Denied Entry to the UK
Have You Been Refused Entry to the UK Even Though You Do Not Require a Visa?
The Official Rules Are:
If you are not a British citizen, you might need permission known as entry clearance to enter the UK. Certain nationalities don’t require a visa to enter the UK. If you are a citizen of the European Union, non-EU member states of the European Economic Area (EEA – Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland), Switzerland, or a member of the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT); you can enter the UK with just a passport.
Citizens of 56 countries and territories outside of the EU and EEA don’t need to apply for a visa, but still need to obtain an entry certificate before leaving for the UK.
Since December 2013, citizens of Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have been able to obtain an Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) online. This allows them to visit or study for up to six months without a visa. For stays longer than six months, a visa is required.
Nationals of the following 10 countries don’t need a visa unless they are staying in the UK longer than six months:
- Hong Kong (SAR)
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- South Korea
Non-visa nationals are generally allowed to travel to the U.K. without a visa if they are coming only for tourism and only for a short time. However, the decision on admission to the U.K. is made by British authorities (the UK Visas and Immigration – UKVI) in accordance with British law. Under British law, some common activities may not be considered “tourism.” Religious volunteers, charity workers, interns, prospective students and others pursuing special programs may need to get a visa before traveling to the U.K.
Although most non-visa nationals who travel to the UK for tourism are admitted without incident, British authorities have the right and responsibility for enforcing their laws and as a result not everyone who arrives at a U.K. port of entry is permitted to enter. When travellers are refused entry, the U.K. authorities usually order them returned to the airport from which they last departed, regardless of nationality or place of residence.
If you have been denied entry, then it is important that you are aware that neither your respective Government nor its representative Embassies in the UK can intervene on your behalf nor can they attempt to influence the U.K. Government’s decision.
What to Expect If You Are Denied Entry to the U.K.
Being denied entry to the U.K. can be upsetting for travellers and their loved ones. It helps to know what to expect, and what you can do to make the experience less stressful.
If you are denied entry into the U.K., you will be held at the airport until you can be returned to the location from which you departed. You are not under arrest and no criminal charges will be filed, you are simply not eligible to enter the U.K. on this visit.
What You Should Do If You Are Denied Entry to the U.K.
Stay calm. Do not attempt to dispute the UKVI official’s decision. Once you have been found inadmissible, The UKVI will not negotiate with you.
You will generally be returned to your departure location on the next available flight offered by your carrier. However, in cases where you would have a long wait for your return flight, UKVI may put you in a temporary detention centre until your flight departs.
Listen, and ask why you were not admitted and always ask for documentation of the refusal.
What can I do about being denied entry?
We regularly receive calls from travellers who are in complete shock about being denied entry especially as they are frequent U.K visitors with a good history of compliance.
Travellers frequently ask us whether it is fair that they can be denied entry even though the rules say they didn’t require a visa in the first place.
Our view is that although it is not necessarily fair, the UKVI are well within their legal right to deny travellers entry if they feel they shouldn’t be permitted entry.
In practice, this is about far more than just having the inconvenience of cancelling a trip as the effects of entry refusal are far reaching.
As well as financial loss, stress for the traveller and their loved ones, exhaustion and inconvenience, there is also a bigger issue to contend with – your immigration record and the impact on future travel!
The denial is likely to affect all your future travel plans irrespective of where you are travelling to.
If travelling to the UK in the future, you will now almost certainly require a visa following your denial and there may also be a waiting period before you can re-enter the U.K again.
If you have previously been denied entry to the UK, get in touch with our assessment team now on +44 (0)20 3384 4389 for a free no obligation assessment of your circumstances and requirements.
If you are currently in the UK and are actively being denied entry, get in touch with us immediately to explore your options. We can offer immediate assistance 24 hours a day.
We may be able to negotiate UK entry for you temporarily thus allowing you precious time to carry out important tasks or meet loved ones prior to returning. Demonstrating compliance with this arrangement can also have a positive effect on your immigration history for future travel.