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Old 05-07-2010, 07:39 PM   #1
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Default UK and Ireland passport control tips

After hearing a bunch of Tpunk and non Tpunk complaints about getting through passport control in these two countries, and now having done them both I figured I'd give my 2 cents.

Basically, don't lie...you can tell them you're traveling alone. However by saying this, if you tell them you're traveling solo they will get this "does not compute" look on their face and will elicit follow up questions. Make sure you have a ticket out of the UK or Ireland, and make sure you have it with you to show them. Make sure you reassure them that you'll be meeting friends along the way. Smile and don't have the appearance of a grungy backpacker who showers like once a week (sorry Marc ). The best guest is one who "always looks like they have somewhere else to be"

All these are just routine questions they have to ask to attempt to keep the dodgy people out and insure that there is a reasonable chance you won't have to be cared for by their govts money. Its nothing personal against backpackers so just smile and play innocent (you are innocent anyway!) and you'll be through in no time!

Just some thoughts on the topic!
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Old 05-08-2010, 02:03 AM   #2
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Excellent tips! I must say of all the customs I have passed which aren't that many the British have probably been the nicest and most helpful. I have been to Canada on a British passport and have been to Britain on a Canadian passport and trust me, I know which one gave me the least ammount of hassal.
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:01 AM   #3
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Also, remember what the year is! I accidentally told the customs officer in Birmingham that I had been studying in the UK since January 2009. After 10 minutes of grilling me (and after I missed my train back to Oxford), he finally said, "You see, this doesn't compute because your visa was issued in December 2009, but you're saying you've been here since 11 months BEFORE that."
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:29 AM   #4
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When I was flying from Beijing-Heathrow I suddenly got really paranoid about passport theft so I put my passport in my *checked* baggage to keep it safe so yeah, I arrived at Heathrow custums with no passport. I decided to not lie and tell the man exactly what happened he decided to give me a landing card and stamp it with a 6 month ride to abode stamp and let me pass. I offered to show my passport once I retrived my bag but I he said it was uncessary.
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