UK to make transit through country easier
Posted on September 25, 2014
It will soon become easier to transit through the UK, as the country plans to simplify the rules regarding transit visa for air travellers.
According to recent plans, it will be possible to transit through the UK by air without a UK transit visa if the traveller has a valid US visa, Australia visa, New Zealand visa or Canada visa, even when these are not the countries of destination, as was revealed by UK Home Secretary Theresa May.
Currently, a transit visa to the UK must be obtained on several instances. When changing flights in the UK and not going through UK border control, a Direct Airside Transit Visa (DATV) is required and lasts for 24 hours.
When leaving the airport or going through border control for any other reason, a Visitor in transit Visa must be obtained, and is valid for 48 hours.
The visas cost respectively GBP40 (Dh240) and GBP54 (Dh324), and at a higher rate it is possible apply for a long-term Visitor in Transit visa if you can prove you need to frequently pass through the UK over a longer period.
The visa rules of the UK have been heavily criticised as the UK is one of the few European countries that are not part of the Schengen zone, which enables travellers an easy transit through Europe.
As a response in part, the UK has committed to the introduction of the Schengen Approved Destination Status Visa, which will allow 210,000 Chinese –among the most popular source countries for travel to Europe- per year to travel to the Schengen area via Britain without the need for a UK transit visa.
Although the measures are not considered enough to simplify travel to or through the UK, the new rules are expected to facilitate around 6m air travellers.
Majorie van Leijen
September 23, 2014