On my last visit to the UK as a Canadian citizen visitor I was refused entry, on 22 May 2016. During the interview I slipped out I am a freelancer after leaving university last September (2015).

Soon I realized I had brought up unnecessary topic— working illegally as visitor. I was never actually working as a freelancer in my life. I slipped that out because I was trying to sound like more than a general visitor for last 4months in UK, and it was also a common way of newly starting artists to call themselves visitors. I was planing to get a T5 visa after this visit.

I was detained and my T5 application was refused. I was unaware how serious of my incident record was considered as a breach of UK law. I did not plan to leave UK for good, and now have highly valuable belongings left behind in a rented residence. I dont have any relatives or other trusted ones in the UK to collect and pack my stuff for me. I was also given notice by my landlord that my deadline for the collection my belongings is the end of August.

I have to somehow enter UK to collect my stuff, which includes two sewing machines, a bike, three suitcases of cloth, and my designs— I am a fashion designer and had tons of material in books and my portfolio I need to continue my career. I need only temporary admission— as short as 24hrs— to gather these possessions.

I have hired a UK consulting team to request a review for me in JL as I was able to indicate that to them I was never working as a freelance. It was refused and I understand the chance of fighting back is very low. I do not have time to wait their answer, however. I only intend to collect my belongings from the UK.

What should I be doing the best will not affect my future application?

  • 13
    you have 2 sewing machines and 3 suitcases of cloth and you're a fashion desingner, but you weren't working in the UK?
    – Berwyn
    Aug 11, 2016 at 15:26
  • 5
    So - to summarize your almost incomprehensible question: you entered the UK on a visitor visa and then proceeded to work illegally for some period of time. You then left the UK (?) and now you're complaining that the UK won't issue you with a visa for you to return to get your stuff?
    – brhans
    Aug 11, 2016 at 15:26
  • 4
    Let me summarise what I understand: you entered the UK as a visitor, but were working there against the terms of your visa. You got caught and kicked out, and now your question is how to collect your belongings on short term, preferably personally?
    – CompuChip
    Aug 11, 2016 at 15:27
  • 15
    You can perhaps hire someone to collect your things and ship them to you. If you don't trust anyone in the UK, you could arrange for someone you do trust to travel to the UK, collect your things, and ship them to you.
    – phoog
    Aug 11, 2016 at 16:18
  • 5
    As another variant on the man-with-a-van idea, see if you can do a deal with the landlord to ship the most important stuff, keeping the rest as compensation for time and shipping expense. Consider abandoning all except your own designs, the most expensive cloth, and maybe the sewing machines if they are really high end expensive ones. Aug 11, 2016 at 23:54

2 Answers 2


Immigration events are emotive, no question about it. The first step is to get centered enough to give a lucid account of what happened or nobody will be able to help.

If I understand your narrative...

You were detained and removed from port whilst seeking entry as a non-visa national. You have personal effects stored inland at a rented flat and the rental contract expires later this month. Somewhere in the mix, there's a previous T5 refusal as well; it's irrelevant at the moment, but will arise as an exacerbating factor if you apply for entry clearance. You have instructed a 'consulting team' to so something, it's not clear what it is or how effective it will be. If the Border Force removed you and you do not have a human rights claim, it's a waste of time and money.

Also, it doesn't matter whether or not you were working during your previous visits. The fact that you have career assets here is sufficient to question your intent. They don't even need assets, all they have to do is suspect something and it will stick.

The first thing that springs to my mind is if your landlord is in breach of the Immigration Act 2014 which levies a £3,000 fine for renting to someone who is not eligible to rent. More about that later.

To get your stuff you have three options...

  1. Show up at the border and seek leave to enter just like you did before. Maybe they will let you in or maybe they won't, but there's nothing illegal in attempting it. Success in this strategy is down to personal impact and articulation skills, and since these failed you I would not recommend this approach. But it's out there to try if you want to.

  2. Use the Canadian High Commission in London to get assistance. It's not the first time in the world this has happened and they will know what to do. You can possibly use your local MP as a liaison. This is most bureaucratic strategy of the three.

  3. Engage a 'man with a van' in the area where you rented to come around and collect your stuff. You can fax or email him an authorisation if it's required. Once he has collected your stuff he can put it in a storage company for you or ship it himself. If the landlord is recalcitrant, you can tell him you'll be happy to cooperate with the authorities if he is found in breach of the Immigration Act 2014. Even if he is not in breach, he may be wary enough to cooperate anyway. To find a 'man with a van', you can use Google for those located in your postcode. Do you trust him? I think they are pretty reliable (my guy even has our house keys because he has to deliver large stuff from Costco), but it's largely down to luck and how you come across in written and telephone communications. I would guess he would charge £250 for the job and then put shipping on top of that, but that's a guess only.

None of these are particularly ideal and all of them involve a certain amount of risk, but that's what happens in cases like these where the person does not have diplomatic credentials. Finally, reiterating in the most emphatic terms, make sure you can give a lucid account of what your situation is (your question here is decidedly not up to the need), or get a professional to help you.


You are adamant that you can benefit from human rights in this affair. What this means in the UK is The Human Rights Act 1998 which is Parliament's answer to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. You would pursue this in the administrative court with a judicial review.

The big show-stopper for your human rights claim as far as the Border Force goes can be briefly summarized as...

  • You are not married to your sewing machines

So your claim will fail at the permissioning stage because it is misconceived (in the legal sense) and you will lose. But it gets worse. If they decide that your claim is frivolous, they have the option, but not the obligation to go after you for their side of the legal costs. I am guessing they would. Fortunately since the action stopped at the permissioning stage I would expect this not to exceed £18,000 or thereabouts, but that's a guess.

Tourists do not generally travel with two sewing machines and a portfolio of designs and take out a rental contract (and then apply for a T5 when they get caught). I can't imagine a member of the Law Society accepting your instructions for judicial review.

Having said all of that, for recovering your stuff you might have relief available to you under civil law, which is something we know nothing about. Civil law will not get you in to the UK, that side of the question is a dead issue, but there may be something actionable for you. I suggest taking the question to the good brothers and sisters at LAW SE. Tip: include the link to this question so they don't have to go through the whole rigmarole. Ask them if you can seek relief through civil law (as opposed to immigration law).

  • 1
    Thank you very much for your anaynize . You understood most of point from my poor description except" there's a previous T5 refusal as well; it's irrelevant at the moment, " i applied T5 after the removal from Border it was voluntarily leave actually and no staff would told me the fact I would not issued a visa due to my breach ...
    – TWT384
    Aug 11, 2016 at 18:24
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    To put it in other terms, there's a fire, and if someone (other than you) goes in and manages to rescue anything at all, you can count it a win.
    – mkennedy
    Aug 11, 2016 at 20:40
  • 1
    @TWT384 Human rights. Things like the right to life, freedom from slavery, that kind of thing. Aug 11, 2016 at 21:42
  • 1
    @Gayot Fow I spoke to Canadian embassy in UK under thehttps://travel.gc.ca/assistance/emergency-assistance ,the free toll in Ottawa, the officer told me they can not help me with that . I was speaking to Canadian officer not in UK .I dont know how I can get help from the embassy or my case is not qualified ...what do you mean I wont like it ??
    – TWT384
    Aug 11, 2016 at 22:51
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    @CMaster In theory, assuming the OP was studying fashion design, the sewing machines, portfolio, fabric etc. could all have been related to coursework. Aug 12, 2016 at 13:39

Clearing up your visa problem is likely to take time, and should be done carefully to avoid further damage. The collection of stuff you have in rented accommodation in the UK looks as though you went on living and working there after the end of your studies.

Trying to get entry this month increases the risk of mistakes. It is time to think seriously about ways of dealing with your property that do not require you to be there.

At one extreme, if you can afford thousands of dollars, you could have everything in your flat that the landlord does not claim professionally packed into a shipping container and shipped to your Canadian home.

At the other extreme, you might be able to do it without spending any cash by making a deal with your landlord to ship the most important stuff in exchange for keeping the rest. Your portfolio and other design work have the highest value to shipping cost ratio. If the sewing machines are very high end ones, they may be worth more than their shipping cost. Most of the fabric probably is not, but if you found just that right bit of silk brocade...

In between, there are suggestions about remotely hiring a man-with-a-van or having finding a friend-of-a-friend in the area to do it.

I suggest starting a new question on this issue, giving more information about what you can afford, where you will be living, and the nature and volume of property involved.

  • 3
    +1, It is time to think seriously about ways of dealing with your property that do not require you to be there. Good way of putting it :)
    – Gayot Fow
    Aug 12, 2016 at 9:37
  • I'm going to suggest here that the "time to sort visa problem" is likely to be around 10 years.
    – CMaster
    Aug 12, 2016 at 13:25
  • @CMaster If it is any longer than about 20 days, the OP needs to deal with the property remotely. The OP has not mentioned getting a ban, but claiming to have lied to the Border Force seems dangerous. Aug 12, 2016 at 13:42
  • @PatriciaShanahan OP does mention (I think) getting detained and removed. Doesn't automatically mean a ban but...
    – CMaster
    Aug 12, 2016 at 13:44

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