I entered the UK last week for about 21 hours, to deliver a talk in London and slept in a hotel before leaving the country again the following morning. I live in an EU country but I am a national of the US.
Next week, I have tickets to fly to the UK to spend Christmas with my best friend and her family.
I used to live in the UK for 5 years with a student visa, and so I was asked the last time I entered (last week) whether I still have 'any interests' in the UK. I said that I did not, however now I"m worried I said the wrong thing, as my friends are still in the UK and I intend to visit them sometimes. But I don't live there and I go a few times per year (a conference, a talk, and Christmas in 2016, since I left the UK in October 2015).
As an aside, I also had a small problem in 2015 (I was prevented from entering on my student visa after graduation. My intention had been to pack up my stuff and leave by the expiry of my visa which I did. I was informed that since I graduated, my visa was invalid even though it didn't expire for several months. They let me in because I showed them my contract for the job I was starting in a few months, in another country, and because I genuinely had no idea that my visa would become invalid after graduation even if it had 3 months more validity.)
I know that the UK ECOs are on the look-out for people living secretly in the UK. That isn't me, but I can understand why two trips in short succession might look that way.
Is this going to flag the ECO and is there any way I can ameliorate the situation so I can visit my friend?