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UK Transits

People sometimes have problems when they transit the United Kingdom, en route from the USA back to Pakistan. They have had problems at the airport, sometimes to the extent that they were asked to return to the USA and get a transit visa for the UK. So, know the rules:

You need a ‘Direct Airside Transit Visa’ if you transit the UK. Please visit the website www.britainusa.com

A few points of clarification. Just because you are leaving the USA during the allowed three month or six month stay, it does not mean that your US visa is still valid. You will notice that the visa (which you received from embassy) has an expiry date mentioned on it. That date marks the ‘last possible date at which you may enter the USA,’ (e.g. March 6th) It does not mean that you have to leave the USA by this date. Hence, this date is the expiry date of your visa. Now, when you reach the USA (say November 10th), you get a stamp on your passport which tells how long you can remain in the USA (three months, six months) (say, May 10th). This period can go far beyond the expiry date of the visa. So, in accordance to the above examples, if you leave the USA between March 6th and May 10th, point (1) will not apply to you. Note that point (3), however, still applies. But, for some reason, the airport people in the UK don’t seem to recognize this rule. They create a huge fuss and detain you for hours on end. So, be prepared. Take a print out of their site. A person I know requested them to call the British Embassy in the USA. The latter then clarified the point, so, the UK airport people let him go.

To summarize, point (3) is confusing. If you are to fly via UK with an expired visa, make sure you leave the UK on the same plane that you entered.

Else, you can always invest in the ‘Direct Airside Transit Visa itself.’ Details can be found on the above mentioned website

Note: This article has been derived from "Roadmap to Residency" authored by AKU graduates, with permission from few of the authors. Name of the original author, has purposely not been mentioned on request of one of the authors, for privacy reasons. If you are the original author of this article and want your name to be mentioned or wish this article to be modified/ removed from this website, please contact us and we would be more than happy to entertain your request. We fully respect your privacy, acknowledge your efforts put in authoring this article and appreciate your hard work involved in it.

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