I am a citizen of Belarus (non-EU). In 2009 – 2011 I was doing my undergraduate degree in the UK and had a Tier 4 Student visa.
In September 2010 I was returning to the UK from my vacation in Belarus on three consecutive flights: Minsk (Belarus) – Vienna (Austria), Vienna - Frankfurt-am-Main (Germany), Frankfurt-am-Main – Edinburgh. I had booked my tickets well in advance, and only later I realised that my journey involves crossing two Schengen states.
Being a citizen of Belarus and having no Schengen visa at the time, I got concerned I might be unable to proceed with my journey that includes a Schengen segment. I contacted the airline and the ticket booking company with my question, but neither was able to help me. I then asked the University immigration adviser, who assured me there is be an international transfer corridor in every large international airport, so I won’t have to cross a EU border during my journey.
Unfortunately, it turned out not to be the case in Vienna International Airport. When I tried to get to the terminal for my Vienna - Frankfurt-am-Main flight, I discovered it was impossible to go through an international transfer corridor. I was told by the airport officials that I couldn’t get on the Vienna - Frankfurt-am-Main flight because the only way to get to that terminal is via a EU border, which I couldn’t cross as I had no Schengen visa. It was not possible to get an airtransfer visa either.
The only options I had were to return to Belarus on the next flight or to purchase a ticket that allows me to fly straight to the UK. I did the latter and was allowed to continue my journey to the UK (using the new tickets).
My question is whether this situation falls under the category of being ‘refused entry at the border of any country other than the UK’ or not. I am currently filling out an application for a Tier 2 UK visa, and I am not sure if I should include it. I am concerned that failing to disclose it might affect my chances of getting the visa as it might be seen as an attempt to hide it and deceive the Home Office.
On the other hand, I am not sure if I was formally ‘refused entry at the border’ as it was a genuine mistake, which was resolved promptly and didn’t result in deportation or travel bans. I have no paperwork from this incident, and my passport wasn’t stamped with anything. If I am to disclose it in my application, the somewhat confused description of this situation is the only thing I can provide as I have no reference numbers or anything else that would help to trace the incident. It would be great if somebody can tell me if my incident was a ‘refused entry at the border’.