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New UK transit rules for ‘visa nationals’ go into effect

By Raed Omari - Dec 02,2014 - Last updated at Dec 02,2014

AMMAN — The UK has removed the Transit Without a Visa (TWOV) concession for certain nationalities, including Jordanians, under a new immigration decision that went into effect on December 1, according to British Ambassador Peter Millett.

Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders and US residence visa holders are exempt from the transit visa requirements, Millett told The Jordan Times on Monday.

With the new rules going into effect, the ambassador posted a tweet on his account: “Planning to #transit via the UK? New transit #visa rules come into effect from 1 December.”

The decision applies to all those defined as non-Direct Airside Transit Visa (DATV) nationals.

On its website (www.gov.uk), the British government said the new rules mean that from all visa nationals wishing to pass through UK border control (landside) in transit, will either have to hold a valid UK visa, or one of an expanded list of approved exemption documents for landside transit.

Travellers transiting landside, which includes those re-checking in baggage, staying overnight, or changing airports, will need a visa.

The validating reasons for the new arrangements were cited as making landside transit requirements more straightforward and consistent for all visa nationals whilst also increasing UK border security.

For Jordanians and all other visa nationals transiting airside there is no change.

The British government justified the removal of the TWOV concession on its website as “closing a loophole in our border security which has allowed some visa nationals to enter the UK whilst claiming to be in transit, purely on the basis of an onward ticket without any prior checks”. 

“In an age where tickets can be printouts from home computers, such documentation does not provide any real assurance that the transit is genuine.” 

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