So, this is a little bit of a long story but to cut it short. I am American and I applied for a UK Visitor Visa, because at the time while I was looking through gov.uk and there was a section that led you to a "Check if you need a Uk visa" path. Originally I could have sworn it led me to the Standard Visitor Visa, which led me to believe I did in fact need one. However, it was not until AFTER I sent out my documents that I started hearing otherwise from people that I infact did NOT need one. As long as I did not make my trip over 6 months, and i was just going to spend some time with my boyfriend and ideally I did want to be with him for 5 months.

Anyways I checked again and saw that it did infact say I do NOT need visa but I may want to apply to one if I have a criminal record, which I do not, OR I have been previously rejected entry to the UK.

Now, I heard back on the status of my visa application because remember as I was figuring out that I didn't need a visa I had already sent out my papers to be looked at and considered and they my application for the visa was refused. They stated I was refused because they did not feel i would leave at the end of the 5 months, they did not think i was in an ongoing relationship because the last time i saw my boyfriend was in 2014 or 2015, I converted the money i said i was making and had to pounds but i did the conversion wrong so they said it was inconsistent, and while I provided bank statements and payslips the bank statements I included were of my savings and checkings, but im not sure if they got confused because they said you state you have xxxx amount of money in your savings but we see you actually only have xxx amount of money in your statement (basically they were looking at my checkings and not my savings so they refused me on under paragraphs V 4.2 (a) (c) and (e) of Appendix V: Immigration Rules for visitors AND under paragraphs V4.3 (a), (b) and (c) of Appendix V: Immigration Rules for visitors

I honestly just made a mess I felt but now because I have been refused the visa my question is does this count as being "previously rejected entry to the UK" or can I still go to the UK to visit my boyfriend like i wanted just now that i know without a visa? Or do I NOW need to have a visa because I was refused? Is being refused a visa the same as being rejected entry to the UK?

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    You may have dodged a bullet by applying for a visa. If you had presented yourself at a point of entry with the same documents and plan, there is a significant risk you would have been on the next flight back. Most people who have strong enough ties to their home country to ensure they will not overstay cannot be away from home for 5 months. Jan 17, 2019 at 0:12
  • The first time I went to england was as a student and I was there for six months and that was where i officially met in person my boyfriend, the reason I wanted to go for 5 months was just because I saw that with a visitor visa it allowed me to stay there for 5 months, and its honestly hard being in a long distance relationship so I just wanted as much time with him as possible and i saw that without a visa it said i could stay for as long as 6 months so really again I just wanted to stay at least 5 months because again I just wanted to be with him as much as i could Jan 17, 2019 at 0:29
  • but now with the refusal of the visa im scared of even trying without a visa because im scared of them pulling up that information that i applied and was refused. People have said I could just explain to them how I didn't know I could enter the UK without a visa and how I entered inaccurate information but im still scared and not sure what I could do, if i made my stay less then 5 months like maybe 3 would that help at all? Jan 17, 2019 at 0:32
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    What is your appetite for risk? How good are your interpersonal and personal articulation skills? If you have a decent appetite for risk and good articulation skills I would say go for it! My story is the one linked in Giorgios answer.Be very well prepared, no need for a visa. Jan 17, 2019 at 0:41

2 Answers 2


Being refused a visa is not the same as being rejected entry. UK Border officials can refuse to allow entry on arrival in the UK even if the visitor has been granted a visa; similarly, visa-free nationals such as yourself can be refused entry on arrival if the Border official is not satisfied that the visitor meets the requirements of the Immigration rules relating to visitors https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-v-visitor-rules. If you attempt to visit visa-free on the same basis as your rejected visa application, you are likely to be refused entry when you arrive in the UK. If you really need to make the trip (can your BF visit you instead?), your best option is to reapply for a visa, addressing the refusal reasons cited by the ECO. You may want to re-think the intended length of the visit - genuine visitors with strong ties to home would likely find it difficult to be away so long - and provide proof of your relationship eg emails, online chats. You may find it helpful to read this answer UK visa refusal on V 4.2 a + c (and sometimes 'e')

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    She might also consider meeting her BF in mainland Europe.
    – mdd
    Jan 16, 2019 at 23:30
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    @mdd Thanks, I should have thought to mention that option, although a 5 month long visit wouldn’t be feasible
    – Traveller
    Jan 16, 2019 at 23:33
  • BF visiting me is not really an option because we found it was more difficult for him to enter the U.S then plus some other personal situations, but what if i attempt to visit visa-free and provide a round way ticket to show i have intentions of coming back, letter from my employer to show i have a job when i come back, and cut my trip to 3 months? I honestly just wanted to spend as much time with my boyfriend as possible. The first time I went to england was for 6 months as a student so I just got greedy I guess as since the visitor allows for up to 6 months i thought 5 months was fine Jan 17, 2019 at 0:41
  • and with visa free it still says for up to 6 months so again i thought 5 months would be fine, but now im just torn and scared and so confused because people are telling me yes i can but with the refusal of the visa i never should have signed up for Im wondering if a messed up more Jan 17, 2019 at 0:43

While your financial documentation may have been questioned, it may have also been the premise of your visit: a boyfriend is usually not someone whom you have not seen in 5 years. Your plan to be there for 5 months may have raised red flags about your real intentions, including how you were going to support yourself and/or whether your available funds were sufficient.

While US citizens are allowed to enter visa-free entry to the UK, now that your have been refused a visa, you run the risk of being refused entry at the border. Border officials will see your immigration record including the visa refusal. Visa refusal and entry refusal are not necessarily the same, depending on the circumstances, but they can impact a future decision on whether allow you to be in the country.

Now, the recommended approach is to apply for entry clearance by making a visa application and amending the weaker or questionable portions (e.g., short visit of weeks not months, demonstrating home ties such as employment).

A read of the following Q&As here may be of use:

  • We're just in a long distance relationship and its hard to see each other I only recently got a good job that allowed me to save up money to go see him because before I was living paycheck to paycheck unable to save but with the new job i found i was able to finally save alot of money and fast and its hard to him to come to the U.S it's just easier for me to go to the U.K OR so i thought..but yes that was my concern if now i go visa-free if that visa refusal will pop out and they will just striaght out deny me or question me and would me saying i was stupid and didnt know Jan 17, 2019 at 0:46
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    You are being too verbose giving a long winded explanation. I hope that is not how you will talk to the immigration officers when you get there. Keep your story short and concise, that's how they like it. Cut out the fluff and don't volunteer information you are not explicitly asked. Jan 17, 2019 at 0:48

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