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Can I use a valid UK standard visitor visa for transit?

New York City, New...
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Can I use a valid UK standard visitor visa for transit?

I have a valid UK multiple entry standard visitor visa. But this time I'm actually going through London in transit - flying in, staying overnight in the airport hotel and then going to another country from another airport.

I know there is a special visitor in transit visa for such cases (and based on my nationality I need one), but my question is if I can use my existing standard visitor visa (which technically allows to do a more extensive visit, but not sure if just transit is also fine under it) to cover my transit?

Or would it be enough to say that I want to see London on my way to have my visit classified as tourism (i.e. become consistent with the type of visa I have) rather than transit despite the short period of stay?

15 replies to this topic
1. Re: Can I use a valid UK standard visitor visa for transit?

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Removed on: 11 November 2016, 12:32
Edited: 11 November 2016, 12:32
 
Travelling The World
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2. Re: Can I use a valid UK standard visitor visa for transit?

If you have a visa, you have a visa, and as long as you don't violate the terms of the visa, it is valid.

The length of the "visit" doesn't matter. If you have a valid tourist visa that's all you need.

Always of course with the caveat that an immigration officer can refuse you admission on the day notwithstanding what documentation you have.

Edit:

LuddendenTurk, the OP is talking about transiting in London. Not sure where you got Turkey from, unless that's his nationality, ie a Turk living in the US.

Edited: 11 November 2016, 12:31
Portland, Oregon
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3. Re: Can I use a valid UK standard visitor visa for transit?

Welcome to the forum.

Please ignore #1. The link they've posted is for visas for Turkey, not the United Kingdom.

If you have a valid Standard Visitor's visa for the United Kingdom then yes you can enter the UK on that for an overnight stay and depart the next day.

Hebden Bridge...
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4. Re: Can I use a valid UK standard visitor visa for transit?

My apology, I have now removed my reply #1. I had 2 tabs open and thought that I was on the Turkey forum.

Edited: 11 November 2016, 12:34
New York City, New...
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5. Re: Can I use a valid UK standard visitor visa for transit?

Thank you for your response! My nationality is Belarus, but I guess it does not matter as long as a visa is required. The caveat is that transit by itself is not tourism or business which a general visitor visa is technically designed for. My confusion is on if transit is still covered or do I need a separate type of visa for that unless I'll be able to make a case that my visit is more than just transit (and actually I do like to see a city anyway).

On the other hand I heard I can try to use a US green card (which I also have) asking for "transit without visa" - is that the case? But in any case I just want to have a consistent strategy before I come so that I present my case clear to the border officer rather than confusing him re the nature of my visit and what do I want to use for it (visa or a green card).

Or does anyone knows how to contact the UK border agency with a question like that? Unfortunately the e-mail they have on the UK visas and immigration page is not helpful at all - at best they keep giving some useless links to the general visa info I already know which does not really address the question...

Travelling The World
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6. Re: Can I use a valid UK standard visitor visa for transit?

As USBT and I have said, don't worry about it.

I regularly book travel for people going to international conferences. In particular we have Kenyans who have multi-year, multi-entry UK visas who travel from Nairobi to NYC via London, often with an overnight stay so they can visit our office. Never had a problem just staying one night.

New York City, New...
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7. Re: Can I use a valid UK standard visitor visa for transit?

Thank you all for your reply! I feel more assured now.

Portland, Oregon
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8. Re: Can I use a valid UK standard visitor visa for transit?

Stanly,

Your UK Visitor's visa will definitely count and you should show that. If you did not have a Standard Visitor Visa, then this link (UK Government) lists the exceptions to a transit visa that are granted.

https:/…yes

Your US Permanent Residence card would allow you TWOV as follows "you have a valid USA permanent residence card issued by the USA on or after 21 April 1998".

Have a great trip.

Edited: 11 November 2016, 14:59
Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: Can I use a valid UK standard visitor visa for transit?

Hi, I am permanent resident of Canada (and Indian Nationality passport holder)and have valid visitor visa (standard) for UK. I traveled as a tourist in Aug 2017 and it is still valid until Feb 2018. Now I am travelling to India in Jan 2018 and planning to go outside from London Heathrow airport during 9 hrs layover. My question is, do I also need a transit visa even though I have a valid tourist visa for UK ? Please advise and thank you.

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10. Re: Can I use a valid UK standard visitor visa for transit?

#9, if it's a multiple-entry visa you're good to go.

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