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My UK biometric residence permit (BRP) was stolen in Paris and I was not allowed to board my return flight. I was advised to try Gare du Nord as you could speak with an immigration officer there, who might let me in after explaining my situation. I had my passport, photo of my BRP, etc. Guess what, they did not let me in.

Now I am waiting for my replacement BRP visa, but I am very worried about the refused entry record. They put a cross on the stamp in my passport, and issued me with a refusal to leave to enter letter. I was in shock at the time and I only asked the immigration officer whether this would be on the immigration record, and he said "there would be a note of this encounter but this wouldn't affect you". He seemed very flippant about this so I didn't ask for more details.

Now that I've had some time to think I'm really worried about this. Does this count as 'adverse immigration history'? Do I have to declare this every time I make a visa application, when they ask about "have you ever been refused entry at the UK border"?

The notice they gave me was a simple one page thing that had a Port reference, but no HO reference. It also had a COH ID. But it didn't look anything like the refused visa letters I've seen on here (no mention of appeal or anything like that). In the main paragraph, it said they were refusing entry because I could not produce a BRP, under Paragraph 245HA of Appendix V of Immigration Rules.

I looked it up; it only says valid entry clearance required blah blah. The problem is: even the immigration officer admitted they could see on the system I had a Tier 2 visa, they just needed the physical card (which was stolen!)

All in all, my questions are basically:

  1. Does this "encounter" constitute "refusal of entry"?
  2. Does this mean I have to declare it from now on in all visa applications?
  3. How serious is this?
  4. Is there any way for me to mitigate any adverse effects, now that this has happened?
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  • 8
    Please define the acronym BRP for us. – Ben Crowell Jan 14 at 15:45
  • 4
    This is the Biometric Residence Permit for Britain, basically British visa in the form of a card. – Ellyria Jan 14 at 15:51
  • 1
    Pretty silly that despite knowing you were eligible to enter, they sent you back. That's how bureceacy works, unfortunately. – greatone Jan 14 at 18:05
  • 3
    The same thing happened to a friend of mine who had to wait in Paris for two weeks to get the visa renewed. Happily enough, his insurance company supported the cost! – Xi'an Jan 14 at 21:18
  • 3
    @HagenvonEitzen passport control for Eurostar passengers to UK is conducted there. – Chris H Jan 15 at 7:04
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Does this "encounter" constitute "refusal of entry"?

Yes.

Does this mean I have to declare it from now on in all visa applications?

Only if asked. Many countries do not ask about refusals of entry to other countries.

If you are asked and decide not to mention it because it's not a serious refusal, or for whatever reason, you run the risk of being found deceptive, and that usually results in a ban.

How serious is this?

Not very. The reason for the refusal does not suggest that you are likely to be an immigration risk.

Is there any way for me to mitigate any adverse effects, now that this has happened?

If you're ever asked about this, explain what happened. Keep the refusal letter so you can submit a copy with future visa applications that ask about refused entry, especially if the letter notes that you are a legal resident of the UK who merely lacked the BRP. The police report of the document theft may be a good thing to include as well.

  • Many thanks for this. I am actually worried about the deception point. I quickly filed my replacement visa application on the day after I was turned away at Gare du Nord, and did not realise at the time that this was a refusal of entry (hence I'm seeking clarification now). I did not tick the 'refused entry' box. I'm now really worried this will be seen as deception. When deciding if non-declaration was deception or not, do they check on the condition of refusal and look into it or is it automatic? I did mention the Gare du Nord encounter in my cover letter. – Ellyria Jan 14 at 15:58
  • I'm obviously going to declare it from now on, but I was in such a shock after being turned away and in such a hurry to file a replacement application I did not think this through. I have more than ten years of entry history/visa history in the UK with no problems whatsoever. I'm really worried this one mistake will jeopardise everything. Will I be able to appeal/explain if they do find this deceptive? Note that I am not seeking a new visa but rather it's a replacement visa (no need for a new sponsorship number, for example). – Ellyria Jan 14 at 16:03
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    @Ellyria if they try to get you on deception then you ought to be able to explain that you misunderstood the meaning of your experience at the border. How long did they say you would have to wait for the replacement visa? When you applied, did you include in your application any information about what happened at the border? – phoog Jan 14 at 16:13
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    @Ellyria I believe that your mentioning the incident will in fact serve as proof that it is not deception. Your describing what happened clearly shows that you weren't trying to deceive anyone, so it supports your assertion that you misunderstood whether the incident constitutes a refusal of entry for the purpose of that question. I wouldn't worry too much about it. – phoog Jan 14 at 16:30
  • 3
    Someone I know was refused a visa because their "application did not meet the requirements". They applied for a visa countless time after that, each time answering "were you ever refused a visa" positively, and it has never been a problem. – Andrew Savinykh Jan 14 at 21:50

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