transit visas

MM4AS

Well-Known Member
#1
Hi all, hoping for some information. I know somebody who has been married to a tunisian for about one year now. She doesn't earn enough for him to get a visa. a few months ago he applied for a visitor visa and was refused. So, now he has got a visa to go to ireland with her, where they plan to live for 3 months to get him into the uk under the surinder singh route. However, I'm not convinced they've thought everything through. She intends to keep her uk council house while she is living in ireland. She has been claiming ESA here as she is unwell, and presumably will want to claim it again when she returns to the uk. I fear both these things will be investigated should she try to bring her hubby here under the eu family route. Anybody know?

The main reason I'm asking for help though is about his journey to ireland. Apparently it's much cheaper to fly tunis-heathrow-dublin than it is to fly directly from tunis to dublin. So he is booked on a flight to london, where she will meet him and fly to dublin together. He has not applied for the landside transit visa he will need, as they believe it will automatically be granted (he says he has friends who got transit visas at heathrow). But, this is where I'm worried. He's already been refused a visitor visa as they clearly didn't believe he would return to tunisia. This time he will be applying for a one day transit visa. But once he's cleared immigration at the airport there's nothing to stop him just staying in the uk illegally. I know that's not what they are planning, but immigration don't know that. Has anybody any experience of applying for transit visas?
 

missmetal

Well-Known Member
#2
He should have gone through frankfurt, he does not need a transit visa for frankhurt as long as he stays airside and departs the same day. Frankfurt is one of the few EU AIRPORTS that does not require a transit visa. Can he change it?

LHR will not provide landside transit visa's automatically.

U can transit UK AIRSIDE without a visa in the following situations:

  • you are a national of a country that is not in the list below; or
  • you are recognised as stateless under the 1954 UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons;
  • You hold a valid travel document issued by the UK government
  • You are a DATV national or recognised as stateless under the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and qualify for the DATV exemption under the 'transit without visa' concession - see under 'More information' below.
And more specifically
You cannot transit the UK airside if you are on your way to or from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

They did not do their research clearly
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/transitthroughtheuk/visa-transit-airside/
 

Jane BM

Well-Known Member
#3
What kind of visa has he got then for Eire? If she's in the UK at the mo?

Don't know too much about the EU route, but doesn't she have to live and more importantly work there first before he can join her?

I do think though that with transit visas they have to stay 'airside' so absconding and illegally staying in England I don't imagine would be easy (I'm not saying that's your friends intention anyway, just saying).

Think they've not really thought this through too well and as MM says have probably wasted this airfare money too.

How long were they planning on staying in Eire before coming to the UK? How on earth can she afford it all if she's on ESA..(not up with the benefits, no idea what this is...lol).
 

Essem

Moderator
Staff member
#4
Hi Jane, a few year back, one of our other members moved from England to Eire on a temporary basis in order to get her bf across. Not sure if she was working there, can't really remember the whole story but he went across and didn't like it so they never got as far as coming to the UK.
 

gem15

Well-Known Member
#5
Like MM has said UK don't issue transit visas landside and he cannot fly direct to Dublin from Tunis. Paris CDG do not need require transit visas so its in his best interest to change his flight.
 

missmetal

Well-Known Member
#6
Like MM has said UK don't issue transit visas landside and he cannot fly direct to Dublin from Tunis. Paris CDG do not need require transit visas so its in his best interest to change his flight.
Good to know CDG is also transit visa free.
 

YouOnlyLive Once!

Active Member
#7
The UK has a different set of rules for people travelling to Ireland/IoM etc called Common Travel Area, and as I understand it, there are certain countries that are exempt from needing a transit visa because of this, however it is based on rules you need to fulfill. In Heathrow Tunis Air lands in Terminal 4 and all Ireland flights leave from Terminal 1, so normally you have to go land side in order to get the train across. i have never tried to transit airside so i don't know if it is possible? There is no way you can fly from Tunis to Dublin via Heathrow and stay in the same terminal. I think as she is a UK citizen and not Irish, they will be very suspicious as if she was Irish, it is much clearer that she will not be staying in the UK as her work, house, family etc are all in Ireland. Also, the Irish immigration are quite strict so she will have to be 100% sure the visa is in order.
Most EU airports don't need transit visas for Tunisians once they are airside, we just flew through Madrid without issue as it was easier than Heathrow.
The direct flights to Dublin finished on the 26th October and will resume in March
 

YouOnlyLive Once!

Active Member
#8
I just thought of a couple more things for this - it also depends how the tickets are booked. If the Tunis and Dublin flights are booked seperately , as opposed to through a website like e-dreams/expedia/cheapflights.co.uk etc, then he will have to come landside to check back in for the Dublin flight as you don't get your Dublin boarding pass in Tunis.
Also, without assuming anything about their financial status, but seeing as the UK visa has been rejected on financial grounds, I hope they have enough money to live in Ireland? It is a lot more expensive here than UK, even for every day things like rent, food, cigarettes etc. If she hasn't thought about all of this it could be quite stressful
 

MM4AS

Well-Known Member
#9
Thanks all.

I did say in my post that it is the landside transit visa he will need, he cannot transit airside (already double checked). The common travel area doesn't apply to Tunisians. This is why I don't think he'll get a visa. He booked the flight to the uk with tunisair, but I think she's booked the flights to ireland.

I advised them before they booked to go via any country in the shengen area, but specifically suggested they go via paris, but they said it's cheaper via heathrow, and they are convinced the visa is a mere formality.

I don't know for sure what they said when they applied for his visa for ireland, I was under the impression she had to already be there, but anyhow they've got some sort of visa, I think for 3 months.

They haven't applied for a uk settlemant visa. she doesn't earn enough, and his english isn't good enough. It was a visitor visa they applied for, which was refused as there was doubt that he would return to tunisia

As for the finances I have no idea. She's going to have to keep paying the rent on her council flat while she's away. I assume at the moment she's getting housing benefit and council tax benefit along with her esa, if she tries to keep claiming those while living in ireland then I think that would be extremely foolish. After all, when she tries to bring him into the uk I'm sure immigration will check these things. She'll have to provide proof that she was working in ireland as I understand it, so continuing to claim uk benefits isn't wise. I think they assume they'll have adequate income based on them both working in ireland
 

Jane BM

Well-Known Member
#10
Thanks all.

I did say in my post that it is the landside transit visa he will need, he cannot transit airside (already double checked). The common travel area doesn't apply to Tunisians. This is why I don't think he'll get a visa. He booked the flight to the uk with tunisair, but I think she's booked the flights to ireland.

I advised them before they booked to go via any country in the shengen area, but specifically suggested they go via paris, but they said it's cheaper via heathrow, and they are convinced the visa is a mere formality.

I don't know for sure what they said when they applied for his visa for ireland, I was under the impression she had to already be there, but anyhow they've got some sort of visa, I think for 3 months.

They haven't applied for a uk settlemant visa. she doesn't earn enough, and his english isn't good enough. It was a visitor visa they applied for, which was refused as there was doubt that he would return to tunisia

As for the finances I have no idea. She's going to have to keep paying the rent on her council flat while she's away. I assume at the moment she's getting housing benefit and council tax benefit along with her esa, if she tries to keep claiming those while living in ireland then I think that would be extremely foolish. After all, when she tries to bring him into the uk I'm sure immigration will check these things. She'll have to provide proof that she was working in ireland as I understand it, so continuing to claim uk benefits isn't wise. I think they assume they'll have adequate income based on them both working in ireland
Have you tried talking some sense into her? Pointing all this out? Or is it falling on deaf ears?
 

YouOnlyLive Once!

Active Member
#11
Thanks all.

I did say in my post that it is the landside transit visa he will need, he cannot transit airside (already double checked). The common travel area doesn't apply to Tunisians. This is why I don't think he'll get a visa. He booked the flight to the uk with tunisair, but I think she's booked the flights to ireland.

I advised them before they booked to go via any country in the shengen area, but specifically suggested they go via paris, but they said it's cheaper via heathrow, and they are convinced the visa is a mere formality.

I don't know for sure what they said when they applied for his visa for ireland, I was under the impression she had to already be there, but anyhow they've got some sort of visa, I think for 3 months.

They haven't applied for a uk settlemant visa. she doesn't earn enough, and his english isn't good enough. It was a visitor visa they applied for, which was refused as there was doubt that he would return to tunisia

As for the finances I have no idea. She's going to have to keep paying the rent on her council flat while she's away. I assume at the moment she's getting housing benefit and council tax benefit along with her esa, if she tries to keep claiming those while living in ireland then I think that would be extremely foolish. After all, when she tries to bring him into the uk I'm sure immigration will check these things. She'll have to provide proof that she was working in ireland as I understand it, so continuing to claim uk benefits isn't wise. I think they assume they'll have adequate income based on them both working in ireland

You seem to have good information! The other thing I would advise is that they will find it VERY hard to get work here, our unemployment is huge and if his visa is 3 months, he wont have a work permit and so bar some cash in hand jobs, I can't see him getting work. Cash in hand jobs are nearly impossible and if his English isn't great, i would say the chances are even more slim. For every basic wage job in Ireland, there is about 200 - 300 applicants and so I think they will find it nearly impossible. f course I know nothing about their qualifications, connections, experience etc, I am only advising as someone who is Irish and also owns my own business here.

On the transit visa, he could phone the UK embassy in Tunis and ask if they haven't already done so?
 

Trulymadlydeeply

Well-Known Member
#12
I don't think they will get as far as Ireland!! Ive a feeling he will be turned back at heathrow!!
 

MM4AS

Well-Known Member
#13
Quick update ... as expected, he got refused and sent back to tunis the next day!

they are now planning to try again in april, going via turkey! (yes, I have pointed out to them that they could be refused entry to turkey, and if they go via paris/frankfurt/anywhere in the shengen area, it's guaranteed)
 

Jane BM

Well-Known Member
#14
Quick update ... as expected, he got refused and sent back to tunis the next day!

they are now planning to try again in april, going via turkey! (yes, I have pointed out to them that they could be refused entry to turkey, and if they go via paris/frankfurt/anywhere in the shengen area, it's guaranteed)
What a complete waste of money!!
 

missmetal

Well-Known Member
#15
Quick update ... as expected, he got refused and sent back to tunis the next day!

they are now planning to try again in april, going via turkey! (yes, I have pointed out to them that they could be refused entry to turkey, and if they go via paris/frankfurt/anywhere in the shengen area, it's guaranteed)

Im confused, he was actually let onto a plane without a visa for the UK? Clearly very ignorant flight staff at Tunis. They should have checked all that and stopped him from getting onto his flight in the first place.

Tunisians dont need a visa for Turkey. If he travels through frankfurt or CDG airports in transit only then he wont need a schengen visa at least either, as long as he has a visa for the country he's going onto though. So he needs to have a visa for Ireland.
 

gem15

Well-Known Member
#16
I dont understand why they let him on either. Whenever i travel with Lilia they insist on seeing her british passport as she doesnt have a visa in her tunisian passport.
 

Trulymadlydeeply

Well-Known Member
#17
Obviously they don't care just want the money..!!
 

rabah

Well-Known Member
#18
I dont understand why they let him on either. Whenever i travel with Lilia they insist on seeing her british passport as she doesnt have a visa in her tunisian passport.
I was always asked for both passports at check-in and then at the police desk. For someone to go through without the required docs. means either they know someone highly placed or they paid a bribe.
 

Trulymadlydeeply

Well-Known Member
#19
I thought the airline got fined if people travel without the correct documentation?
 

MM4AS

Well-Known Member
#20
I think it's because he showed the documents for going on to ireland (ticket, hotel booking etc) and the rules do allow you to apply for a transit visa after arrival at heathrow. it would actually have been better for him if you had to apply for transit visas in advance, the same as all the other visas, as then he wouldn't have booked a ticket to london and would have been forced to go another route.

I'd be interested to know if the british taxpayer paid for his return flight, or if tunisair had to take him back for free
 
Top