UK eases transit visas for South Africans


According to eTNW, as of 1 December, South African nationals who hold a valid visa for Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA will be able to use them to transit airside via the UK to anywhere in the world without obtaining a Direct Airside Transit Visa.

Travellers who hold visas to these countries can transit the UK (airside), given that they provide an expanded list of exemption documents in place of a Direct Airside Transit Visa. 

There are a number of criteria to comply with, including documentation on the onward destination.

In addition, the United Kingdom made changes recently to its transit visa policy, which is positive news for South Africans. The Direct Airside Transit Visa fee was reduced to £30 in October, and its routine validity was extended to two years.

Different rules apply to Landside Transit Visas, where en route restrictions do apply to the exemption document criteria. Landside Transit refers to passengers who arrive at one airport but are catching an onward flight from another UK airport or who have to pass through UK immigration to collect and re-check baggage before their onward journey, and therefore need to enter the UK.