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Hello all, I find it very difficult to find solemn advise for this "rollercoaster" my family and I have been on, but I hope in discussing them here I can find some advise on what to do. I apologise for the length of this post, but to clarify the struggle I have been dealing with, I will just put explain it all.

I am an American, and I met my wife while serving a mission in our church in Hereford. We got married when months after I had finished and returned to Las Vegas, where I currently reside. We were married here in the USA on the 25th of October 2010. Since then, our plans were for me to apply for a visa and settle in Hereford with my wife, and her 3 year old daughter. Little did we know of our struggle with employment and circumstances, but we finally managed to save up enough to pay for the visa application fee the following year. We continued to face hurdles we have been constantly fighting to get over.

In December 2011, I sent in my completed visa application to the British Consulate in New York City and received this email a few days later, specifically the 6th of December:
Dear Applicant,

The package containing your UK visa application has been opened and your supporting documents organized in preparation for consideration by an Entry Clearance Officer.
Please note UKBA customer service standards for all applications are: to complete 90% of visa applications (except settlement categories) in no more than three weeks, 98%in six weeks and 100% in 12 weeks.


On the 7th of December, we unfortunately received this email:

Dear Applicant,
We regret to inform you that after careful consideration against the immigration rules, your UK visa application has been unsuccessful. Along with the return of your passport and documents, you will find enclosed a detailed notice explaining exactly why your application was refused and information on your appeal rights.
Your passport will be dispatched from the New York office and will be delivered by UPS.
Delivery times:
Within the USA: Next business day
Outside of the USA: 2-5 days

I had inquired of the reasons behind my refusal, but they refused to give any details, stating that my notice of refusal will explain everything. What had happened was I sent the application and supporting documents on my behalf in one envelope, and my sponsor's (my spouse) documents in another. The reason of refusal was that I was missing all of her documents, which they had disregarded when receiving it. In the package was what it had stated: my passport, reason of refusal, and an appeal bundle. I called and requested her documents to be sent back to me, since they had already been disregarded, so I could send them with my completed apppeal stating my case. I sent the appeal and all the documents that were the reason my visa was refused, and waited for the response. I received this email on the 12 of January:

Dear Applicant,

Your Notice of Appeal against your UK visa refusal has been received at our office. An Entry Clearance Manager (ECM) will review your appeal within 15 working days, taking into account any further comments and supporting documents you have submitted. The ECM will either uphold the refusal or overturn the refusal based on the information you have provided.

If the refusal is overturned: If the ECM is satisfied that your application meets the Immigration Rules, the original decision may be overturned, and entry clearance approved. You will receive an email informing you of the next steps.

If the refusal is upheld: If the ECM is still not satisfied that your application meets the Immigration Rules, the original decision may be upheld. If this is the case you will receive an email informing you that your appeal is being sent to the UK for a hearing at the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT). You will receive an email informing you of the next steps.

Kind Regards,

New York Visa Team
UK Border Agency

What we were hoping for of course was for the ECM to overturn the original decision. No surprise this wasn't the case, receiving this email today:

Dear Applicant,


Your appeal against your UK visa refusal has been reviewed by an Entry Clearance Manager. The ECM has upheld the visa refusal and is not satisfied that you meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules

Your appeal will now be sent to the Immigration & Asylum First Tier Chamber (IAFT) in the UK for a hearing. Your appeal papers will depart from our office within the next four weeks.

Please be advised that the process at IAFT can take up to six months for a determination to be issued. The IAFT will contact you directly if they require further information and to advise you of the outcome of your appeal.

If you want to find out about the progress of an appeal, please do not contact the visa section where you were refused but direct all enquiries to the IAFT in the UK. The overseas post will not be able to give updates.

Should you choose not to proceed with the appeal process at any stage you should fax both the IAFT (011 44 116 249 4130) and the British Consulate New York (212-754-3062) requesting to withdraw your appeal.


Kind Regards,

New York Visa Team
UK Border Agency


It is very disheartening, but we are still fighting. I again apologize for how long this is, but any help would be very much appreciated.
I am going to contact the AIT tomorrow and inquire the status of my appeal, but thats all I can think of doing at this moment.

Thank you very much for your time and patience. All I truly wish is to be with my wife and step-daughter.
 

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Hello all, I find it very difficult to find solemn advise for this "rollercoaster" my family and I have been on, but I hope in discussing them here I can find some advise on what to do. I apologise for the length of this post, but to clarify the struggle I have been dealing with, I will just put explain it all.

I am an American, and I met my wife while serving a mission in our church in Hereford. We got married when months after I had finished and returned to Las Vegas, where I currently reside. We were married here in the USA on the 25th of October 2010. Since then, our plans were for me to apply for a visa and settle in Hereford with my wife, and her 3 year old daughter. Little did we know of our struggle with employment and circumstances, but we finally managed to save up enough to pay for the visa application fee the following year. We continued to face hurdles we have been constantly fighting to get over.

In December 2011, I sent in my completed visa application to the British Consulate in New York City and received this email a few days later, specifically the 6th of December:
Dear Applicant,

The package containing your UK visa application has been opened and your supporting documents organized in preparation for consideration by an Entry Clearance Officer.
Please note UKBA customer service standards for all applications are: to complete 90% of visa applications (except settlement categories) in no more than three weeks, 98%in six weeks and 100% in 12 weeks.


On the 7th of December, we unfortunately received this email:

Dear Applicant,
We regret to inform you that after careful consideration against the immigration rules, your UK visa application has been unsuccessful. Along with the return of your passport and documents, you will find enclosed a detailed notice explaining exactly why your application was refused and information on your appeal rights.
Your passport will be dispatched from the New York office and will be delivered by UPS.
Delivery times:
Within the USA: Next business day
Outside of the USA: 2-5 days

I had inquired of the reasons behind my refusal, but they refused to give any details, stating that my notice of refusal will explain everything. What had happened was I sent the application and supporting documents on my behalf in one envelope, and my sponsor's (my spouse) documents in another. The reason of refusal was that I was missing all of her documents, which they had disregarded when receiving it. In the package was what it had stated: my passport, reason of refusal, and an appeal bundle. I called and requested her documents to be sent back to me, since they had already been disregarded, so I could send them with my completed apppeal stating my case. I sent the appeal and all the documents that were the reason my visa was refused, and waited for the response. I received this email on the 12 of January:

Dear Applicant,

Your Notice of Appeal against your UK visa refusal has been received at our office. An Entry Clearance Manager (ECM) will review your appeal within 15 working days, taking into account any further comments and supporting documents you have submitted. The ECM will either uphold the refusal or overturn the refusal based on the information you have provided.

If the refusal is overturned: If the ECM is satisfied that your application meets the Immigration Rules, the original decision may be overturned, and entry clearance approved. You will receive an email informing you of the next steps.

If the refusal is upheld: If the ECM is still not satisfied that your application meets the Immigration Rules, the original decision may be upheld. If this is the case you will receive an email informing you that your appeal is being sent to the UK for a hearing at the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT). You will receive an email informing you of the next steps.

Kind Regards,

New York Visa Team
UK Border Agency

What we were hoping for of course was for the ECM to overturn the original decision. No surprise this wasn't the case, receiving this email today:

Dear Applicant,


Your appeal against your UK visa refusal has been reviewed by an Entry Clearance Manager. The ECM has upheld the visa refusal and is not satisfied that you meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules

Your appeal will now be sent to the Immigration & Asylum First Tier Chamber (IAFT) in the UK for a hearing. Your appeal papers will depart from our office within the next four weeks.

Please be advised that the process at IAFT can take up to six months for a determination to be issued. The IAFT will contact you directly if they require further information and to advise you of the outcome of your appeal.

If you want to find out about the progress of an appeal, please do not contact the visa section where you were refused but direct all enquiries to the IAFT in the UK. The overseas post will not be able to give updates.

Should you choose not to proceed with the appeal process at any stage you should fax both the IAFT (011 44 116 249 4130) and the British Consulate New York (212-754-3062) requesting to withdraw your appeal.


Kind Regards,

New York Visa Team
UK Border Agency


It is very disheartening, but we are still fighting. I again apologize for how long this is, but any help would be very much appreciated.
I am going to contact the AIT tomorrow and inquire the status of my appeal, but thats all I can think of doing at this moment.

Thank you very much for your time and patience. All I truly wish is to be with my wife and step-daughter.
What happened was initially you sent in supporting documents in two separate packages, when you should have put everything in one. They don't accept any documents that are sent in separately. When looking at your application, ECO found a whole lot of documents missing, so they had no option but to refuse your application. On being told what happened, you resubmitted it, this time with all documents together, but ECM refused to overturn the decision and sent your case to UK to AIT. Now haven't they told you why your application wasn't meeting the immigration rules? The implication being that even if you had sent in documents in one package first time, you would still have been rejected. Not knowing the precise ground for refusal, it's impossible to say what your chances are at AIT, except that they aren't good.

All I can suggest is you wait for the outcome of the appeal, and if you are unsuccessful, you make another application (and pay again, sadly), but this time making sure you meet all the requirements for a visa. The vital piece of the jigsaw still missing is the precise reason(s) why the ECM refused to overturn the decision even with all required documents supplied correctly, so it looks like you failed on one of three major criteria - relationship, maintenance and accommodation. Perhaps you can give us a brief rundown of what you put on your application, and your circumstances.

BTW, I have crossed out your names to protect your identity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thank you for replying so soon.
Yes, we came to the conclusion that the reason the application was refused was because of the two envelope issue. Every reason listed in my notice of refusal was the lack of documents, ie: lack of marriage certificate, means of accomodation, my sponsor's proof of uk citizenship, lack of money, all of which would have not been the problem if they had looked for the second envelope with all of my wife's papers.

I had sent all of her documents in with my appeal, yet the ECM still upheld the original decision.

Should I have been sent the reason the appeal was denied in the post?
 

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thank you for replying so soon.
Yes, we came to the conclusion that the reason the application was refused was because of the two envelope issue. Every reason listed in my notice of refusal was the lack of documents, ie: lack of marriage certificate, means of accomodation, my sponsor's proof of uk citizenship, lack of money, all of which would have not been the problem if they had looked for the second envelope with all of my wife's papers.

I had sent all of her documents in with my appeal, yet the ECM still upheld the original decision.

Should I have been sent the reason the appeal was denied in the post?
I don't know. It seems likely that on looking at missing documents, there were some issues (unknown to us) that made them decide that rejection was after all the correct outcome.

All I can say is, as I've suggested, you let us know what the main points of your application were, such as jobs, income, savings, accommodation, durability of relationship etc which may point to some issues, and we will then be in a position to advise further.
You can try emailing NY consulate and find out the precise grounds for upholding the initial decision. Ask politely.
UK Border Agency | Complaints in the USA English
 

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...
I am an American, and I met my wife while serving a mission in our church in Hereford. We got married when months after I had finished and returned to Las Vegas, where I currently reside. We were married here in the USA on the 25th of October 2010. Since then, our plans were for me to apply for a visa and settle in Hereford with my wife, and her 3 year old daughter. Little did we know of our struggle with employment and circumstances, but we finally managed to save up enough to pay for the visa application fee the following year. We continued to face hurdles we have been constantly fighting to get over.
You stated regarding struggle with employment as well as saving enough to pay for the visa application...this to me implies that you were likely refused in your appeal possibly due to lack of money. When you submitted your application first time around this was not the reason because not submitting all the required document in the same package gave immigration officer no reason to review the application any further. But once you send them all the documents properly for appeal, lack of finances is the only obvious reason that appears to be from your explanation.

I do hope you and your wife successfully get this visa, but lack of funds appears to me the likely reason unless you provided evidence of good amount of savings and employment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, I work in a delivery service and my year salary comes out to about $23k, at the time of turning my application in I didn't have a substantial amount in my savings, about $1200. My wife is a financial administrator for a company in the city she lives in. She is only part time at the moment as she is going to school as well, so she only makes about 16k pound yearly. Our relationship is pretty solid, we have since visited each other when the oppurtunities permitted us financially. We talk every single day via phone calls, skype, and emails, which documents were submitted with my wife's papers. She rents a house which she's on top of in payments, and she is completely sustaining herself without council benefits.

I have called the consulate in NY asking for information on why my appeal was turned down, but since they have sent the appeal to AIT, they won't help at all and advised me to try calling Leicester.

Is this the case for many UK/US couples?
 

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Ok, I work in a delivery service and my year salary comes out to about $23k, at the time of turning my application in I didn't have a substantial amount in my savings, about $1200. My wife is a financial administrator for a company in the city she lives in. She is only part time at the moment as she is going to school as well, so she only makes about 16k pound yearly. Our relationship is pretty solid, we have since visited each other when the oppurtunities permitted us financially. We talk every single day via phone calls, skype, and emails, which documents were submitted with my wife's papers. She rents a house which she's on top of in payments, and she is completely sustaining herself without council benefits.

I have called the consulate in NY asking for information on why my appeal was turned down, but since they have sent the appeal to AIT, they won't help at all and advised me to try calling Leicester.

Is this the case for many UK/US couples?
The income, combined for you both, looks reasonable under the current rules although your professional probably will weigh more than your income considering you are the applicant and have to leave your job in the US before immigrating to the UK. Under the current rules, I believe your wife makes sufficient but having good savings can strengthen your case (like it did in our case as my wife (US) and me (UK citizen) both live in the US. She got her visa 2 months ago. Does she have any kind of savings? Any possibility of her parents or friends can sponsor you additionally? I know it costs a lot of money but if the reason of rejection was lack of finances, then that can make it a little challenging for them to issue you the visa unless you provided in-depth paperwork to convince them you will not at any stage rely up on state benefits in the UK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I wasn't aware of any in depth paperwork regarding my plight to stay away from receiving any sort of government aide. Had I known, I would have written it up in detail.
I hope that our financial situation isn't the case either. The economy is in a state where the both of us finding better employment is close to impossible. My wife doesn't have family with greater means to join my sponsorship. Perhaps friends that might be able to, but would that make me have to change the type of visa I have to apply for, since my sponsor would no longer be just my wife?
 

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I wasn't aware of any in depth paperwork regarding my plight to stay away from receiving any sort of government aide. Had I known, I would have written it up in detail.
I hope that our financial situation isn't the case either. The economy is in a state where the both of us finding better employment is close to impossible. My wife doesn't have family with greater means to join my sponsorship. Perhaps friends that might be able to, but would that make me have to change the type of visa I have to apply for, since my sponsor would no longer be just my wife?
By in-depth I meant a cover-letter explaining them the accidental error you submitted paperwork separately for both yours and your wife and in addition providing supporting documentation evidence that you will not fall back on public benefits in the UK.

Its just my feeling from what you have mentioned that lack of finances may hurt your application but Joppa might have something to say on this. In order to add additional sponsors in your application, firstly they have to be residing in the UK and not US and secondly you will have to withdraw this appeal and submit a new application...both time and money consuming I know but unfortunately those are the rules. The type of visa application remains the same but you will require your co-sponsors bank statements highlighting their finances of how they can afford to sponsor you.
 
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