02 March 2009

Home Office uses magician to warn of tough UK visa stance

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The UK Border Control (UKBA) stopped a Turkish magician from entering the country at Liverpool's John Lennon airport last month because he did not have a UK visa.

The man claimed he was en route to the Intercontinental Stage Magic Championships in Blackpool, however because he lacked a UK visa he was not allowed to pass border security at the airport.

The Home Office has used the man's plight as a warning to non-EU travellers to the UK that they would not tolerate people taking advantage of the UK immigration system.

"Visitors to the UK must play by the rules.  If they need a visa to come here and they haven't got one, there's no magic wand they can wave to get in.  They will just be sent back," said a spokesperson for the Home Office.

"Nationals of over 100 countries - three-quarters of the world's population - must apply for a six-month visitor visa if they want to come to the UK.  Our visa checks now require everyone to be fingerprinted, locking them to one identity, and checked against government watch-lists.  They are then screened and counted in and out of the UK using the UK Border Agency's e-Borders system."

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa and immigration services.

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