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UK transit visa needed?

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Hi Everyone!

I had a question here and was wondering if anyone else had experience with it. I'm trying to find a flight for my husband (who finally got his IR1 visa in February - woot!!!) to come to the US. The best flight I've found is through British Airways, Rome-London-Arizona, that way his POE will be his first/last stop in the US (I'm worried about him having to do it at a different airport, recheck his bags, and make the connection, etc). Also, British Airways seems to be the cheapest in terms of extra baggage fees.

So, here is my question. My husband has a Jordanian passport and is a resident of Italy. I've looked around the UK Border Agency website to figure out once and for all if he needs a transit visa to fly through Heathrow. Jordan appears to fall under their "Visa National" category. It says that "Visa Nationals" need a "visitor in transit" visa unless: An Immigration Officer may decide to let you pass through the UK on your way to another country without holding a visa. This is known as 'transit without visa' (TWOV). It allows you to catch a connecting flight within 24 hours or, if you are on-board a ship, to stay at a UK port for up to 24 hours

So, on the same website, it says that, in order for a "Visa National" to qualify for "TWOV":

Do I qualify for transit without visa (TWOV)?

If you are a visa national or a DATV national who is exempt, you can transit without visa if you will:

  • arrive at a UK port on a ship and leave on the same ship within 24 hours; or
  • arrive and leave by air within 24 hours and have no intention of staying in the UK (you can travel by rail or road between two airports); and
  • have a confirmed onward booking that will leave within 24 hours of your arrival in the UK.

You must also have the documents you need:

  • to enter the country you are travelling to; and
  • for any other country that you may pass through on your journey.

The way I am reading this, it means that my hubby, despite being a national of Jordan, can "TWOV" because he is (1) only making a connecting flight and his connection time is only a few hours, and (2) will have the travel documents he needs to the enter the country he is travelling to, ie, The USA, his visa in his passport, and his immigration packet.

Can someone confirm that I am reading this correctly? I think I'm getting majorly confused because the same website talks about "Visa Nationals" and "DATV nationals" at the time on the same page - and the exceptions appear to be slightly different (ie, the DATV nationals are exempt by virture of having an immigration packet for the US, but that exemption isn't listed for Visa Nationsl - confusing, right?). Has anyone here that has brought family over here had to deal with the UK transit visas? Do you guys have any experience with this? I'm utterly confused!

Here is the website I'm referencing and trying to figure out:


Thanks for any help you guys can offer me! I can't wait to my hubby to get here!

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I have flown on British Airways from Cairo to Miami and had a 20-hour transit in Heathrow, London. I was supposed to only wait in London for one hour and then catch a flight to Miami, but my flight from Cairo got delayed for 4 hours in Cairo and then I had to wait for almost a whole day in London.

I had to fill out a paper to exit the airport and go to the hotel British Airways booked a room for me in. The paper had questions like how long I'm staying in London and what for, I then handed the paper to a British Border Officer and I had a small interview in which I was asked: Why I am going to the US? What does my fiance do for a living? Have I ever been to the UK or the US before? How long I am staying in London? and a few similar questions...then he stamped my passport and gave me my hotel card and the bus number I was going to take and asked me to be there 2 and half hours early before my next flight the next morning.

It went very easy. British people are very helpful and nice, whether they were employees at the airport or just people on the street. The hard part was getting back to Heathrow Airport the next morning...I had to take a bus then a train and I almost lost my way a few times...

I hope your husband has a safe trip and I wish you two a happy reunion!

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Best to do is call the airlines. My hubby went home and didn't need a transit visa because his flight changed in Amsterdam which was a hub of the airline he was flying. But for him to take a flight through Frankfort would have required a transit visa.

To confuse it even more they said if he had already had his green card he would not need the transit visa for Frankfort. Go figure.....

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