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sherryl

UK Visa

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Just another misssion, does anyone have any idea how long this can take ????? gosh , you can sure see how NEW they are at this and really taking their time, as usual , no one to talk to , nothing new, and the very scary part is THEY the UK are siting with my passport, thank goodness I never sent my GREEN CARD , I am leaving on Sunday 26 April , and only NEEDED a ONE NIGHT VISA ON THE WAY BACK IN JUNE , only because our flight arrives too late to come back home to USA, now all this, what a mess. So extreme , why didnt they just join the schengen visa program ? not royal enough ! at least everything is in order.

Anway I will wait and see, and hopefully this is the very last visa I have to get,

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Hi Sherryl,

 

I'm glad you posted this as I am going to have to do this soon, too. My sister is pregnant (she lives in Kent) and I'm fixing to go see her over the summer.

How much does this visa cost? How long is it good for? How long have they already taken with your passport? And when you said thank goodness you did not send your greencard, do they even ask for this?

 

Lots of questions, but thank you! :)

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The way I read this new rule is that you need a visa even if you are in transit in the airport changing planes? Anybody else read that too?

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I hope this will help Transit (INF 20)

 

Yep, this is what I have been reading, but it still blows my mind. If you stay within the confines of the airport why do they feel the need to make you get a visa. Its crazy.

Edited by Utah

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Yep, this is what I have been reading, but it still blows my mind. If you stay within the confines of the airport why do they feel the need to make you get a visa. Its crazy.

 

It became necessary due to the high volume of falsified South African passports that was used to enter the UK.

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It became necessary due to the high volume of falsified South African passports that was used to enter the UK.

 

That's what I heard, except they are requiring in transit travellers, who previously didn't even go through passport control as they went straight to the internatinal departure lounge, to have this intransit visa. Surely they can control which passengers go where? My in laws travelled through Heathrow just a few weeks ago and they said that they still didn't go through any passport control n route to the departure lounge (they both travel on British Passports so I don't know if that made a difference).

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To board the plain en route to Britain you will need your Visa. If you do not have it you may be prevented from boarding. This is their way of keeping the riffraff out of Britain and the onus is on the airlines to make sure that you have a visa. If the airlines let you on you are the airlines problem. And they do not want to fly you back in an unpaid seat.

 

With this process Britain lightens the load of security and passport control knowing that 99% of passengers landing in Britain will have a valid Visa and have pre-approval so to speak. It makes sense from their perspective. A PITA for the flyers.

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How much does this visa cost? How long is it good for?

 

visa costs and lengths

http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/howtoapply/visafees/

 

also, if you are travelling in and out of the UK before the 'middle of the year' (i can't find the exact date, but i guess end of june), you may be exempt IF you already have a UK stamp in your current passport.

 

for transit, it seems if you have a green card you're ok. valid visa's seem fine as well according to the INF 20 link posted.

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Thanks for the links. What a schlepp hey? I have a UK stamp in my passport from a trip I took 3 years ago but I'm going to go ahead with the visa. And I wonder why the UK is not part of the schengen visa? Would make it easier as I need one of these, too. Anyone here had to get a schengen visa recently?

And does anyone know if these rules apply ifyou are travelling with a USA passport?

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Thanks for the links. What a schlepp hey? I have a UK stamp in my passport from a trip I took 3 years ago but I'm going to go ahead with the visa. And I wonder why the UK is not part of the schengen visa? Would make it easier as I need one of these, too. Anyone here had to get a schengen visa recently?

And does anyone know if these rules apply ifyou are travelling with a USA passport?

 

Hi Tauswas

For SA passport: You will need the visa for a visit; even the temporary exemption, (i.e. if you have a UK stamp in your passport) expires at midnight on 30 June. Thereafter, regardless of previous entries/stamps etc, you will need a visa to enter the UK. You don't need a visa to transit the UK e.g. going SA/UK/USA, and have a valid USA visa etc. This means that you must transit using the same ticket. You can't, for e.g. buy one ticket SA/London, and then another London/USA, as that would mean going through passport control to collect your luggage, and check in for the next flight etc.

 

For USA passport holders: You can enter the UK without any visa for up to 6 months (just as a visitor, not to work etc), and you can enter the Schengen States for up to 90 days (again, just as a visitor) without any visa.

 

The UK has officially stated that at this stage they prefer to secure/control their own borders, but they have not ruled out joining Schengen at a future date. I suppose, just as they hung on to the Pound instead of going to the EURO, they have their reasons.

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You don't need a visa to transit the UK e.g. going SA/UK/USA, and have a valid USA visa etc. This means that you must transit using the same ticket. You can't, for e.g. buy one ticket SA/London, and then another London/USA, as that would mean going through passport control to collect your luggage, and check in for the next flight etc.

 

Malamute I am confused. If you are on a single ticket SA/UK/USA (so same airline etc) then you do not need a transit visa? You only need a transit visa if you change airlines and use a different ticket?

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Hi Utah, not suprised you are confused, it can be very confusing........and I didn't explain too well.

 

SA passport holders are not DATV nationals (DATV nationals are those from some very particular countries, who DO need a visa, even to sit in the transit area at the airport no matter where they are going or why). - there are some concessions, however, e.g. if they hold the right visa for their destination etc as laid out in the DATV rules.

South African passport holders can therefore transit without a visa (TWOV) if they stay in the transit area.

 

SA passport holders are VISA NATIONALS - i.e. need a visa to enter the UK, which means must pass through immigration control, even if it is only for a short period, such as going outside the transit area of the airport to see friends, pick up luggage - or go into London for the day.

 

(Apparantly an immigration officer can - at their discretion - allow you to enter the UK without a visa for up to 24 hours while you wait for your connecting flight) Me = not about to leave ANYTHING up to the 'discretion' of an immigration official!

 

SO, to more specifically answer your question around the tickets:

If you buy a ticket, e.g. Johannesburg/London/Chicago, and it is all one ticket (even if there are 2 airlines involved, e.g. JNB/London on SAA and London/Chicago on United Airlines), you have 1 ticket, i.e. 1 contract and can through-check.

This means that when you check-in in Johannesburg, you can check yourself and your luggage in all the way to Chicago, and in most cases get your own boarding pass for the London/Chicago leg. When you arrive in London - e.g. Heathrow, you have only to get off the plane, browse the duty free shops, make your way to the United Gate and board the next plane. You don't pass through immigration at all.

 

However,

If you buy a ticket Johannesburg/London and then a 2nd ticket London/New York (people do this - or use miles from one airline for one of the tickets). So now, for example you have a SAA ticket Johannesburg/London and an Air France ticket London/New York. 2 tickets = 2 contracts. When you check in at Johannesburg, SAA can and will only check you in and tag your luggage to London, as that is where your ticket is to, and that is where they are contractually bound to send you and your luggage. They will not be interested in the fact that your final destination - on another, unrelated ticket/contract/airline - is New York. (this is not SAA, this is the correct, 'normal' way of doing things).

 

So, now when you arrive in London, you have to pass through immigration first, (need a VISA) go to the baggage claim, collect your luggage, and then check-in at the Air France counter to get your boarding pass etc for New York. All this also takes much more time than the simple transit in scenario 1, so normal flight connecting times (e.g. you only need 45 mins to 'connect' between 2 international flights) do not apply.

 

Phew, am I long-winded or what today!!!

Edited by Malamute

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SA passport holders are not DATV nationals (DATV nationals are those from some very particular countries, who DO need a visa, even to sit in the transit area at the airport no matter where they are going or why). - there are some concessions, however, e.g. if they hold the right visa for their destination etc as laid out in the DATV rules.

South African passport holders can therefore transit without a visa (TWOV) if they stay in the transit area.

 

This page on www.ukvisas.gov.uk includes South Africa in a list defining DATV Nationals. What am I missing?

 

But it seems from your explanation that you can avoid the passport control area at Heathrow anyway if you are checked all the way through to the US?

 

UPDATE

 

Okay, I found the missing link for me. On the page referred to above, at the bottom is a list of exemptions:

 

Passengers exempt from the DATV requirement

 

Holders of certain documents are, regardless of nationality, exempt from the requirement to hold a Direct Airside Transit Visa when transiting the UK.

 

A transit passenger is not required to hold a transit visa if he holds or a person with whom he arrives in the United Kingdom holds on his behalf:

 

  1. 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;
Edited by Utah

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DH was doing some reading on this last night and it seems that if you hold a Green Card then you may not need a schengen. We have sent off some requests & will keep you posted.

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