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I recently requested a full record of my entries and exits to/from the UK (which are kept for 5 years).

However, the record (the Semaphore database) only lists my entries and exits by air (always containing the flight number, airport of origin/destination and even the PNR), despite me having entered by ferry once, by Eurotunnel twice and by Eurostar once. In fact, whenever I entered by ferry/train but exited by air, only the exit is shown.

AFAIK API data is only inserted when entering/leaving by air or optionally by the Eurotunnel train.

Are bus/train entries actually not recorded in the UK (e.g. upon scanning my ID card), or did the Home Office choose to only provide me with the travel records involving API?

  • Unless the bus was from Ireland, wouldn't it count as a sea entry? It's a good few years since I did coach+ferry in one booking (Eurolines), but I was treated the same as when I left the port by public transport after a crossing. This may be just semantics, but it may not – Chris H Jan 12 '18 at 13:49
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    @ChrisH It was from France. Changed the wording to "bus/Train" – Crazydre Jan 12 '18 at 13:58
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    I've edit to ferry/train. If you arrived by sea I'm pretty sure the question of whether you were part of a bus trip is not going to be important. if you really did mean by bus from Ireland you can revert. – DJClayworth Jan 12 '18 at 14:20
  • How recent was the train travel? gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/… implies exit data on non-air routes only became "official" on 8th April 2015, and that coverage has been particularly spotty for maritime arrivals. – origimbo Jan 12 '18 at 15:25
  • @origimbo 11 december, 2 days before I submitted the application. Cleared UK immigration at St Pancras. – Crazydre Jan 12 '18 at 15:28
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Got it confirmed: the record they sent me is the full information they have.

As such, it would appear that sea/land crossings are not recorded; furthermore the data sharing with Ireland may possibly be a myth, because I once entered the UK by Eurostar at St Pancras and exited Ireland at Dublin airport (also being checked at Holyhead before boarding the ferry). That trip is not mentioned in the document at all.

  • This doesn't surprise me. I was living in the UK for 5 years on a student visa, and I moved to France in a moving van with my mover, on the ferry. At no point on that journey did anyone ever look at my passport, and I had some interesting questions on a trip to London several months later. – la femme cosmique Mar 12 '18 at 14:21
  • @lafemmecosmique "At no point on that journey did anyone ever look at my passport" Not even the French police? How did you get the entry stamp? – Crazydre Mar 12 '18 at 14:25
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    I didn't get one and there were no border people on either side, strangely. I figured it was because the mover got in his usual queue (for moving freight, I suppose) rather than the one for people crossing on the ferry normally. I got a receipt for my ferry crossing, but that's it (nobody collected the passport at any point). I later needed my entry stamp to validate my French visa (I gave my ferry receipt to the guys at the visa office some weeks later), but they ended up just using my last UK entry. Whole thing was bizarre and very surprising. This was Oct 2015, maybe things are different. – la femme cosmique Mar 12 '18 at 15:28

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