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I have fairly some complicated questions that cast doubt on my process of applying for a student visa in the UK. I hope you read till the end to understand my situation and apologize in advance for any inaccuracy.

I lived and studied in the UK in 2010. I left the UK and went back to Bangladesh voluntarily without completing my education, but unfortunately, my passport had no exit stamp. I did not overstay, and my passport was still valid at the time. However, due to political crises, I fled my country and arrived in France. I sought asylum and got accepted. After a couple of years, I became a French national. Now that I am financially more stable and dependent to afford tertiary education in the hope to boost my career, I decided to go back to UK and attend university. To do this, Through UCAS, I applied to various universities and got some offer letters. After Brexit, as all euro citizens have to go through a strict immigration process to work and study in the UK, I am getting ready to face the embassy with no exception. But I am extremely skeptical about my chance of obtaining the visa because of the dramatic immigration history. Please kindly share your opinions about these matters.

Do you think it is ideal to retrace past history, even though I was not involved in anyway in crime, and obeyed responsibly the rules as a student during my stay in the UK.

Do you think having no exit record from the UK on my passport will risk my application?

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    "Do you think it is ideal to retrace past history[...]" - It's better than hiding the truth or lying, at least from my perspective. But you don't have to tell the story of your life either if they don't ask for it – Clockwork Jan 8 at 21:05
  • Damn, if you had just arrived before New Years and lived there for a while, EU rules would continue to apply to you xD – Crazydre Jan 10 at 0:46
  • Maybe related? – MattAllegro Jan 10 at 11:59
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    This isn't at all about Travel… it's solely about migration, which is a very different thing. – Robbie Goodwin Jan 10 at 20:03
  • Please be sure, UK immigration authorities see their main function as blocking everyone they can. They will treat you according to Brexit rules as a French or EU citizen with no right to enter the UK except as a tourist. Failing that, they will take your past record to mean you left the UK and have no right to return. Please be very careful about statements such as facing the embassy "with no exception." I suspect both that you mean "without holding anything back" and that they will try to use such a non-idiomatic phrase as evidence that you did not study enough while you were here. – Robbie Goodwin Jan 10 at 20:50
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Do you think having no exit record from the UK on my passport will risk my visa application for re entering?

No. The UK does not place exit records in passports. Nobody has such a record, and not having such a record couldn't possibly have a negative impact on your visa application.

As noted in the other answer, the UK does record certain departures electronically, but that system began in 2015, and from your question it sounds like you left before it went into operation.

If you left after it went into operation, it is possible that they overlooked your departure (because some classes of departure are not recorded), but very unlikely.

If they do find that you overstayed when in fact you did not, you can subsequently present evidence of your presence outside the common travel area to challenge that finding. I don't think you should do that in your initial application, however: every extraneous piece of evidence you include in your application presents additional risk of giving the visa officer the impression that you are trying to convince them of something that isn't true. In other words, presenting an argument against a position that the visa officer wouldn't otherwise take might in fact prompt the visa officer to take that position. It could work against you.

Instead, it's best to present the minimum amount of evidence necessary both to satisfy the requirements in the application instructions and to establish that you meet the requirements of the visa.

In discussing immigration interviews, people often say "don't say anything unless asked, and always tell the truth." This is true of visa applications, too. Respond to the questions in the application truthfully and completely, and do not give extra information to address additional matters unless you know that the visa officer will in fact be concerned about those matters.


I am extremely skeptical about my chance of obtaining the visa because of the dramatic immigration history. Please kindly share your opinions about these matters.

Asylum is of course a touchy subject for many, and in the UK this has manifested itself as a "hostile environment" toward immigrants. Your history as an asylee in France should not have a large bearing on your application, however, because you are now a French citizen, and the chance of your seeking asylum in the UK is virtually nonexistent (as would be your chances of success as a French citizen).

Do you think it is ideal to retrace past history, even though I was not involved in anyway in crime, and obeyed responsibly the rules as a student during my stay in the UK.

Whether to "retrace" the history depends on the questions in the application, as noted above. If they ask about your past stays in the UK, which I am fairly certain they do ask, then you must give the dates and the circumstances of your studies in the UK. They will probably ask about your current and past citizenships. You should answer truthfully. If they ask you about how you became a French citizen, tell them. If they don't, don't.

Once again, answer every question completely and truthfully, but do not volunteer extra information.

Above all, do not lie. The UK takes a very dim view indeed of misrepresentation. If you lie, you run the risk of being banned for 10 years, and after the 10-year ban expires you will find it virtually impossible to get a visa because your credibility will continue to be severely damaged.

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    It is probably worth noting that, as explained in the linked document, even though the current exit checks programme began in 2015, the vast majority of UK exits by air were already recorded via API inputs from airlines (over 95%). The biggest gaps remaining were Eurostar, Eurotunnel and ferries (and a sprinkling of missing air departures). So most exit records already existed (over 80%), and of course, since they were incomplete, their absence cannot be used against anyone. Of course there are other ways to prove that someone overstayed, but if one didn’t, not such proof exists. – jcaron Jan 8 at 22:52
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    @jcaron: Presumably the largest number of unrecorded exits from the UK would be towards Ireland, but of course that's due to the Common Travel Area. – MSalters Jan 9 at 1:17
  • @MSalters Even entries/exits to/from Ireland by air are recorded in actual practice – Crazydre Jan 10 at 0:44
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    In other words, the OP's history actually isn't all that dramatic, and the "missing" exit stamp is completely normal, so there's almost certainly nothing to worry about. – Asteroids With Wings Jan 10 at 22:11
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The UK (and the US), unlike most other countries, don't stamp passports on exit. Instead the airlines send an electronic record of your departure, and this is added to the Home Office's records on your passport.

When you apply for a UK Visa, this record will be checked, and since you have a matching entry and exit electronic records, the lack of a stamp won't be a problem.

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