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Thomas
Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7613
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Hello, This is Mary Sarah again with the question about

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Hello,

This is Mary Sarah again with the question about 'visiting' the UK in May.
I will be visiting the UK from May 9-16 for a week with The Oxford Shakespeare Company.

Though, generally you do NOT need a VISA for such visits, I was denied entry & deported 17 years ago due to a misunderstanding.

I visited the UKBA website and they said that a VISA is NOT necessary, UNLESS.....you have... an unspent criminal record, have ever been deported, etc. (WHICH WOULD MEAN ME!)

I have secured a UK Immigration Lawyer, who I have YET To speak with.

MY QUESTION IS THIS! WHEN YOU REACH THE BORDER OF THE UK AND THEY SCAN YOUR PASSPORT, ETC. WHAT INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE TO THEM?
DO THEY SEE YOUR HISTORY? OR AFTER A CERTAIN TIME DOES IT DROP OFF?

ALSO< IF I WERE TO APPLY ONLINE WITHOUT REPRESENTATION, WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF GETTING A VISA?

HERE IN THE USA, WE CAN NO LONGER GO DIRECTLY TO THE UK EMBASSY, BUT MUST EITHER BE REPRESENTED TO OBTAIN A VISA OR DO IT ONLINE.

I HAVE BEEN TOLD BY TWO DIFFERENT LAWYERS THAT A DEPORTATION IS REVOKED AND BY ANOTHER, THAT IT ISN'T?

I also just CALLED THE UKBA at HEATHROW, Terminal ONE and she said that I need to "satisfy" the attending immigration officer that I will only be here a week and I should be fine. But on the WEBSITE, it clearly says that if you have "EVER" been deported, it is strongly advised that you should get a VISA, or else you could be deported again.

PLEASE ADVISE WITH AS MUCH INFORMATION AS YOU KNOW! THANK YOU!!!
Hi
Thanks for your question.
To enable me to answer your question could you please respond to the following:-
1. Do you have a criminal record?
2. What happened previously? Did you simply arrive and customs and were then turned away without actually gaining entry to the country, or did you gain entry, stay in the UK for a short time then were deported?
3. What was the misunderstanding that resulted in your being returned to the Us?
Kind regards.
Tom
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Tom,

 

1. I have NO criminal record

2. I arrived at customs, was interrogated and turned away. I never entered the country.

3. The misunderstanding: I had just come from a music conference in Cannes, France --I had met a producer there.....who said that he would be glad to meet with me when we were visiting England --- as he had business there also-- to discuss 'my music.' I also was going to England to visit my friend XXXXX XXXXX, who lives in Wales. When we arrived at customs, my bag was filled with cassettes, cds, etc. from the music conference. When I said I was there for a 'business meeting' and a visit....that started me off on the wrong foot. When they called the producer, he said that we had no formal business together.

Hi Mary-Sarah,

Thanks for your reply.

Right, that’s not a deportation. That’s a simple, straightforward refusal of entry. A deportation is technically where one has already passed through customers gained entry to the UK (ie. outside the airport) and is at some later time for some later reason then detained by the UKBA and then deported after a deportation hearing in front of a judge.

However, in view of the slight complication to your situation I would still advise apply for a visa before you travel rather than risk entering under the VWP because they will probably know of the refusal of entry (but not the actual details) and for this reason you may be subject to questioning.

Apply for a visa before you travel gives you much, much more security and confidence when coming to the UK In applying you should disclose what happened and mitigate by explaining that it resulted from your slight misunderstanding of the visa rules and how you communicated the purpose of the visit. Provide you do this and adequately evidence your eligibility by using documentary evidence I would be very confident that you would get your visa

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Kind regards,


Tom
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