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Refused Entry in UK via Brussels Eurostar...how does this affect future travel?

Refused Entry in UK via Brussels Eurostar...how does this affect future travel?

Old Feb 5, 18, 9:15 am
  #1  
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Refused Entry in UK via Brussels Eurostar...how does this affect future travel?

Hi all, I hope this would be the appropriate place to post this and apologies if not, as well as this being long-winded.

A couple of days ago I was denied entry into the UK on my return Eurostar ticket to London St. Pancras from Brussels Midi Station. I had been on a Tier 4 Student visa which expired at the end of January and I'd been given (perhaps bad) advice by an international student advisor at my university that I could leave the UK before then and return later as a US tourist. So I booked a trip to Brussels for 4 days and ensured that I left before the expiry date--I did not overstay nor did I violate any conditions of my visa in the time I had it. The border officer raised an eyebrow when I said I intended to stay for six weeks to travel through the UK and Europe and offered to provide the names and addresses of all the people I'd be staying with. After a few more questions, I was recommended for further questioning in which all my bags were searched, and I was interviewed for more than an hour. They asked why I hadn't done my traveling in the months between finishing my masters (October) and the end of the visa, and I explained that I was working at the university as a temp (perfectly legal) to save up money for the trip. The bad bit is I had a document with me claiming back some pension money from my paychecks so they probably thought I was still employed even though I terminated my contract before I left to Brussels, and I had details of a job vacancy in my former department that had just opened up--yes I intended to apply for it but it would be a sponsored position for a Tier 2 visa. The worse bit is that they asked whether I had a partner in the UK--I do, and I couldn't say I didn't because they went through my personal journals and letters from said partner, who was actually traveling with me and had to go back on the train alone and in complete tears, as was I. In the end, they would not let me back in because I did not have a return ticket to the US yet (even though I said I am definitely attending a wedding in NY in March) and believed I was trying to take up work in the UK during my stay (I would like to eventually, but I had every intention of going back to the US; I just needed to sort out the rest of my things and close my accounts (phone/banks/etc. to which they asked why I had two bank accounts and two phones (US and UK numbers)--how is that unacceptable for travelers to have anyway?)). The write-up mentions nothing about my partner, just the student visa-traveling thing, the lack of evidence of returning to the US, and the job prospects, but I assume this and my fingerprints will be on record within their system and the details will be flagged every time I try to re-enter the UK?

Looking back I understand their reasoning (however difficult it is to accept) and realize that even as I at the time thought I was complying and answering everything truthfully, each answer I provided was probably digging myself into a deeper hole. It's fine if your replies call me an idiot because I do know I neglected to consider doing more research into what documents I should have had with me as evidence that I would not overstay nor work, especially because I have never, ever, in my various short visits to the UK and elsewhere had any issues passing through borders.

My main concerns now are:
-When/how can I return to the UK because 1) I need to see my gf to quell her anxieties about this whole thing and 2) The majority of my possessions are still in the UK and I need to collect them. After reading a few things, I suppose I now have to apply for a short-term visa through a laborious application process which may prove difficult because I currently am not employed. I'm not even sure which channels to go through to seek advice and make sure I have the best evidence to support my case --US won't interfere with UK visa decisions and the closest UK consulate to me (LA) does not handle visa inquiries.
-Will this affect any future travel outside of the US, particularly Europe (the 'X' is on the Brussels exit stamp so it wouldn't necessarily be obvious that the UK denied me entry) because I left on WOW-Air flights back to the States and at the connecting port (KEF) the officer who cleared my onward journey took an extra long look at my passport pages before finally stamping me through.

I am still in shock about the whole thing and am completely devastated at having a mark on my passport now, as well as not knowing whether I can manage to visit the UK again. Thanks for any input/advice on this!
UKGrad is offline  
Old Feb 5, 18, 9:27 am
  #2  
 
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If you return to the US, establish a permanent residence and get a job then you will likely be able to return to the UK for tourist purposes with a roundtrip ticket. You will get a lot of scrutiny but if you can properly demonstrate intention to return to the US then they will let you in.

Your trip to Brussels will have triggered too many red flags
- no onwards ticket out of the UK
- trip timed to occur over the expiry of your visa (so looks like a visa run)
- the employment situation
- your relationship situation
- your general lack of specific plans

In the meantime get your gf to visit you in the US and bring your stuff!
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ajeleonard is offline  
Old Feb 5, 18, 10:22 am
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Unfortunately, you really did present as a bad risk in terms of the possibility of you staying and working illegally. As you say, you understand their thinking. They had to make a decision and they decided against allowing you entry. So you are where you are.

Now you are back in the USA and considering the future. I would not plan to try and visit your GF in the immediate future. There is just too much risk of you being denied entry in the immediate future. Instead, I would suggest you plan on your GF visiting you in the USA. There is nothing on her record that would increase the risk of her being denied entry to the USA.

In the longer term, I agree with ajeleonard. Establish your residence in the USA and get a job. If you want to try to move to the UK on a more permanent basis, then go through the appropriate process to do that. It isn't something that you are likely to be able to arrange in the short term anyway.

I would not be overly concerned that you are never going to be able to visit Europe and the UK again. You just need to satisfy Immigration that you are not a risk and the way to do that is to remove all the 'iffy' things about your situation. ie. no home residence, no employment, no 'established roots'.
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dulciusexasperis is offline  
Old Feb 5, 18, 11:04 am
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UKGrad, welcome to FT, and on a positive note many congratulations on completing your Masters.

The bad news, as others have said, is that you pretty much managed to raise every red flag going. It’s not entirely surprising you were refused, and whoever advised you at the University should also be taking a look at themselves - this was never going to end well.

That said, your future prospects are much, much better - the UK will need skilled graduates, and certainly those with Masters, from all over the world in the years to come. Establish a presence at home, perhaps see if you can still get the sponsored Tier 2 visa in time, or a job in the US, and build from there. There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t both travel to and work throughout Europe, including the UK, at some point in the future.

As for getting your possessions back, at least you still have close friends and a girlfriend that can help with that - even if it means shipping them to you as cargo. You could well have been in a far worse position, that’s for sure.

I wish you the very best of luck - it’s sounds like you’re due some - and I hope you’ll continue to contribute here as your own experience of travel grows and prospers.
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Old Feb 5, 18, 3:20 pm
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Welcome to the forum, UKGrad. I can't offer any further advice to that given above, but I'll add my thanks for your detailed, calm and measured explanation of the situation. It beats an angry rant, that's for sure!

Hopefully the black mark won't keep you out of the UK for too long. In the meantime do make sure to make use of the rest of Flyertalk to help you and your girlfriend plan fun trips in the US and elsewhere. It's a fantastic resource. Best of luck!
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Ldnn1 is offline  
Old Feb 13, 18, 11:13 pm
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Anyone know if this would affect his entry into Ireland? (given the Common Travel Area, they may share information.) If not, until such time as there is a hard border, he could fly into Dublin, take a bus to Belfast, and then fly to Britain from Belfast.
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Old Feb 14, 18, 3:23 am
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Originally Posted by BigFlyer View Post
Anyone know if this would affect his entry into Ireland? (given the Common Travel Area, they may share information.) If not, until such time as there is a hard border, he could fly into Dublin, take a bus to Belfast, and then fly to Britain from Belfast.
That's illegal, although there's a common travel area you're still not supposed to enter the UK without the appropriate documentation even if you could go to Ireland and get through to the UK that way.

He might be able to get away with it, he might even get away with it just flying DUB-LHR and skipping out Belfast but in this situation the last thing you want to do is get into further trouble with the UK authorities.
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Old Feb 14, 18, 5:06 am
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Originally Posted by layz View Post
That's illegal, although there's a common travel area you're still not supposed to enter the UK without the appropriate documentation even if you could go to Ireland and get through to the UK that way.

While I'm not an immigration expert, my reading of the legislation and the Immigration Rules is that it wouldn't be illegal since the OP is not a visa national and doesn't require a visa to enter the UK simply because he's been refused entry before. (He may want to apply for a visa for peace of mind, but doesn't require one.)

The way I read it, if he is lawfully given leave to enter the ROI and does so, having been honest about his intentions when asked at the border, he is permitted then to travel to Belfast and onto the UK. In essence the onus is on the Irish immigration authorities to satisfy themselves that OP is entitled to enter both ROI and the UK. If the Irish border officials are not so satisfied, they should deny him entry to ROI. Similarly a UK border official can deny entry if not satisfied that the entrant has the right to enter ROI - see ground for refusal 4 here.

He might be able to get away with it, he might even get away with it just flying DUB-LHR and skipping out Belfast but in this situation the last thing you want to do is get into further trouble with the UK authorities.
If he were not entering ROI he would then be acting illegally. But provided he has been given leave to enter ROI and been honest in doing so, then Article 3(1)(a) of the Order would not apply and so again, I think he should be ok.

Happy to be corrected by the experts on this though if I've missed something.

Also on the other question as to whether the UK authorities share previous refusal history with the ROI authorities, I don't know.
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Old Feb 14, 18, 8:37 am
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OP having been denied entry to the UK would be well advised to assure himself that any future entry is approved. If he is found in the UK, it will be the last time for a very long time.

Better to do as suggested in #2 above and bear in mind that, like many border authorities, the concern here is not that OP will do harm to anyone in the UK, but rather that he will become a burden to the UK and thus everything has to point to his ability to leave, e.g. onward ticket, funds to support himself, and job back in the US. Otherwise, what is to prevent him from living with the GF and becoming a burden?
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Old Feb 14, 18, 8:52 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
OP having been denied entry to the UK would be well advised to assure himself that any future entry is approved. If he is found in the UK, it will be the last time for a very long time.
My point is, I don't believe that is true. If he honestly and lawfully enters Ireland, and enters the UK from there, as a US citizen not requiring a visa, and not having any intention other than tourism etc for the permitted time, and has arranged travel to return home within that time, then he is lawfully in the UK. If he is found in the UK during this time, he is found to be lawfully there. That is my understanding from the rules I quoted above. (As I say, happy to be corrected if I have misread them, but you don't appear to be saying I have.)

Better to do as suggested in #2 above
Again that is advice for peace of mind and not risking being denied entry, which I agree with, However that is different to advice on what is or isn't an unlawful entry.
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Old Feb 14, 18, 10:48 am
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Originally Posted by Ldnn1 View Post
My point is, I don't believe that is true. If he honestly and lawfully enters Ireland, and enters the UK from there, as a US citizen not requiring a visa, and not having any intention other than tourism etc for the permitted time, and has arranged travel to return home within that time, then he is lawfully in the UK. If he is found in the UK during this time, he is found to be lawfully there. That is my understanding from the rules I quoted above. (As I say, happy to be corrected if I have misread them, but you don't appear to be saying I have.)



Again that is advice for peace of mind and not risking being denied entry, which I agree with, However that is different to advice on what is or isn't an unlawful entry.
OP's question is "how does this affect future travel?"
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Old Feb 14, 18, 11:00 am
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That is one of the most ridiculous suggestions to give someone in regards to travel that I have ever read.

The OP raised Red Flags and was denied entry. Does anyone really think that playing some 'end around' game would end well if discovered? Use some common sense. His passport is flagged now with UK Immigration. Doing anything questionable whether technically legal or not is not something anyone should be suggesting to him. If he were stopped and his passport checked for any weird reason whatsoever, an end run via Ireland would raise one of the biggest Red Flags possible.

The point is not what is technically legal, the point is what will happen if UK Immigration find he has entered the UK this way period. I agree with Often1, it is likely to be his last entry for a long time. Immigration do not have to have any reason other than suspicionto deny someone entry for as long as they wish. That too is 'lawful'.
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dulciusexasperis is offline  
Old Feb 14, 18, 1:19 pm
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To be clear, I was not suggesting OP do this. I was merely responding to layz's assertion above that to do so would be illegal.

In my view it is generally important to understand both what is legal and what is advisable, not just one or the other.

I am also not convinced that doing it this way would necessarily mean he would be denied entry for a long time after that. If he's doing it as a way to sneak in, undoubtedly. But if he's doing it incidentally after several years, in a situation where he would now be let in if he arrived directly (i.e. has perm job, proof of return etc..), and if he then departs the UK directly, then I'm not sure he'd necessarily have a problem. But maybe I'm wrong about that.

In any event, I completely agree it would be far far more sensible to arrive directly or even apply for a visa.
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Old Feb 14, 18, 3:25 pm
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It looks to me like the individual would like to live in the UK for 'good' and he or she is worried about how this will affect their chances of being granted permanent resident status in the UK. Tourist entry should be possible eventually if he or she actually quits on their plans to move to the UK and can show they have a 'life' in the U.S. to return to (such as a job, apartment etc.), but I don't think that's the story here..it sounds to me like if they were to enter as a tourist there is zero guarantee that they will leave again.
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Old Feb 15, 18, 11:18 am
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It might be worth pointing out that travel to Schengen will not be affected here, so if budget is a concern for having the girlfriend fly to the US, maybe the OP flying to continental Europe (Schengen more specifically) and the girlfriend flying there is an option.
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