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Transit Visas

This category is for Applicants who wish to travel via the UK to another destination country outside the common travel area.

Non-European nationals who wish to enter the UK as visitors must have permission to do so, unless they are the national of a listed country to which an exemption applies.

When the country exemption applies, an Applicant need only apply for leave to the Immigration Officer at the UK port of entry unless:

  • visiting the UK to marry or to form a civil partnership (or give notice of this); or
  • seeking to visit the UK for more than 6 months.

In specific circumstances, Applicants on transit to and from the USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand may be permitted to transit in the UK without visa under the Transit Without Visa Scheme.

Applicants seeking to transit the UK without passing through the UK border may need a Direct Airside Transit Visa.


Transit visa Applicants will need to demonstrate that they are genuinely in transit to another country outside the common area. This means that the Applicant:

  • Is taking a reasonable transit route via the UK
  • Genuinely intends and is able to leave the UK within 48 hours after their arrival
  • Is assured of entry to their country of destination and any other countries they are transiting on their way there.



Transit via Applicants are only allowed to undertake certain permitted activities such as:

  • tourism and leisure
  • visit family and friends during the specified period



Transit visa holders are not permitted to:

  • access public funds or access medical treatment during any transit period
  • work in the UK
  • study in the UK



A Transit Visa Applicant must leave the UK within 48 hours after arrival.

Transit Without Visa Scheme Applicants must demonstrate that they will leave with UK before 23:59 hours on the day after the day of arrival in the UK.


Our experienced lawyers can help Applicants to:

Make an initial application

Challenge decisions by way of Administrative Review or other appeal process

We will assist by:

  • Obtaining the complete facts of a case
  • collecting relevant documents
  • advising the best solutions
  • preparing the application (including completion of forms)
  • preparing covering submissions
  • submitting the application(s) to the relevant authority
  • communicating with the relevant authority until a decision is made
  • advising about rights and entitlements following a decision an application
  • providing follow up support and services


DESCARTES SOLICITORS is recognised as one of the leading multi-practice firms in the UK. Our specialist immigration team works closely with individuals to apply for Transit visas. Please contact our lawyers on 0208 995 3556/0844 556 9901 or e-mail