I am an American seeking to enter Ireland for a four-day trip next month. I have documentation for my lodging, funds, and return ticket, so ordinarily I would be fine to enter. However, I have an unusual situation. I was on a trip in the UK (London) that went rather poorly. There are essentially two issues from this past trip that I fear might affect my ability to enter Ireland:

  1. I had to enter the emergency room due to a medical situation. The line to see a doctor was quite long and I left before seeing the doctor. I know they took a photo of my passport at the hospital- I am concerned that (1) my medical information might have been reported to law enforcement/ the border patrol, and (2) that I potentially owe money to the NHS that I am unaware of.
  2. I had a miscommunication with a relative over my travel plans, and was unable to contact them. They filed a missing persons report with the US Embassy and the London police. They later withdrew the missing persons report once I was able to communication with the. I am wary that this past missing persons report will somehow show up when the Irish border runs my passport info.

When I scheduled my trip to Ireland, I was under the impression Ireland was in the Schengen zone. I did not realize that Britain and Ireland share a common immigration system.

My question is - Will these unfortunate incidents from my UK trip potentially affect my ability to enter Ireland?

  • 11
    Medical information is privileged and there must be a very powerful legal reason for any healthcare provider to give it to anyone, even to the police. Examples that would prompt that would be dangerous infectious diseases (e.g. did you claim that you were infected with Ebola?) or a wound caused by a gun.
    – SJuan76
    Commented May 27, 2019 at 12:14
  • 21
    Wow, that was quite a night.
    – Strawberry
    Commented May 27, 2019 at 12:18
  • 10
    @SJuan76 Unfortunately, that is not the case in the UK
    – MJeffryes
    Commented May 27, 2019 at 13:17
  • 9
    "that I potentially owe money to the NHS that I am unaware of" Call the hospital and ask them.
    – Mast
    Commented May 27, 2019 at 17:59
  • 3
    @MJeffryes yeah, that's not true - the reporting method for unpaid medical bills does not include medical information, the Home Office gets a report of a debt and the detailed medical recordings backing that debt are not available until a court order is issued. Medical data is highly privileged in the UK (my wife is a GP and I have done a lot of software development in the industry) and is not released without a court order. Hell, most institutions don't share data between them - go to A&E and they will almost certainly not have your patient records from your GP...
    – user29788
    Commented May 27, 2019 at 20:10

2 Answers 2


After a rule change in 2017 NHS would have asked you to pay up front for chargeable medical services. Note that emergency services in Accident & Emergency are not chargeable and you would not be billed for such services. Even more so that you apparently left A&E before receiving any service at all. So this should not affect your trip in any way.

As for having been reported as a missing person, if you're still officially missing then it might show up, but as you aren't actually missing it ought to be something that is easily cleared up. I would not expect this to be a significant event even if it happened.

  • 23
    And in any case, someone filling a missing person report has no criminal repercussions (unless the person filling it knows it is a false report). If the report is still somehow active (mistakes do happen) and the police notices, they will just inform you that there is a report but other than checking that you do not need any help they will not do anything else.
    – SJuan76
    Commented May 27, 2019 at 12:11
  • 4
    @SJuan76 Worth noting that Republic of Ireland and UK are two different jurisdictions. Missing person reports from UK are not visible in Ireland, unless UK explicitly broadcast them to SIS II, which for usual adult misper reports is never done. (Source: years of working with London Met police.) There was no offences committed, therefore there's nothing to worry about.
    – Aleks G
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 12:11
  • @SJuan76 if the missing person report is still active, the OP's appearance at the border will resolve it - he's no longer missing!
    – FreeMan
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 12:38

I don't see this as an unusual situation at all. Nothing that you have described in your London visit would be likely to cause you difficulty in reentering the United Kingdom.

Britain and Ireland do not really "share a common immigration system" but the two countries do take part in the Common Travel Area, which I am sure is what you were referring to. Under the agreements of the CTA, each immigration authority honours the decisions of the other, and most everybody can travel freely across the borders.

If you would like to share more information about why you feel you may be denied entry, feel free to elaborate.

  • 4
    It sounds unusual to me. But I agree tht it shouldn't be an immigration issue. Commented May 27, 2019 at 21:54

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