My brother who is from Bangladesh got deported from the UK back in 2009 for working illegally while being a student. His old passport was not machine readable.

Since then he has obtained a new clean machine-readable passport (no record of previous visas) and visited countries like Thailand, Singapore, India, Malaysia. He is now planning to visit the US to attend my college graduation.

If he checks the box to say that he was never deported from any countries, is there any way they can find out about this?

  • 50
    It is usually safe to assume that Uncle Sam knows everything, such an attempt may backfire Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 20:19
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    Passport being machine readable or not does not matter a dime to this situation. They keep the deportation records with themselves primarily, a stamp on passport is just a backup Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 20:21
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    One actual immigration violation and one intended immigration violation - is your brother ever intending on being honest...?
    – user29788
    Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 20:53
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    @greatone but it cares a great deal if you lie on your visa application. Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 22:50
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    Lying to US immigration is a bad,bad,BAD idea. What you can do is just to request a VISA without lying on the application form and see if they simply accept/deny or call you for clarification. Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 6:47

3 Answers 3


In general, the UK and the US partner closely and it's highly likely that the US will be aware of the UK deportation. If your brother claims he has not been deported, but the US has evidence that he was, the visa will be rejected for lying on the application and it will be very difficult to ever visit the US.

I would advise that he disclose the deportation (if asked) and provide strong evidence that he can afford the trip and intends to return to Bangladesh. Even if he doesn't get the visa now, at least he will be able to apply again in the future.

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    yes. UK and US cooperate very closely on immigration. When I had my passport stolen I had to get a witness who was either British or American (maybe one or two others e.g. Canadian). If one knows something the other does do is a safe bet. Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 20:35
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    And if they ever link this question to the brother (not outside the realms of possibility) then he can kiss goodbye to most visas for a loooong time.
    – user29788
    Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 0:14
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    Suggested revision: "I would advise that he disclose the deportation if asked . . .". Don't volunteer detrimental information unprompted. Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 2:32
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    @Novelocrat Surely there's no way he won't be asked? It seems like asking about visa denials, deportations, etc. (even from other countries) would be a standard question on a visa application. Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 10:36
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    @Novelocrat Visa applications ask about whether you have broken the terms of any visa anywhere. In particular, a first-time visitor to a country cannot possibly have broken any visa terms in that country, and it would be crazy if that led to an automatic assumption that the person is trustworthy. Knowing that somebody had been deported from a country for working illegally would be hugely relevant to any country considering giving that person a visa in the future. Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 14:27

The DS-160 form which is used for B1/B2 visa applications never actually asks you about deportations or removals from countries other than the US. Therefore your brother would only have to disclose his former transgression if asked so directly during the visa interview. The likelihood of that happening is impossible to estimate accurately, but should that happen the best strategy is to tell the truth. I would also recommend bringing in any documentation related to the deportation from the UK to the visa interview. If the matter comes up you can pull it out and show it. If it doesn't, even better.

As for whether or not the US knows by default... nobody really knows. While there are in fact numerous data sharing agreements between the Five Eyes countries, there are little details available about how their databases are synchronized and to what extent. Your brother's former history might show up automatically or it might not. The best strategy is to assume it does show up and be 100% open if they ever question this issue.

  • There is plenty of information of what is shared/planned to be shared. The USA and Canada share biographic information for immigration purposes when there is derogatory information about an applicant. The rest of the sharing agreements (among the FCC) involve biometrics (currently fingerprints). Unless there is a fingerprint match (which is shared anonymously), no immigration data will be shared. It is safe to assume that unless someone has submitted their fingerprints, chances of the USA finding out about someone's UK immigration history is slim.
    – user58558
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 19:20

Given the country of origin of the visa applicant you will be highly scrutinized and the applicant record double-checked to verify that the claims are true, sorry but at these times being a citizen from certain countries implies a further degree of investigation. Your plan has a high risk of failure. Present all the facts and try to present a strong case that you do not intend to stay or work in the US. Also, request a very short term visa.

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