I (32) was a visitor from Uganda to the Schengen (Netherlands) on a one-month visitor's visa. My husband (39) is originally Ugandan but has British nationality (been a citizen in the UK for over 20 years now and earning about £40,000 annually).
He visited me in Holland, considering we were still on honeymoon (had just been married a month previously in Kampala, Uganda, but our initial honeymoon back home was cut short because he had to travel back to London to report to work).
I had a very short period of time between my travel date to the Netherlands and, therefore, figured I would not have had the time to process and wait for the UK visa to join him immediately in the UK as a visitor, but had plans to apply for a long term visa upon return to Uganda from the Netherlands. In the meantime, he'd come and visit in Holland on the weekend.
We misinterpreted the Surrinder Singh route for traveling to UK without visa when accompanied by spouse. I bought 2 tickets to travel to London by bus from the Hague where I was staying while in the Netherlands; mine was a return ticket.
At the immigration port, it turns out we didn't qualify for the Surrinder Singh exception of visa free entry to the UK as my husband, besides living and working in the UK, had never/was not doing so in any other EEA country. This was clearly explained to us and a reprint issued to my husband who sat in waiting for what action they'd take on me.
I was denied entry to the UK, was detained for about 4 hours, interviewed and my finger biometrics were taken. U was eventually released to the French immigration police who, on the spot, returned my passport and ID and let me go, I guess because my stay at that moment in France was still legal.
My passport received its first rejection stamp (not that I'd ever applied before, had only traveled within Africa and this trip was my very first to Europe).
Continued on my trip to Paris, then Brussels and back to the Hague. My husband stayed with me briefly, then returned to London through the same port 2 days later.
After 2 years of long distance dating, we finally got married and, of course, had plans to live together for longer periods. My husband, (then fiancé), had been making regular short visits to Uganda (3-4 times a year). We'd, therefore, planned that I'd start doing the same to London as I have a full time job back home or, at best, apply for a long term spouse visa after the wedding which would have allowed us options.
Questions therefore are:
- Will my future applications to enter the Schengen countries be granted following this incident? I assume the notice of UK immigration's decision details were shared to the Schengen states whose visa I legitimately held at the time!
- What's the best way to proceed after this ordeal?
My husband and I are quite distressed and worried that our plans to finally have a chance of living together longer and probably start a family are going to be twice or more as hard to achieve.
But, again, we believe we didn't commit any crime except not having researched enough that led us to wrongly interpret a law which, unfortunately, didn't apply to us and was indicated by the immigrations team on their notice of immigration decision document to us, together with the appeal forms which we received but don't find necessary because we understand better the Surrinder Singh route.
Helpful information is highly appreciated.