I was refused a visa in 2015 and received the letter with the explanation for the refusal and code etc, however there is no stamp in my passport showing I was refused. In years gone by (admittedly many years ago) a refusal was also indicated on one of the last pages of one's passport with a small stamp. Of course I know it is recorded in their database however I am wondering if the paper refusal stamp has been completely done away with. My application was in the USA, New York.

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Does the UK no longer stamp passports with a small stamp like shown above?

  • 1
    I think they use computers Feb 10, 2017 at 22:57

3 Answers 3


Does the UK no longer stamp passports with a small stamp?

Background. When an entry clearance application was received, a blank page would get a standard 'received' stamp on it. The stamp contained the date and the post number. If the application was approved, the entry clearance vignette was affixed over the 'received' stamp and end of story. For refusals, an assistant used a straight-edge along with a black ball point pen and drew a line through the 'received' stamp from one side of the page to the other. Nothing else was done to the passport, and there were never any comments or other indicators.

Looking for an answer drawing from credible and/or official sources.

There are no 'official' sources to rely upon for this question. If it existed, the information would be found in staff training materials which are not available to the public. It means the answer to your question relies solely on credible sources. So my credible sources are:

Both have represented casework in the last month where the person had a recent entry clearance refusal. I checked with both of them today.

The consensus is that the practice of using refusal stamps has stopped, but intermittently so. Some posts are still doing it, apparently at the direction of the post Entry Clearance Manager (presumably for situations where biometrics were not captured or for non-biometric passports).

  • 4
    Love your network of informants. +1
    – Calchas
    Mar 27, 2017 at 11:10

Upon entering the UK at Coquelles on 14 March, I asked the border officer checking me about this, and he said that visa application centres "recently" stopped issuing visa refusal stamps, instead recording it electronically using your passport and biometrics.

Furthermore, a Canadian passenger on the bus had been refused a visa shortly before, and was trying the visa-free route. He got no sign of the refusal in the passport.

  • How did your fellow Canadian fare with the entry? Mar 16, 2017 at 16:35
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    @SheikPaul He was delayed and had to show his flight ticket back to Canada and UK hotel reservation, explain why he applied for a visa in the first place (because of a previous entry refusal in 2014), why he was refused, explain his itinerary, and show his credit card. He was let in after 10 minutes, but had to be escorted to the tunnel train as the bus had just left the checkpoint. I feel so lucky to be Swedish I tell you
    – Crazydre
    Mar 16, 2017 at 16:44

From what I understand they do not issue a refusal stamp, all refusals are now done in digital form.

The refusal is entered into the system and is known forever. So if the person denies ever being refused a visa, then it is an automatic refusal for lying.

And just a heads up.

This is the kind of information that the Immigration department utilizes in future applications, if you fail to mention the refusal you are going to be refused for misrepresentation.

  • +1, but we must take note that CAIPS is a Canadian thing and the question is a UK thing where they use a different system (Proviso). And it's not held permanently. Since the OP asked specifically about the UK, it means your answer in its current form is misconceived.
    – Gayot Fow
    Mar 16, 2017 at 0:37
  • @GayotFow Thank you for notifying me I have edited it, I didn't mean CAIPS. Mar 16, 2017 at 1:07
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    Where did you get these quotes from? Remember to always reference your sources.
    – JoErNanO
    Mar 16, 2017 at 16:29

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