Jamaica Gleaner / Dear Mr Bassie,
I am going to Europe on business and I will be going through the United Kingdom. I understand that I will be changing flights over there and I will not be leaving the airport. My travel agent advised me that I will need to get a visa. Is this true?
Any advice would be appreciated.
Persons who are travelling from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland may need a Direct Airside Transit Visa (DATV) if they will be changing flights in the United Kingdom on their way to another country or will not be going through immigration control. It is advisable that persons check with the relevant British authorities or online if they need a transit visa before applying.
Persons do not need a DATV if they possess a valid EEA family permit; a Home Office travel document, for example, he/she is a refugee or stateless person; a Standard Visitor visa; a Marriage Visitor visa. Please note that persons must apply for another type of visitor visa if they are travelling to or from Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man.
Persons must provide a current passport or other valid travel identification. They may need to provide additional documents, depending on the individual’s circumstances. An extensive list may be found in the guidance online.
Persons applying from outside of the United Kingdom must apply online for a DATV. Those persons will need to have their fingerprints and photographs, known as ‘biometric information’, taken at a visa application centre as part of their application. Please be aware that persons may be able to get their visa or other services faster depending on what country they are in. It is best to check with the visa application centre in that country for the processing time.
Just for completeness, it should be noted that persons cannot apply online if they are applying from North Korea. In such cases, the application should be downloaded along with the relevant instructions, which should then be followed.
I hope this helps.
John S. Bassie
– John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator, and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email: [email protected]