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Immigration Help Line
ENTERING THE UK

 

When you enter the UK (for example, at a port or airport) you will have to go through immigration controls. If you have to join a queue, you will be asked to remain behind a line before you go to see the immigration officer, so that the other visitors can have some privacy while they are being interviewed.

The immigration process is usually simple if you have a passport from a country in the EU (European Union) or in the EEA (European Economic Area) or Switzerland. If you come from another part of the world, you may be asked a lot of questions or be asked to provide some official documents. You may feel that the questions you are asked are personal, but you should try to be helpful. Some of the questions which are often asked are:

- What is your reason for coming to the UK?

- Are you intending to work in the UK?

- How much money do you have? You may be asked to show your cash, travellers' cheques or bank account statements to prove you have enough money.

- Where will you be living?

- Do you have any known medical problems?

If you are refused entry, try to remain calm and do not get angry with the immigration officer - remember that this person is doing his or her job. Some of the reasons the immigration officer may not allow you into the UK are:

- You do not have enough money to live here without receiving public money.

- It is believed that you are coming to the UK to work illegally.

- You needed a visa before coming to the UK from your country, but you haven't got one (make sure that you check before travelling).

- You are breaking the conditions of your visa.

- A doctor believes you may be carrying a disease which you may spread to other people.

- You have a known medical problem and the officer believes that you are coming to the UK to use the British public health service.

You may be asked to have a health check or x-ray before you can enter the UK. If you are a woman, you may be asked if you are pregnant. You may be asked to have a personal examination by a doctor - this may involve taking off some or all of your clothing. It is usually best to do what you are asked, but make it clear as soon as possible if you are asked to do something which you cannot accept for personal or religious reasons.

 
 
 
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