I am from India. I wanted to book open return ticket from India to UK from British Airways. I need to have my return ticket to be flexible w.r.t. dates. As per British Airways, the open ticket policy is not available and i was suggested to book only one way ticket. (and book the inbound ticket later, after reaching UK and when needed)

If I book only one way ticket and apply for UK visa, will there be any issue for the visa process?

  • 4
    One way tickets are usually more expensive than return tickets.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 8:24
  • Your problem will be with immigration at the airport when you get questioned. They will most likely refuse you entry. It's a fundamental almost fatal mistake from any non EU national. Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 9:17
  • @SheikPaul Thanks. Is there any reference or article about that incidence?
    – User323693
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 9:30
  • @Umar there are many examples on this website of people being denied entry at Heathrow for having oneway tickets. Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 10:05
  • Purchasing tickets at the application stage is a BIG MISTAKE. You have two really good answers below. I have up voted both of them! Please be courteous to them and read stackoverflow.com/help/someone-answers
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 10:31

2 Answers 2


To get a visa, you don't need a ticket at all. It wouldn't make sense, because often visas are rejected and then someone would be stuck with a paid ticket that they cannot use.

However, when you get a visitor visa, the government wants to be sure that you are going back, and when you are going back. You will be asked how long you will stay. That's an important question that they want answered. And when you arrive in the UK, someone will look at your ticket, and a return ticket is a good indication that you will be returning when you said you would. So when you say "I need to be flexible wrt return dates", the person at the border will say "in that case, I would prefer that you don't enter". They want people who know when they are going to leave.


This would depend on your personal circumstance you provide to support your application, but generally speaking the Visa officer will need see evidence that you will exit UK after your stipulated visa duration. In addition to other documentation, your visa application would definitely be stronger if you have a valid return ticket.

  • As I said in my answer, it doesn't make sense to force people to buy tickets when they have no idea yet if those tickets can be used at all. You get the visa, then you buy the ticket (or you don't get a visa, then you don't buy a ticket). Otherwise that would be a huge waste of money of any rejected visa applicants.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 9:54

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