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enter image description hereI’m a Malaysian. I entered UK on the 5th February this year. And left to Spain for a holiday on the 22nd Feb. Re-entered on the 28th Feb to UK. Left to Germany on the 9th April and flew back to UK on the 28th April. I was held at the immigration and was asked to purchase a return ticket on the date I plan to fly back to my home country Malaysia which is 3rd May. The officer stamped my entry as Leave to Enter until 3rd May. I’m back in Malaysia. But My concern now is whether I would be denied entry as I plan to travel again this month (June 2023). Please help!

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    I like how UK manages to use the kind of English language on their immigration stamps that denies understanding.
    – alamar
    Jun 5, 2023 at 4:19
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    The bigger question would be to explain why you need to travel to the UK so frequently. Jun 5, 2023 at 6:30
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    @Tina Family connections and possessions in the UK are, unfortunately, likely to be seen as a warning sign by UK immigration. Can you arrange for your things to be shipped to you rather than collecting them? Jun 5, 2023 at 9:57
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    @alamar it's easier to understand if you take into account that "leave" is used here as a synonym of "permission."
    – phoog
    Jun 5, 2023 at 11:02
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    So, you left the UK for a holiday to Spain. Considering that you were already a tourist in the UK don't you think it might ring bells of suspicion that you left your holiday in the UK to go on holiday in Spain, and then returned back to your holiday in the UK ... and then did the same thing with Germany shortly afterwards? It certainly looks me me as though you might be treating the UK as your home-away-from-home, and not behaving as a "genuine" tourist in the UK.
    – brhans
    Jun 5, 2023 at 18:17

2 Answers 2

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You entered the UK three times in less than three months. You spent just under 40 days there in all, in between hopping over to other European countries and apparently with no firm plan to return home since you did not have a flight booked when you returned to the UK for the third time.

In the eyes of the Immigration Officer your pattern of travel would have looked unusual; it probably signalled that:

  • you don’t have a compelling reason to go back to Malaysia and/or
  • you may be attempting to use visa-free entry as a visitor to base yourself in the UK.

The IO probably strongly suspected that your latest entry attempt was not consistent with the ‘genuine visitor requirement’ of the Immigration Rules relating to visitors, but presumably gave you the benefit of the doubt by allowing you to (based on your comment) enter for a very brief period to collect your belongings at your family’s home once you had booked your flight back to Malaysia.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-v-visitor

  • V 4.2. The applicant must satisfy the decision maker that they are a genuine visitor, which means the applicant:

(a) will leave the UK at the end of their visit; and

(b) will not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or make the UK their main home;

You don’t explain in your question why you needed to travel to the UK so frequently, although in a comment you mention having a family home there. Big red flag. IMHO attempting to return to the UK as a visitor a little more than a month after having your third entry attempt curtailed is asking for trouble. It’s very possible that you would indeed be denied entry. If I were you I would change your travel plans for June to exclude the UK, and I would not attempt to return there for quite some time.

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  • "The IO therefore concluded that you do not fulfil..." If the IO had reached such a conclusion, the IO would have refused entry. It seems rather that the IO approached that conclusion without getting all the way there. The purchase of the ticket for a May 3 departure apparently did satisfy the IO that Tina would leave at the end of her visit. The circumstances described here bespeak a skepticism about Tina's meeting the conditions rather than a firm conclusion that she did not meet them.
    – phoog
    Jun 5, 2023 at 11:09
  • @phoog I guess interpretations may differ and we can’t know for sure what the IO concluded. As I see it the OP was given just 5 days to buy a ticket out and leave the UK. That isn’t usual, nor is it indicative of the IO being convinced that the OP met V4.2(b). However, I’ve edited my answer to reflect your comment.
    – Traveller
    Jun 5, 2023 at 11:24
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    There's also some strange wording in the OP. OP says they went "for a holiday" in Spain, but since they were in the UK as a visa-free tourist, the entire UK > Spain > UK > Germany > UK trip should be the holiday, not just an individual segment. That OP doesn't think of the trip in this way suggests there may be more here than meets the eye.
    – A. R.
    Jun 5, 2023 at 12:55
  • Traveller: immigration rules appendix V 16.1 requires the officer to refuse entry clearance unless the officer "is satisfied that all the suitability requirements are met," so the fact that leave was granted isn't consistent with the IO concluding that the applicant doesn't meet the conditions. The stamp used and the short period of admission certainly are consistent with suspicion; see What does this strange code stamp on my passport mean? and more generally travel.stackexchange.com/search?q=Coded+landing. @AndrewRay good point.
    – phoog
    Jun 5, 2023 at 13:28
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    I mean, I agree that we can't know what was in the IO's mind, but the admission stamp is legally speaking a formal assertion on the IO's part that the admitted person satisfied the IO that she met the criteria. A former UK immigration officer posted on this site a few days ago, with any luck he or she will see this and comment. Regardless, the edit to this answer certainly addressed my concern more than adequately.
    – phoog
    Jun 5, 2023 at 13:31
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I am a retired UK IO. The law doesn’t allow me to give specific immigration advice unless I am registered as an immigration advisor (which I am not).

That said, as others have commented the length of time away from Malaysia and frequency of your visits would raise concerns in many an IOs mind. If you are working how are you able to take so much time off? If you are not working, how do you support yourself financially for months at a time etc? (No need to answer that, I just flag it up as a potential issue).

You should contact a registered immigration advisor or approach UK Visas & Immigration for proper advice about future admissibility.

https://www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi-inside-outside-uk

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