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.
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