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I was given a 10-year UK visa ban. It's been 15 years since the ban, I have learnt my lesson and through the grace of Jah, I have become a naturalized citizen of a country that doesn't require a visa to enter the UK. Is it ok to visit family, residents in the UK now? Do you foresee any issues on entry, and how should I prepare for this trip? Thank you.

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    you should probably apply for a visa first. Usually, people who've been banned before cannot use visa waivers, no matter the citizenship changes.
    – littleadv
    Commented Feb 21 at 21:26
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    Also see: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/87121/…
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Feb 21 at 23:39
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    @littleadv there is no such rule for the UK
    – MJeffryes
    Commented Feb 22 at 0:39
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    @Jessy: if you're coming from overseas, you might want to consider booking two separate tickets, landing first in say Paris or Dublin, with a long layover, and then another ticket to the UK. That way, if you do get denied entry to the UK, they won't deport you back too far (and it'll be less expensive), before you decide what you want to do next. Commented Feb 22 at 18:59
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    @user4867444 - the UK and Ireland share immigration data. Commented Feb 22 at 22:49

2 Answers 2

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Let's be realistic about this: The UK decided to give you a 10 year ban. They don't do that just because. Even though it was 15 years ago, most governments have very long memories, and the UK is no exception. If you appear at the border, sans visa, it is prudent to assume* that the first thing they will learn about you, other than your country of citizenship, is the fact that you got banned, and the reason for that ban (which, going by the other answers on this site about UK visa denials, presumably involves deception and/or violation of the terms of your previous entry, if any). They will immediately start to question everything you say and every document you present. Assuming for the sake of argument that your case is completely airtight and you are able to provide evidence of absolutely everything to their satisfaction, they might decide to let you into the UK. Possibly after multiple hours of questioning. Possibly after phoning other people and asking them to corroborate your story. If they are not satisfied, then they will put you on a plane and send you right back home (at your own expense, of course).

Do you really want to subject yourself to all that, plus the risk of getting sent home, just to save the application fee for one visa? Considering you have said in the comments that your new country of citizenship is the United States (i.e. you are proposing to take a transatlantic flight), this question practically answers itself. Apply for a visa, provide all of the relevant evidence and documentation for your change in circumstances, and make sure you can demonstrate strong ties** to the US before planning such a trip.


* They will surely ask you whether you've ever been denied entry to the UK. Do not lie, or you'll get another ban.
** "Strong ties to [country]" is a fancy way of saying "reasons for you to return to [country] after your trip is over." Things like a job, a house, a family, or literally anything else that a reasonable person couldn't leave behind in [country].

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    (+1) The UK Visitor visa application asks about visa refusals / entry denials for all countries, not just the UK.
    – Traveller
    Commented Feb 22 at 8:46
  • Comments have been moved to chat; please do not continue the discussion here. Before posting a comment below this one, please review the purposes of comments. Comments that do not request clarification or suggest improvements usually belong as an answer, on Travel Meta, or in Travel Chat. Comments continuing discussion may be removed.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Mar 2 at 12:20
  • Just to provide an update without boring you with unnecessary details, entry into the UK was without any issues,no questions asked. Just had to scan my passport and that was it. A big thanks to everyone who took time out to respond to my question. @terdon, thanks for your responses. They were helpful.
    – Jessy
    Commented Mar 27 at 21:55
  • @user4867444, I took your advise. Flew to Paris and then from Paris to the UK. No questions asked. I hope this update helps somebody. Thank you.
    – Jessy
    Commented Mar 27 at 22:00
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The standard advice on the Gov.uk website for visa-free nationals says:

You may want to apply for a Standard Visitor visa if you have a criminal record or you’ve previously been refused entry into the UK.

In most cases, once the period of the re-entry ban has been completed, a person can then apply for a visa to come to the UK. Where a person received a 10-year re-entry ban, they may be refused entry or leave (i.e., if applying for a UK visa after a 10-year ban) even after the ban period is completed if:

  • the Secretary of State personally directed they be excluded from the UK
  • they received an exclusion order or a deportation order

This is because a person who is subject to an exclusion or deportation order cannot enter the UK regardless of any re-entry ban period being completed.

Source: https://immigrationlawyers-london.com/blog/re-entry-the-uk-after-re-entry-ban.php

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  • I have never been to the UK before, so this is not about re-entry, unless I am reading your response wrong. Thank you.
    – Jessy
    Commented Feb 22 at 1:29
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    @Jessy How did you get a 10-year ban for the UK without ever visiting? Deception on visa application or something? Commented Feb 22 at 3:37
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    @Jessy ‘Re-entry ban’ is the generic term used by the UK. It refers to the Home Office’s power to refuse an application for entry clearance or permission to enter where an individual has previously breached the UK’s immigration laws - this is commonly known as the re-entry ban policy.
    – Traveller
    Commented Feb 22 at 9:52

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