Dear UK lawyer,
Hope this finds you well.
I attended an interview at the British Embassy yesterday and I was made uncomfortable by one of the questions the interviewer asked.
I expected to be quizzed about the contents of my witness statement and to confirm that our relationship is genuine etc but none of the questions I expected came up, instead emphasis was placed on a previous arrest. Result: NFA.
Me and my sponsor meet all the criteria for a fiance visa in terms of eligibility, supporting docs etc, but we didn't declare this crucial info about an altercation which occurred between us, last Autumn, which led to an arrest, but my sponsor dropped the charges later, early this year. Neither of us informed our lawyer about this, as we were saving face, also we did not think it would hold any merit to this application, as the case never even reached the CPS nor the courts.
So the interviewer prompted the following question to me:
'have you ever been arrested', I was almost speechless as I never expected the UKBA to have news of my arrest, if I never got charged etc, so I denied it twice, then at third instance, the interviewer stated that the UKBA have information to prove otherwise, that I was arrested, then I said, if you were referring to the incident in which I didn't get charged, then yes, I handed myself over to the authorities last October and was released on bail the next day, then the case and charges were dropped and the result was: NFA. I also said, that I didn't think the UKBA would take account of arrests which didn't result in charges, his reply was, I should have stated 'yes' at the first instance. I was truly gutted. I didn't use deception, it was an innocent mistake. I should have informed my lawyer, but was too embarrassed. The interviewer also asked me for the nature of the suspected offence, I said domestic violence. Does GBH fall under the same category? (Domestic Violence) The incident did take place on the premises of my flat, at the time.
The other questions which the interviewer asked me was to confirm my name, date of birth and whether I have been married before, which are all straight forward.
I regret not asking him to clarify that question relating to the arrest. I was confused and it was an naive response on my behalf.
I mean given the fact that I meet all the other criteria for a UK fiance entry clearance, would not declaring this fact re my arrest likely to outweigh everything else? I am really frightened.
Why does this matter so much when my sponsor forgave me and is now sponsoring my application for entry clearance as a fiance and wants to get married to me? I admit that I should have declared this info in my witness statement.
My sponsor told me that when he spoke to the DC who dealt with the matter that if he chooses to drop charges, then I could be allowed in to the UK, yet this matter is still pending 6 months later?!
So could you advise me on the likely outcome please? The interviewer mentioned that they will investigate further on the info I've given him and that my visa application is still in process. Would I have a strong case if the my application was to be refused and I would then appeal?
If my application was refused on the basis of not providing this information relating to a previous, would I have been informed of it at the Embassy, there and then? Or they would have to investigate the matter further? I mean, they wouldn't hesitate to inform me that my case was unsuccessful at the Embassy, am I correct in saying that? But what normally happens after a decision has been made is that I will be prompted to collect my documents from the visa application centre rather from the Embassy itself, so perhaps they wouldn't tell me the outcome at the Embassy after all.
Thanks for your inputs in advance.