UK Immigration Law
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I am an Australian Citizen and left school just last year. I am 18 years old. I have worked and saved to travel to the UK and Europe. My initial airline ticket was for 7 and half months,so I applied for an extended stay visa,because it was over the 6 months.( My eldest brother is living in London at the moment on a youth mobility visa. He is working.) My intention from the beginning is to stay with my brother for 2 weeks in London and then travel to Europe with one of my school friends. The extended stay Visa was declined. I called the UK consulate here in Sydney and they told me to change the airline ticket to under 6 months (which I have done) and reapply for the 6 months holiday visa. This has also been declined. Their basis was the assumption that I will be working and living in London. This has never at any time been my intention. How can I rectify this situation. It has cost me money to change my ticket and apply for the 2 visas. What can I do???? 5 months of my travel is in Europe and then back to London to stay with my brother and then return home which would be under the 6 months. Charles
Hi. Have you been given any right to appeal or request an administrative review?
They right of appeal is limited to the grounds referrred to in section 84(1)(c) of the Nationality and asylum act 2002. I don't understand what that means
That would usually refer to the decision not being in accordance with the rules. In other words, if the caseworker has made the correct decision based on the evidence supplied then a review should not be requested.
Clearly in your case this would appear to be a misunderstanding.
When you requested your visa did you make clear the EU travel that would be undertaken and the duration of your intended visits to the UK and was this evidenced?
This is the relevant section of the rules by the way so you can see the basis of an appeal: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/41/section/84 - you should also be able to request an Administrative Review - this is different to an appeal and is essentially asking another caseworker to look at the application again. When request the review you can make clear where you believe an error has been made and explain exactly the purpose of your travel.
Yes I did provide my itinerary,but I did not have airline tickets to prove that I would be going to Europe. How do I request an Administrative review? Can I request that here in Sydney Australia.?
If you can wait for a little bit I will locate some relevant information.
How long does an appeal and administrative review take? Bearing in mind that all applications for Australian citizens are processed in the Philipines. My passport took 5 weeks the first time and now 3 and half weeks the second time to arrive back here in Australia.
Applications are processed in Manila and unfortunately there is no consistent timescale (as you have seen) and no fast-track process. Many in your situation would have got a ticket for no more than 6 months and simply come here without a visa.
Unfortunately an appeal is going to take months - most people will make a new application if time is of the essence.
The simplest way of asking for reconsideration would be to email [email protected], with the subject line being 'FAO: Entry Clearance Officer - Australian Complaint'. You should outline the situation, giving plenty of detail and making clear what evidence might be available (if any). It would be worth pointing out that you could qualify for the YMS but did not apply precisely because you are not going to be working.
If I make a new application, will it be dealt with no predujice from the last 2 applications or am I wasting my time and money ?
A new application will be considered on it's own merit BUT if there is no additional evidence or information supplied then there is a strong chance that the previous refusal will influence the decision and that the result will be the same. A new application should therefore include a strong argument as to why the previous refusal was incorrect and make extremely clear what the purpose of the visa is.
Ok. I will email them today. How long does it take them to reply to an email?
If you email you must include your application reference number(s), visa type applied for, your full name and your date of birth.
They are usually quite good - you should receive a response within 24 to 72 hours (an auto response should give further information) - it might take them a couple of weeks or so to get a decision back to you though. If you can get some dialogue going then it will be a good sign - if you get the right person (relatively human) then you can be heard and it can influence the decision. Unfortunately you cannot get them on the telephone these days.
When are you due to come to the UK?
My ticket initially was 28th May,which I changed after the extended stay visa was refused and now it is 18th June,which I am very worried that now I will have to change again. I feel penalised because I tried in the beginning to do the right thing,because the ticket which my Dad booked for me was for 7 and half months and I had no idea that it would turn into this mess.
It is extremely unlucky. In future it is best to get advice first - most would have said to avoid the 7-month ticket and simply come here. It is extremely unfortunate that trying to do the right thing results in this type of situation but it is not unusual. The fact that you applied instead of simply coming here on Visa Waiver should have indicated something to the ECO and it is worth mentioning this in your request for a review. The concern of course is the lack of time available to you. Again, this should be mentioned in your request for a review - that there is little time available to you. It is worth remembering that you have not been banned from entering the UK - you do still have Visa Waiver available to you.
If you came to the UK without a visa you should still be allowed to enter - if you have a ticket already booked for a couple of weeks later to enter Europe then that should reassure anyone who might question you on entry.
I am concerned that I am marked and that if I turn up at Heathrow that I may be deported,because I have had a visa application declined twice
I forgot to mention that my ticket is now under the 6 months stay. Leave Sydney 18 June. travel to Europe. Back to london late October early November,then fly to Sydney 9th December.
There is always the possibility BUT it is unlikely. I would try to get the application reconsidered. If you are able to move the flights to give yourself a bit more time then you should do so. The alternative would be to submit another application IF you can supply other evidence to support the fact that you are not going to be working - show plenty of available funds, maybe a letter from your father if he is supplying funds with a bank statement from him - anything you can do to try and ensure that you are making the situation compelling. If all else fails then you do have the right to enter the UK but of course passport control can refuse entry to anyone they believe to be entering with the intention of working without permission to do so - they must have a reason for refusal of entry though. Having a ticket to enter Europe a couple of weeks later would be a fairly strong indication of the fact that you have no intention of working in the UK, along with bank statements, cash funds, etc, to show you can support yourself.
The ticket being under 6 months is good - over 6 months and they would refuse entry under Visa Waiver.
If I decide to come over to the UK without having the application reconsidered and not submitting another application ,would that look suspicious ? I just don't want to get into trouble. My Mum said that she could come with my little brother over with me for 2 weeks because it will be school holidays here. Would that help?
If you were entering as a family group then that would certainly help matters. I think that is would be quite unlikely that you would be singled out of a family group and refused entry in isolation and especially if you had evidence of the additional travel and available funds just in case you are asked. Don't forget that when physically entering the UK you are dealing face to face with a person and they are usually quite good at spotting genuine people and those who are trying it on.
The visa refusal was not a ban from entering the UK. You could simply say that you had been advised to have a ticket under 6 months (true) and that it then occurred to you that you can come under Visa Waiver as you are not in the UK for long and not working here either. All of this is of course true.
I am just worried that my passport is now .. how do I say this..? marked and that there would be a strong alert at passport control.
If I am refused entry . What does that mean for the future? Is there a ban on me?
I understand the concern. The fact is that you have not been banned from entry. Your initial application was because you were going to have a return ticket more than 6 months after entry - this would have resulted in refusal of entry to the UK under Visa Waiver. There is of course the chance that entry clearance might want to ask you questions about your entry that they might otherwise not ask. Your honest answers should satisfy them and this is even more likely if you have tickets to Europe and plenty of cash in your account and even more likely again if travelling with your family as your mother would be able to confirm the plans and the situation. It is perfectly reasonable to forget about a visa that is no longer required due to you reducing your travel to less than 6 months - you took advice about whether or not you actually need a visa when you will only be in the UK for a few weeks and will not be working and you were told that you do not need a visa, thus you realised that the second application was actually unnecessary and did not see the point in pursuing it. Again, the entry clearance officer will be very good at spotting people who are not being truthful and equally good at spotting the truthful person.
Bans are usually given to people who have supplied fake documents or lied on an application or been found to have been dishonest in attempts to enter the UK. I would not expect you to have any problems.
Again, it is important to keep in mind that you now realise that you do not actually need a visa due to travel being for less than 6 months, this having been changed based on the advice given by the High Commission. Having your family with you and available funds along with (ideally) tickets booked for Europe would make it highly unlikely that any entry clearance officer would believe all of this was an elaborate scam to allow you to work in the UK.
So just to re cap. I applied for extended stay visa REFUSED 16/4/2013. Telephone the Consulate. They told me to apply for a holiday visa . REFUSED 20/5/2013. Why was I told to apply for the holiday visa ?
I have no idea why they would tell you to do that. Was it VFS that told you this or the High Commission? If you had a return flight inside 6 months then there was no need whatsoever to get a visa - you CAN apply for one but you are not required to do so. They did get another application fee of course.
Should I provide character references with my bank balance ,cash and ticket travel to Europe?
The bank statement and cash and European travel ticket should all be available to support your plans. If your mother is not travelling with you and if your father is providing financial support then a letter from your father 'To Whom It May Concern' to confirm that you will be travelling through Europe and visiting your brother in the UK and that your father is providing financial support along with a bank statement in his name can be supplied. I would expect the available funds and travel tickets to be sufficient though.
If you are asked your purpose of entry then you can honestly state that you are visiting your brother and then travelling through Europe and your tickets will confirm this and your available funs will show that you do not need to work. It would be a very odd caseworker who then refused you entry.
If you are asked about the previous visa refusals (unlikely) then you can again honestly answer that you changed the duration of travel on the advice of the High Commission and then discovered that you actually didn't need to apply for a visa and so you didn't pursue what you felt was an incorrect decision, especially given the lack of time available.
The entry clearance officer is very likely to be convinced by this (if you are even grilled to this extent) and they are very good at spotting the difference between honest and dishonest people.
If you have sufficient time and can delay flights again then you can of course apply again with the additional evidence that we have discussed above and perhaps a letter from your father confirming your travel plans and apply for the visa again. This is your choice - I can only advise with regard to the rules and laws and also with regard to how things actually end up working and the probability of issues.
If it were me I would be inclined to simply come to the UK under Visa Waiver and be prepared with suitable evidence to address any concerns that an entry clearance officer might have. Even with the visa an entry clearance officer could ask to see evidence of available funds - too little in your account and entry could be refused due to concerns about you working regardless of you having been granted a visa. The final decision rests with entry clearance at Heathrow whether you have a visa or not.
Hope that clarifies things.
So you are saying that the passport control officer at Heathrow has the final decision over the visa processing officer in Manila,who has refused my applications?
Yes, entry clearance can always refuse entry. Obviously they are less likely to ask quite so many questions where you already have a visa as they might assume that a degree of due diligence has been undertaken by Manila but nonetheless the final decision does rest with the ECO at Heathrow. The usual scenario for concern might be where someone is visiting (no work) but has only a couple of hundred pounds available for their stay.
Thank you. I feel much better. You have clarified everything for me. Is there anything I haven't asked that I should know?
I think we have covered everything. Just remember when entering that you are not doing anything that you are not allowed to do - you have the luxury of being able to be completely honest and the ECO is going to pick up on that. Just make sure you have tickets and plenty of available funds (plus a letter and statement from your father if he is prepared to support you financially) so that if you are asked you can support your statements with evidence. A decision would be made on the balance of probability and a logical decision will be made.
Thank you very much for your help . I am very happy with your service.
Hi. I need to ask some further questions. I have been told here in Sydney,not to travel without reapplying for a holiday Visa,because I have been refused twice. I was thinking of maybe flying into Europe and then get the train from Paris to London,with all my documents in order. Bank Statement,letter of financial assistance from my mother (I already have saved AUD10,000.00 for my trip) and return flight back to a city in Europe . If I am refused entry at the Paris border ? what will happen to me and my passport. I am only 18 years old and have no experience and need advice. I really am too scared to fly into Heathrow,because I have been told that they will send me straight back to Sydney. BUt if I am refused in Paris,does that mean that I can stay in Paris and not be sent back to Australia?
I have not received a reply from my email to then only a generated response they will get back to mein 2 to 3 weeks.
There is a chance that they might look at it before you leave but in all probability they might not do so.
You could choose to delay entry and give them a chance to look into things and reconsider. The alternative is as you have outlined. If coming in from France by train I would not expect you to be refused entry given the evidence you have and the fact that the circumstances are different now (less than a 6-month ticket and evidence of short stay and available funds). You would simply need to explain things honestly.
If you were refused entry then you should be allowed to remain in France - it is up to the French authorities whether or not you remain in France and not up to the UK authorities. I would be inclined to follow your plan to come in from Paris and if they have an issue then stay there and maybe your brother can pop over the Paris to spend some time together.