Bollywood star Akshay Kumar was made to wait at Heathrow Airport as UK immigration officials checked the details of his Canadian passport.
The 48-year-old flew into London from Mumbai for the shoot of his film Rustom but had to wait an additional hour- and-a-half as the authorities checked the entry requirements to the UK for Canadian nationals on Thursday.
“It is being claimed that Akshay was ‘detained’, which is absolutely incorrect. It was just a delay for which immigration apologised and he went on with his day,” a source close to the star told PTI.
Kumar, who is a Canadian national, does not require a visa to travel to the UK for tourism and business purposes for up to 90 days. It is believed the UK authorities took longer to clarify this “fine-print”, during which he was made to wait in the general waiting area at the airport.
Kumar’s team also denied media reports which claim the Punjab-born actor tried to assert his stardom to get any kind of special treatment or favours. They insist he willingly complied with the request of the authorities and was soon out of the airport and is now busy with his shoot in London.
A Home Office spokesperson confirmed no problems were found with Kumar’s documents. He said, “Border Force officers routinely carry out further checks on passengers to ensure they are satisfied that person has the documentation needed to enter the UK”.
A source who was present with the actor during the incident said the media had sensationalised a non-issue.
She said, “We all know that no one can enter or even work in the UK without the right permit and there was no exception in the case of Akshay Kumar who travelled to the UK with all the correct documents. However, the immigration team at Heathrow Airport asked him to wait to double check a few details. Yes, the process took slightly longer than expected but you have to be patient with these things. The team were very sincere and profusely apologised to Akshay Kumar for the delay and inconvenience caused so not sure why the media are sensationalising this,’ she said.