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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My boyfriend lives in the UK (and so do other friends) and I have no desire immigrating there, as he would rather come to the USA and it would be easier, anyway.

However, I did visit the UK in January 2013 for 7 days (left for a day to go to Paris), and in June for 7 days.

I'm planning on visiting in November for 10 days.

Both times I've said I'm visiting friends (which is true) but the second time the the agent (who clearly wasn't British herself) didn't understand how I could afford to travel. I made the mistake of putting "student" under occupation because here in the US, if you're a student, even if you have a job, we're so used to putting student on all sorts of forms. So I explained that to her and she was fine with it. She also asked how many bedrooms were in my friend's home and if there was enough room for me there and also how many people lived there. I told her it was a 4 bedroom house with 3 people who live there. My friends thought these questions were strange as well.

Should I be worried about visiting in November and being questioned more or sent to the secondary thing because I went twice this year? I've got proof I have commitments here in the US (not a lease, but I do have a car payment and university schedule and a job).

I'm thinking everything should be fine, I'm just paranoid after reading a few stories.
 

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I don't understand what you mean by the agent clearly wasn't British or what that has to do with anything. If you were questioned before you will likely be questioned again so you should be prepared
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm hispanic. She was as well. She spoke Spanish to me at first because she didn't think I spoke English. I don't know why I included it.
 

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The fact you were questioned is probably on computer record so they will probably find out about it straightaway when they put your passport in a reader.
So have evidence to back up what you said last time, and get letters from uni and employer about needing to return home. Enter your occupation (even if part-time) rather than student on landing card.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is how it went... seemed like it was much longer but now that I write it out it went pretty quickly and I definitely wasn't being questioned as long as the people were on the flight before me from Air India.

Agent: Hi, passport please. Have you visited the UK before?

Me: Yes, in January.

Agent: Oh, back so soon! If you are a student, how could you afford the trip?

Me: I had a large tax return this year.

Agent: What are you studying?

Me: Political Science

Agent: When do you graduate?

Me: In the fall.

Agent: Oh, ok. Who are you staying with?

Me: Friends

Agent: What type of housing do they have? How many people live there? How many bedrooms are there?

Me: House / 3 / 4

Agent: What are you studying in school?

Me: Political Science

Agent: Thank you, have a good day. Good luck at school and congratulations.
 

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Based on your description above, this was actually not a whole lot of questioning. Sometimes you just get someone who grills you in depth (it happened to me when I was a student and since). Just answer politely and tell the truth, of course, and as Joppa advised have evidence with you in case the next officer wants to see it.

Incidentally, I have never had a UK agent say have a good day, good luck, or anything like that--you must have gotten a super polite one!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Incidentally, I have never had a UK agent say have a good day, good luck, or anything like that--you must have gotten a super polite one!
Yeah, she was actually really nice, other than the questioning which I guess I'm not used to. Before these two trips the only time I'd left the US was on a cruise ship and the only time you go through customs is coming back and being American they have to let you in anyway and they know it's just everyone on vacation. Guess I just wsn't expecting that many questions.
 

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You sound a little naive. American authorities don't "have to let you in" nor do they "know" the passengers are "just everyone on vacation."

Likewise, the UKBA are doing their jobs when they question you. When you enter the UK, act like a professional person. Expect to be questioned. Don't be defensive. You will likely have no problems entering in November, but it would serve you well to understand that the UKBA is going to question you - as they should - and you should be prepared for it.
 

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In relation to this topic, my fiance's parents, brother and bridesmaid were planning to come over from Thailand for the wedding in the UK for a couple of weeks (assuming fiance visa goes to plan!). They don't speak English much at all except for the bridesmaid who can.

How is the questioning likely to work? Will they have a Thai interpreter available there and then to question the parents/brother or can the bridesmaid speak on behalf of the other 3 if she goes first?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You sound a little naive. American authorities don't "have to let you in" nor do they "know" the passengers are "just everyone on vacation."

Likewise, the UKBA are doing their jobs when they question you. When you enter the UK, act like a professional person. Expect to be questioned. Don't be defensive. You will likely have no problems entering in November, but it would serve you well to understand that the UKBA is going to question you - as they should - and you should be prepared for it.
Sorry, I was talking about the customs at the cruise terminals.
 

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Sorry, I was talking about the customs at the cruise terminals.
Customs cares about what you bring into the country and take out of the country. It's immigration/border control who allows you or refuses you entry into a country.
 

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For the OP, that seems a pretty standard border interaction. They will always ask a few questions, "why are you visiting?" and "who are you visiting?" are very common. On your next visit, I wouldn't be surprised if they will as "is your friend a boyfriend?".

Answer honestly, but don't volunteer information.

You'll get used to it, if you keep traveling.

M
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
For the OP, that seems a pretty standard border interaction. They will always ask a few questions, "why are you visiting?" and "who are you visiting?" are very common. On your next visit, I wouldn't be surprised if they will as "is your friend a boyfriend?".

Answer honestly, but don't volunteer information.

You'll get used to it, if you keep traveling.

M
We've always said "family friends" because our parents know each other. Is it ok to say that?
 

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That's fine, but 3 visits pretty close together might get the direct question of "is the friend you're visiting a boyfriend?", in which case you need to be honest and answer the question put to you.

M
 

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blindELATION,


I can understand your concern. My now husband and I dated long distance between the US and UK for 13 months and made frequent trips back and forth. He claimed to have no issues when he entered the US, but I felt like I got increasingly grilled by officers.

One thing I found helpful is to print out my return flight to the US and keep it handy when I would go through customs. I would volunteer this information when the questioning increased, which helped to relieve some of the tension. There is no law against you spending every penny you have visiting people in England as long as you plan to return to the US and can do so on your own dime. You may also want to print out your bank account statement and have it handy, so if pressed, can show that you can support yourself while in the country.
 

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We've always said "family friends" because our parents know each other. Is it ok to say that?
You don't have to volunteer information but is asked be truthful. If he's your boyfriend, say he's your boyfriend.
 

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blindELATION,



One thing I found helpful is to print out my return flight to the US and keep it handy when I would go through customs. I would volunteer this information when the questioning increased, which helped to relieve some of the tension. There is no law against you spending every penny you have visiting people in England as long as you plan to return to the US and can do so on your own dime. You may also want to print out your bank account statement and have it handy, so if pressed, can show that you can support yourself while in the country.
Customs doesn't care whether or not you have a return ticket. It's immigration/ border patrol that wants to make sure that you don 't overstay your visit.
 
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