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Sagar from London asked

Do i need UK transit visa?

I will be travelling from Ahmedabad, India to Winnipeg, Canada. I am Indian national and have valid Canadian student visa (stamped on passport). My route is via Dubai and London (Gatwick) but there is long layover in London about 15 hours.
1) Do i need any transit visa to stay over night at airport. I will arriving in London at 8pm and then next departure to Winnipeg will be at 11am next day via West Jet.
2) Do i need pick up my luggage at London and go through the custom or not?

Your response will be highly appreciated. Thank you.

London (United Kingdom)

1 Answer
answered first by
Mary from Leicester
>Do i need pick up my luggage at London and go through the custom or not? 
If you have booked flights with 2 separate airlines you must go through border control (immigration), collect your bags, go through Customs and go 'landside'. That means you will enter the UK. It is unlikely that Westjet will allow you to check your bags more than 3 hours before the United Kingdom>Canada flight.
If you have a through ticket with the same airline for both flights the airline might transfer your bags for the second flight but I think that is unlikely with such a long layover. You must contact the airline directly to ask them.
Do i need any transit visa to stay over night at airport.
Unless your bags are checked through India > Canada by the airline or you have checked them in with Westjet you won't be able to go back airside at the airport. So you will almost certainly have to spend your layover time in the landside part of Gatwick airport (much noisier and less comfortable, unfortunately).
There is an official UK government website which answers your question about transit visas:

Indian nationals normally need a UK transit visa whether they enter the UK or stay airside. 
There are some possible exceptions. The site states that you might be allowed to enter the UK (i.e. go landside) without a visa because you have a confirmed onward flight to Canada.
Please note the word 'might'. It means that whether you are allowed to enter the UK or not depends on the border officers who deal with you on the day. There are no guarantees.
It is up to you whether you decide to take that risk.
If you decide to get a transit visa and need to collect your bags, you must apply for a Visitor in Transit visa, which lasts for 48 hours:
If your bags are checked through from India > Canada (check with the airline first) you can stay airside and will need a Direct Airside Transit Visa:

Comments (4)

Thank you for the detail answer. It's one ticket from India to Canada and hoping that checked in straight to destination. Also from the UK Visa site, i read Indian national who has Valid visa for Canada and onward confirm flight might be ok to stay there so i guess that wont create any issue. Fingers are cross. Thanks again.

Do check what will happen to your bags with your airline *before* you set off to the airport. With such a very long layover I think you'll almost certainly have to collect them at Gatwick. And remember that 'might' means 'might'. So phone your India to Gatwick airline to check that they will allow you to board the plane without a transit visa because it's possible they many not. Airlines face huge fines if they carry passengers who do not have the correct documentation.

Just chatted with Emirates agent online and confirmed i will luggages checked in till Winnipeg from Origin but in terms of visa he asked to refer to UK Visa policy.

It's good that you won't have to collect your bags. The fact that you *might* be allowed to transit the UK without a transit visa (whether airside or landside) means Emirates will avoid giving you a definite answer. It can only be your choice whether to sort out a visa or not.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. United Kingdom (country)
  2. Canada (attraction)
comments (4)

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