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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It's nice to have found a forum like this to help share visa/immigration experiences. This is my first post, so please bear with me. :) Thank you.

I'm married to a British citizen, and I'm a US citizen. We married and lived in the US for 4 years, but this year we decided to move to the UK. However, as you all know it was much easier to do this before June 2012. So, that was bad timing on our part.

We planned to go to the UK, and I would go as a visitor while my husband would find work to meet the income requirements. Unfortunately, at the border we were a bit too honest about our plans and the UKBA decided I couldn't be trusted to leave. I had a return ticket for less time than I had planned/asked to stay (4 weeks as opposed to 6 months). So they let me stay until then. (I don't think this counts as refused entry?)

I've been to the UK several times over the past 5 years, and once I stayed for 3 months when I could have stayed for 6 months. I always leave when I say I will. Well, we decided to make a family visitor application. I'm slightly doubtful about it being approved, but I wanted to get some others' thoughts/experiences.

My mother-in-law is more than willing to sponsor me as a visitor and she has plenty of funds. She owns a home where I can stay. We have been married for over 4 years, and I have a good travel history with the UK. The only thing I'm missing is ties the US, which I know is pretty important. However, I'm applying for a 5 month visa, and there isn't a job I could get that would allow me a break for so long.

So my question is how likely do you think my application is to be approved? Also, how should it be assembled and is a cover letter necessary? Thank you in advance. :panda:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Really frustrated with the UKBA :(

I'm surprised no one has replied to my thread. :( It's almost a month ago now. Everyone seems so helpful on this forum, so I hope I can get some advice. Well, anyway, I applied for the family visitor visa, thinking that my good travel history would show that I was genuine in leaving when I planned to. I applied for a 5 month visa, and I was refused based on the incident that occured when I entered the UK in September.

Not only is it unfair to make a decision based on something other than what I provided in my application. The decision was also biased, because my mother-in-law would be providing the accomodation and not my spouse. This was stated in the decision portion of the refusal letter.

It seems as though the UKBA will not let me visit my husband. However, I had the idea that if I try to enter while I am employed to work in January and registered for classes in January, then perhaps I could visit for Christmas at the very least.

So my first question is after the incident at Calais, and being refused a visitor visa; and even if I have a job and college lined up for January, would the UKBA let me visit my husband for 2-3 weeks? I'm not in the position to throw away a plane ticket if they end up telling me to come home. So any advice or experiences anyone could share would be greatly appreciated.

Also, my grandmother strongly believes that going to the US embassy could help me in some way, or the UK embassy. Does anyone have any experience with handling issues directly with an embassy?

My final question is: is there anyway to prove that you will leave the UK when you say you will, other than work or school, so that I could visit longer? My travel history didn't seem to help, but I don't understand how else to prove that you are a honest person. At the port, I explained to the UKBA officer that we did everything by the book, the law, in the US. So why wouldn't we do the same in the UK. Could a background check help?

Sorry for the long post and thank you for your help. I really hope someone can offer me advice or experiences.
 

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Hey,

Might be better for you to consult with immigration lawyer because it's a bit difficult case as you said they decided you couldn't be trusted to leave.
 

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I'm surprised no one has replied to my thread. :( It's almost a month ago now. Everyone seems so helpful on this forum, so I hope I can get some advice. Well, anyway, I applied for the family visitor visa, thinking that my good travel history would show that I was genuine in leaving when I planned to. I applied for a 5 month visa, and I was refused based on the incident that occured when I entered the UK in September.

Not only is it unfair to make a decision based on something other than what I provided in my application. The decision was also biased, because my mother-in-law would be providing the accomodation and not my spouse. This was stated in the decision portion of the refusal letter.
While you may not think it's important, your immigration history is relevant and taken into consideration.

It seems as though the UKBA will not let me visit my husband. However, I had the idea that if I try to enter while I am employed to work in January and registered for classes in January, then perhaps I could visit for Christmas at the very least.

So my first question is after the incident at Calais, and being refused a visitor visa; and even if I have a job and college lined up for January, would the UKBA let me visit my husband for 2-3 weeks? I'm not in the position to throw away a plane ticket if they end up telling me to come home. So any advice or experiences anyone could share would be greatly appreciated.
The only way to know is to apply for a visit visa in advance.

Also, my grandmother strongly believes that going to the US embassy could help me in some way, or the UK embassy. Does anyone have any experience with handling issues directly with an embassy?
The US Embassy has nothing to do with UK visas. The UK Embassy mainly deals with helping UK citizens abroad. You can't just walk into a UK Embassy.

My final question is: is there anyway to prove that you will leave the UK when you say you will, other than work or school, so that I could visit longer? My travel history didn't seem to help, but I don't understand how else to prove that you are a honest person. At the port, I explained to the UKBA officer that we did everything by the book, the law, in the US. So why wouldn't we do the same in the UK. Could a background check help?
A background check isn't going to have any impact. Perhaps you should consider meeting in another country or have your husband visit you in the US.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
While you may not think it's important, your immigration history is relevant and taken into consideration.

The only way to know is to apply for a visit visa in advance.
I know my immigration history is important and relevant, however, from reading the refusal letter the UKBA officer's decision was based purely on this incident. That is what is not fair. Also, the officer didn't consider that at Calais I was given the choice to stay for that period of time. The UKBA officer at Calais said that if I leave on the date stamped in my passport that I would be showing my genuine intention to leave at the end of my stay. That this action would prove that I am honest. And if you think about it I could have stayed in the UK and ignored the stamp, but I didn't. So it should count for something. As well as all my travel history to and from the UK. In the refusal letter they wrote, "I note that you have travelled and compiled as a visitor twice since marriage in 2011." I travelled before marriage when we were bf/gf and stayed in the UK for 3 months on my previous passport, which I submitted with my application. Shouldn't this count for something as well? Tell me if I'm wrong to think that this decision was biased and unfair, because not everything I submitted was considered.

Are you allowed to apply for another visitor visa, once it's been refused? Is there not a more direct way with dealing with a refusal? Like could I send in additional documentation? Is there also a way that I can report this unfair decision?
 

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There is no appeal process for a visit visa.

Look at it from their perspective. You came to the UK with a ticket to leave after 4 weeks but actually intended to stay for 6 months. They know your intention is to move to the UK. You applied for a 5 month visit visa with no strong ties to the US but a husband who has settled in the UK. You seem to have little if no reason to return to the US. It looks like you are trying to live in the UK on a tourist visa.

You can apply for another visitor visa. It would be best if you asked for a much shorter stay of 1-2 weeks and have a job or school to return to with documentation to prove it.
 

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I know my immigration history is important and relevant, however, from reading the refusal letter the UKBA officer's decision was based purely on this incident. That is what is not fair. Also, the officer didn't consider that at Calais I was given the choice to stay for that period of time. The UKBA officer at Calais said that if I leave on the date stamped in my passport that I would be showing my genuine intention to leave at the end of my stay. That this action would prove that I am honest. And if you think about it I could have stayed in the UK and ignored the stamp, but I didn't. So it should count for something. As well as all my travel history to and from the UK. In the refusal letter they wrote, "I note that you have travelled and compiled as a visitor twice since marriage in 2011." I travelled before marriage when we were bf/gf and stayed in the UK for 3 months on my previous passport, which I submitted with my application. Shouldn't this count for something as well? Tell me if I'm wrong to think that this decision was biased and unfair, because not everything I submitted was considered.
While it may feel unfair that this refusal was based on your previous experience with UKBA, it's all about the balance of probabilities for the officer. As you said, you currently have no ties to the US such as a job to return to, etc, so the officer clearly felt that they had the evidence required to refuse you. It's frustrating, I know, but whether it was unfair is really only up to UKBA to decide.

Are you allowed to apply for another visitor visa, once it's been refused? Is there not a more direct way with dealing with a refusal? Like could I send in additional documentation? Is there also a way that I can report this unfair decision?
As far as I know there is no right of appeal against a refusal of a tourist visa, so you cannot debate this decision.

You can apply again for a visitor visa, but I would insist that you address these previous refusals in a letter, taking responsibility for any mistakes that were made (even if you do not feel that it was your fault), and explain what evidence you are providing to backup your visit. Unless you can provide some concrete evidence of ties to the US (like your course in January, etc), there's a good chance you will be refused again, so be overly thorough with your documentation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Additionally, the decision letter cited Paragraph 41 (i)(ii) as reasons why I was refused.

"41. The requirements to be met by a person seeking leave to enter the United Kingdom as a general visitor are that he:

(i) is genuinely seeking entry as a general visitor for a limited period as stated by him, not exceeding 6 months or not exceeding 12 months in the case of a person seeking entry to accompany an academic visitor, provided in the latter case the visitor accompanying the academic visitor has entry clearance; and"
I am genuinely seeking entry for 5 months and that was stated in my application. As far as I can tell I meet that requirement. I have legitimate reason to stay for 5 months and I have more than sufficient accomodation and funds for my stay.

"(ii) intends to leave the United Kingdom at the end of the period of the visit as stated by him; and does not intend to live for extended periods in the United Kingdom through frequent or successive visits;"

I stated that I intended to leave. It does not say to provide proof of my intention, just that I state it. I also have travel history as proof that I always leave, because I understand I am there as a visitor not a resident. These rules are not being followed by the UKBA. It's frustrating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
There is no appeal process for a visit visa.

Look at it from their perspective. You came to the UK with a ticket to leave after 4 weeks but actually intended to stay for 6 months. They know your intention is to move to the UK. You applied for a 5 month visit visa with no strong ties to the US but a husband who has settled in the UK. You seem to have little if no reason to return to the US. It looks like you are trying to live in the UK on a tourist visa.

You can apply for another visitor visa. It would be best if you asked for a much shorter stay of 1-2 weeks and have a job or school to return to with documentation to prove it.
Thank you. Do you think that a letter of hire at a job that starts in January and proof of enrollment at college would suffice for a 2-3 week visit to the UK this December? Because I wouldn't have started either until January, they might think I forged them? Since it would be another attempt to visit the UK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
While it may feel unfair that this refusal was based on your previous experience with UKBA, it's all about the balance of probabilities for the officer. As you said, you currently have no ties to the US such as a job to return to, etc, so the officer clearly felt that they had the evidence required to refuse you. It's frustrating, I know, but whether it was unfair is really only up to UKBA to decide.
OK, but realistically there isn't a job or course you could have that would allow you to visit another country for 5 months. So, it's like impossible. It only seems vaguely possible to get a short stay.

As far as I know there is no right of appeal against a refusal of a tourist visa, so you cannot debate this decision.

You can apply again for a visitor visa, but I would insist that you address these previous refusals in a letter, taking responsibility for any mistakes that were made (even if you do not feel that it was your fault), and explain what evidence you are providing to backup your visit. Unless you can provide some concrete evidence of ties to the US (like your course in January, etc), there's a good chance you will be refused again, so be overly thorough with your documentation.
It was stated in the letter that I have no right to appeal. I was thinking more along the lines of writing an email or a letter of complaint.

Do you think that a letter of hire at a job that starts in January and proof of enrollment at college would suffice for a 2-3 week visit to the UK this December? Because I wouldn't have started either until January, they might think I forged them? Since it would be another attempt to visit the UK.
 

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OK, but realistically there isn't a job or course you could have that would allow you to visit another country for 5 months. So, it's like impossible. It only seems vaguely possible to get a short stay.
Exactly. And you're on their radar now.
It was stated in the letter that I have no right to appeal. I was thinking more along the lines of writing an email or a letter of complaint.
UK Border Agency | How to make a complaint


Do you think that a letter of hire at a job that starts in January and proof of enrollment at college would suffice for a 2-3 week visit to the UK this December? Because I wouldn't have started either until January, they might think I forged them? Since it would be another attempt to visit the UK.
The shorter the visit the better. It would probably be better if you had a job to return to rather than a new job.
 

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My overall take on your situation is that you just didn't sound creditable when seeking admission at Calais (at juxtaposed control) and when you applied for family visit visa. The rules allow immigration officer at the port of entry (Calais) and entry clearance officer (NYC) to decide on the balance of probabilities and in their own judgment, corroborated by a superior officer (senior immigration officer or entry clearance manager). If they decide you can't be trusted to depart UK within the leave granted, you will be denied admission and refused a visa. Fairness doesn't come into it. They have made a professional judgment and their decision is final. Non-EEA citizen doesn't have the right to enter UK - you must receive permission (called leave) from the immigration service.
I think after two refusals in succession, as suggested you should try to meet in a third country (such as France) or in US, until you are ready to apply for settlement visa. Then the game changes and while your previous visitor refusals will be taken into account, they can't be used as reason to refuse you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Exactly. And you're on their radar now.

UK Border Agency | How to make a complaint

The shorter the visit the better. It would probably be better if you had a job to return to rather than a new job.
Ok. That complaint thing is bogus because it refers you to WorldBridge USA. :( Even if I got a job tomorrow, I don't think they would let me take even a week off, because I would have just started. :( Thank you for your feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
My overall take on your situation is that you just didn't sound creditable when seeking admission at Calais (at juxtaposed control) and when you applied for family visit visa. The rules allow immigration officer at the port of entry (Calais) and entry clearance officer (NYC) to decide on the balance of probabilities and in their own judgment, corroborated by a superior officer (senior immigration officer or entry clearance manager). If they decide you can't be trusted to depart UK within the leave granted, you will be denied admission and refused a visa. Fairness doesn't come into it. They have made a professional judgment and their decision is final. Non-EEA citizen doesn't have the right to enter UK - you must receive permission (called leave) from the immigration service.
I think after two refusals in succession, as suggested you should try to meet in a third country (such as France) or in US, until you are ready to apply for settlement visa. Then the game changes and while your previous visitor refusals will be taken into account, they can't be used as reason to refuse you.
As a US citizen I do have the right to visit without a visa, but obviously not now. Because they know I want to eventually settle. You suggest a third country, and I recently found out about the Surinder Singh route. Do you think it would be advisable to go that route? I read that Ireland is a possible country for the Surinder Singh passage. I appreciate you saying that my refusal won't be held against me when I apply to settle. Thank you.
 

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You can try Surinder Singh route, but remember the extra costs involved for both of you to relocate to Ireland and difficulty of securing a job for your UK partner, as Ireland has even tougher job market than UK.
 

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As a US citizen I do have the right to visit without a visa, but obviously not now. Because they know I want to eventually settle. You suggest a third country, and I recently found out about the Surinder Singh route. Do you think it would be advisable to go that route? I read that Ireland is a possible country for the Surinder Singh passage. I appreciate you saying that my refusal won't be held against me when I apply to settle. Thank you.
In general a US citizen can visit the UK for 6 months in a year, but that's always at the discretion of the immigration officer. It's not your right.
 

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Hi there!

From what I read (hubby is a UK citizen, I am a US citizen, just submitted my application for spousal visa for UK) only your spouse can sponsor you. It's different from the US. For US, you can get anyone can sponsor you, i.e. my dad sponsored my husband since I did not meet the income requirements.
In terms of being denied the visa, definitely consult with a lawyer, but on the application, you can explain this, since if they check your travel history, this will flag up. It's hard to be apart (hubby and I did it for some time), but if he has a job that will provide the income to let you get the spousal visa, you just have to stay strong for 6 months, and do the application (make sure everything is included and organized), get expedited service, and you can put all this behind you!
Good luck to you! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You can try Surinder Singh route, but remember the extra costs involved for both of you to relocate to Ireland and difficulty of securing a job for your UK partner, as Ireland has even tougher job market than UK.
Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
In general a US citizen can visit the UK for 6 months in a year, but that's always at the discretion of the immigration officer. It's not your right.
I understand that it is at the discretion of the officer. I do have the right to visit though, especially when I have done nothing wrong or illegal, and I have family in the UK. I have never broken a law in my life. right (noun) - something that you are morally or legally allowed to do or have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi there!

From what I read (hubby is a UK citizen, I am a US citizen, just submitted my application for spousal visa for UK) only your spouse can sponsor you. It's different from the US. For US, you can get anyone can sponsor you, i.e. my dad sponsored my husband since I did not meet the income requirements.
In terms of being denied the visa, definitely consult with a lawyer, but on the application, you can explain this, since if they check your travel history, this will flag up. It's hard to be apart (hubby and I did it for some time), but if he has a job that will provide the income to let you get the spousal visa, you just have to stay strong for 6 months, and do the application (make sure everything is included and organized), get expedited service, and you can put all this behind you!
Good luck to you! :)
Thank you for sharing. Yes, my mother was able to cosponsor with me to meet the US spouse income requirements for my husband. I didn't think it would be so difficult to visit with my husband while he found work to meet the income requirements of the UK spouse visa. Obviously I was wrong, and I now know that I will have to wait out my time in the US, or possibly the Surinder Singh route.
 
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