I will be flying from New Delhi to Manchester soon and my return dates aren't fixed yet. Do I need to show a return ticket to the immigration officer when asked at the port of entry?

  • Almost certainly yes - you have to have proof that you can exit the UK and not become a burden on the state. A ticket however does not guarantee you entry. – Moo Jan 24 '17 at 16:26
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    Unless you are a high-net-worth individual, then yes absolutely. The IO can l examine your ticket as part of the landing interview. – Gayot Fow Jan 24 '17 at 16:28
  • @GayotFow can an applicant for entry as a visitor, with uncertain return dates, satisfy the IO by some other means than a return ticket? – phoog Jan 24 '17 at 16:39
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    @phoog indeed yes they can satisfy the IO, The IO is always entitled to challenge (that's an absolute), but the outcome is almost wholly governed by personal impact and articulation skills. Most will have a ticket, but some will not and rely on their personal impact. The person can also establish themselves as a high-net-worth individual. – Gayot Fow Jan 24 '17 at 16:46

Do I need to show a return ticket to the immigration officer when asked at the port of entry?

No. UK does not require proof of return/onward travel as a matter of routine and if you don't have such a ticket you can't produce it on request at a border.

However, it is not very likely that you will be asked for a return ticket unless there is some doubt about your returning and then having a return ticket should help. So (a) it would be sensible to have one if you can and (b) you must definitely show it if asked and you do have one. Denying you have such a ticket that then turns up during a search is an invitation to be sent straight back to wherever you came from.

Depending upon your circumstances you may be able to persuade the IO that, while it is certain you will depart UK in good time, there is a good reason you have deferred purchase of your return ticket. This might be that you will return home directly unless you hear within a few days that you are invited to speak at a conference in Country X in a fortnight, so would in that case book your return via Country X rather than direct.

  • "you must definitely show it if you do have one": do you mean to say that the traveler should volunteer to show it? I would advise to show it only if asked. – phoog Feb 1 '17 at 17:35

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