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In other years, I have received multiple stamps on my visa indicating "leave to enter" terms et cetera, but most recently, my visa was just stamped once with the entry date and no other stamps. What's with this? Have the UK changed the entry rules recently?

  • Hi Matthis! Could you edit the question to make the title more unique? It's hard to differentiate it from other questions about UK immigration stamps right now. – Mikael Dúi Bolinder Mar 17 at 13:34
  • No the rules have not changed. There have always been different types of UK entry stamps. Example travel.stackexchange.com/questions/87121/… which have one regular one regular box + another box with annotation, and some without the extra box with annotation. If it’s only the standard one box, it’s for standard six months. Those with annotation may have specified reduced durations or other restrictions. – user 56513 Mar 17 at 14:06
  • @user56513 the standard six-month leave to enter has traditionally been indicated with two stamps, the "extra box" in this case saying "leave to enter for six months: employment and recourse to public funds prohibited." – phoog Mar 17 at 14:09
  • @ user 56513 standard one box allows entry for 6 months - if they are being given a reduced duration, the passenger will always be made aware? – Matthis Mar 17 at 14:10
  • Yes they will always make you aware if giving you less than six months. Either verbally or by stamp, usually both. You have asked two questions about UK visas/immigration. Are you facing some problem? – user 56513 Mar 17 at 14:43
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The most common stamp for visa-free visitors is code 5n, issued when a stay of up to 6 months (the maximum) is granted and there are no particular suspicions about the entrant. The former landing cards would then be discarded.

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Then there's code 3, issued when, for example, there are suspicions about the entrant (insufficient to refuse entry), when a visa national transits landside at an airport, or for visa-free short-term students. Known as a recorded landing, it used to involve retaining the landing card and writing the landing card number on a rectangular stamp. I honestly don't know how it's done now.

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The rectangular stamp is also issued for non-recorded landings when a maximum stay of less than 6 months is granted.

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Finally, visa holders and UK residents will normally receive an open date stamp, i.e. only the square stamp with the date and port of entry.

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