16 November 2012

Joan Rivers questioned during UK visa raid

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American comedienne Joan Rivers was questioned by a gang of balaclava-clad UK Border Agency officials this week after mistaking the veteran comedienne over her UK visa status.

UK visa

Joan Rivers was apparently unphased by the UK visa check and even wished she'd been arrested.

Ms Rivers, 79, was on a weekend fishing trip in Kent with her friend The Countess Sondes filming a reality show when UK immigration officials clad in black balaclavas arrived and demanded to see the comedienne's UK visa.

After the mix-up was straightened out, Ms Rivers and her daughter Melissa were allowed to resume filming of 'Joan and Melissa, Joan Knows Best!' but not before Ms Rivers managed to turn her trademark wit on the situation.

"Joan was hilarious throughout the whole time she was with us," said a spokesperson for the estate. "The Border Agency did not have the same sense of humour - they understandably took the situation very serious.

“They were all dressed in black and were wearing balaclavas but you could still see their face – they were very efficient not the sort of people you would want to mess with."

For her part, Ms Rivers seemed none too phased by the incident and even wished it had been worse, perhaps for more stage material.

"Even though we were innocent, I am so sorry they didn't arrest us," she said.

"I love Englishmen and they were very cute."

The UKBA embarked on the raid ostensibly on a tip off regarding groups of suspicious people on fishing trawlers near the estate, a claim denied by a UKBA spokesperson.

"Our officers will investigate any potential immigration or customs offences and take swift and robust action to ensure our borders remain secure," said the spokesperson.

"On 20 October 2012, whilst on routine patrol, Her Majesty’s Cutter Vigilant approached a fishing vessel in the Swale Estuary, Kent.

"Border Force officers spoke with the captain of the vessel to establish ownership and number of passengers.

"After a short discussion, Border Force officers were satisfied the passengers and crew did not present a risk to the border."


The UK Visa Bureau is an independent immigration consultancy specialising in helping people prepare for their UK Ancestry Visa application.

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