Friday, May 28, 2021

EU Tourists Complain of Strict Treatment From UK Border Forces

European Tourists arriving in the United Kingdom have reported tight surveillance by border officials who, according to them, fingerprinted, detained and treated them as liars on their route through the Channel Tunnel or by ferry at Calais, reports.

“It was horrible. I’m disgusted with the way I have been treated. I have never been so humiliated in my life. I will never ever ever go to the UK again. To me, the UK no longer exists. It is not in my vocabulary. After Calais, it is the north pole,” Sergio D’Alberti, a 51-year-old hotel manager, confessed.

He said he was held for seven hours at the French port after UK border officials considered him a potential drain on the benefits system. In a letter sent to D’Alberti, they say that €4,500 (£3,870) in funds was “not sufficient to cover all reasonable costs in relation to your being without working or accessing public funds.”

Di’Alberti, a hotel manager out of work due to Coronavirus, was planning a road trip from his house in Côte d’Azur to Kerry, Ireland, where he was planning to meet his wife’s family. But, instead, he says that he was held for hours and  photographed “like a criminal.”

A Danish pastry chef, Chloe, had a similar experience at UK borders, where she was planning to meet her boyfriend’s family.

“I just went with him to visit his family. I have a job here in Denmark and was planning to stay three weeks,” she said.

Like D’Alberti, Chloe did not finish her trip and returned home after the Border Force agents at Calais had told her that this encounter wouldn’t be registered if she would return voluntarily. Instead, she said her passport was issued with an IS81 stamp which indicates that “a person had made an application to enter”.

Another time when she decided to enter the UK while arriving at Heathrow, she realised the impact of the IS81, which made her eligible for further questioning. That night, she said she spent five hours crying in an airport detention room.

She was released from interrogation at 10.30 pm after UK border forces had searched her bags and asked her questions about her job in Denmark and her parents.

“She asked me why I was entering the UK, and I said to visit my boyfriend. She immediately said ‘live with’ your boyfriend, so I repeated ‘visit’. Already she was putting words into my mouth,” Chloe said, describing her experience at UK borders.

The immigration rules appendix V, 4.2 notes that the applicant must ensure officials he/she will leave the UK after the visit. Also, an applicant doesn’t intend to make the UK their home and that he/she is visiting for an allowed purpose. The applicant must have enough funds to cover everything during the trip, including any potential medical emergency.

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