I have one question for you regarding my travel from US to India via UK. I am traveling from Seattle to India in coming month on British Airways. I have H1B, recently I got H1B extension but my visa stamping is pending I am planning to do it in India during this trip. So currently I don’t have valid US visa stamping on my passport.
I want to know while traveling from US to India is there any issue because of this ? I googled about it and there are many threads saying British airways will not allow you to board the flight. In addition to H1B I also have valid B1/B2 visa does this will help.
I’m an Indian national residing in the United States. I was scheduled to fly from Houston to Mumbai on British Airways recently. My itinerary involved a short stopover in London.
Summary of your situation
- Do I need transit visa for UK while traveling to from USA to India with expired H1B visa but valid B visa or how to avoid transit visa to UK from USA?
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To know if you need Transit Visa to UK, you can fill-out the following form located at this site.
You get the following answer when you submit the above form
If you are coming to the UK briefly as part of your journey to another country, you will generally need to obtain a UK visa before you travel.
- If you will arrive on a flight, remain in the arrival lounge of the airport without passing through immigration control, and then depart on another flight from the same airport, you should apply for a direct airside transit visa.
- If you will arrive in the UK, pass through immigration control and then leave the UK within 48 hours, you should apply for a visitor in transit visa.
But, last paragraph says that under certain circumstances, you don’t need to get transit visa for UK when traveling from USA.
In some circumstances you may be exempt from the need to obtain a visa – this is called the ‘transit without visa concession’.
When you don’t need UK transit visa if you meet one of several conditions, but here couple of conditions that applies to your question
- you must arrive and depart by air; and
- your onward flight must be confirmed, and must depart within 24 hours; and
- you have proper documentation for your destination, including a visa if necessary.
Additionally, you must hold:
1) a valid entry visa for Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA, and a valid airline ticket for travel via the UK, as part of a journey to or from one of those countries; or
2) a valid airline ticket for travel via the UK as part of a journey from Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA, if you are transiting the UK no more than 6 months after the date when you last entered Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the USA with a valid entry visa for that country; or Continued here.
According to condition 1 – You don’t need to get Transit Visa, because you still hold valid B1/B2 Visa, even though your H1B is expired.
How to confirm if you don’t need transit visa?
I can think of 3 ways
- You can take a print out of the above page when going to board the flight.
- Take the same print out, go to British Airways agents in the Airport and confirm you will be able to travel
- Call British Airways, make a not of the agent’s name, id and time of call. If possible get written confirmation
I don’t understand the last part of your question. If you planned to have a stopover in UK, then you should have applied for some form of UK visa (like visitor). If that’s the case, you don’t need transit visa for going to India from USA via UK.
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Avoid Transit Visa to UK from USA
If your US visa is expired, try to travel via Emirates with stopover in Dubai or other Middle Eastern countries or other Asia and European countries that doesn’t require transit visa.
Check the transit visa requirements before booking the flight tickets.
Friend of mine had the exact same problem. when he had booked ticket to India visa UK with expired H1B Visa. He had to rebook the flight to fly via Dubai. He found about transit visa requirement at the airport on the day of the travel.
It’s your responsibility to find the transit visa requirements, not your travel agent’s or airline’s.