I applied for a general visitors visa to the UK and was refused. I am US citizen with a US passport and now realize I don't need to have a visa. Should I reapply or just head to England with my US passport?

Thanks everyone.. I just received the refusal letter and I was refused for not having clear ties to my home country. I think I'm going to reapply and send more supporting documents. I'm considering buying a round-trip ticket and then flying over and explaining the situation in the interview. I haven't fully decided. I may have my girlfriend (who I'm staying with) show her return ticket as well.

  • 10
    Why was your original visa application refused? Commented Jan 10, 2015 at 4:51
  • I would say don't try your luck before clarifying with the British consulate. The border agent might investigate as you have an earlier refusal.
    – DumbCoder
    Commented Jan 10, 2015 at 8:14

2 Answers 2


You were refused an entry clearance to the UK, but still may qualify under Paragraph 23A of the rules to apply for leave to enter at a border point. And your question is: should you try for leave to enter?

The UK has a (working) policy that people in your situation should continue to apply for entry clearance until they are successful, and after that you don't have to apply any more. People still show up at the border and try their luck with mixed results. There is no body of evidence that indicates success one way or the other.

You will have a landing interview when you arrive, and there's two or three things to be aware of...

The Immigration Act 1998 refines the original 1971 definition of 'deception by silence' to include material omission from a landing interview. Since a prior refusal is material, you'll need to declare it or risk becoming an illegal entrant. That is an outcome to be seriously avoided. Also if you get compromised inside the UK and your biometrics flag up, you'll be sent to a detention centre for removal.

If they scan your passport (and the system is working), your history will flag up (even if you have a new blank passport). If you haven't already declared your prior refusal and they notice it first, you can expect to be in trouble.

If, on the other hand, you explain how your current circumstances are different than the prevailing circumstances causing your prior refusal, they will let you in. Once that happens, you can continue to use Paragraph 23A to apply for leave to enter at the airport in the future.

Note that the landing interview is heavily influenced by personal impact. I always advise carrying a written change of circumstances along with you.

If you get advice from their web chat facility, you should carry a print-out of the entire transcript. IO's know that the web chat is crap and will not happily accept the excuse "...they told me in web chat that it was ok..." without evidence.


It is best to contact British authorities in order avoid legal issues. You can speak with someone using a live-chat with the UK Border Agency for a fee here. As an alternative, I would contact the British Embassy in the USA.

Phone: +1 202 588 6500

Email: [email protected]

In regards to checking visa requirements, although it isn't always accurate, this wikipedia page has information regarding visa requirements for American citizens.


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