irish biometric visa (marked ‘BC’ or ‘BC BIVS’ in the ‘Remarks’ section)

If you need to pass through the UK regularly

You can also apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa if you need to pass through the UK in transit regularly over a longer period. You can stay for a maximum of 6 months on each visit and your visa can last for 2, 5 or 10 years.

Documents you need

To apply for a Visitor in Transit visa, you must have a current passport or other valid travel identification document.

You need to provide evidence that you’re allowed to enter the country you’re travelling to, such as a:

  • residence permit
  • green card
  • valid visa

If you’re not a resident or national of the country you’re travelling to, you may need to explain why you’re going there. You may need to provide details of where you’re staying.

You must also provide evidence that your onward journey is booked or confirmed, such as:

  • a flight booking email
  • printed tickets
  • confirmation from a travel agent

Your onward flight must be within 48 hours of your arrival in the UK.

Bring your visa and documents with you when you travel through the UK.

Apply outside the UK

You must apply online for a Visitor in Transit visa.

You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centre as part of your application.

You may be able to get your visa faster or other services depending on what country you’re in – check with your visa application centre.

North Korea

You cannot apply online if you’re applying from North Korea.

Download the application form.

Read the instructions for applying from North Korea.

Data Source: https://www.gov.uk/transit-visa