Visa to pass through the UK in transit

Visitor in Transit visa

You might need a Visitor in Transit visa if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland and you’ll:

  • be changing flights in the UK on your way to another country
  • go through immigration control, for example to check in your luggage for a connecting flight
  • leave the UK within 48 hours
  • not work or study while in the UK

Check if you need a transit visa before you apply.

If you won’t be going through immigration control, apply for a Direct Airside Transit visa instead.

You don’t need a transit visa if you have a valid:

You need to apply for another type of Standard Visitor visa if you’re staying in the UK for more than 48 hours.

Travel to the Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Republic of Ireland

You need to apply for another type of Standard Visitor visa if you’ll be travelling to the Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Republic of Ireland.

You don’t need a UK visa if you have a valid visa for the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man and will travel through the UK to get there.

If you need to stay longer or pass through the UK regularly

You can also apply for a Standard Visitor visa if you need to pass through the UK in transit regularly over a longer period. You can stay for a maximum of 48 hours on each visit and your visa can last for:

  • 6 months
  • 2, 5 or 10 years

You must prove that:

  • you’ll only ever need to come to the UK to visit, for example to go on holiday, see family or attend a meeting
  • you plan to leave the UK at the end of each transit

You may be given a visa for a shorter period than requested if you don’t do this. You won’t get a refund of the application fee if you get a shorter visa or your application is refused.


You must provide a current passport or other valid travel identification.

You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances - read the guidance for a full list.

Apply outside the UK

You must apply online for a Visitor in Transit visa.

You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centre as part of your application.

You may be able to get your visa faster or other services depending on what country you’re in - check with your visa application centre.

North Korea

You can’t apply online if you’re applying from North Korea.

Download the application form.

Read the instructions for applying from North Korea.