Questions tagged [uk]

An island country in Western Europe, consisting of Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) and Northern Ireland.

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112
votes
11answers
30k views

How can I convince airport screeners to stop asking why I prefer pat-downs?

At a London airport, a security screener ordered my granddad to the full-body scanner. As a Luddite, he requested a full pat-down. But this screener, and 3 others, kept rebuffing him: Screener: Why ...
111
votes
1answer
148k views

Should I submit bank statements when applying for a UK Visa? What do they say about me?

The UK Visas and Immigration Directorate publishes guidance that provides helpful tips that can result in successful visa applications. Section 2 of this guidance opens is entitled "other documents ...
88
votes
5answers
13k views

The UK has voted to leave the EU. How does Brexit affect people traveling to the UK and vice-versa?

On 23rd of June, 2016, the UK voted in a referendum to leave the EU. This leads to the following questions: Are UK citizens traveling to the EU affected? Are EU citizens traveling to the UK affected? ...
73
votes
4answers
19k views

How to answer “Have you ever been refused a visa?” if I've had a refusal overturned

A few years ago, I applied for a UK visa. The visa was initially refused and I had no rights of appeal. However, the refusal letter had some glaring mistakes and I sent an email to the Embassy. The ...
69
votes
3answers
18k views

Job interview in London requires me to wire money to the travel agent. Is this a scam?

I was told that I can have a visitor visa to UK, is this legitimate? I have received an invitation letter and a job offer, and I was contacted by the appointed travel agent to prepare all related ...
69
votes
7answers
30k views

How to use sinks with separate hot/cold taps?

I just traveled to Ireland. I was amazed to find that water sinks (at home, restaurants and public) have separate taps for hot and cold water. If you use only the cold water, your hands freeze. If ...
66
votes
1answer
13k views

What are these stamps in my passport after I was advised to divert via the UK but didn't have a visa?

I am from Myanmar. I was on my way to Venice from Brussels while holding Schengen visa (single entry). I bought a British Airways ticket to fly from Brussels to Venice. Unfortunately, on that day, all ...
65
votes
1answer
7k views

UK visa blank refusal letter without reason for refusal

I received my refusal letter today for my standard visitor visa application for the UK. However, the reason for refusal is not mentioned anywhere on the letter and it appears more of an unfilled ...
64
votes
5answers
11k views

Should I not use double things in a double room if I have booked it as a single guest?

Some hotels physically don't have single rooms even if they can be booked so. The towels, soap, shampoo and so on are always for two guests. I'm not a wasteful person, but I wonder if I'm allowed to ...
63
votes
6answers
12k views

Refused entry into Schengen after Ryanair checked passport. Now the airline wants me to pay a fine. What are my options?

I was travelling from London to Kaunas (Lithuania) and was refused entry because I did not have a biometric passport, even though a Ryanair officer at the gate before boarding checked my passport, ...
61
votes
1answer
47k views

UK visa refusal on V 4.2 a + c (and sometimes 'e')

Many of the UK visa refusals we see here share a common pattern and the prevailing reasons refer to V 4.2 (a) and (c). I do understand that, while the applicants may describe very different ...
60
votes
3answers
7k views

What is the highest viewing spot in London that is accessible free of charge?

I would like to visit a viewing spot in London, but I don't want to pay any entrance fees. Where is the highest spot to do so? Note that restaurants and bars (or other freely accessible venues) are ...
59
votes
10answers
16k views

Why is it sometimes cheaper to fly within the UK than taking the train?

We are planning to travel to Scotland from Manchester and after looking at the prices for both flights and trains. It's cheaper to fly there than taking a train. I've also noticed the same thing when ...
59
votes
2answers
280k views

Is there a way to find out if I need a transit visa for a layover in the UK?

Is there a website or some other way to find out if I need a transit visa for a short stop in the UK on my way somewhere else? Ideally this should give me the answer for all nationalities, and take ...
58
votes
3answers
14k views

Why are some pedestrian traffic lights covered in shades in London?

I recently visited London and noticed some pedestrian traffic lights are covered weirdly so they're only visible from some angles. Looking it up in a search here didn't bring up any results. Does ...
57
votes
1answer
6k views

How to correct a passport stamp in the UK?

My daughter is visiting the UK from the US for a semester study-abroad program. Because it is less than 6 months, she doesn't need a Tier 4 visa. She arrived a few weeks before the program started in ...
54
votes
5answers
15k views

What does this British road sign mean?

BBC Radio Solent tweeted a picture of a road closure (apparently near Winchester): In the background, there is a road sign with two red lights on and a yellow "symbol". What does it mean?
52
votes
3answers
5k views

Available help for voluntary departure from the UK

I would like to inquire as to what kind of assistance is available for voluntary repatriation to my country, Nigeria? I’ve spent 14 years in the UK, worked-studied and even started a family here. ...
49
votes
4answers
18k views

Can I board if my flight arrives 1.5 hours before my UK visa becomes valid?

My visa to UK is valid starting from June 25 but my flight to LGW is June 24 10:30 PM (edit: this is landing time not departure based on VCE-LGW flight times presented by easyjet.com). I still have 1....
48
votes
3answers
10k views

How many types of Pound Sterling are there and what is the relationship between them?

Some years ago I brought some left over pounds to England. In a shop a shopkeeper denied my money with the quote: "This isn't Scotland." At that time I though I just met a patriotic idiot and moved on....
46
votes
5answers
10k views

Taming the nightmare of public toilets in the UK

Public toilets in the UK are established and maintained by the local authorities, most commonly local councils. This is great for people that advocate local autonomy, but a hellish nightmare for ...
46
votes
2answers
5k views

What is meant by “personal impact and articulation skills” in the context of border entry?

Within dozens of highly-rated responses regarding both UK and Schengen entry, I see the phrase "personal impact and articulation skills." There is no further explanation of what these mean and, in ...
45
votes
6answers
17k views

Is a 13-hour layover in the middle of the night enough time to go see Buckingham Palace?

My plane lands at Heathrow at 8:30 pm on December 10 and leaves Gatwick the next morning, December 11, at 9:15 am. Do I have the time to see Buckingham Palace?
44
votes
9answers
11k views

Can I travel from Germany to England alone as an unaccompanied minor?

I currently live in Germany and am a German citizen. My passport is from the United States of America as I used to be a citizen there. I am moving to England (UK) alone. I am 14 years old and ...
44
votes
8answers
6k views

How to make myself more visible in traffic as an EU mainland driver in the UK?

I will be moving to the UK soon, Scotland to be more precise, and will be doing so with a car. A driver-sitting-on-the-left sort of car, with licence plates from an EU country (eventually I will have ...
43
votes
7answers
6k views

Can I exit and reenter a UK station while waiting for a connecting train?

I will soon be making a journey by train that will require me to wait for around 90 minutes in a relatively small station. I would like to leave the station and wander into the nearby town during this ...
43
votes
6answers
9k views

Are drivers from mainland Europe likely to end up in an accident when driving in the UK?

I have a European license and would like to rent a car in the UK for a trip to the countryside. The only thing that worries me is driving on the left — it seems that one would need quite a bit of ...
43
votes
7answers
8k views

Any railway stations more than 1 change from London?

This question is just for curiosity, rather than for anything practical. Is there any railway station in the UK from which it is not possible to get to London with only 1 change? The obvious ...
42
votes
9answers
13k views

Driving in the UK for the the first time - rules & to-dos that are different to India

I'm planning on renting a car in the UK for my trip through London, York, Edinburgh and the rest of Scotland. Having driven in Mumbai, India, I understand there must be things I should keep in mind, ...
42
votes
7answers
19k views

Would I be allowed to get on a plane from the UK and fly to America with tea?

Today I was doing some research on food and drinks and realised that tea is not a very big thing in The U.S. and that all the "good" brands of tea are extremely overpriced or quite "unattractive". So ...
42
votes
3answers
11k views

Recently naturalized American visiting the UK, previously denied visa. Apply for entry clearance?

I am a very recently naturalized America citizen. I want to visit the the UK but leaning towards flying in to France, and attempt entry into the UK via Calais by road on my US passport, so that if I ...
42
votes
2answers
6k views

How early can you go through security at London Luton Airport?

I have a 07:15 flight on Sunday Oct 28th departing from London Luton Airport. Owing to limited options on public transport, I will be arriving at the airport at ~00:30. Is there any chance I will be ...
42
votes
4answers
10k views

Who compensates my UK train ticket when the train in the ticket didn't exist?

Last Saturday there were major construction works on the rail network in London. Euston station was closed. I had to travel from Glasgow to the south of London. I had originally booked a return ...
42
votes
2answers
13k views

Refuse to answer questions at border control

When returning from a long holiday, rather than the usual cursory glance at the passport and wave through, the person behind the passport control desk started asking a whole load of rather intrusive ...
40
votes
2answers
6k views

What are the visa rules for US speakers, at UK conferences, who may be getting paid?

In the last few days, a friend-of-a-friend who was due to give a talk at a tech conference in the UK was denied entry at Heathrow and sent back. Their full story is blogged here. It seems that, in the ...
39
votes
6answers
9k views

Is appearance important at the border?

I hold a Swedish passport and I plan to travel to the UK this month and then to Canada within the next three months. I have a type of personality preferring old clothing and high-time not shaving ...
38
votes
2answers
8k views

Seven-day validity for a UK Visa? Application was for a 6-month short stay visa

Last November 2017, I applied for a visitor's visa for the UK. I indicated in my online application that I will travel in March 2018. I even paid for Priority Processing because I needed my passport ...
38
votes
11answers
10k views

How to wash hands if tap water is too hot?

A few days ago I settled in the UK and noticed that hot tap water was not specific to Heathrow Airport. The only option in some toilets (e.g. in restaurants) is "tooooo hot" water. I cannot touch so ...
38
votes
2answers
9k views

Is it legal to meet with potential future employers in the UK, whilst visiting from the USA

One of my friends from the USA will be visiting the UK at some point using her visa free travel, she has previously been here before over the last few years. At some point in the future, she wants ...
37
votes
5answers
50k views

My name has “Mr” appended on airline ticket reservation. Would that cause problems at the airport?

I recently booked tickets to travel by plane from the UK to Greece. The website I booked through (airfasttickets.co.uk) lists my name correctly, as "Mr Georgios [My surname]", exactly the same as in ...
37
votes
4answers
16k views

What does the “non-drinking water” sign indicate about water quality in the UK?

I have a friend who tells me that the non-drinking water sign you see in cafes, supermarket toilets in the UK is just to mitigate responsibility. Is this true, or what about the water could be unsafe? ...
37
votes
3answers
8k views

Declaring a visitor to the UK as my “girlfriend” - effect on getting a Visitor visa?

I have a Serbian girlfriend who I have visited in Belgrade 4 times now and she is planning a trip to the UK for her 2 weeks vacation in 2 months from now (more details here). When applying for this ...
36
votes
2answers
16k views

Immigration officer stamped “Indefinite leave to enter UK” in US passport of EU citizen. How to fix it?

At Heathrow yesterday, a US-Swedish dual citizen presented his US passport to immigration, as he had forgotten his Swedish one at home. He went in the non-EEA queue and was initially interviewed like ...
36
votes
3answers
15k views

UK visa refused because the immigration officer suspects I'm trying to live in the UK through successive visits. What are my options?

I am in a relationship with a UK citizen. We just started dating and in Oct of 2016 I went to visit the UK to spend time with them. I stayed from Oct 11th to Nov 4th. I flew home to attend my older ...
36
votes
1answer
11k views

UK: Is a 10 year ban still valid after acquiring new citizenship?

I am an Indian national and was refused a UK visa in 2009 in NYC and given a 10 year ban, but now I'm a US citizen. Would the ban still apply if I wanted to visit the UK?
34
votes
1answer
16k views

Showering facilities at Kings Cross station - Where are they and what are they like?

On the National Rail enquiries page for Kings Cross station, it simply states: Showers - Yes Ideally, I'd like a little bit more information than that! Such as where they are, how much they cost, ...
34
votes
1answer
15k views

Difference between deportation and removal

As I understand it, there are two mechanisms for throwing somebody out of the UK: deportation and removal. Informally, people seem to call both of these "deportation". What are the differences ...
33
votes
9answers
15k views

Crossing the road in London - Did I have 'right of way'?

I was crossing this road in London, going from the left pedestrian path to the island just like the person in the picture. There were 'look left' 'look right' signs written on the road. There were no ...
33
votes
10answers
10k views

Can I use a priority seat if it is vacant?

Since I don't have any priority, I avoid using priority seats* on busses, trains etc. However I see that other people who have no priority are occasionally using those seats. I wonder if there is a ...
33
votes
3answers
5k views

If I have estranged relatives in the UK, what do I submit in a tourist visa application?

My parents are planning to visit the UK and Europe, and have engaged a tourism company for this. While reviewing the documents they sent us, I noticed that the field asking about friends or relatives ...