Travelling to the UK for a holiday with family with criminal record

By Will1968 - 18 Dec 19 12:45 PM

Hi guys, 
I'm hoping to visit the UK for a few weeks next year but I'm doubtful I'll be granted entry. I'm an Aussie who was jailed for 4 years (suspended after 16 months) in 2006. I've been going through the entry requirements and it appears that as my sentence was 4 years, entry for me is permanently prohibited. Can anyone confirm this? And does the fact I only served 16 months make any difference? I've tried contacting the relevant agencies but no one is interested in talking to me. Thanks for any advice. 
By BenS - 17 Jan 20 10:25 AM

The UK used to have a Landing Card system for all non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens. You had to fill it out on the plane and present it at passport control. It asked basic questions but did not ask anything about criminal convictions.

The Landing Card system was abolished in 2019, with Britain trying to appear more open to the wider world as it turns it back on Europe.

Also, Heathrow and a number of other larger airports now have an e-gate system where you can scan your passport and, if there are no problems, go straight through and enter the UK without seeing a border officer. The e-gates used to be only available to UK and EU nationals, but at Heathrow they have expanded it to other "trustworthy" nationalities, including Australians:

So you could in theory arrive at Heathrow and enter the UK legally without going through a human official.

As AB2014 says above, even if you went to a human passport officer, it's extremely unlikely that they routinely ask all travellers if they have a criminal record. I have been to several non-European countries and gone through standard immigration checks, with a few basic questions about why I'm there, where I'm staying, how long I'm staying, etc., and I have never been asked about criminal records.