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When I traveled to the UK about two year ago (in April 2014) with my British Oversea Citizen (BOC) Passport, the officer at the counter said, 'you're refused entry', after scanning my BOC Passport.

'Why?' I asked. She did not answer but asked back, 'Have you applied Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) before?'. 'Yes' I answered and continued, 'and I left the UK when they refused my application and asked me to leave the UK asap.'

The other officer let me in anyway after interrogating me for about one hour - with a condition that I will leave the UK in six weeks, which I did just before that.

I am still baffled today why I was refused entry. Just because I applied for the ILR? Where are my refused entry records logged? Are they stored in the chip of my BOC passport?

Will I be refused entry on my next visit? What should I do? How do I know they still continue to refuse my entry or not?

NOTE:

That was my first time being refused entry. Never been refused entry before to the UK, nor to any other countries.

EDIT:

'When the IO scanned your passport at the primary control point (PCP) the system came back with a stop indicator.'

How does the system work? Does it store and 'flag' my name + date of birth or my BOC Passport number?

It is extremely unpleasant and tense to go through that kind of situation, maybe I should not use my BOC Passport anymore. Will I be refused entry on my other passport? Note: I still possess the passport from my original country.

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    Were you previously granted Indefinite Leave to Remain or not? And how much time passed between these events? That part of your question is not very clear. – John Zwinck Dec 18 '15 at 9:47
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    "stored in the chip of my BOC passport?" AFAIK, no extra information gets saved to the chip. Once created with personal and biometric information, the information on the chip does not change. – Quora Feans Dec 18 '15 at 22:12
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You are a British Overseas Citizen (BOC) travelling on a BOC passport and you had difficulty clearing UK immigration controls. Ultimately you were issued leave to enter for 6 weeks. Based upon what you wrote, you applied for ILR and were refused and your refusal was accompanied by a removal notice which gave you the option of leaving voluntarily.

When the IO scanned your passport at the primary control point (PCP) the system came back with a stop indicator. It's a simple yes/no flag and a code; no other information is available to the IO at the control point. They have to go to a secured control point to get the details and that's why the IO was unable to answer your question "Why?"... She didn't know the details, all she knew at that point is that you were a flight risk.

This type of situation is normal for someone who has been previously removed from the UK. In your case they ultimately determined that the chances of your absconding were below the threshold for an immediate removal from port.

For your specific questions...

Just because I applied for the ILR?

Yes, probably. As I mentioned a failed ILR application leaves the Home Office with the impression that you will settle in the UK (lawfully or unlawfully) if you have the chance.

Where are my refused entry records logged?

You were not refused entry, but your Home Office transcript would be amended to show a summary of this incident and how it was resolved. If you want to see the unclassified portion of your Home Office transcript you can submit a Subject Access Request (SAR) and they will send it to you. Since you are outside the UK there are extra data privacy issues to resolve, but they should issue the information within 3 - 6 months. It costs 10 pounds. All the 'juicy stuff' is usually restricted but at least you can get a general idea.

Are they stored in the chip of my BOC passport?

No. The chip contains coded biometrics and vanilla id info only.

Will I be refused entry on my next visit?

There's no way of knowing. The fact that you were given LTE may be helpful to your case, but it would not remove the stop indicator and they still have the option to remove you from port. It depends upon the conditions of your next arrival and the decision is down to the IO (and the Chief on duty at the time). The law says that their decision is final. See General provisions regarding entry clearance, leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom (paragraphs 7 to 39c).

What should I do? How do I know they still continue to refuse my entry or not?

You have two options...

  1. Show up at a British port and seek leave to enter under Paragraph 16 of the rules (linked above). This is what happened to you the last time. As explained, they can land you or remove you.
  2. Apply for entry clearance before you leave your country. This tells you for sure what will happen (but it does not remove the stop indicator until you have performed successfully with an entry clearance). When you have an entry clearance, the IO uses a different procedure which is much more relaxed and approaches a formality. Having an entry clearance prevents the stress of removal from port, but it's not a requirement for most BOC's.

If either option is refused, they will give you some paperwork explaining the rationale for their decision.

If you were to go to an immigration lawyer, they would tell you that any adverse decision from the Home Office should be followed up with an SAR and 'option 2'.

Adding...

Your Home Office transcript is available to the authorities of any country signed up to the Five Eyes agreement or any Schengen member.

And you added...

How does the system work?

A secured database with preset queries. Overall it doesn't matter, but the specs are out there and you can take this question to the appropriate StackOverflow site.

Does it store and 'flag' my name + date of birth or my BOC Passport number?

It has your passport number, but they don't care about it. Also your name and dob are incidental. It matches on biometrics.

It is extremely unpleasant and tense to go through that kind of situation, maybe I should not use my BOC Passport anymore.

You got advice on how to reduce the stress of clearing UK immigration controls; please see above...


Update 2 Jan 2016

The OP returned and posted scans of the stamps in his passport. The OP was not refused entry in the way he described in this question. Instead he was given a coded landing and a 6 week "Leave to Enter" (curtailed from the ordinary 6 months LTE).

Despite the misuse of terminology, this answer remains correct.

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    Your answers show how much money people can save by posting their questions on SE. Even the best solicitor would don't be as informative as your answer. – Ulkoma Dec 18 '15 at 12:06
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    I have to add that I knew this was your answer before I finished reading the first sentence. But I'm posting the comment to ask whether "flight risk" is the right term. Wouldn't "overstay risk" or some such be better? As I understand it, a flight risk is someone (perhaps awaiting trial) who is seen as likely not to return when her or his presence is needed. That seems obviously not to be the case here; is there some other sense I'm unaware of? – phoog Dec 18 '15 at 18:16
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    @phoog "Flight risk" seems to be the phrase that's used, even though, as you say, the person fleeing from the UK is exactly what the immigration people want to happen. I guess that "flight", in this case, means "disappearance" more than fleeing. – David Richerby Dec 18 '15 at 20:33
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    @phoog, the stop indicator includes open warrants, poi's, just about anything... plus the codes are not consistently used. plus interpol, plus FBI, They have to go to the secured station. – Gayot Fow Dec 19 '15 at 1:27
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    re the chip "... and can only be read by the scanners at immigration control points." - you cannot "write" onto the chip, only read from it. – Burhan Khalid Dec 22 '15 at 5:36
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You were likely "refused" (though eventually let in) on your last visit because you previously were refused Indefinite Leave to Remain. So one could say the root cause is whatever prompted them to reject your ILR before. We don't know anything about that.

However, as to your question about whether you will still be refused entry today, I suggest that if you do want to visit the UK again, you can apply for a visa online here: https://www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk/ . By applying in advance you will know for sure (or nearly so) if you will be let in again.

Hopefully, over time, if you make occasional visits to the UK they will stop holding the failed ILR application against you. Their goal (at least in principle) is to deny entry to people who were refused ILR and then try to get in on tourist visas.

  • -1. " if you make occasional visits to the UK they will stop holding the failed ILR application against you." Occasional visits can also get your entry denied. It can create the impression a person is building his life in the UK step-by-step. – Quora Feans Dec 18 '15 at 22:18

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