I came to the UK as a child, with my parent.

They always ask me questions about what visa they had, when I entered the UK, what they do now etc. etc. etc.

Bear in mind, I am now 22 years old.

Am I legally obliged to answer their questions about my parents when I already HAVE a valid visa?

Do I have to answer their questions regarding events that happened to me 10-15 years ago when I was a child?

It's getting quite ridiculous now, especially when they get pissy when I tell them that I don't remember!

It's happened several times when returning back to the UK from a holiday.

  • Are you a UK citizen? Mar 27, 2018 at 15:40
  • No I'm not. I have a visa but I am a UK resident.
    – Kris
    Mar 27, 2018 at 15:40
  • when they get pissy when I tell them that I don't remember They would, why wouldn't they. You are a visa national and they would want to know something about you. The more you don't answer, more suspicious they would get because then they assume you are evading questions which in turn means you have something to hide. Answer and move on. The more you try to take them on their game, trouble will come your way.
    – DumbCoder
    Mar 28, 2018 at 8:35

1 Answer 1


Unless you have leave to remain in the UK, a visa doesn't give you the right to enter the UK by itself. It's certainly a big help. However, the Border Force maintains the right to question your circumstances to ensure that your visa was granted on legitimate grounds, and that your purposes for being in the UK are compatible with what the visa permits.

As a non-citizen, no, you're not legally obliged to answer their questions, but if you refuse to answer their questions, you run the risk that you won't be permitted to enter the country.

The family connection matters because, often, family members will work for businesses owned by their other family members. This is alright if your visa permits it but it increases the risk of a person staying longer in a country than they're legally allowed. Also, of course, some visas don't permit any employment at all.

If your long-term plans involve staying in the UK, and you're eligible, you might consider getting citizenship, which will give you a right of entry. Otherwise, and (regardless) until then, you need to be patient with them and answer their questions patiently and honestly. Impatience is not your friend when it comes to border inspection. Indulge them, and vent your frustrations out of ear- and eye-shot of them, once you are admitted back into the UK.

  • For the OP's benefit, it might be worth being a bit more explicit about why the family connection matters to the immigration officer, e.g. the perceived risk that people will overstay and carry on working illegally in a family business.
    – origimbo
    Mar 27, 2018 at 16:17
  • 1
    Thanks for your reply. Although I dont understand some parts of it. For example, my visa was granted on the basis that I have stayed in the UK for atleast half of my life or more which I have. Whether that be legal or illegal - it doesnt matter therefore I really dont get these questions. Furthermore, if I genuinely dont know the answer to some of these questions - such as "What visa did my parents hold when I came here?" - what can I do? Not only was I a child but it no longer concerns me as I am an independent adult and my visa grant is independent of anyone else also.
    – Kris
    Mar 27, 2018 at 16:46
  • 2
    @Kris Just answer honestly. If you're not sure, you're not sure. If you can find out for the next time, maybe ask them. And you have a visa but because you are not a UK citizen you don't have the absolute right to be in the country. It's at the pleasure of the UK government. Consider applying for citizenship, if you're eligible - it will solve all these problems. This will be most beneficial if you plan to stay in the UK long term of course. Mar 27, 2018 at 16:48
  • 1
    @Kris based on your comments, it sounds like you have indefinite leave to remain, or a similar status. In that case, the IO appears to be trying to confirm that your circumstances meet the right criteria for that to have be issued to you, which might depend on the immigration history of your parents depending on the type of application.
    – origimbo
    Mar 27, 2018 at 19:01

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