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Hao

Great Britian

Do we need a transit visa for the UK?

Hello to all!

I am from China and now study as exchange student in Switzerland.
I will take the flight from Geneva to Edingburgh and then from Edingburgh to Reykjavík. That means I need to transit in the UK.
I hold the passport of China and I got the type L residence permit with a bull and five stars on it from Switzerland. I need to go through the border to collect my luggage and check it in again.
I checked the website of British government, and it showed that 
`'you can transit without a visa if you have a common format residence permit issued by an European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland.`'
But I've heard cases in which passengers were denied boarding because they didn't have a visa for the UK. And in some other cases, passengers were not allowed to pass through the border in the UK and sent back. Is that true? or What should I do to avoid this from happening?

And if I need to go to the British Embassy in Bern for further information, do I need to make an appointment or something like that or just go and ask directly?

Thank you all for answering me!


1 Answer

answered first by
Mary from Leicester

If you look at the official United Kingdom government website:

https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa

you'll see that it says, for China citizens, > You might  be eligible for ‘transit without visa if...you have a common format residence permit issued by an European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland <

Note the word 'might'. The use of that word means there is no guarantee that you will be allowed to transit in the UK: the decision is made by the border official who deals with you on the day. 

Is that true?

It is entirely possible that what you have 'heard' is correct. It is possible may be refused boarding or sent back.

What should I do to avoid this from happening?

If you want to be certain that you will have no problems you need to get a Visitor in Transit visa. You need that particular visa, rather than a Direct Airside Transit Visa, because you have to enter the UK in order to collect and recheck your bags. 

https://www.gov.uk/transit-visa/visitor-in-transit-visa

You can apply online:

https://www.gov.uk/apply-uk-visa


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