Recently, I went to the UK, and I have a multi entry, unaccompanied UK Child Visitor Tourist Visa. I went to the UK alone. However, when I reached the UK, the officer denied my entry because when he called my hotel, they told him that they cannot accept a 17-year-old alone. I didn't check the hotel policy, so that was my mistake.

He told me to book another hotel, but I couldn't find any hotel accepting a 17-year-old alone. After that, he told me to book a return flight, and I did. After that, he just wrote "elected to embark 23/04/24" on my passport and handed my passport to me. They didn't do any paperwork in front of me, and they didn't give me a single piece of paper. They just checked my visa, and after that, they just left me in the transit area. I don't think they did any documentation because they didn't give me any paperwork.

So, is my visa canceled, or is my visa okay? Please tell me what "elected to embark" means. Is it good because I think the officer was trying to help? I am worried about my visa.

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    I don't know for sure so I'm only commenting, but I've seen Canadian and Australian border people saying "if you withdraw your request to enter then you're not deported or refused entry" and it is kind of a favour. This might be the same kind of thing Commented May 13 at 23:09
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    @stackoverblown it's not strange, OP might have been going to stay with family or otherwise not need a hotel. It's not the role of the airline to refuse to sell tickets to people just because some hotels wouldn't rent them a room. Commented May 14 at 12:38
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    @JasbirMalik Please take the tour. Stop asking 500 questions in the comments. Instead, now that you have several answers here (all telling you the exact same thing), please be sure to up vote those you found helpful and click the check mark next to the one that was the most helpful. If you still have questions, then ask a new question. Though, be aware that if you ask a new question that is, essentially, your most recent comment/question, it'll probably be closed as a duplicate of this one.
    – FreeMan
    Commented May 15 at 12:35
  • 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.
    – Willeke
    Commented May 15 at 12:56

3 Answers 3


Your visa is NOT cancelled, so you can use it for future travel before it expires. Very few hotels will accept lone 17-year olds, however, so double-check that before trying again

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    @JasbirMalik It is a neutral/positive thing. The visa is not cancelled, you can try to enter the UK again. Commented May 14 at 6:08
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    Yes, it is positive. They told you that you couldn't enter, and you left voluntarily. It's about the same as if you had arrived at the airport and said "sorry, I changed my mind, I'll fly back home". Or if had never taken the flight at all. No negative effect whatsoever. If you had not left voluntarily, then you would have been removed; that is negative for you.
    – gnasher729
    Commented May 14 at 14:43
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    @JasbirMalik Cancelling a visa is not done lightly. However, bear in mind that having a visa means you can travel to the issuing country. It does not mean you will always be given permission to enter when you arrive. As you’ve discovered.
    – Traveller
    Commented May 14 at 19:50
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    You have a visa, and it allows you to enter under certain conditions. The conditions were not met this time, but the visa itself is fine. You can use it when you meet the conditions. You can try to use it if you don’t meet the conditions, but you will not be allowed entry. The only thing you must absolutely not do is to lie about anything, that WILL create trouble for you. But you didn’t do that. You said you were 17 with no hotel, all the truth, no consequences other than you had to fly back home.
    – gnasher729
    Commented May 15 at 16:38
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    @Traveller Ah, makes sense too
    – Crazydre
    Commented May 26 at 11:23

Is my visa cancelled?

No. Your visa is not cancelled. You would have been given paperwork and the visa in your passport would have been stamped ‘Cancelled’

… or is my visa ok?

Your visa is ok providing you follow the applicable entry rules the next time you travel to the UK

Standard Visitor visa - If you’re under 18

You may visit the UK if you’re under 18 and:

  • you’ve made suitable arrangements for your travel and stay in the UK
  • you have written consent from your parent or guardian to travel to the UK (if travelling alone)
  • you’re able to pay for your return or onward journey
  • you have enough money to support yourself without working or getting help from public funds, or you have family and friends that can support you

Pay particular attention to the rules on Travelling alone, which state (amongst other requirements)

Your parent or guardian will need to provide their:

  • written consent for you to travel to the UK
  • full contact details

They’ll also need to provide proof that you have somewhere suitable to live during your stay in the UK, including:

  • the name and date of birth of the person that you will be staying with
  • an address where you will be living
  • details of your relationship to the person who’ll be looking after you
  • their written consent for you to stay with that person while you’re in the UK

Was I denied entry?

No. On arrival at the UK border you had a valid Visitor visa but you did not meet the rules for entry applicable to that visa. The Border Officer gave you the opportunity to try to meet the rules and be given permission to enter the UK, but you were unable to do so and chose (‘elected’) to withdraw your application for permission to enter and leave.

For the avoidance of doubt, you were not ‘removed at port’ or ‘deported’ (note the importance of correct terminology in Immigration matters). See Difference between deportation and removal for a full explanation.

Note: this event will have been recorded in your UK immigration history. If I were you, next time you apply for a UK visa I would err on the side of caution and disclose it in your application.

  • Brother they only wrote elected to embark on my passport i got no any extra stamp and no other doucments than this they just give me 1 paper when he told me to wait they have a lot of papers like that they just tick the boxes and he gave it to me but the paper has no value when he returned my passport there was no stamp and no paper he just wrote elected to embark that's it Commented May 14 at 11:29
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    you don't know what the immigration officer recorded in their system. This answer tells you it was recorded even if you weren't given paperwork telling you that. Commented May 14 at 12:36
  • They didn't even take my fingerprints Commented May 14 at 18:47
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    @JasbirMalik They already have them, from your biometrics when you applied for your visa.
    – Traveller
    Commented May 14 at 19:45
  • 3
    Due to the timeline of OP's questions, this answer doesn't account for OP's experience in Paris. Probably this understates OP's likely future immigration problems compared to Traveller's newer answer/comments on OP's question about his experience in Paris. Taking that into account, I cannot fault Indian Immigration for being leary of helping you travel.
    – Brian
    Commented May 15 at 15:48

I can understand this is stressful but to answer your question and for everyone else please refer to this document published by UK Govt here Inspection Border Controls

This page 23 states what is elect to embark is , point 4.67 states that it also means withdrawn by applicant , you have withdrawn voluntarily by not entering UK , now this has been recorded in the UK border control system so next time you take a flight they will see this and based on this a decision will be made!

Your visa is not cancelled for now, but you must book a Homestay , they might not have these 17 year old restrictions and try travelling with definitive arrangements

Others feel free to suggest if something is missing in my answer

  • 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.
    – Willeke
    Commented May 15 at 16:40

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