UK Transit VISA

SreeExpat

Registered Users (C)
#21
Concluded my Travel

Hello All,

I have just concluded my trip to India and I am back to the U.S.A. I would like to share my experiences at the port of Entry.

I have landed at the JFK. I was waiting in the line that said Visitors. I walked up to the immigration officer when it was my turn. I have notified the officer that I am on an Advance Parole. The Officer then took my passport and the 2 Advance Parole documents, placed them in a file and asked me to follow him to a secondary inspection area. He handed over the file to a different officer in the secondary inspection area and returned back to his seat.

It took the officer about 5 mins to get to my file. It was a weekday and there wasn't much crowd. I was sitting in a hall like a setup but I could see the officer going thru my documents. He finally called me and asked me to collect the documents. I have noticed that he has done the following:

1. On the I-94 it says I have been paroled for a year
2. The two Advance Parole documents have been stamped in the designated area.

As a whole, it was a pleasant experience. The officer didn't even care to look at my I-485 receipt notice. All he wanted was my Advance Parole documents.

Hope this helps.
 

longGC

Registered Users (C)
#22
SreeExpat,

Thank you for posting detailed information and your experience on obtaining UK Transit Visa. However, it woud be very nice if you could describe your experience while transitting through UK airports.

The following experience may sound out of context of this thread but as it is related to UK, I am posting it anyway,

I once travelled through UK before 9/11 and here is the experience. I flew from Mumbai by British Airways. Landed at Heathrow. The connecting flight to US was through Gatwick. The officer gave me a visa which I could barely read. It said something like 14 days. Travelled from Heathrow to Gatwick though bus. I did not have any visa to UK when I boarded the plane. All I had was H1 of US stamped on passport.

I once had obtained visitor's visa of UK. I had mailed the documents and original passport to NY office mentioned in this thread. I received my visa within a week through courier. Please note that because of security reasons it is a common practice nowadays by embassies and consulates to do all transactions through courier. They take walk-ins only if it is necessary. For visitor's visa, I had to show bank statements, copy of credit card, employment letter mentioning salary.

While I was in UK the second time, I extended my H visa for an additional period of 3 years in the US embassy London.

-------------

I find the transit visa of UK a rip off. $51 per person (plus courier charges $16) even when you are not getting out of plane while travelling through Air India :confused: :eek: They already take hefty air port tax. London airport tax is one of the highest in all EU. In comparison, the transit visa for France is only $10/. Because of these reasons, I try to avoid travelling via UK. But for some folks here the other alternatives may not be attractive depending on the US city they live.
 

SreeExpat

Registered Users (C)
#23
on my way to India the following happened:

At the JFK, I approached the AirIndia counter at Teriminal 4 to obtain my boarding pass. The gentleman at the counter duly checked for my US VISA and had noticed that it had expired. He looked at me in an inquisitive manner. I had told him that I am on an Advance Parole and handed over the document to him. He wondered if I had the UK Airside Transit Visa. I told I did. He then nodded his head in satisfaction and handed over the boarding passes to me. I am pretty sure, had I not presented the UK Transit Visa he would not have allowed me to board the plane.

As the AirIndia flight landed at the London Heathrow, all of the transit passengers with onward journey to Mumbai had been asked to deplane. For your information, with AirIndia, you just have to deplane and board the plane at the same gate. AirIndia stops at Heathrow for re-fueling the Aircraft and to take in the passengers starting from London. As I deplaned, I streched my legs, refreshed a bit and I was in the line again to board the plane. At the counter, AirIndia had checked my boarding pass and let me in. Please note that my UK transit visa has not been checked.


On my way back to the USA, the following happened:

My flight started from Hyderabad and I had to change a plane at Mumbai that would take me back to the JFK. However, all of the immigration formalities had been done at Hyderabad. When I approached the AirIndia counter for my boarding pass, the lady over there noticed the expired visa and wondered about that. I showed her my Advance Parole document. She then asked if I had UK transit VISA. I said I did. She then checked my baggage, handed over the boarding pass and asked me to proceed to the immigration and customs. I relived the experience again at the immigration as the officer asked for my Advace Parole. However, he didn't care for the UK transit VISA. I cleared customs and I was on my way to board the plane to Mumbai.

At Mumbai, after landing, I proceeded to the board my next flight. An immigration officer there asked me for my Advance Parole when I was passing thru the security. He didn't check my UK transit visa.

The flight in Mumbai departed late and when I landed at the London Heathrow, all of the transit passengers had been asked to remain in the Aircraft as the plane landed in London tardily. I had to sit in the plane and watch the cleaning crew clean the Aircraft and change the pillow covers. I sat in the plane for about 3 hrs. My boarding pass was checked by some personnel and I had been asked to identify my hand baggage that was in the overheard bin. However, no body had asked for my Transit VISA. But I have a strong feeling that, had I been asked to deplane at London I am pretty sure I would have been asked to present my Transit VISA to re-board the plane.

I hope this helps.
 

longGC

Registered Users (C)
#24
Thanks SreeExpat for the detailed description.

Per your experience, the UK transit visa was not cheked in UK but in US and India!!! What a waste of money in the form of transit visa. :confused: :rolleyes: As it is they take toomuch in air port taxes. This is just like extortion.

Three hours sitting inside plane is tiring. :eek: We try to use Air India as it is mother airline. Some revenue goes to India. But they do not lose anything if they allow us to deplane and use the air port facility for restrooms. Why should the airport tax be charged in that case? Airline also pays a lot to hosting air port authority for landing and departing fees. :confused:

I hope I do not have to pay for UK Transit Visa as I am a GC holder now. Do I? ( I am an Indian Citizen).
 

SreeExpat

Registered Users (C)
#25
longGC,

Actually, the burden is on the Airlines to make sure that they check all of the immigration related documents before they take in the passengers. You can actually see the text pertinent to this on an Advance Parole application, which says that the applicant is allowed to the USA and that the Airline is not liable etc ect.. This indicates that there exist an international law that requires Airline companies to check the immigration related documents to see if a passenger has appropriate permissions to land at a destination country.

To answer your question, I think you might not need an UK Airside Transit VISA. I am posting an excerpt from the site http://www.britainusa.com/visas/other_show.asp?SarticleType=25&Other_ID=313

Exemptions: You are exempt from this requirement if:
"You hold a USA Permanent Resident Card issued on or after 21 April 1998. To calculate this subtract ten years from the expiration date on your Alien Registration Card (example)."
 

Marais

Registered Users (C)
#26
SreeExpat,

Thank you very much for sharing the experience..!!

I have following questions..., please clarify

1) Did you hand over any of the original AP to anybody or did you give them a photo copy?

2) Do we need to get I-94 on way back?

Thank you in advance...
 

SreeExpat

Registered Users (C)
#27
Nobody has asked neither for an original AP nor a photocopy. Never ever give out your original AP to anyone, except for the officer at the POE for inspection. However, I did carry some photocopies just in case.

Yes, AP travelers do require to fill in the I-94 form. You will get this form from the flight attendant on your way back to the U.S.
 

budboy

Registered Users (C)
#29
ShreeExpat,

Did you send your original I-94 card (attached to your PP) too, or did you keep the I-94 card with you when you mailed your PP to the Bristish Consulate for the UK transit Visa? Thanks in advance.
 

SreeExpat

Registered Users (C)
#30
I did send my I-94 which was stapled to my Passport. However, it was expired long time ago as it was issued based on my H1B. At the time I sent my application to the British Consulate, I was on EAD. Neverthless, you have to send the I-94 regardless of it's nature, as it displays that you had entered the United States by having completed the legal formalities at the POE. In the case of an expired I-94, you need to send a document such as EAD or a anyother document as a supplement which shows that you are in status.

In the cases where the applicant is on EAD, you must also send the Advance Parole document. Please read my previous posts in the same thread.
 

HEMLATA

Registered Users (C)
#31
Hi Visa

hI, I have a h1 visa and also have the visa on the passport...do I still require the transit visa if I travel thru British Airways?Please let me know...thank you
 

SreeExpat

Registered Users (C)
#32
You don't require a Transit Visa as long as the VISA has not expired and the VISA expiration date covers the duration of your travel.

An excerpt from the BritainUSA.com

"Exemptions: You are exempt from this requirement if:
You hold a valid US/Canadian visa (example) and also hold a ticket to or from the US/Canada routed via the UK. This will include a period of 48 hours after the expiry of the US/Canadian visa for those leaving the US or Canada to allow for those who choose to leave at the very end of the validity of their visa. "

Also, visit this link

http://www.britainusa.com/visas/other_show.asp?SarticleType=25&Other_ID=668

bottom line, you don't require an Airside Transit VISA.
 
#33
hi
myself and my husband r on Advance parole (his H1 and my H4 visas expired.. waiting for GC).v'd made plans to visit India in Oct'04 and come back in Jan'05.since v r required to have a transit visa if I am routing via London, v applied for UK transit visas online and sent all the required documents.. in their form they've asked for our travel plans. v sent our itenary. but, insted of giving the visa for our travel duration, they've issued visa from July to Sept. this is crazy...
v called up to clarify.... after a very patient and painful wait over phone, a lady told us that it might b a mistake, and asked us to send our passports and a detailed letter explaining the whole situation. v did so. yesterday(after 10 days of sending it for second time) i recieved the mail containing our passport and a very rude note on a piece of paper telling that they issue the visas are issued from the date of application..... those lame brains didnt realise that our travel date is after the expiry of the visa they issued.......... i am really furious...... i guess i didnt get as lucky as some of u.......... i wonder if it is worth trying to explain them again or risk sending the passports again................

any suggestions?
 

SreeExpat

Registered Users (C)
#34
Srao571,

Sorry to hear about your predicament.

You situation appears to be an unusual and an unfortunate one.

Usually the British Consulate issues an Airside transit VISA for 5 years from the date of issuance. I was wondering if your travel itinerary hadn't conveyed the information about your travel dates correctly.

I suggest that you explain the situation to the Consulate officer and re-send the confirmed travel itinerary on the letter head of the travel agent, emphasizing the travel dates. The travel itinerary should clearly show the confirmation number and the Airlines you are going to fly with.

If your efforts appear to be futile, perhaps you might consider an alternative travel arrangement, and fly through a different Country that dosn't require a transit VISA. I know it is more difficult done than said, but I can't think of any other alternative.

Good luck.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
#35
AP confusion

hi SreeExpat

thanx for reply
i did speak to them again explaining the situation. they asked me to send back my passport and reqd documents.but, it was not of much help. the itenerary i sent was on my travel agent's letterhead...it clearly mentions all details.
i gues it was just a bad luck..... :(

but, i did talk to German embassy... and they said that there is no need for a transit visa. they've also sent mail stating the same. so, i am going ahead and booking via Frankfurt.

i have one more confusion regd AP... pls let me know if u have any idea about it.....
my H4 has expired. my current AP is valid till Jan 23rd. I've already applied for another AP(which i shud recieve any time now) . I am making a trip to India in Nov 04 and coming back in 19th Jan 05. do u think it is cutting too close? do u think I'll have to take the new AP too?

I heard I am supposed to return on the same AP as I depart.... i.e., in case I travel to India on my 1st AP and while coming back if there is any delay and if I am required to come back after 23rd Jan(expiry date of 1st AP), can I use my 2nd AP for entring US?

i am a lil confused....

it'll b gr8 if someone throws light on this............

thanx in advance
 

vishuv

Registered Users (C)
#36
You do need transit visa for Germany also (at least as per the Boston German consulate). But it was lot easier and cheaper ($13) to get German transit visa in Boston. Just go there in the morning 9am and you get everything back by 11.30. Sometimes, you may have to pick it up the next day. That is what my wife did on the day of her travel (her new AP came only the day before).

As far as your AP, the general rule seems to be you should use the AP that you travelled out with (even though nobody seems to check the AP during departure; of course, AP has a date-of-issue, that could be compared to departure date). Otherwise, in your example above, there should be no problem coming back few days before the older AP's expiry. If you already get the newer AP, just take that as well, then you could use either one while coming back.
 
#37
hi
i mailed german consulate in Atlanta , also called them up. they say very clearly that no transit visa reqd. I live in North Carolina. if i have to get it stamped, i'll have to go to Atlanta or send the passport...

here's the reply from German Consulate:

With a valid Indian passport and a valid advanced parole document, there is no transit visa required for airport transit only.

Sincerely,

Constance Heery
Passport/Visa Department

German Consulate General
285 Peachtree Center Avenue
Suite 901
Atlanta, GA 30303-1221
Tel.: (404) 979-6420
Fax: (404) 577-2719

email: atlanta@germany.info
website: www.germany.info/atlanta


regarding traveling on 2 APs, u r right.... they can make out that i've left US with previous AP. r u sure that i am supposed to return with the same AP?cant i use the other one for returning(as any point of time, i'll have a re-entry permit)? I shud b recieving my 2nd AP soon(atleast b4 i make my trip)...

thanx
Shilpa
 

mohitsharma5

Registered Users (C)
#38
visitor visa question

Hi
I want to visit UK for few days while going to India from USA.So I want to apply for visitor visa. My H1 stamp on my passprt has expitred and needs to be revalidated in India as per the new rules.I have valid H1 document,I 94, Advance parole,EAD.

My questiion is will they return all my oroginal documents after I send them with visitor visa application?
I am assuming I am not using my Advabce parole document and lossing my H1 status. Will they see it(ED & AP) just for reference or will sending my EAD and Advance parole will change my status somehow?
I don't want to use my AP as my H1 will be valid for few more years.

Thanks
 

waitin_toolong

Registered Users (C)
#39
it wont change ur status.

u dont even need to send EAd and AP if u have H1 approval notice, even if the stamp is expired.

sending docs to zUK consulate cannot change ur status with USCIs :)
 

sri12

Registered Users (C)
#40
My experience of Getting UK trasit visa

Hi all:

I had applied on Aug-20th for myself and for my spouse and received our passports on Sep-02-2004 with trasit visa valid upto 5 years.

I had a temporary I-551 stamping on my passport and my spouse I-485 is still pending.

On sep-03-2004 I had received my Alien card :) , which made the transit visa obsolete!

Cheers
sri12
 
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