You say the Father is not known, but go on to say he is named on the Birth Certificate. Which is it?Hey all,
So my wife and step daughters application has been in since early June, and yesterday we got the dreaded "not been straight forward so taking longer than time scales" email. Which I was kind of expecting anyway.
However ten minutes later they sent an email requesting documents and this is where the potential problem lies. Bit of back ground - my step daughter does not know her father, they have no contact, no idea where he is and has been absent from her upbringing her entire life. Before the application we had a consultation and as per the gov website, we were told that we would need to prove my wife has "sole responsibility" of her, her upbringing and everything else. We applied on this basis. There are no legal papers, no custody order, nothing. We cannot get hold of him and he has shown no interest at all in her involvement.
During our consultation, we were told my wife would have to prove her sole responsibility. Which we did by way of letters from doctors, her nursery school, family members, receipts for payments she has made to provide for her daughter, evidence they live together and all that good stuff. From reading online and on other forums this is what others had done and been successful. The father is named on my daughters birth certificate and that is all he has done since a month after she was born.
Anyway I digress, the ECO has requested 'legal documents to show custody' and a 'signed consent letter from the father along with a photo of him holding it'. Which seems ridiculous, if my wife has sole responsibility why would she need consent. By needing consent doesn't this dictate you don't have sole responsibility?
I have never ever heard of this bending required or asked for before. As per how we applied, there are no legal documents, and we explained and provided the evidence of sole responsibility. How can we prove there are no legal papers or custody, when there just isn't any documents to provide? The email did say if we did not provide this the application would be assessed as is.
We were thinking of responding, reiterating our stance on how the application was submitted, how she has sole responsibility, the father is unknown and can't be contacted etc. As the gov website guidance does detail about 'sole responsibility' and there are varying case studies online where this has been enough. Should we do this? Quote the legal legislations and case studies? Basically, how screwed are we?
Also what's the likelihood of my wife's visa getting approved, but not my step daughters? Panic mode over here!
Thanks in advance, we have 7 days to respond. This whole process has been so stressful.
Whatever the answer, your wife should have obtained a Court Order which gives her Custody of her daughter. Depending on the Country the Order should allow the Child to move Abroad. Now that could well create a difficulty as the Father does have a say and should the Daughter be removed from the Country of Birth and her Fathers', a Legal Battle could ensue. This is the reason why ECO wants the Legal Documents giving Custody to your Wife.
Where are they living now?