UK Requires Georgians and Russians to have Transit Visas

Effective September 8, 2023, the UK government has amended the Immigration (Passenger Transit Visa) Order 2014 to require citizens of Georgia and Russia to obtain a transit visa to pass through the UK without entering while transiting to another country.

Key Information
  • This amendment, via a statutory instrument, took effect one day after it was laid before Parliament, rather than after the usual 21-day scrutiny period.
  • The government explained that there were concerns that giving notice of introducing a visa requirement may have triggered a substantial increase in Georgian and Russian nationals travelling to the UK and potentially claiming asylum on arrival, before the new transit visa regime came into force.
  • During a 28-day transition period until October 5, 2023, nationals from these countries can transit through the UK without a Direct Airside Transit Visa (DATV), if their travel was booked on or before September 8, 2023 and who arrive on or before October 5, 2023.

The government states that the amendment will prevent these nationals from travelling to the UK on the pretence of transiting but claiming asylum on arrival and that, since 2018, Georgian and Russian nationals have consistently ranked top in the nationalities abusing the UK’s transit provisions to claim asylum.


The Immigration (Passenger Transit Visa) Order 2014 was previously amended, effective July 20, 2023, to require citizens of Dominica, Honduras, Namibia, Timor-Leste, and Vanuatu to obtain a transit visa to pass through the UK without entering while transiting to another country.  In that case also, a 21-day scrutiny period was not applied, for similar reasons, and a transition period was allowed.  A Visa Regime was imposed on citizens of those countries, requiring them to obtain a visa to enter the UK.

Erickson Insights

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to monitor developments and share updates as more news is available. Please contact your employer or EIG attorney if you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions.