Adam Welz's Weblog

No transit visa required for UK for South African passport holders (sometimes)

Posted in ALL BLOG POSTS, random bits by adamwelz on November 16, 2009

Hi All

I’m a South African passport holder. Recently, SA passport holders have been required to get a British visa to visit or transit the UK even if we’re just passing through the airport for an hour to change planes and not going through immigration — or so the story goes. Getting this visa can be a pain in the neck and very expensive.

I recently spent some time on the UK Border Agency website, which is confusing; it seemed to indicate a concession granted to certain people transiting the UK who are in possession of a valid US, Canadian, Australian or New Zealand visa.

After emailing the (beyond) hopeless private company that handles UK visa applications to ask for advice and receiving an enormously long reply that consisted of cut-and-pasted, contradictory excerpts from what seemed like immigration officer training manuals, I emailed the UK Border Agency themselves.

It seems I CAN transit the UK without holding a UK visa — if I have a valid US one — at the discretion of the immigration officer on duty. (This is not an absolute right of transit without a visa. It is subject to various conditions and I do not take responsibility for anything that happens to you, the reader, while trying to transit Heathrow without a visa.)

See exchange below, initiated by me from a web form:

From: adamw…
Sent: 16 November 2009 3:05 PM
To: Public Visa Enqs
Subject: Ref: VCS88990: General information

Page used to send this email:
Your enquiries
[http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/aboutus/enquiries/contactus]

Full name:
Adam Welz

Email address:
adamw…

Nationality of traveller:
South Africa

Where are you?
United States

Subject:
Dear UK Border Agency

I have made a request for rule clarification (Case Number 00266921) from
your private partner, WorldBridge Services, and received a totally
incomprehensible and contradictory response, hence this email.

I am a South African citizen and passport holder. I need to transit
Heathrow (on the airside, without entering the UK) while travelling from
Europe back home to South Africa in January 2010.

My current UK visitors’ visa expires in December 2009.

Your webpage

http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/doineedvisa/visadatvnationals

says, under the heading “Passengers exempt from the DATV requirement”,
that “Holders of certain documents are, REGARDLESS OF NATIONALITY,
exempt from the requirement to hold a Direct Airside Transit Visa when
transiting the UK.”

One of the documents listed as providing for this exemption is a valid
US visa when travelling from the US to another country.

I hold a multiple-entry US visa valid until 2012 and am travelling from
the USA to South Africa via Europe (I will pass through Heathrow after
being in Europe to get back to South Africa).

Do I still need a Direct Airside Transit Visa?

Regards

Adam Welz

REPLY:

Public Visa Enqs
to adamw…
date Mon, Nov 16, 2009 at 1:10 PM
subject RE: VCS88990: General information

Thank you for this enquiry.

No visa is needed if :

– the passenger is genuinely in transit; and
– there is no intention to stay more than 24 hours in the UK; and
– the traveller holds a confirmed booking on an onward flight from the
UK; and
– the traveller has a valid visa for the country of next destination
(where required by the laws of that country).

In these circumstances, the traveller may be allowed into the UK without
a visa under the Transit Without Visa (TWOV) concession. This concession
allows the traveller to depart from a different airport within the UK to
that of arrival and also to stay overnight away from the airport if
necessary.

But the following are unlikely to be granted the concession:

– A person who has been refused entry to the United Kingdom;

– A person who has been deported or otherwise removed from the United
Kingdom;

– A person who has been served with a notice of deportation or removal
from the UK, but left before such action was taken;

– A person who has illegally overstayed or otherwise breached UK
immigration conditions, e.g. worked illegally; or

– A person who has been warned to obtain a visa on their next journey to
the UK by an official of the UK Immigration Service.

For more information, please see Guidance Note INF 20 on our website at
http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/howtoapply/infs/inf20transit

Sent by:
Public Enquiries [I], Visa Customer Services,
Visa Services Directorate, International Group UKBA,
c/o Lunar House, 40 Wellesley Road, Croydon CR9 2BY, England

Web-site: http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk

***

UPDATE: I transited Heathrow without a UK visa successfully on 7 January 2010, but the transit was not entirely straightforward because I had not come directly from the USA, but had spent some weeks in Europe in between leaving the US and arriving at Heathrow for my flight back to Cape Town. The immigration officer on duty told me that one would normally be allowed to Transit Without Visa (TWOV) if one held a US, Canadian, Australian or New Zealand visa and was transiting via Heathrow as part of an uninterrupted journey between one of those countries and your country of origin, but if one spent time in other countries along the way, even if this was broadly speaking part of your journey to or from the US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, you were in a grey area as far as TWOV was concerned, and some immigration officers would allow you to transit and others might not.

Conclusion: If you hold a valid US, Canadian, Australian or New Zealand visa, and you are travelling to or from one of those countries to or from South Africa, you should be able to transit the UK (i.e. be in the country for 24 hours or less) without holding a UK visa — provided you have always obeyed UK law in your previous visits there and conform to the other terms and conditions stated above. But please remember this is at the discretion of the immigration officer on duty and I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU IF YOU FOLLOW THE ADVICE IN THIS BLOG POST. I AM NOT AN IMMIGRATION EXPERT.

I look forward to hearing about other SA passport holders’ recent experiences of transiting the UK while holding valid US, Canadian, Australian or New Zealand visas – and no UK visa.

Cheers

Adam

Advertisements

31 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Christine said, on November 26, 2009 at 6:23 am

    THIS is why I am applying for an Australian passport – despite all my astute patriotism. No more visa problems!! Don’t even try and get to the USA from Australia with a SA passport. beyond imagining………

    hope you are well Adam?

    Still waiting for you to visit Tasmania

  2. Craig said, on December 5, 2009 at 5:42 am

    There is of course an alternative solution, and that is to avoid transiting through the UK.
    The requirements are not only a slap in the face, but seem to be a revenue generating machine.
    Other airlines using other transit points abound, and you can even get away with avoiding SAA or a SAA codeshare.
    Screw the Poms!

  3. geoffrey said, on December 10, 2009 at 4:47 am

    Mr Welz has done British Airways and it’s RSA customers a stirling service – it seems as if the bona fide traveller can pass through UK for 24 hrs WITHOUT any UK visa.

    It appears that if one has a Shengen visa – and the onward booking – one can even connect to Europe by ferry (not just a connecting flight).

    Not that this fact would readily be disclosed by a private company that handles the visa applications ….

    By the way, does anyone know whether the rumour is true that UK invited RSA (and other countries) to apply for renewal of VISA-FREE STATUS, and the RSA dept. of Home Affairs simply did not apply !!!!! Namibia did – and was given visa-free status.

    Geoffrey.

  4. hannes zaaiman said, on December 14, 2009 at 10:43 am

    I am a South African Passport holder who had been visiting the Uk on many occasions during the passed 30 years. But this is NOT relevant to my query now.
    The ruling, whether you require a visa when in transit at Heathrow, is not altogether clear.
    I will be arriving from SA (SAA) on March 13th at Heathrow and LEAVE THE SAME DAY on Royal Air Maroc for Marrakech.
    On March 22 I will return to Heathrow from Marrakech and LEAVE THE SAME DAY for South Africa. (SAA)
    I will not be leaving the Airport Building, but wait in the relevant Business Lounge for my next flight.
    DO I NEED A VISA. In case the answer is “NO”,may I PRINT the reply to this enquiry to cover me, should I be asked for one. Thank you. Hannes.

    • adamwelz said, on December 18, 2009 at 6:33 am

      It all depends on if you have a valid US, Canadian, or Australian visa in your passport — read what they say. If you do have one of these, the immigration people can, at their discretion, allow you to transit without visa. Maybe.

      If you don’t have those visas, you definitely need a transit visa.

      BUT PLEASE NOTE: I AM NOT AN EXPERT AND I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANYTHING THAT HAPPENS TO YOU.

      Why don’t you email the UK Border Agency yourself?

      Adam

      • Karen Jordaan said, on March 9, 2010 at 8:29 am

        My brother in law from SA visited Dec 15, 2009 up to Jan 15, 2010. He had a valid Canadian Visa and had no troubles at all transitting Heathrow back and forth.

        Regards

      • Leigh said, on July 6, 2010 at 4:59 pm

        Adam, thanks alot for the info! It’s been an endless waste of time and money trying to get an answer from anyone with regards to South Africans transit the UK en route to US.
        I’m going to give it one last shot & email the UK Border Agency again!!! The total transit time en route to US is 2.5 hrs and 10hrs on the return leg of the journey, hopefully no visa is required.

      • adamwelz said, on July 8, 2010 at 10:38 pm

        Tell us how you do — I’m sure you’ll be fine.

  5. Grant said, on December 28, 2009 at 1:02 am

    I am a South African passport holder living in Los Angeles. Booked a trip home earlier this year with air-miles and had no choice but to transit via heathrow – 3 hour stop over. Looked on the British Consulates web site, which in bold letters stated that South African citizens needed a transit visa. So went ahead with the application. Paid the $90 application fee online, and booked my appointment for the biometrics/interview – which meant taking a whole morning off work. Then I noticed on their website that in the US the british consulate can take up 6 weeks to process a visa application (even a transit visa).

    Was just about to cancel the flights (loose my air-miles) and rebook and pay full fare to travel either direct on SAA or via Paris on Air France. Before doing this I took one more detailed look at the UK border website and found, buried in a footnote, that as long as one holds a US visa or greencard you don’t need a transit visa.

    I was most annoyed at the sneaky way they the UK is trying to rip us off. This rule should be clear for all to see. I cancelled my biometrics/interview with them, sent them a long email requesting a refund, and suggesting they should be more clear in what they publish on their website. I assumed that I would never hear from them or see a refund.

    Had no problems boarding the plane at LAX, British Airways was well aware of the rule, they simply asked if I had green card, didn’t even ask to see it. My flight back to the US was on SAA so managed to avoid any return problems. Also much better airline.

    I have never received a reply from the UK border agency, but 5 months after I got back here my credit card statement showed a refund for slightly more than I paid – currency fluctuation. But 7 months to process a refund, they sure are fast.

    To sum up it appears you don’t need a transit visa if you are traveling to the US via London, as all South Africans either need to have a Greencard or a visa for the US, and the airlines seem to know this. Nevertheless, that fact that the consulate seems to try an conceal this, indicates they view this as lovely cashcow. Nothing to do with protecting their borders. In fact, given recent events (the last 10 years), the world has more to fear from people holding British passports than South African ones. How many South African passport holders have tried to blow up US bound flights with their shoes and how many South African passports holders have blown up underground trains! Even better, the UK goes on about the 6000 Indian nationals who entered the UK on illegally obtained SA passports. They seem to gloss over the fact, that out of those 6000, 3000 were issued with UK passports illegally and many made their way over to the US.

    In future I will avoid the UK until they restore our visa free travel, just out of principal. CDG is a much nicer airport to transit through than LHR anyway. Hopefully, the US will drop the UK from their visa waiver program soon, as they have been threatening to. Give them a taste of their own medicine.

    • Marie said, on March 2, 2012 at 8:40 am

      My husband is a South African passport holder and has a valid US resident alien green card. We traveled to South Africa via American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic in December, 2011 through Heathrow with no problems. We had an 8 hour wait in Heathrow on the way there, and only one hour on our return flight It was also our understanding that with that short of transit time, not leaving the airport, we would not need a transit visa. However, for our return trip in January 2012, Virgin Atlantic did not let my husband travel claiming his valid green card was too old. His green card is an older one, but valid as confirmed by the US official upon his eventual return. The rude Virgin Atlantic representatives at the Cape Town airport were not able to recognize the green card as a valid one, and denied him travel. He was not asked for a transit visa, or told the lack of a transit visa was why he could not travel. It seems they were unknowledgeable to the fact that some green cards can look different than the most recently issued ones with an expiration date. So BEWARE! Even with valid documentation, if you are stuck dealing with unprofessional and misinformed representatives, you are just plain out of luck. My husband had to purchase a whole new ticket, being told the only way back to the US was through a direct flight from Johannesburg to the US, avoiding the UK or any other European stop, for that matter. It seems it can also depend on the airline you use as to whether or not you may have problems.

      The response we received from Virgin Atlantic for our complaint was that my husband should still have had a visa to travel through the UK, regardless of his valid resident alien green card, and regardless of the short transit time we had for the connecting flight. I’m not sure everyone is working with the same rules here.

      We are working on a dual US/SA citizenship, but had such an unpleasant experience with this, we will avoid UK travel for a long time to come. We were also very disappointed with the Virgin Atlantic reps at Cape Town airport. They were rude, snobbish and total lack of friendly customer service.

  6. Lesley said, on January 15, 2010 at 7:20 am

    Hi Adam

    Thanks for this very helpful information. I too am tearing my hair out at the useless Visa Application Centre people, who directed me to the UK govt visa site. Which, of course, has not been updated since 2008 and SA passport holders have new rules to abide by since then.
    I’m travelling to Canada via Heathrow in April and was also unsure if I need a transit visa. But fingers crossed, I won’t be needing one seeing as I will have a Canadian visa in my passport to illustrate my intention of the onward journey. It just seems so ridiculous that we have to apply for these expensive visas for other countries, and in some cases, STILL require a visa to sit in the airport in the UK. And the airlines I’m flying with both operate out of the same terminal so that will help my case too!
    But thanks again for the info and I’ll let you know on my return if I was successful!

  7. max said, on January 19, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Hi All!

    Firstly Adam, thanks for a great post. Very informative. I am in Guatemala at the moment and will soon have to transit through the UK to get to CPT. I went home just as the rules changed last year, but got to LHR and wasnt even asked whether I had the visa or not.

    I have read the UKBA’s website and they speak of a valid US visa. Does this mean my US transit visa (C) will allow me to transit without a visa, given that I leave within twenty-four hours. Have tried emailing the British embassy here, but to no avail.

    Will appreciate any advice (to make it worse, I’m only 16 years old..too confusing for
    me to handle).
    Max

    • adamwelz said, on January 27, 2010 at 8:57 am

      Hi Max

      please do let us know if you were able to transit Heathrow while holding a US transit visa — or if you got stopped because you did not have a US visitors’ visa.

      What were your experiences at Heathrow?

      Cheers

      Adam

  8. Elbé said, on January 27, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Hi Adam

    Thanks for the reassurance.Below is what I received from a travel agency after questioning the same issue:
    IMATIC-3 / 08JAN10 / 1429 UTC
    NATIONAL SOUTH AFRICA (ZA)
    TRANSIT UNITED KINGDOM (GREAT BRITAIN) (GB)
    DESTINATION SOUTH AFRICA (ZA)
    ALSO CHECK DESTINATION INFORMATION BELOW

    VISA TRANSIT UNITED KINGDOM (GREAT BRITAIN) (GB)

    ……….. NORMAL PASSPORTS ONLY ……
    ADMISSION AND TRANSIT RESTRICTIONS:
    – TEMPORARY PASSPORTS ISSUED BY SOUTH AFRICA ARE NOT
    RECOGNISED.
    TWOV (TRANSIT WITHOUT VISA):
    VISA REQUIRED, EXCEPT FOR PASSENGERS WHO MAY BE GRANTED PERMISSION BY THE IMMIGRATION AUTHORITIES TO ENTER THE UNITED KINGDOM, FOR A STAY NOT EXCEEDING 24 HOURS.
    THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS MUST BE COMPLIED WITH:
    – PASSENGERS HOLD CONFIRMED RESERVATIONS FOR AN ONWARD FLIGHT WITHIN 24 HOURS* AND
    – CONTINUE TO A THIRD COUNTRY* AND
    – HAVE NO PURPOSE IN ENTERING THE UNITED KINGDOM OTHER THAN TO PASS THROUGH IN TRANSIT* AND
    – HOLD ALL DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR THE NEXT DESTINATION.
    – ***WARNING*** NATIONALS OF SOUTH AFRICA MAY ONLY USE THIS
    ADMINISTRATIVE CONCESSION (TWOV) ABOVE IF HOLDING:
    – A VISA WHICH ALLOWS ENTRY INTO (OR TRANSIT THROUGH)
    EITHER AUSTRALIA, CANADA, NEW ZEALAND OR THE U.S.A.* AND
    – HOLDING A VALID TICKET FOR TRAVEL FROM A THIRD COUNTRY OR
    TERRITORY VIA THE U.K. AS PART OF A JOURNEY TO (OR THROUGH)
    AUSTRALIA, CANADA, NEW ZEALAND OR THE U.S.A., WHICHEVER THE
    VISA IS APPLICABLE TO (E.G.: DEL-LHR-JFK, DEL-CDG-LHR-JFK,
    DEL-LHR-CDG-JFK OR DEL-LHR-JFK-MEX).
    OR:
    – A VALID VISA FOR ENTRY INTO AUSTRALIA, CANADA, NEW
    ZEALAND OR THE U.S.A.* AND
    – A VALID AIRLINE TICKET FOR TRAVEL VIA THE U.K. AS PART OF
    A JOURNEY FROM THE COUNTRY IN RESPECT OF WHICH THE VISA IS
    HELD TO ANOTHER COUNTRY OR TERRITORY.
    OR:
    TRAVELLING AS PART OF A JOURNEY FROM EITHER AUSTRALIA,
    CANADA, NEW ZEALAND OR THE U.S.A., PROVIDED TRANSITING THE
    U.K. LESS THAN 6 MONTHS AFTER THE DATE THEY LAST ENTERED
    AUSTRALIA, CANADA, NEW ZEALAND OR THE U.S.A. WITH A VALID
    VISA FOR THE RESPECTIVE COUNTRY, EVEN THOUGH THE VISA MAY
    HAVE EXPIRED AT TIME OF TRANSIT THROUGH THE U.K. (E.G.:
    JFK-LHR-DEL, JFK-CDG-LHR-DEL OR JFK-LHR-CDG-DEL).

    Will be traveling from the US to SA via Heathrow in Feb.Holding a valid b1b2 visa.So as far as I can tell the last point made above, applies to me. So will be giving it a shot….If it goes all pear shaped I’ll be sure to let you guys know!

    Elbé

  9. max said, on January 30, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Hi Adam

    Am yet to travel, but found this online and if I understand it correctly, the transit visa will be fine.

    * TWOV is a concession which does not apply to nationals of the countries shown above in red who need visas even when in direct airside transit unless they are in possession of one of the following documents:
    (a)
    a valid visa for entry to Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the United States of America and a valid airline ticket for travel via the United Kingdom as part of a journey from another country or territory to the country in respect of which the visa is held;
    (ab) a valid visa for entry to Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the United States of America and a valid airline ticket for travel via the United Kingdom as part of a journey from the country in
    respect of which the visa is held to another country or territory;
    (b)
    a valid airline ticket for travel via the United Kingdom as part of a journey from Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the United States of America to another country or territory, provided that the transit passenger does not seek to transit the United Kingdom on a date more than six months from the date on which he last entered Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the United States of America with a valid visa for entry to that country;
    (c)
    a valid USA I-551 Permanent Resident Card issued on or after 21 April 1998; or an expired USA i-551 Permanent Resident Card issued on or after 21 April 1998 provided accompanied by a valid I-797 letter authorising the extension, issued by the Bureau of Citizenship; or a stand alone US Immigration visa Form 155A / 155B (attached to a sealed brown envelope);
    (d)
    a valid Canadian Permanent Resident Card issued on or after 28 June 2002;
    (e)
    a valid common format Category D visa for entry to an EEA state or Switzerland;
    (f)
    a valid common format residence permit issued by an EEA State or Switzerland pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No. 1030/2002.
    NB: in paragraphs (a), (ab) and (b) a “valid visa” shall include a transit visa

    The document can be found at this website: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/carriers/ukvisarequirements.pdf

    Will let you know how it goes. A good year to all you South Africans.

  10. Richard said, on February 22, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    The UK authorities had no choice but to impose this requirement due to the massive fraud with South African Home Affairs. Passports were being sold to any (not even the highest) bidders. Also, legitimate South African citizens were overstaying at an alarming rate. Between 1994 and 2009 the UK allowed hundreds of thousands of South Africans temporary access to its labour market, a move not reciprocated. I think some of these people posting here need to have a bit of perspective. And yes, I am a South African passport holder myself.

  11. Ryan Jacobs said, on March 13, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Hi all

    I am a South African passport holder.

    I am flying to the United States next week.
    I fly from Cape Town to London on Emirates, landing at terminal 4 at 7am.

    My connecting flight is on BA at 11am from terminal 5.

    i have to pass through passport control in terminal 4, move to terminal 5, and check in.

    Am I exempt from holding a visa?

    and

    does being applicable to TWOV take longer when moving through passport control than if i was holding a normal visa?

    Ryan

    • adamwelz said, on March 21, 2010 at 7:41 am

      Hi Ryan

      if you hold a valid US visa, you should be fine.

      And it might well take a little longer than normal if you transit using the TWOV concession.

      Cheers

      Adam

  12. Susan Smit said, on March 30, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Hi Im Susan, Im traveling to SA in June 2010 from the US, I have a green card, but a SA passport.
    I have a long connection in the UK and my husband and I want to sleep over. We have 10- 11 hours to kill, we arrive at night and fly in the morning.

    To sleep over for those hours, do I need to apply for a visa ahead of time or do they give you some kind of visa at the airport in UK for a 24 hour or less layover?

    Please can you let me know, all the websites are very confusing.

  13. Philip said, on May 2, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Hi, I’m a permanent US resident and have a valid green card. I was wondering if I can travel in transit (6 hour layover in Heathrow) on my way to Cape Town with a temporary SA passport and my Green Card ?

    I’m aware that you’re not allowed to travel to the US on temporary SA passports, but does a the Green Card make a difference ?

    Thanks for any help

  14. brenda said, on September 8, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Hi,
    Does anybody have any updates as of August 2010 re transit visa through UK to SA
    With a SA passport and a Green card?

  15. Eric said, on November 22, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Hi Adam and all

    I six days time (on 28 Nov 2010) I am travelling to USA via Heathrow and Gatwick. In the past, I have travelled either directly (Delta Airlines) or via Dakar (SAA) form South Africa to the US without any problems whatsoever.

    I hope it will all go well.

    Thank you

  16. Eric said, on November 22, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Hi Adam and all

    I six days time (on 28 Nov 2010) I am travelling to USA via Heathrow and Gatwick. In the past, I have travelled either directly (Delta Airlines) or via Dakar (SAA) from South Africa to the US without any problems whatsoever.

    I hope it will all go well.

    Thank you

  17. Theo said, on December 5, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Guys,

    I know this feels like too much to handle when planning an overseas trip, and I know the UK Border Agency website is ambivalent at best of times, but please read the posts before you ask your questions. The information is readily available online at http://www.iatatravelcentre.com and I noticed someone quoted the exact wording from there in an e-mail received from their travel agency. (“Elbé said, on January 27, 2010 at 8:43 am..”).

    One last time, pay attention: On a SA passport, if you have a valid visa for USA, Canada, Aus or NZ, and you are traveling TO or FROM one of those countries via London you will be able to transit without visa, keeping in mind the immigration officer has a say in it (i.e. have you ever been illegally in the UK, overstayed etc.).

    But, in the end, phone the UK embassy and ask them for their opinion, don’t just blindly ask people online on forums with multitudes of similar looking questions and answers (including mine). Look at this one for example, many people have given the correct answer yet their are STILL people asking their own version of the question, looking for a spoon feed.

    Sorry, I’ll stop ranting now.

  18. Eric said, on December 9, 2010 at 6:00 am

    Dear All

    Please note that it all went well when I travelled to the US through London without a transit Visa. UK Officers are very professional and they assist you all the way.

    Thank you

  19. Kyle Williams said, on June 23, 2011 at 1:37 am

    I transited through London-Heathrow last week en route to Canada without a UK visa, but I did have both a Canadian and USA visa. I didn’t leave the airport though or go through immigration. On the way back I have a 12-hour layover in London and will try to enter the country for the day so I can do some sightseeing before my flight back to South Africa in the evening. From what I understand this should be possible.

  20. Astara said, on August 31, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Hi Adam, I will am a South African citizen with a valid South African passport. I have a valid US visitors visa and will be going to the US via Amsterdam but returning via Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris. I have 16 hours between my flights and was wondering if I would be able to leave the airport to tour paris or some of that time and if that would be worth while. I have never been overseas before and so would also like to know i would be able to exchange dollars for euro at the airport in Paris. Thanks!

    • adamwelz said, on August 31, 2011 at 12:59 pm

      Hi Astara

      I’m not a travel agent so I’m unable to answer your question about Amsterdam or Paris.

      Sorry!

  21. Suné said, on October 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    I found a nice sweet and short document explaining if you can make use of the TWOV:

    http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/carriers/ukvisarequirements.pdf

  22. Tamryn said, on April 18, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Similar useful info on this page accessed today
    http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/transitthroughtheuk/visa-transit-airside/#

  23. gerrie du preez said, on August 28, 2012 at 2:06 am

    B. A. Have just denied me and my son from flying to south africa from calgary via heatrow in transit to south africa .we both have valid work permits and reside in canada. My wife flew one week earlier and did have no problems what so-ever in transitting through HEathrow. Makes one think that this is at discretion of british airway staff booking. As a result I have now lost 5000 dollars worth of tickets.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: