This may be strange question, but here goes...I was an illegal alien in the US for approx 18 years(I entered legally but overstayed). At that time I was a citizen of India. A friend of mine procured a fake South African passport for me, which I never used. Someone I showed it to(a US citizen who I thought was a friend) complained to DHS, they informed the police and I was arrested and sentenced to a year in jail for "Criminal possession of a forged instrument". I served 8 months(4 off for good behaviour), and was deported back to India. Now in India, my family happens to have roots in Goa, and I was therefore able to acquire Portuguese nationality because of that(the Portuguese give citizenship to anyone born in Goa before 1961(and can prove it with proper docs), and their descendants upto 2 generations, I qualified cos my dad was born there in 1950). So as of now, I have a Portuguese national ID card and passport. My question is : I want to visit the UK to see a sick relative ; will I be allowed entry? I am aware that the UK is still part of the EU, but given my conviction in the US, and the fact that info is shared between the UK and US regarding criminal foreigners, will I be allowed to enter? I am not interested in settling/living/working in the UK ; I have a decent job and life here in India. Thanks! Any input will be appreciated. Cheers!

  • Have you lived in any EU country since acquiring your Portuguese citizenship?
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 17:04
  • @GayotFow if OP has a Portuguese passport that doesn't matter.
    – user4188
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 17:09
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    @chx, I assume the OP had performed already the simplest of Google enquiries and despite that something prompted his enquiry here. There's lots of cases out there where the UK flat-out ignores eu directives, and the OP may be after something specific to the UK's interpretation of the directive.
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 17:17
  • Thanks for your comments. In answer : no, I have not lived in any EU country before. However, I had visited the UK 6 times in the past when I had Indian citizenship. The reason I posted here is because I hear that the US and Uk along with Australia and Canada now have an agreenent by which they exchange info about criminal foreigners along with fingerprint data. I merely want to visit a sick uncle who is suffering from terminal cancer in the UK(who is a UK citizen). I am apprehensive that if I travel to the UK, I won't be allowed to enter and will be deported again. Any suggestions? Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 18:19
  • Well yes, the two countries have a very comprehensive agreement about that. It does not necessarily mean you will be removed from port. They might let you in or they might not. There are ways you can reduce the uncertainty of what happens at a UK port, but first please see if the existing answer satisfies your question as stated.
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 19:24

1 Answer 1


You are a citizen of the European Union and as such enjoy freedom of movement within the borders of the EU. This is an absolutely fundamental right and nothing can curb it.

Edit: even if you had a UK criminal record, that in itself would not be enough. Here are some relevant passages from the Free Movement Directive:

Restrictions on the right of entry and the right of residence on grounds of public policy, public security or public health

Previous criminal convictions shall not in themselves constitute grounds for taking such measures. The personal conduct of the individual concerned must represent a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat affecting one of the fundamental interests of society. Justifications that are isolated from the particulars of the case or that rely on considerations of general prevention shall not be accepted.

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    As you pointed out in your edit, the right to freedom of movement is not an absolute and fundamental right. I do not know UK practice on the interpretation of the EU regulation, but it is not totally implausible to consider the posession of a forged id document as a threat to public security. Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 17:43
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    IANAL. I can't imagine how an offense w/ a 12 month sentence would be a serious threat to the fundamental interests of society -- at least in the past they let in a person convicted of murder in the EU, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Alice_Gross . I thought another of the fundamentals is that once someone did their time they shouldn't be judged based on what they did and so on but what do I know, really.
    – user4188
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 19:02
  • Thanks for your comments. I looked up the directive you referred to, and it is as you says. I suppose that it depends on the way the UK interprets it. If it makes a difference, this happened in 2009, 7 years ago. I would assume that as time passes it would be easier not to take it into account, given that I was a law abiding citizen before that, and have been one after that, but again it depends on the individual country's interpretation. Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 12:33

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