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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello
I've been reading this forum a lot in the past few months, it is a great resource for the confused relocator, thanks!

My husband and I received our UK ancestry visas a few weeks ago. Foolishly, we booked tickets to arrive at Heathrow on 2nd October, once we had the email from UKBA to say our visas had been dispatched. However, upon receiving our passports we discovered the visas are valid from 12th October, not when the visa was issued! (12th October was the rough date we put in the application as we expected the visa process to take longer - it took about a month in total from sending paperwork off to receiving our passports back).

I have found a few threads (slightly older) that mention the possibility of entering on a visitors/general tourist visa (we would just turn up at the border since we are from NZ) then exit to France for a few days and return on the 12th.
I sent an email off to UKBA and they responded saying "We strongly recommend against attempting to enter the UK prior to the start date given on the visas.
Any decision on whether to allow you entry prior to the visa start date rests solely with the Immigration Officer at Port upon arrival. They may be satisfied with your situation, or they may refuse you entry at that time."

My husband has a job to go to (he will start on the 14th) and we have booked holiday accommodation for 3 weeks to tide us over until we can find a place to rent.

So, I'm just wondering if anyone has been turned away from the border in this situation or shall we just take our chances anyway? We are responsible professionals (both have PhDs) so not looking to gain the system in any way, and hopefully the immigration officer will realise this...Any tips on convincing them to let us in early?

Thanks heaps
 

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What the UKBA has told you is fair enough as far as it goes, since ultimately it's the decision of the immigration officer on duty whether to allow you in as visitor or not.
I would stick my neck out and say it's unlikely you will be refused entry first time, as
a) You do have a long-term visa starting a short time after;
b) You are not a visa national;
c) You aren't going to do anything that will breach the conditions of your leave to enter as visitor.
To prove point c), carry bank statement showing healthy balance (so you won't be tempted to start working before your ancestry visa kicks in), and plan to leave UK and re-enter on or after 12th October, such as flight e-ticket or Eurostar train receipt, hotel reservation etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your prompt and reassuring reply! I'm the pessimist while my husband is the optimist - it's nice to get some additional positive response from another source - hopefully now I can focus on the move and try not to imagine all the 'worst case scenarios' coming true!!

Regards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hello again

Just an update to say that we got into the UK with no hassles on a visitor's visa! The immigration officer was very cheerful and friendly, she seemed almost apologetic that she couldn't activate our ancestry visas yet. She did ask for proof of onward travel (our Eurostar tickets). So, that was a big relief!
We shall go to France for a few days this week, entering on our ancestry visas on the 12th.

We are settling near Cambridge - we have UK sim cards, we rented a car, we have almost bought a car (plus insurance - expensive!) and are going to look at a house for rent tomorrow. Not having a UK bank account yet means it's a little more tricky to pay for some things (e.g. I need to use my UK-based uncle's credit card to pay for the car insurance as they don't accept international credit cards over the phone). But, we're getting there :)
We are enjoying the countryside and the differences compared to NZ e.g. narrow country lanes, old buildings, picturesque villages.
 
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