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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7600
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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How does a USA citizen go about getting prior clearance to

This answer was rated:

How does a USA citizen go about getting 'prior clearance' to enter the UK for a short visit? Apparently, a VISA is not applicable but this person has been refused entry into Britain twice in one week for unfair reasons based on unsound grounds.

Thanks for your patience.

US citizens generally benefit from the Visa Waiver Program, which means that they do not need to apply for a visa before they travel and are instead granted leave to remain (6 months) upon port of entry to the UK.

However, the grant of such leave to remain is not mandatory, it’s discretionary. Therefore, the border officials may reject entry if they consider that a breach of the immigration rules would occur if they were admitted entry.

Therefore, where a US citizen anticipates that they might face problems they should apply for a visitor’s visa before they travel in the same way other nationals do.

You will see from the following link that US citizens should in fact apply online:-
See:” Should you apply online or complete an application form on paper?”

You will also see that it confirms you should apply using their system Visa4UK.

If you let me know whey you were refused entry I might be able to advice further.

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Kind regards,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Entry was refused first at Heathrow Airport then a week later at Gatwick.

Yes, but why?

What were the reasons given for the refusal?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The reason for deportation was a suspicion of intention to work. On 5 visits to the UK in the last 10 years, no laws have been violated and no visa periods have been overstayed. On 19th August advice was given to obtain 'Prior Clearance' if wishing to re-enter the UK in future. However, the Embassy in Geneva (Switzerland being coutry of residence) only offer an on-line visa application service as opposed to an appointment to discuss the problem with someone in person.


You have to apply using the online system, that is clear from the link given above.

Even if you submitted your application by post you would not automatically be granted an appointment to discuss the matter. You would have to submit further supporting documentation and then maybe be called for interview by the caseworker on your file.

You have to submit the application online but then submit your supporting documentation separately. Because of their suspicion that you will work in the UK you have to submit documentary evidence of the funds you have available to you to show that you are able to support accomdate yourself whilst in the UK. This would be things like your bank statements, other financial records of assets in your or income you earn, payslips etc.

If someone will assist you during the intended the stay you should ask them to go to a local solicitor to draft a sponsorship declaration in which they state the terms of his visit, that you are to return at the end of itthat you shall accommodate you and shall pay the costs of any unforeseen expenses that should occur during his stay so that nether of you will need to access public funds.

Please remember to rate my answer.

Kind regards,

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