I have been to the UK 12 times and I also had a 2 year visa. My boyfriend lives in England and we have been together 8 years. Last time I visited I was refused entry because I didn't have a return ticket. I also had an old resume I forgot. (It was 1 resume and it was 3 years old from when I first stayed the 2 years I just forgot it in the pocket I know it's really stupid) The officer didn't say he thought I'd work illegally but he did say he thought I might OVER stay. (I haven't over stayed the last 12 times, and he knew that.)

They took my photo and fingerprints even before I was refused. What will happen now? If I apply for a partner visa will I get refused? Before I was seeking entry as a visitor when I got refused and I want to visit again before getting this partner visa.

How hard will it be to get a visa for "join your partner in the UK" for me? I was honest the whole time and even when he was trying hard to find lies (it seemed) the immigration officer seemed pleased I didn't lie about anything.

How will having an X in my passport affect me?

I'm Canadian and he is British.

  • 2
    Refused entry That might count against you, but doesn't mean a NO. Apply again and clarify the reasons for the refusal to allow you to enter in your application. And considering you aren't from a high risk country is always in your favour.
    – DumbCoder
    Sep 30, 2015 at 7:53
  • Were you trying to enter with your two year visa, or with the visa exemption that applies to Canadian travellers?
    – CMaster
    Sep 30, 2015 at 8:33
  • Apply again, do you mean apply online? Before i just came at the airport, as a canadian that is okay, i know it's more risky but would it be alright if i showed reasons there? Like if i brought info from my job in canada or home rental? or am i best to just apply before going? Thank you for your help btw!
    – Kaitlin.T
    Sep 30, 2015 at 8:33
  • At this point the 2 year visa was over i was just seeking entry as a normal canadian vistor at the border
    – Kaitlin.T
    Sep 30, 2015 at 8:34

2 Answers 2


Terminology-wise: You applied for 'leave to enter' under Appendix V of the Immigration Rules at a UK port and were refused. You were subsequently removed from the UK. It's an administrative procedure that takes place when the IO determines that a person is in violation of Paragraph 320 of the Immigration Rules (the fact that entry is being sought for a purpose not covered by these Rules). All removals from port take place under Paragraph 320. Note that there is an important distinction between removal and deportation; you were not deported.

What will happen now?

The UK will send your biometrics to the other members of the affluent Commonwealth along with the DHS and to the Schengen members. They do that because there is an agreement with those countries to share information.

Most often people are upset about the wasted airfares and the duress of being in detention while the paperwork is being sorted out.

It happens all the time and it's an upsetting experience. During the removal they gave you some paperwork, hang on to it. We don't need to see the paperwork for removal cases (those are very straightforward), but it's likely they got you on V 4.2 (b) "will not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or make the UK their main home" You should apply for entry clearance.

Before I was seeking entry as a visitor when I got refused and I want to visit again before getting this partner visa.

You need to create an account at Visa4UK and apply for entry clearance as a 'standard visitor' under Appendix V. You can (and should) download and study the guidance. Canadians apply through the Visa Facilitation Centre and their applications are processed through the hub at the British Consulate General in New York (Canada was hubbed out a long time ago). It takes about 10 working days.

If I apply for a partner visa will I get refused?

No. Partners apply under a different set of rules wherein they expect you to live here. Different category, different semantics, different rules, different topology, different assumptions, etc, etc... There are tons of spouses living in the UK with the same 'X' stamp, as explained, it happens all the time.

How will having an X in my passport affect me?

Once you have successfully applied for entry clearance, they will put a nice shiney entry clearance in your passport that takes up a full page. It will mitigate the 'X' stamp. You will (or should) be able to explain that the 'X' stamp was the result of a judgement error (or whatever reason you think up). The Immigration Officer will always ask you about it, but when you have an entry clearance, you are 'pre-approved' to visit the UK. When an IO spots an entry clearance, a different procedure kicks which is much more of a formality because he/she knows that an ECO has already carefully reviewed all your stuff and "cleared" you.

Note: If you plan to visit Europe, you should use the same procedure to get a Schengen visa in your passport. They will worry about your removal until they see a proper visa in your passport.

Note: As a strategic tip, when you apply for entry clearance and you have to explain what happened to cause the removal, don't say it was the IO's fault. Say it was a judgement error or that you were tired and confused or whatever. They don't like it when people try to blame the IO because it means the person doesn't understand how the system works. It doesn't mean the IO is always right, but for applicants, having to explain the removal without blaming the IO is just part of 'what is'.

Note: Entry clearance is not mandatory for Canadians, even after a removal. You can always try to secure leave to enter at a UK port without it. You might get in or you might not. This answer is a 'best practices' approach; when there's multiple removals, the person faces the possibility of a ban.

Note: The American Embassy has an interesting article about getting bounced. About 99% of it is applicable to Canadians, so it's worth reading for background information.

Related article: UK entry denied: how to go about ensuring access next time

  • 4
    " If you plan to visit Europe, you should use the same procedure to get a Schengen visa in your passport" A visa-free national CANNOT get a short-stay Schengen visa no matter what, unlike for the UK or the US
    – Crazydre
    Feb 17, 2017 at 19:02
  • 2
    @SheikPaul It's still true - you can still apply for a long-stay visa though subject to the usual conditions. Called several Schengen embassies here in Switzerland and asked
    – Crazydre
    Mar 21, 2017 at 8:24
  • @PaulofOsawatomieأبوعمار Crazydre's comment is wrong, you'll have to sort it out with him in chat.
    – Gayot Fow
    Aug 21, 2017 at 19:53
  • Beside the error pointed out by Crazydre at the time (getting a short-stay Schengen visa is not possible for Canadian citizens and will not help overcome any potential prejudice from a refusal, whether in the UK or in the Schengen area itself), there is another inaccuracy: Data have never been shared for immigration purposes (some data was shared for law enforcement purposes and who knows what intelligence agencies do…)
    – Relaxed
    Aug 18, 2022 at 9:33
  • Access to SIS data (the relevant EU database) is even more limited now (i.e. completely non-existent) I don't suppose the UK just shares its data with no reciprocity and I am not aware of any EU-level infrastructure to make it available across the Schengen area. Biometrics was also a bit of a red herring. The SIS can store some but until 2018, you couldn't search using fingerprints. It's only if there is a hit on your name or basic details that they become relevant.
    – Relaxed
    Aug 18, 2022 at 9:36

I'd like to add one thing to Gayot Fow's excellent answer: If you genuinely believe you were treated unfairly at the UK border (e.g. border agent ignored material facts, like the fact that your resume was 3 years old, or that you traveled many times without overstaying before), make sure to exhaust all your complaint/appeal options. Yes, the chances are probably slim that it will change anything, but it doesn't cost anything to file a complaint, and this is the only process as far as I know by which a decision at the border may be completely annulled.

I actually had to deal with a somewhat similar situation with the UK before, but it was a long time ago and the URLs I have from back then don't seem to work. A brief search seems to suggest that the new process is described in https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-visas-and-immigration/about/complaints-procedure - but I'm not 100% sure this is the correct process, I only did a quick search.

Also, keep in mind you can do an FOI (Freedom of Information) request to try and get access to the notes that the officer has entered about your case. These requests take a long time, so file early if you want to get the results before filing your complaint (and don't delay filing the complaint, it says 3 months but from what I saw in my case, the earlier you file the higher the chances of success).

One more thing: If you're treated unfairly at the UK border, and see that a bad decision is inevitable, don't be afraid to ask for the border agent's supervisor. (Actually, in the case I was appealing, the response was basically that I should have asked for a supervisor on the spot).

  • 3
    +1, but worth remembering that a Chief is always brought in to make the final decision about a removal.
    – Gayot Fow
    Jul 26, 2016 at 17:59

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