I am from Myanmar. I was on my way to Venice from Brussels while holding Schengen visa (single entry). I bought a British Airways ticket to fly from Brussels to Venice. Unfortunately, on that day, all BA flights from Brussels were canceled. British Airway's customer service centre told me to go to from Brussels to London by train, where I could catch my flight to Venice. I took a taxi to Bruxelles-Midi train station and bought a ticket to London. A Brussels immigration officer inspected and approved my passport.

Then I had to to through UK Border Immigration. There, they said I can't enter to get my flight. Although I explained the situation with the airline and made clear of my destination (I already reserved my hotels in Venice, Switzerland and France as described in my travel itinerary), they detained me for some hours and also took my fingerprints on paper and photo.

They asked questions concerned about my finances and gave me a refusal letter for not having a transit visa. So I had to re-enter Brussels where the immigration officer put the below stamp in my passport. As I had a single entry Schengen visa, I had to buy another airline ticket to Venice and complete my Europe trip.

  1. What do the stamps below mean on my passport?
  2. Can they affect me and, if so, how and why, when I apply for another Schengen visa?

Exit stamp from Brussels by train, crossed out "Immigration officer, Brussels", crossed out

  • 27
    Did you inform BA in Brussels that you did not have a visa to transit the UK? It’s not clear to me why they would expect you to re-route via London rather than another airport within the Schengen Area, or why you would think that you could do so. – Traveller Nov 14 at 16:41
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    @Traveller I think the answer to "why you would think that you could do so" is that you would expect that an airline wouldn't send their passengers on an impossible journey. I don't think it's unreasonable for a passenger to assume that travel professionals know what they are doing. BA made a mistake in not checking that OP had the documents required, and I wouldn't place blame on the passenger here. – MJeffryes Nov 14 at 16:59
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    Looks like things began to go wrong when you had a single-entry Schengen visa and nevertheless bought a ticket from Brussels to Venice via London. That itinerary would not work no matter whether you went to London by air or by train. – Henning Makholm Nov 14 at 17:28
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    @HenningMakholm These things may seem obvious to you, but why should the average traveler know that the UK is not in Schengen, particularly if they never intended to go there? – MJeffryes Nov 14 at 17:32
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    Guys. the question was just about the meaning of the stamps and phoog already answered that. It is not really relevant how the original itinerary was, if someone has made a mistake and if so, who made a mistake. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Nov 14 at 18:52
up vote 106 down vote accepted

The first stamp means that your exit from the Schengen area was cancelled. This is a good thing, since if you had been allowed to exit the Schengen area, you would not have been able to fly from the UK to Italy.

The second stamp means that you were refused entry into the UK. You will have to report this if you're ever asked whether you were refused entry. If you explain the circumstances, the refusal is not likely to have much of a negative impact. The key points are:

  • you were in the Schengen area with a single-entry visa
  • your flight from Belgium to Italy was cancelled
  • the airline instructed you to travel by way of the UK
  • neither the airline nor you realized that you lacked the necessary visas for that itinerary
  • the UK immigration officer therefore refused entry into the UK
  • 30
    +1 excellent answer. However, I think you should emphasize that OP really must declare the refused entry on future visa applications (for all countries). This will probably not be a big deal -- just some further questioning. However, the consequences of failing to declare this would be quite bad. – Thomas Nov 14 at 23:38
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    @Thomas Visa applications for many countries do not ask about previous issues with immigration in other countries. There is absolutely no need to declare this situation if not asked about it. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Nov 14 at 23:53
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    @phoog They likely don't ask on ESTA for Visa Waiver Program, but it might come up as an interview question for someone applying for a standard visa. – gparyani Nov 15 at 2:02
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    @Thomas You would think that they could omit one of the many variations of the "are you a terrorist" question in favor of a more useful question about your background instead, but the DS-160 seems to be more designed to ensure you've checked "no" to lots of boxes about bad things than eliciting background information. – Zach Lipton Nov 15 at 9:39
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    @ZachLipton I always understood that the main reason for the "are you a terrorist?"-type questions was to allow them to easily deport you for lying on the immigration form if you did bad stuff. Under VWP, you have no right to appeal so they can deal with the threat by just saying "In our opinion, you're doing terrorist stuff, so you lied on your immigration form", whereas any other way of dealing with it would require proving in court that you really were doing that. – David Richerby Nov 15 at 17:48

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