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Senior Partner
Senior Partner, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 13326
Experience:  Solicitor
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My daughter (American) flew to London to spend a few months

Customer Question

My daughter (American) flew to London to spend a few months with her boyfriend, who is English and lives there with his family. Before going she applied for a longer-term visa but was denied. She planned to visit for a few months and leave in November. She is being denied entry and immigration has booked a return flight for her tomorrow. They believe that because her initial visa was denied and because she sold her car in the US to have the money for this trip that she is planning to stay. Does she have grounds to appeal this? What should she do?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Senior Partner replied 6 years ago.
I can understand why they would think that. The critical issue is to show good reason why she would leave at the end of her stay. Eg a job, her on home to go to. Was she able to demonstrate enough funds to stay for that period without working? As she has been refused entry , she can only exercise her right of appeal from outside the UK and appeal is pretty limited in these circumstances so it is pretty pointless. Her only hope is to try and persuade the immigration officer that she will leave but I do not know what evidence there is of that. Does she at least have a return ticket? Can you provide any evidence. Does she have her own home ot return to ? Does she have a job or a place at college to return to?
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
My daughter was put on a return flight the next day to the US. We can see now why she was denied entry, the previous visa denial (for a General Visitor-one year visa) flagged her when she arrived, she had brought her cat. They assumed she planned to stay. In the Border Control paperwork they felt her answers were not "genuine", and they did not bother to document any of the answers she gave in her 8 hours there: that she takes her cat with her everywhere, that she had a return ticket and intended to return, etc. Should she appeal this denial of entry, or is that setting her up for another negative on her record? She and her boyfriend are in a serious relationship and they now realize she should have initially applied for the Fiance' visa. They plan to seek legal advice in the UK. Along with my other questions, any advice on how to find someone good there in UK Immigration law?
Expert:  Senior Partner replied 6 years ago.
Sorry are you talking about a real pet cat? If so of course they would have refused her.You need to do a certain amount of preparation to bring an animal onto the uk otherwise it is subject to 6 months quarantine

she should have a right of appeal and se will have been notified of her right in the refusal document . PErsonally I would think it is a waste of time and will take along time before being heard . She is better off applying fro an entry clearance in advance so she does not get refused. Refusal does not prevent her from applying for a fiance visa. You will find the rules here

I cannot make a specific recommendation but use a firm of solicitors who are listed with an immigration specialisation if you want advice not one of the agencies
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes, it is a real cat, and my daughter had done all the preparation beforehand. The cat got in just fine and is there now with her boyfriend.

If I read you correctly, you are saying that an appeal of the entry denial would be pointless. Does it hurt her chances for the fiance' visa since she has been denied the general visitor visa, and also denied entry?
Expert:  Senior Partner replied 6 years ago.
Prior refusals should not be taken into account on a fiancee application. Yes I think an appeal would not be worth while. She previously applied to stay longer than 6 months. She had sold her car and She brought her pet cat on a visit which is itself a little unusual and whilst I dont know what she said to the immigration officer she apparently intends to have a permanent relationship with her boyfriend none of which suggest she had any intention of leaving at the end of 6 months. So their conclusion was reasonable!

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX your assessment.

Would it be helpful to have someone, (my daughter, or an attorney) include a cover letter with her fiance' visa application explaining her error in perhaps choosing the wrong visa to apply for initially. Or to address the entry denial at all? Is there anything she could say that would mitigate those black marks, or would that be drawing more attention to those errors of judgement?

Lastly, I concur with your advice to choose a firm of solicitors with an immigration specialty, but I didn't know what you meant by "not one of the agencies".

Thank you!
Expert:  Senior Partner replied 6 years ago.
sorry for some reason I did not get this through the system . I meant a visa agency of which there are lots but some are not reputable and if you use a solicitor at least you have recourse.

No I would not draw attention to the fact that she made the wrong applications . Just make sure she makes the correct one well. and ticks all the boxes
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you!
In the Fiancee Application there is a section where you have to put the case numbers and information about past denials of entry. Since she has two denials so far, we are wondering whether it might be a good idea to include a letter from a solicitor who is informed of their situation and past experiences explaining the reasoning for previous denials? or will this just create more unneccessary attention?

We don't want the immigration officer to deny the Fiancee Visa based on her immigration history and we have read that they do take that into account, so we are looking for the most advice as possible so she is not denied a third time, making it that much harder to get into the UK.
Expert:  Senior Partner replied 6 years ago.
Yes you have to disclose previously refused applications. I cannot see that getting an explanation from a solicitor is any better that a personal explanation. I can see benefit in getting an immigration solicitor to review the application. UKBA is manly concerned a) to see if the requirements rules are met in principal ; and b) that they can rely on what the applicant says. given your Daughters history they will be particularly concerned to ensure the relationship is genuine and they genuinely intend to get married.