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I'm a US citizen that traveled to the UK a long time ago and was detained and sent back right away because I didn't have a round trip ticket, I had no travel insurance, and low funds in my account. They stamped my passport with a stamp that has a horizontal line, then a vertical line overlaying the middle of the horizontal. They gave me a ton of paper work listing the reasons why I got sent back.

Six months later I tried flying to Dublin, Ireland. This time traveling I came more than prepared. I went there with the papers the Heathrow airport gave me, travel insurance, a round trip ticket, and proof of funds. But they saw that stamp in my passport and from then on I was sent to the detained section of the airport while they looked over everything. After about an hour they came back and they said they will allow me to stay. But they said I MUST leave on the date I said I will, and I can't fly out to the UK from there or I will be banned from Ireland and the UK. I had to send them proof of me leaving on the date I said I would and that was that.

My question is, will this be a reoccurring issue wherever I travel to or is this something that I'll only have an issue with the UK and Ireland? I'm planning on traveling from Washington DC on a non-stop flight to Dubai and I'm kind of nervous to fly 13 hours to be sent straight back on another 13 hour flight.

I'm going to be bringing proof of everything when I go. Proof of insurance, finances, round trip tickets, accommodation. I just wanted to see what you all had any knowledge on this topic. I appreciate any help. Thank you!

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  • What does Dubai have to do with anything? Are you intending to transit through the UK or Ireland on the way to Dubai? And if so, from where? And what is your citizenship?
    – Peter M
    Feb 24 at 16:52
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    Oh no, I'm not stopping anywhere. It's a non-stop flight from Washington DC to Dubai. I was just wondering about it because the last two times I traveled I had some issues. So I guess I'm just wondering if I could possibly be sent away in Dubai because they see I was detained in the UK
    – user116723
    Feb 24 at 16:55
  • You should point out in your question that you are flying direct US/Dubai as that part is not clear (at least to me)
    – Peter M
    Feb 24 at 17:10
  • Thats a good point, thank you! It's updated now @PeterM
    – user116723
    Feb 24 at 17:20
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    In the world of visas and entry to countries, 10 years is a long time. 1 year is really not.
    – CMaster
    Feb 25 at 15:54
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The UK and the Republic of Ireland (commonly just called Ireland) share a land border with each other on the island of Ireland, with the Republic of Ireland to the south and the Northern Ireland (which is part of the UK) to the north. It is possible to cross that border without any immigration checks. They have a close relationship and have a free-movement agreement called the Common Travel Area allowing UK and Irish citizens to move and work freely between the two countries - Common Travel Area guidance - GOV.UK

Although those rights do not apply to non-citizens, the Common Travel Area does include co-operation with regard to immigration which applies to non-citizens:

The Common Travel Area also involves some co-operation on matters relating to immigration issues. A non-EEA national, for example, may be refused permission to enter Ireland if they intend to travel onwards to the UK and they would not qualify for admission to the UK. Irish immigration officers have the power to carry out checks on people arriving in the State from the UK and to refuse them entry to the State on the same grounds as apply to people arriving from outside the Common Travel Area. These checks are carried out selectively. (Reference: Common Travel Area between Ireland and the United Kingdom - citizensinformation.ie)

As such, due to this special agreement between the two nations, you should expect closer inspection when entering either of the two if you have admission refusals or restrictions on travel to the other. They may suspect the only reason you entered Ireland is to enter the UK illegally by crossing into Northern Ireland avoiding UK immigration border checks.

That is not to say, though, that any other country will not pay extra interest to you if they find out you have been refused entry to any other country, although I would expect it to cause less problems than in the UK and Ireland case.

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  • @RichardBeasley Badly worded perhaps, but true as far as I am aware with respect to each other. Re-worded to limit scope to the island of Ireland.
    – Andy Hames
    Feb 26 at 15:57
  • @AndyHames I just wanted to say a big thank you for that response of yours. Your information was so helpful to me, and I feel more at ease traveling now. I will be sure to update everyone on here with how it goes in case anyone is going through something similar of the sort. Thank you again!
    – user116723
    Feb 26 at 16:16
  • @user116723 No worries. Kate Gregory’s answer is more authoritative generally but I think the UK/Ireland relationship is an important detail in helping you understand your previous experience. Happy travelling! 🙂
    – Andy Hames
    Feb 26 at 16:28
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So yes, first and foremost, if you have ever been turned away or sent home from any country, you can expect more scrutiny at borders for a significant length of time after that. But second and probably just as important, "more scrutiny" is not "turned away." You report that the UK sent you back (it might be good to know if that was "we allow you to with draw your request to enter and go home" vs "we are excluding you", but whatever) and then you describe your experience entering Ireland as somehow the same.

This is important: it was not the same. You were allowed in. Yes, you had to promise not to try to sneak into the UK through the undefended and uncontrolled border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, or to fly across the Irish Sea which is also pretty uncontrolled. Yes, you had to promise to leave on the day you had always planned to leave. And you kept both those promises. They weren't even a burden to you. The few extra hours in the airport might have been a burden, but the experience as a whole was nothing like being sent back and not allowed in.

So, possibly, when you try to enter an unrelated country, they will know (from looking in your passport or their computer systems) about the long ago UK problem. But they will also then know about Ireland and how you kept your promises. Chances are, they will let you in, possibly after asking for similar promises from you again. The more you travel, the less important that long-ago UK interaction will be.

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  • Hi Kate, I wanted to say thank you for this information. Your answer provided me with a ton of information and gave me a good overview of what to expect with my trip. I wanted to clarify with what was in between the brackets above; on my paper work from the UK border control it says "Notice Of Refusal Of Leave To Enter". The immigration officer did clarify before being sent back home that I'm not banned from there, I just needed to leave due to no insurance, roundtrip ticket & because I entered the UK a few times the year before to visit my boyfriend. I never stayed past the visa date though.
    – user116723
    Feb 26 at 16:28
  • Read my somewhat similar experience in the UK here and how I got them to remove the flag from my profile after three successive kerfuffles at Heathrow airport and Belfast airport. travel.stackexchange.com/questions/96671/… Feb 26 at 18:24

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