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Visa to pass through the UK in transit

Transit Visa UK

1. Overview

You may need a visa to pass through the UK in transit.

To apply for a transit visa you must be:

  • in transit to another country with enough funds and the intention to travel on
  • able to prove you can enter that country
  • able to show that the only purpose of your visit to the UK is transit
You should check if you need a visa before you apply.

Not leaving the airport

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

DATVs last for up to 24 hours.

You can’t apply for this visa if you need to go through immigration (‘cross the border’), eg to check in your luggage on to a connecting flight - apply for a Visitor in Transit visa instead.

Leaving the airport

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

You can also apply for a long-term Visitor in Transit visa if you can prove you need to frequently pass through the UK over a longer period.

Fees

Direct Airside Transit visa (DATV) - £34

Visitor in Transit visa - £62

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

Long-term visit visa fees are:

  • 2 years - £337
  • 5 years - £612
  • 10 years - £767

2. Direct Airside Transit visa

You may need a Direct Airside Transit visa (DATV) if you’ll be changing flights in the UK without going through immigration control and you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

You should first check if you need a visa.

You don’t need to apply for one if you have:

You should 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 must provide a current passport or other valid travel identification.

You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances - read the guidance for a full list.

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 can’t apply online if you’re applying from North Korea.

Download the application form.

Read the instructions for applying from North Korea.

3. Visitor in Transit visa

You may need a Visitor in Transit visa if you’ll be going through immigration control but leaving the UK within 48 hours and you’re:

You should first check if you need a visa.

You need to apply for another type of visitor visa if you’ll be staying in the UK for longer than 48 hours.

You should apply for a Direct Airside Transit visa if you’ll be changing flights in the UK without going through immigration control.

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

You need to apply for another type of visitor visa if you’ll be travelling to the Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Republic of Ireland.

You don’t need a UK visa if you have a valid visa for the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man and will travel through the UK to get there.

Long-term visit visa

You can also apply for a long-term visit visa if you can prove you need to pass through the UK in transit regularly over a longer period. You can stay for a maximum of 48 hours on each visit and your visa can last for 1, 2, 5 or 10 years.

You must prove that:

  • you have a frequent and ongoing need to pass through the UK in transit
  • the reason for your need to pass through the UK is unlikely to change significantly while the visa is valid
  • you plan to leave the UK at the end of each transit
You may be given a visa for a shorter period than requested if you don’t do this. You won’t get a refund of the application fee if you get a shorter visa or your application is refused.

Documents

You must provide a current passport or other valid travel identification.

You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances - read the guidance for a full list.

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 can’t apply online if you’re applying from North Korea.

Download the application form.

Read the instructions for applying from North Korea.

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