When refused entry into the UK
UK - Visas & Permits
When trying to enter into the UK there will always be the possibility of that you will be refused entry. Your next course of possible actions depends on whether you have entry clearance or not.
As you can read above, there are different course of actions you can follow when you have been refused entry, depending whether you have entry clearance or not.
With Entry Clearance
If you’re refused entry and have entry clearance (i.e. a visa, entry certificate, letter of consent or work permit), you cannot, in most cases, immediately be sent back to your home country, but are permitted to make an appeal (in the first instance to an independent adjudicator) and allowed to remain in the UK until it’s been heard. However, there’s no right of appeal in the case of people with visitor’s visas, unless coming as ‘family visitors’ within the terms of the immigration rules, or as prospective or short-term students on a course of six months or less. You’re given the reasons for refusal in writing and told how to make an appeal against the decision. There’s a strict ten-day time limit within which your appeal must be returned and in the hands of the authorities. The address to which it must be sent is on the Notice of Appeal itself. (If returning it by post, always use the special delivery service.)
You should immediately contact the Immigration Advisory Service (IAS), who will help you make your appeal. The IAS is a registered charity specialising in this area and does not charge you. If you’re a student, you can also contact the United Kingdom Council for Overseas Student Affairs (UKCOSA), 9–17 St Albans Place, London N1 0NX (020-7288 4330, www.ukcosa.org.uk). They also operate an advice line on 020-7107 9922 between 1pm and 4pm, Mondays to Fridays.
The appeal process can take up to several months before a decision is made, although vigorous efforts are being made to reduce this time. If you entered the UK to work or study, you should continue with your plans, but it would be unwise to make any long-term commitments (such as paying for a long course of study or signing a long lease on a property), in case you lose your appeal and must leave the UK. Your action pending an appeal may depend on the advice you receive from the IAS (or other agencies), regarding the strength of your case and the likely outcome of your appeal.
Without Entry Clearance
If you have no entry clearance, you’re asked to return to your home country immediately or given a short period of temporary admission (usually from 24 hours to a week, but sometimes more) until a final decision is made. If you aren’t granted temporary admission, you may be held in a detention centre, e.g. at Heathrow airport, or you may be permitted to stay in private accommodation if you can reassure the authorities that you won’t abscond. If you’re granted temporary admission on this basis, you’re given a date and time when you must report back to immigration. You must surrender your passport to the immigration officer and you must remain at the address which you’ve given him.
In either event, contact the Immigration Advisory Service (IAS) immediately, by telephoning the local representative (the IAS has representatives at all major international airports). Don’t do anything until you’ve been advised by the IAS, who may be able to make a representation on your behalf to prevent your being deported. The period of temporary admission is to allow you time to provide the necessary evidence to support your case for entry into the UK. If, at the end of the period of temporary admission, you’re unable (with the help of IAS or another agency) to provide the evidence required or you cannot convince immigration to allow you to stay, you should leave the UK voluntarily. If you refuse to leave voluntarily (or if you go into hiding), you’re detained and forcibly removed, which will probably make it impossible for you to return to the UK in the future. If you leave voluntarily, there’s no bar on re-entry, provided you can satisfy the immigration officials on your return. Contact anyone necessary before leaving. You can appeal against the refusal within 28 days, but only after you’ve returned to your home country.
If you’re granted entry to the UK (officially called leave to remain), the immigration officer attaches a tamper-proof sticker to your passport, which indicates how long you may stay in the UK, whether you can work, and whether you’re required to register with the police. These stickers replace the old passport stamps which were easy to forge. Their meaning is self-explanatory. Your passport sticker is important and may be one of the following:
- Leave (permission) to enter for a specified purpose until a specified date. No recourse to public funds;
- Leave to enter for a specified purpose until a specified date. No recourse to public funds. Work (and any changes) must be authorised;
- Leave to enter for a specified purpose until a specified date. No work or recourse to public funds;
- Leave to enter for a specified purpose until a specified date to work in a specific position with certain conditions. Changes must be authorised. No recourse to public funds;
- Indefinite leave to enter the UK;
- Must register with the police within seven days;
- No longer required to register with the police.
If you enter the UK legally to work, live or study, you’re usually given leave to remain for one year. Don’t be concerned if you plan to stay longer, as you’re able to extend this later, provided your circumstances remain the same. If you’re unsure about the meaning of the sticker in your passport, contact the IAS for information and advice.
This article is an extract from Living and working in Britain. Click here to get a copy now.
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