27

I am an Indian national. I was travelling for an interview to Cork, Ireland in March this year. After my visa was approved (BC only, not BC BIVS), my employer booked the tickets for me via Istanbul and London.

At Istanbul Airport I was denied boarding for the onward flight to London. The reason given was that I needed a "BC BIVS" visa and not a "BC" to travel through London. After this, I took a direct flight next day to Dublin instead of London and attended my interview.

This was a mistake on the travel agent's side, as he did not see the "BC" on my visa and booked me a flight through London instead of a direct flight to Ireland.

Now, I am applying for a long term employment visa for Ireland. Does this count as a refusal to entry? Should I mention this as being denied entry to a country in the visa application form?

The exact question in my Long Stay visa application is: "Have you ever been refused entry to, deported from, or otherwise required to leave another country?"

  • Could you please clarify the context of "Does this count as a refusal to entry"? Who is asking this information? Refusal to entry to what? etc. If Ireland is asking, then they probably do not care about refusal to entry in UK. – user803422 May 2 at 19:11
  • @user803422 If the form only asks about being refused entry to Ireland, there'd be no reason to ask if this incident counts as being refused entry to the UK. – David Richerby May 2 at 23:47
  • @user803422 The exact question in my Long Stay visa application was: "Have you ever been refused entry to, deported from, or otherwise required to leave another country?". As of now, I proceeded to answer No to the above question after the answers here and also confirmed from the HR of my prospective employer. The rationale behind this, what I understood was that I was in transit and not entering the country. So technically I was not denied entry. – Yash Deep May 3 at 16:40
  • @YashDeep the actual reason is that you weren't even in transit because you weren't allowed onto the plane, so you never got to the UK border, so you weren't refused. Transit or visit doesn't matter: if you'd got to the UK, said "I want to transit, please" and been told by an immigration official "You can't: you don't have the right visa", that would have been a refusal, even though it was just transit. – David Richerby May 3 at 17:10
  • @DavidRicherby I accept I wasn't actually "in Transit". What I meant to say was that I was supposed to " only transit through" and "not enter" the UK , and I was not allowed to board in Istanbul itself, so I changed my route and went directly to Dublin instead and that is why the refusal does not count, I suppose. What you are saying is also very correct that if I had landed in the UK and then the immigration officials refused to let me in, it would have been a refusal. I hope I am getting that right! – Yash Deep May 3 at 18:28
101

You were not refused entry to the UK. The airline just refused to take you there, which is lucky because, if they had taken you to the UK, it seems that you would have been refused entry.

  • Does the airline inform immigration in these cases? Could the refused boarding be recorded in any way? – Fabio Turati May 2 at 9:16
  • 1
    @FabioTurati I don't know, but I don't think it affects the answer. – David Richerby May 2 at 10:23
  • I don't know either, but if the incident has been recorded and immigration has been informed, I think it would be better to mention it. – Fabio Turati May 2 at 10:44
  • 1
    Note that he was never refused entry to Ireland - he was just not allowed to have a stopover in London. – Twinkles May 2 at 12:00
  • 11
    @Twinkles He wasn't refused entry to any country. – David Richerby May 2 at 12:49
8

There is no need to mention your tale of woe if the application form specifically asks if you have been refused entry to any country. Refusal of entry has a specific meaning, and should be accompanied by a stamp in the passport. So if you are using the same passport and there is no refusal stamp, then you have nothing to fear.

You were simply not allowed to travel via the UK because you did not have the right type of visa to transit the UK. As is said above, you have not been refused entry to the UK or to Ireland by any immigration authority. You were merely refused permission to board the aircraft because you did not have the right documentation, just as you would be if you had the wrong ticket.

The simple fact is that you have previously been to Ireland for your interview, you did the right thing and left again, complying with your conditions of stay, and now you wish to return there to work and are going through the proper process to do so. That's what work interviews are for!

Full marks for wanting to be fully honest and open. If for some unlikely reason the issue of the earlier incident comes up, you should have nothing to fear. Even the most hard-bitten immigration officials know that travel agents are not always competent, and will see from your record that you had no reason to want to enter the UK illegally.

  • 8
    Re. "So if you are using the same passport and there is no refusal stamp, then you have nothing to fear". It doesn't apply to the OP, but for safety's sake, it might be worth explicitly noting that if someone was refused entry and has had a stamp in their passport, but now has a new passport without a stamp, that does not mean they no longer have to worry about or mention their refusal if asked. – TripeHound May 3 at 11:43
2

I would be inclined to mention it. If you choose not to and they find out then you will likely have a black mark. If you disclose it along with the circumstances (i.e. not your fault, just an error, not attempting to cheat etc), then they will take that into account and probably not even worry about it. In my (limited) experience with these types of authorities, they are generally looking for honesty and openness.

At the end of the day, it is hard to say exactly they will view any particular disclosure (or non-disclosure).

If you choose not to disclose, then you always have the option of saying that there was a mistake and when it was discovered, you voluntarily modified your travel plans so as to avoid any problems with "refusal of entry". So in your case, you are probably safe either way.

  • 1
    You make good points (so +1 from me), except that being refused boarding isn't "voluntarily modif[ying] your travel plans." – David Richerby May 2 at 8:33
  • 3
    But the OP was never refused entry, they were refused boarding -- these are different things. – jpatokal May 2 at 9:15
  • 2
    OP was never processed by UK immigration (who are the only ones competent to 'refuse' entry). The airlines just declined to ferry him to UK. Indicating he has been refused entry (when there is no corresponding trail in the immigration system) just muddles the application. – RedBaron May 3 at 8:08
  • 1
    I like this answer because it's the one I'd go with. If they asked me in this situation, I'd probably say something along the lines of "No, but - haha - there was a mix-up with my travel on the way here. Couldn't travel through London because of my current visa and had to switch planes! Glad to be here eventually. But no, never been refused entry." It's possible to mention something without making a big deal of it. Then you're covered both ways. If they want to know more about your visa woes, they can ask, but I expect they wouldn't care and if they ask it's probably just out of politeness. – oliver-clare May 3 at 8:08
  • 1
    My comment above assumes a human interaction though, if it's a form-filling exercise, then I'd say don't mention it, it's irrelevant. – oliver-clare May 3 at 8:09
1

Don't mention it. PERIOD.

If you give them ANY ammunition, you only get yourself shot. As far as you are concerned, you were not refused entry into the UK or anywhere, it was airline staff that denied you boarding the flight, not any official!

Telling them you were denied entry to the flight is only going to make them look into it more and possibly find something else wrong to deny you on. In which case, you did it to yourself.

The way it stands: you were not denied entry into anywhere! No one can substantiate any different to that. And your knowledge only extends as far as customs officials permit.

My take: IF it EVER comes up, you plead ignorance on the basis you weren't denied entry to anywhere, stating as much and nothing more. I didn't think it bore any relevance since it had nothing to do with (INSERT AGENCY) I was travelling to Ireland, not the UK!!! AND I was only travelling for the purpose of an interview. I was only transiting through the UK, nothing more. That's it!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.