Breytenbachs have prepared some tips for travelling to the UK. People often get nervous when they have to pass through the UK Customs at a port of entry. Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants have compiled some tips for travelling to the UK, to take the stress out of your travel. With some planning and preparation, passing through UK Customs will involve no stress at all!
TIPS FOR TRAVELLING TO THE UK
Pre-travel tips for travelling to the UK
- Do not ever rely on hearsay about any UK immigration rules or regulations. Check the Home Office website for correct and up to date information. Better yet, speak to your Breytenbachs consultant, to make sure that you follow the correct and most up to date UK immigration rules.
- Citizens of visa-national countries need to apply for entry clearance before they travel to the UK. This includes persons who are traveling to the UK as tourists. Please check whether you are required to apply for a visa before traveling to the UK.
- Ensure that you have the correct UK visa for the purpose you are visiting the UK.
- Also, ensure that you are supporting documents available to prove your reason for traveling to the UK. If traveling as a non-visa national or on a long-term visit visa and you enter the UK frequently or stay for long periods, we recommended that you have some documents available as evidence. This would, e.g., include pay-slips from your overseas employer, details of business meetings if you are entering as a business visitor, etc. We also recommend that you travel with confirmation of your UK address.
- Keep copies of your travel documents, such as your passport or Biometric Residence Permit. You can either keep hard copies or save scanned copies on your email account. This will save you a lot of trouble, should you lose your documents.
- Find out from your airline what you are allowed to pack in your bag, your bag restrictions, etc. before traveling to the UK.
At the UK Customs – Tips for travelling to the UK
- When you arrive at the border control, open your passport at the information page. If applicable, have your current Biometric Residence Permit or UK visa ready to show.
- Make sure that everything you say to the Immigration Officer at the UK port of entry is in line with your documents.
- Take the time to answer all questions from the Immigration Officer factually correct regarding dates etc. Do not feel rushed, and in the process unintentionally provide wrong information.
- Answer all questions posed by the Immigration Officer as honestly and straightforwardly as you can. UK immigration officials have access to all your immigration records. If you lie, they will catch you out, as they sometimes do cross-checks. If you lie about your immigration history, e.g. a previous visa refusal, they will construe this as an attempt to enter by deception.
- However, do not volunteer unnecessary information. We have seen cases where persons have in all innocence talked themselves into a situation.
- If you are travelling with your British spouse, you can go through Customs at the British queue at most ports of entry, rather than the Other nationalities queue. This should save you a lot of time.
Last but not the least, enjoy your trip!