Upon leaving the UK I was questioned by immigration officers over funds I was traveling with, as they thought I had been working while in the country. After realizing that I had not been working, and I was just a tourist, they took my passport away and wrote this in it:

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before returning the passport to me, and saying I wouldn't be able to come back to the UK again. They did not confiscate anything from me.

I did not overstay my UK visa, and I have traveled on to another country for the last 6 months, but I do have a return ticket to the UK, but I'm concerned that this mark in my passport is because I have been given a black mark and I will not be granted a visa.

I understand that there are normally no exit stamps on leaving the UK. I'd appreciate to hear if anyone knows what this mark in the passport means. Also, if I do have a black mark against my passport, would that be something visibly written in my passport, or something only UK immigration would know about? I would assume it would be the former, but I really don't know.

  • 3
    If the border officers had taken some action I'd expect that you would have received some official paperwork. Instead they seem to have hand-written a note of the date and place of your departure. This would only be significant if you had a single entry visa. Are you sure you understood what they said to you?
    – user90371
    Mar 7, 2019 at 12:15
  • 1
    @Pieman Did the Immigration Officer give you anything in writing? You can find out what’s held in your UK immigration history by filing a Subject Access Request gov.uk/government/publications/…
    – Traveller
    Mar 7, 2019 at 12:32
  • 3
    It may be that you had a single entry visa, and what the officer meant was "you won't be able to come back with this visa".
    – gnasher729
    Mar 7, 2019 at 13:05
  • 3
    Did you actually have a UK visa? It is not normal for Americans to obtain one before visiting the UK. Mar 7, 2019 at 14:06
  • 1
    Are you sure they were immigration officers? There are often checks for departing passengers leaving with lots of cash, but that's probably the work of another organisation, such as customs or even the police rather than immigration (and those don't necessarily care if you worked during your stay, it's more often about money laundering, tax evasion, etc.). Did they properly introduce themselves, and did they make any note of your identity?
    – jcaron
    Mar 7, 2019 at 17:44

1 Answer 1


This is quite an unusual notation and according to immigration protocol, with any kind of ban you should have been provided with the appropriate paperwork. From your narration, this was not the case. Either that or you did not understand what the immigration officer said concerning the supposed ban.

Furthermore the immigration rules and guidance for bans does not mention a permanent ban in your context namely i.e. illegal work or breaching a condition attached to their leave.

You can complain or ask for clarification using the email [email protected] which can be found on the UK Visas and Immigration Complaints Procedure webpage. They will clarify if the officer banned you (because it will be in their records) or went contrary to protocol etc.

They take complaints seriously. I lodged a complaint with UK Border Force and it was handled very professionally and promptly and in my favor.


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