A couple of years ago I had three travel visa refusals to visit my then boyfriend for a longer period of time. I left it at that and never tried to enter the UK or apply again.

Since then we have gotten legally married in the US and he is a permanent resident over here. We are looking to visit his family for Christmas for 10 days in the UK.

We both have jobs, pay rent and also have a baby on the way.

We have supporting documents to show our ties to the US, ie doctor's forms and bills, job proof and renting lease etc.

Will we have issues travelling to the UK without a travel visa? (I am a US citizen and my husband is a UK citizen).

  • 2
    Did you actually apply for a visit visa three times? If so, why if you're a US citizen? Or did you rather try entering visa-free but got refused?
    – Crazydre
    Dec 10, 2017 at 0:46
  • 1
    I applied three times because I wanted to stay longer than six months in that year. I have never been refused entry to the UK at the border, I also haven't been to the UK since the refusals.
    – Alicia
    Dec 10, 2017 at 0:58
  • 4
    You can't stay for longer than 6 months at once as a visitor. Getting a visa does not help with that, and for this type of stay you don't need a visa. So you only shot yourself in the foot by trying to apply three times and getting refused. Still, my answer stands
    – Crazydre
    Dec 10, 2017 at 6:28

2 Answers 2


You could certainly face delays, but given that it's a shorter visit, that your husband is a US permanent resident and that you have documnets proving ties to the US, you should be fine in the end.

Expect to be asked about your previous refusals, and explain how your circumstances have changed since to make you more low-risk.

As suggested in the other answer, flying via Ireland is an option, as you're entitled to enter Ireland as a spouse as per the EU freedom of movement and there are no border checks when arriving in the UK fom Ireland (except for occasional spot checks at ferry ports)


The 'golden' advice given out in case of any doubt regarding UK immigration is to apply for an entry clearance (aka a tourist visa). We've recently had a query about a situation similar to yours where the person in question had to waste several hours at the airport while having to explain his previous refusals. I cannot predict if it will happen to you, but applying for a visa will alleviate any problems you might possibly have.

A second stress-free option is to fly to the UK through Ireland to make things go as smooth as you possibly can. Since Ireland is an EU member they are obligated to let you enter the country as the spouse of an EU citizen, regardless of your former visa refusals (UK is also an EU country for now, but it doesn't apply EU spouse immigration laws to it's own citizens). And from Ireland you can fly to the UK facing minimal border controls - it's very likely that you won't even have to show your passport to the immigration officials.

  • "it's possible that you won't even have to show your passport to the immigration officials." Actually it's 99% certain
    – Crazydre
    Dec 10, 2017 at 1:53
  • 1
    So when you say Ireland you mean Ireland not Northern Ireland? (just checking)
    – Alicia
    Dec 10, 2017 at 3:04
  • @Alicia yes, the country of Ireland
    – JonathanReez
    Dec 10, 2017 at 3:11

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