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Discussion Starter #1
We sent in a year's worth of bank statements plus many other documents, including my husband's 1099 form for tax yr 2014, showing how much he earned, which is more than the requirement. We live in the US. He is self-employed and we didn't show exactly where on the bank statements that his checks were deposited, but can do that now. (We hadn't completed our 2014 taxes yet; now we have and can send that). We did show where some rental income had been deposited.

I don't understand how we can show "evidence of a property to stay in" when we're not there yet. We stayed with my husband's parents for a few months last yr to try out living in the UK. We'd like to stay with them for a few weeks while flat-hunting, but it's my understanding that we can't stay with family because we have to show that we're self-sufficient; is that correct? We may be able to arrange a flat (paying deposit & 1st month's rent from here in the US with difficulty). We have certainly never used public funds and are receiving $1350 a month in rental income from our USA house, which will cover UK rent (as we own our home completely and have no mortgage... which we explained in our application and included the lease agreement for our house). Please help! I want to appeal ASAP. Their letter says:
 

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It would probably be best if you started a new thread. I don't know about proving self-employment, so I can't help you with that, but I sounds like you didn't provide enough proof.

It's fine to stay with family, but did you provide proof of the accommodation? You'd need a letter of invitation, proof they own the home such as land registry and their council tax bill to prove they live there. You'd also need a housing inspection report to prove the home won't be overcrowded, always needed in shared housing.
 

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For self employment they need substantial evidence including your tax return to evidence it was actually taxed income. Looks like you applied too early if you didnt have it.

You also must evidence suitable accommodation. Staying with family is fine but you must give evidence that they allow it (invite) that they can invite you (their deeds) that it is suitable (proprty inspection).
 

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Where is the all the info on staying with family? I have never seen it. My appeal has to arrive back to them within 25 days. I doubt that'd be enough time to arrange an inspection at my in-law's. How much do they charge for the inspection? What are the requirements exactly, of the home size/rooms? It would be temporary anyway! ...for just a month or so til we find our own place! (Then would we have to resubmit once we've found our own place??) I've been looking online at rental listings but it's hard to arrange our own place without being in the UK.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
(PART 2) We thought staying with family was prohibited, because they want to see that we're self-sufficient. We even thought that renting from family would raise a red flag, because how would the gov. know that we're truly paying rent?

On our last visit (for several months), we also stayed in a friend's house where he has 3 rooms for lodgers. We used 2 rooms (because we have 2 children). If we rented there again, we could pay the deposit, monthly fee and show a lease... would that suffice? But then what about when we move to our own place?
 

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You can only appeal based on information and documents that were available at the time you applied. Since you didn't have accommodation set up when you applied that information will not be taken not consideration nor will current tax returns. Your best option will be to reapply when you have everything that you need.
 

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Where is the all the info on staying with family? I have never seen it. My appeal has to arrive back to them within 25 days. I doubt that'd be enough time to arrange an inspection at my in-law's. How much do they charge for the inspection? What are the requirements exactly, of the home size/rooms? It would be temporary anyway! ...for just a month or so til we find our own place! (Then would we have to resubmit once we've found our own place??) I've been looking online at rental listings but it's hard to arrange our own place without being in the UK.
From the application guidelines document:

Accommodation details

You may wish to submit any of the following documents to provide us with evidence of your accommodation. We advise that you do not make any payments for accommodation, travel and so on until you have received your visa.

Details of the accommodation that you
and your sponsor intend to live in and
permission for you to stay there along
with evidence of any other occupants

This could include:
- Land Registry documents
- mortgage statements
- rent book or tenancy agreement
- council tax statements
- property inspection report
- utilities bills
- accommodation details with a supporting letter from the occupant/ landlord
confirming that you are able to stay there
I can't tell from your posts if your husband lives in the UK already and you are trying to come over, or if you're coming over together, but either way. They don't tell you exactly what you must supply because every situation is unique. You don't HAVE to have your own house/flat that you own/pay rent on - it can be living with family, friends, whomever, so long as those people provide the required documents to say you can stay there and that it's adequate (ie not you and your husband and 3 other people all living in a 1 bd flat).

That said, even if you are planning to live with your in-laws for only a month or two while you find your own place, that's completely fine. You just have to show you have a place to go that's suitable when you arrive in the UK. Even if your intention was to move within 2 weeks, that wouldn't matter. You just need to provide what they have asked for.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What? Pay $1500 again!? Can't we just send in the additional tax return of 2014? Everything that we sent in (i.e. 1099) was used on our tax return. There was no place on the form indicating accommodation except "Where will you live?" and I answered "I will rent a 2-bedroom apt. in Kent" - - This is a catch-22. How can I find the apt. from overseas? If I hurry and pay for my own place and submit evidence, but then get refused again, then I will have lost a lot of money to a potential landlord.

"The accommodation that I had set up when I applied" (you wrote above) was that we'd temporarily stay with family (or the same friend as before).... I didn't see anywhere on the form asking for their address or details!

I can't pay for a new application. It sounds like you only get ONE chance to get it right? When they don't even ask for an invitation, deeds and inspection on the form, how am I supposed to know that's required? (and whether it's for long-term stay or just short-term?) We are also considering living in Ireland instead to establish residency and go to UK from there. It may be easier than this process!

I will attach a photo of the part of the refusal letter that says I CAN provide supporting documents. Please advise again. It says "If you decide to appeal against the refusal of this application, the decision will be reviewed with your grounds of appeal and the supporting documents you provide. You are strongly advised to complete all sections of the form and submit all relevant documents with your Notice of Appeal, as it may be possible to resolve the points at issue without an appeal hearing."
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Chiefteaofficer, thanks; my husband is in the US with me and our kids. We're moving together. If he were already there, staying with parents for example, or friend (as before), then he could easily locate an apt. for us and even move in on his own before I get there.
 

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If any of the dates on the documents you missed are after applied you cant use them in an appeal. You can only use evidence that was available to prove you meet the requirements at the time of applying. Yes it means paying again because that is the law.
 

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For your appeal you can only provide supporting documents that existed at the time of online application. Nothing after that date will be considered. If you have new tax returns and new information regarding accommodation you can use those for a fresh application.
 

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I'm not even suggesting she appeal or anything, just letting her know how long an appeal can take! It's another issue if she gets to the appeal and doesn't win because the documents are no good...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Wonder why it'd take a year, when they're asking the info in such a hurry (they need to receive it within 28 days of their request) ??
 

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They need the info quickly because they do sometimes overturn their decision without going to appeals court once you supply new evidence for your application. In this case that won't happen, at a MINIMUM because you did not supply accommodation evidence, and it sounds like in addition you didn't supply the full financial information either (and as stated, this year's tax return won't be valid as it's after your application date).

But just take a look at other people's appeals in the forum. Most people get their court date in about a year's time. I think UKVI is hoping people will drop the appeal and give up on it. It costs them money/time/resources to process appeals so they don't want people to appeal, of course, even if they know they are going to win. That's one reason why it takes so long. Another reason is that MOST legal things take ages. Just normal when it comes to getting paperwork through courts and getting court dates for anything. There are queues of people waiting for appeals at any given time and you're just #xxxx in line.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Chiefteaofficer, thanks... have you read the last line of their letter to me? It says, "...it may be possible to resolve the points at issue without an appeal hearing." And even if there was a hearing, would I have to go to court in England? Then come back to the US? And re-enter with the Spouse Visa? It's crazy. Maybe those appeals take a long time because of hearings. I saw where you can choose between submitting a paper appeal "to be determined on the papers" (costing 80 pounds), or a court appeal "to be determined at an Oral Hearing" (costing 140 pounds)... I would select the papers.

Nyclon, also thanks.... as for the supporting documents previously submitted, true, I didn't submit the actual 2014 tax return, but ALL my paperwork for that was submitted. (as well as the complete 2013 return, and they only ask for ONE tax return anyway!) My husband was waiting on a 1099 from a client, but it turns out that they don't send them.

When I think about a new application, I practically have an anxiety attack. I feel like if it got denied already, I could get refused again! I'd rather 'fix' the existing application. I wish I could be interviewed in person, they would see all the evidence clearly.
 

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You can't "fix" the fact that you did not meet the accommodation requirement. You can only appeal based on documents and facts that were in existence at the time of your online application. Your best option is to reapply once you have met all the requirements.

What financial category or category did you apply under?
 
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