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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I plan on visiting my boyfriend who lives in the UK over my Christmas break for about 3 weeks. I have visited once before in May 2012 for 6 weeks and he visited here in Dec 2012 for 10 weeks.

The last time I went, the immigration officer had quite a bit of questions, but he didn't seem extremely suspicious. I was not taken to another room, the questioning lasted at most 5 minutes. He basically asked why I'm here, if the friend I was staying with and I are in a relationship, what I do, what he does, and who paid for my flight.

It probably could have been avoided if I simply had a printed return flight with me, (that was the first thing he asked for) but I did not. I had no documentation and was not asked for any besides that return flight.

After reading everything online I've become a bit paranoid. I will definitely be bringing with me a return ticket, bank statements, and proof I'm enrolled (and have paid) for university next semester. I'll also be dressing neatly (perhaps it was the disheveled hoodie and jeans I was in that made him wonder?) I'm currently working but am only contracted through this year. That could be extended, but it's up in the air at this point.

I'd be staying at his parents' house. He's not working right now and is in the process of applying for disability. He will be applying for courses next semester.

Is there anything else I am missing or should be aware of? Based on my past experience, do you think I will have any issues?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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A letter from him or his parents inviting you to stay would be useful, with their phone number (and make sure one of his parents will be there to answer the phone).
 

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From my understanding of the visitor visa (and I am new to this so I'm sure someone more experienced will correct if this is wrong information), one of the most important requirements along with evidence of funding for your stay is that you intend to leave at the end of your proposed stay, so return flight tickets, and uni confirmation printed out sounds good.

Proof of accommodation is also required.

If you go to the UKBA website, there is a guidance on document requirements for Visitor Visa and a PDF that you can download UK Border Agency | What documents do you need as a general visitor?. Sorry I couldn't offer more but hopefully someone will be able to confirm what I have said soon!

Edit - Joppa replied before so take his advice!
 

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I have done this many times, both visiting my other half while he was my boyfriend and once he was my husband.
Never really had any problems until the last time I came to UK as a visitor.
I was 'detained' for about an hour. But this was quite random and depends on the person that you get. As in the end she just kept repeating herself and when I'd ask her what I have done wrong as I have come to the country this same way (US Passport, Visa Waiver) and left in time, not claimed any NHS or benefits and I have never been stopped by police or immigration. She never answered and ended up just letting me go.

But just to echo what others said. If you can show the intent to return back to USA you should have no problem. And I doubt it was your jeans/hoodie :)
With everything that you said you are bringing you should be fine.
Also If you can have your employer just write a letter that you are employed (just something that you can show at the airport, if they would do you that favor). Whoever is picking you up (boyfriend/his parents) tell them to have a cell on them in case the immigration officer wants to speak to them, and make sure you have those numbers.
I believe that you should be fine, and I think it is the nervousness and stress/panic over all of this stuff that makes us look suspicious more than anything.
I know that I worry, needed or not, and can only imagine how I must look at times o_O
 

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Agree with what the others have said.

On a more personal note, since you'll be on a long haul flight perhaps consider wearing "comfortable" clothes (yoga pants, tee shirt and hoodie) onto the plane and packing some "smart" clothes (including a change of socks and panties, hairbrush and lipgloss) in your carry on bag to change into about an hour before landing (I always carry a pair of socks & underwear on flights >6 hours... is also a useful back up in the event that your luggage doesn't make it to your destination... it's hard to cope with only one pair when on holiday but with an extra set of socks and undies with you, you stand a chance)... it's nice to have something fresh on when you get to your destination, and if you feel refreshed, you don't feel so frazzled when dealing with the immigration officers.

Good luck to you and have a safe journey over!
 

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Agree with what the others have said.

On a more personal note, since you'll be on a long haul flight perhaps consider wearing "comfortable" clothes (yoga pants, tee shirt and hoodie) onto the plane and packing some "smart" clothes (including a change of socks and panties, hairbrush and lipgloss) in your carry on bag to change into about an hour before landing (I always carry a pair of socks & underwear on flights >6 hours... is also a useful back up in the event that your luggage doesn't make it to your destination... it's hard to cope with only one pair when on holiday but with an extra set of socks and undies with you, you stand a chance)... it's nice to have something fresh on when you get to your destination, and if you feel refreshed, you don't feel so frazzled when dealing with the immigration officers.

Good luck to you and have a safe journey over!
You can also duck into a bathroom to change after you get off your flight. There are some before you get to immigration. I can't imagine changing on the plane unless I absolutely had to. It was difficult enough changing my baby's clothes in that cramped space!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hello everyone, thanks for the replies!

One thing I forgot to mention. During this trip, we will be visiting France for 5 days, then coming back to England for 3 days, then I will be leaving to the US. Will leaving for a week then re-entering to stay for a few days be a problem? Or should it be fine so long as I have all the proof mentioned before?
 

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I'd take the proof of onward journey with you, just to be on the safe side... I was stopped coming back from Paris last year (didn't complete the landing card properly)... I didn't have my itinerary back to Vancouver with me, but after a bunch of questions about m then b/f and our wedding plans etc and a reminder that I needed to have my fiancée visa before we could get married, the I/O stamped my passport and let me in.

I consider myself to be very lucky to be let off in my error.
 

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Hello everyone, thanks for the replies!

One thing I forgot to mention. During this trip, we will be visiting France for 5 days, then coming back to England for 3 days, then I will be leaving to the US. Will leaving for a week then re-entering to stay for a few days be a problem? Or should it be fine so long as I have all the proof mentioned before?
Yes, bring all your proof with you. Every time you enter the UK you are reapplying for a visit visa so you will need all the same proof that you did at the beginning of your trip.
 

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Be honest and say you're visiting your boyfriend

Prior to visiting my boyfriend (now husband) in the UK back in September, I was unsure how to phrase the purpose of my visit. I've heard various things... some say to be clear and say you're visiting your boyfriend, and some say to say you're visiting friends or going on holiday. Originally, we planned on me staying for 5 1/2 months, but a friend coming from Australia to stay for a similar amount of time told us about getting detained. It caused us so much stress and fretting that we ended up altering my travel plans to stay for one month. We wanted to avoid detainment for obvious reasons.

When I got to customs, I was asked the purpose of my visit and said that I was visiting friends, I quickly realized I'd chosen the wrong path. Because of the questions they asked, it came around to the fact that he was my boyfriend and I was staying with him. Though I had never lied, they felt like me saying he was my friend was an exaggeration of the truth. In the end, I was detained for 4 hours. They did let me in, and though no one treated me badly, it was the worst experience of my life.

I agree with the other people posting when they advise you to carry proof of ties to the US. My other advise (and this comes directly from the Border Control agent who "interviewed" me) is to be honest about your visit. Say that you're there to visit your boyfriend for the holidays and stay with his parents, and that you have school to get back for. Also, as you mentioned, be sure to have your itinerary printed for the return to show. You might not need it, but better safe than sorry.

Best of luck to you and have a wonderful three weeks with your guy.
 

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The questions you mentioned seemed pretty standard (same ones asked to everyone). Stay calm answer honestly and you should be fine. The proof of ties to the US are often as much to make you comfortable as a "all bases covered" sort of way.

Enjoy your visit.
 
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