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Howard, Immigration Lawyer
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 459
Experience:  Senior Partner with nearly 20 years experience in UK Immigration Law.
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Hi,Male friend of mine, UK citizen, suffers from epilepsy.

Resolved Question:

Hi, Male friend of mine, UK citizen, suffers from epilepsy. Girlfriend is US citizen but has now been living and caring for him for over two years solid. Although she has been in the UK for nearly four years, she could not claim two years partnership when she applied for Leave to Remain in April 2012 (she had been back to the USA for a couple of months without realising the implications). Leave to Remain was therefore sought on health grounds because she is needed as a full time carer that NHS cannot easily supply. Leave to Remain has been refused because, it seems, the letter supporting the need for care was from her partner's lowly GP and not his super-respected specialist NHS consultant. No prior advice that GP letter did not carry enough weight. Easily rectifiable with correct consultant's letter, but "no right to appeal", so what to do?

She has now been my friend's constant partner for over two years, in line with Appendix FM, and the healthcare that she provides is as necessary as ever. As this all seems to hang on not providing a letter from the consultant, just from the GP. a point blank refusal seems harsh.

She must now report to Immigration enforcement officers. What is the next thing to do to obtain Leave to Remain?

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Howard replied 2 years ago.
Why did being outside the UK for a couple of months prevent an application? I do not see just a couple of months as being a particular impediment.

When was the most recent application submitted, when was it refused and has her current visa expired.

What is her current visa status and her visa history in the UK?

Has the refusal indicated that she is required to leave the UK?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Howard,

Thanks for dealing with this.


When applying for L2R in March 2012 she believed that she had queered her pitch by going back to the States. She may well have misinterpreted the requirements, and been badly advised somewhere. They figured the care provision argument was strong enough.


Has been in UK on expired visitors stamp with permission to remain while case considered.

Here is a copy of the rejection attached:


Letter From Home Office.pdf



Expert:  Howard replied 2 years ago.
Please try to upload the document again as you have just uploaded an image. You should ensure that any document uploaded does not contain personal information.

Based on what you have said thus far I would not have expected the application to be approved. Are you saying she has been here over 2 years on visa waiver (6 month visitor visa)?

I will wait to see the letter before advising further.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Howard,


I now have all the details.


(These guys are childhood sweethearts reunited - he works for me - I want to help)


She arrived UK July 2010 (6 month tourist)

Denmark December 2010 four weeks

reenters UK Jan 2011 gets another 6 month tourist entry

June 2011 goes Texas

reenters UK September 2011 (told last time with tourist stamp - must apply for visa next time)


So she applies for R2L in March 2012, just as visa is expiring. I now see that she had not been living with partner for two years in UK, (sorry about the confusion there Howard - if I owe you a tad more for dealing with a red-herring then let me know) so applied on grounds that she offers care when boyfriend has a fit.

She was advised it would take six weeks but took year an half, during which time she was allowed to remain.


Here a PDF scan of the HO letter: I hope that you can view it this's kinda relevant. Thanks.

Attachment: Letter%20From%20Home%20Office.pdf




Expert:  Howard replied 2 years ago.
Sorry but that has not been done correctly. You need to create the link text (just a word will do), highlight it, choose to insert a link and then upload a document through the options given.

If they can prove that they have been living together for at least 2 years and if they can meet the requirements then I would have thought that a Spouse visa application would be most suitable but she must apply from outside the UK. Whilst overstaying and having breached terms of her visitor visa would count against her it is usually the case that family visas are the most likely to ignore these issues.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes the Spouse visa would probably work now.


But the application was for exceptional circumstances - caring for his epilepsy.

It seems to have been rejected because "You have failed to provide a letter from a registered medical practitioner who holds an NHS consultant post, therefore we are not satisfied that you need to remain in the UK to provide care for your boyfriend. Without sufficient evidence etc. etc.... "

The point is that the boyfriend had no reason to believe that his GP was not a sufficient witness so just sent a letter from him. He could easily have obtained confirmation from his consultant, had he known.


So is there no way that this decision can be reconsidered? The consultant is happy to write.

It seems unfairly harsh not to be able to say "hang on, I can provide proof from my consultant.....why didn't you say my GP was not good enough?"


The alternative of having to leave the country etc. may well work but it will be most disruptive.


For your money and good ratings from a satisfied customer (except for the system itself and the attachment problems) I ask: is there anyway that this decision can be challenged, or can it only now proceed with new applications from outside of the UK?


This whole consultation with you would have worked a lot better had it been easier to attach the document. I've seen it attached my end so no idea why you did not get it.


Thanks......a brief reply please, and we are done.


Expert:  Howard replied 2 years ago.
I have no idea why there was an issue uploading the document but you will appreciate that I am not a part of the Company who operate this site - I simply provide advice and have no control over how well the system works on a technical basis and thus I would hope you will note rate the service I provide based on how you find the system.

I am not particularly convinced that a letter from a NHS Consultant would have helped. They can reject on this basis and then still reject when a letter is from a suitable person. In the same way they could reject a document based on it not being on letterhead, you get it reproduced on letterhead and they then reject based on content. It might sound odd but it can easily happen.

The point is that the reasons you have outlined (epilepsy) would not seem a particularly strong reason for the application to be approved exceptionally when there remains the option of a Spouse visa from outside the UK and this could be done within a couple of weeks or so in the US using a priority service.

In my professional opinion the best option is to get a Spouse visa application correctly prepared and then submit from the US using a priority service. This is likely to be the quickest option and will also get her on the right path.
Howard, Immigration Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 459
Experience: Senior Partner with nearly 20 years experience in UK Immigration Law.
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