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profile member asked on Mar 14, 2014

Can I (holding uk visa) meet person in transit at heathrow airport

My brother is flying to US from India and is transiting at Heathrow airport (for 10 hours). He doesn't have a transit visa for UK so i am assuming he cannot come out of airport. Can I (holding uk visa and staying in London) go and meet him for a couple of hours ?


6 Answers

answered on 3/14/14 by
a VT member from London

Basically no. If you are not holding a valid flight ticket you will not be allowed "airside", and your brother will not be allowed "landside" without the relevant documentation. Sorry to be the bringer of bad news but that is the way it is.

answered on 3/14/14 by
a VT member from Moscow

As I understand it is not necessary for your brother to stay in transit zone, UK allows transit visitors to get out from transit zone even without visa if they have valid ticket to other destination outside UK. Even if for example you came to Heathrow and your next flight is from Gatwick you dont need transit visa to get from one airport to the other.

answered on 3/14/14 by
a VT member from Moscow

And if your brother arrives to one terminal and have to change for another he will have to leave transit zone anyway.

answered on 3/15/14 by
a VT member from London

jcarolj, with the greatest respect, that is not the case. There are modes of transit between terminals that do not require gong "landside". The transitting passenger may, repeat MAY, be able to get a 24 hour transit visa and I quote the official Heathrow website here.

"There is nowhere to sleep in the airport. If your booking includes a stopover in a local hotel, then follow the signs to Arrivals. Leave the airport via passport control, baggage reclaim and Customs, then check in as normal when it's time to continue your journey.

Please note that it is a Border Force requirement that all passengers entering the UK must present themselves to Immigration at the first port of call. Therefore it is important that your passport/visa allows you entry into the UK. You can apply for a 24-hour visa on arrival. This is at the discretion of the Immigration Officer, who must be satisfied that you have a confirmed booking of onward travel within 24 hours."

This is the website.

[original link]

Naveen has made no mention of an overnight stay (unusual with only ten hours) so I presume there is not one involved.

answered on 3/18/14 by
a VT member from Brussels

Indeed, a non-UK visa holder may not exit "airside", as this would amount to entering the UK, and a non-BOARDING PASS HOLDER may not enter "airside" from "landside" (unless e.g. holding an airport employment permit).
However, there is nothing to prevent someone from purchasing a flight ticket (for departure from the same terminal the incoming passenger will be transiting in), checking in (with hand-luggage only) and thus obtaining a boarding card, going through security, and then deciding not to take the flight, returning "landside" - via immigration and customs - and cancelling the flight: having, no doubt, taken care to purchase a fully refundable ticket, if not re-booking. It would be best to cancel as soon as possible between checking in and flight departure, or they will be looking for you to board the flight.

answered on 6/6/14 by
a VT member

good news friends,

We can still meet in London LHR. one of my friend is going to US from India via LHR. officials stamped him and said you should be in airport that is valid for 24hrs. So he came out land side. but unfortunately I could not meet him. and He dont remember my phone number, it was mid night in LHR. He could not charge his US mobile phone and he got no UK adopter. so we could not meet. But if you plan well and can communicate well you can meet your friend in transit.

My freind is holding US visa and Indian passport. it is possible for a person to come out in arrivals.( they do stamping and all though). my friend is landed in T4 and his next flight is in T3. I spoke to T4 officer they said, if he comes to us they will send him out. by the way he got 10 hrs waiting time for his next flight to US. hope it helps some one to meet their loved ones and a great feeling meeting in a lovely experience.

Note: if you are genuine and cause is genuine. they allow to come out side. but there will be chances they may not allow. but it depends.

Hope it helps some one to give that lovely experience :)

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