I travelled to the UK in 1995 with two friends; one friend had her CV with her, and we never knew, so they gave us 4 days to stay in the UK then had to leave. We then went back to Switzerland, and then two months later I went back to Heathrow airport, and when they asked me if I had had any hassles before, I lied and told them no.

They then searched me and found my diary that told them everything that I planned to do in the UK, like work while on holiday.

I was then kept overnight, then sent home. I plan to travel in 2018 and want to go to the UK on holiday. Do you think I could get a UK visa approved?

  • 3
    You could. You'll have to state that that happened in the past and give them a good reason you wont do it again(ties back home).
    – BritishSam
    Nov 21, 2017 at 12:49

1 Answer 1


An answer to this question has been posted by Gayot Fow, a former immigration lawyer, on his blog:

This type of question solicits an opinion-poll. Some people say ‘yes’, some people say ‘no’ and all of them are right because everyone is entitled to an opinion. So we can give an opinion here and add it to the other opinions given to the OP.

You got a temporary admission for four days and then returned and lied to an Immigration Officer. So you were detained and removed. The date you give for these events tells us that they took place in an era when Saffa’s did not need a visa to visit the UK. That rule was changed about a decade ago and now all people travelling on a South African passport must have an entry clearance.

What we also get from the date, if my math is correct, that these events happened 22 years ago. And so the angel called ‘change of circumstances’ can step in and help. Surely things have changed for you in the last 22 years? Examples would be you finished your education, you got married/divorced, raised children, evolved a career, developed close ties to family and friends, or what-ever.

So when you are filling out the form, answer honestly to the questions about removal and give the dates as best you can (state that they are estimates if you do not know the exact dates). Then select the most salient of your ‘change of circumstances’ and list them in the ‘remarks’ section (add additional sheets if necessary).

All other things being equal, they are not going to get overly concerned for an event 22 years ago. And so all other things being equal, you’re good to go.

CC BY-SA 3.0. Unchanged.

  • 10
    @tricasse I wonder why Gayot answered this question on his blog rather than here on TSE.
    – Fiksdal
    Nov 21, 2017 at 18:17
  • 4
    @Revetahw please see travel.meta.stackexchange.com/a/4552/9009
    – JonathanReez
    Nov 21, 2017 at 20:57
  • 1
    @MISSJacobs Please note that if this answer satisfactorily answered your question, you may tick the "V" mark next to the answer to indicate that.
    – Fiksdal
    Nov 24, 2017 at 10:28

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