Application for visas or entry to a country are often contingent on not having been refused entry by any country at any point in the past. How does this affect someone who was refused entry to a country because the country closed its borders shortly before the traveler arrived there (such that the traveler did not know the border was closed)?

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    You’d explain the refusal and the reason for it in any application. This is a global crisis that people are going to remember for a long time. If you write ‘I was refused entry to XYZ country on DDMMYY because XYZ suddenly closed its border to visitors’ the dates will tie up with the facts. – Traveller Mar 18 '20 at 20:06
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    @Traveller You are assuming much more tolerance and understanding (and willingness to research basic facts) on the part of border officials than I have typically seen. – WBT Mar 18 '20 at 20:09
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    It would also depend on whether the refusal was recorded as such, or non-citizen travellers were simply turned away. – Weather Vane Mar 18 '20 at 20:31
  • @WBT Anyone denied entry is typically given a paper of some kind to explain why. There’s no reason to suppose it would be any different for the present crisis. It might help if you specified the country(ies) you’re interested in, in case there is a precedent for that particular country. – Traveller Mar 18 '20 at 20:33
  • @Traveller but that paper typically must be given to the border guard on the other side of the border when attempting re-entry to the country of departure, and it is not returned to the traveler. (Also, handwriting is not necessarily readable). – WBT Mar 18 '20 at 21:35

When asked state the reason as:

  • Force majeure due to border closure during Coronavirus pandemic

This is an often used (and internationaly known) legal term that expresses that the situation was beyond your control.

Such an event should not be held against you.

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    I once had a border guard make crystal clear that when the government of the country I was trying to enter had lost my travel documents, the associated delay and entry timing consequences thereof absolutely wasn't their fault and wasn't at all relevant; that WAS held against me, as was that government's choice to not allow calls to a questions hotline from outside the country [but not successfully calling was quite offensive and a major sign of ignorance]. (After all, immigration and border guard are typically different agencies.) – WBT Mar 18 '20 at 21:38
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    @WBT You’re asking a question that’s impossible to answer. Mark Johnson has given you a reasonable approach. What more do you want from an internet forum that consists of random strangers? – Traveller Mar 18 '20 at 21:43
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    @Traveller maybe a link to some policies or at least some direct experiences about how such entry denials affect future entry/application attempts, instead of (or in addition to) a theoretical guess? That would be in line with the rest of the Q&A on the site. It's not like this is the first time borders have closed in an emergency while people were en route to them (nor will it be the last). – WBT Mar 18 '20 at 22:08
  • @WBT If you use the search function (combination of term and tag), you will find many such samples. Otherwise create a new question. Your 2 comments should be 2 new questions, so that these can be found later. – Mark Johnson Mar 19 '20 at 11:29
  • I don't see a question in the first comment and if there's one in the second it seems like a duplicate of this very question (i.e. the one at the top of this page). – WBT Mar 19 '20 at 12:55

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