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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7617
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Dear Sir / Madam, My fiancee was travelling to the UK on an

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Dear Sir / Madam,
My fiancee was travelling to the UK on an approved 6 month general visitor / holiday visa. Upon arriving in the UK on the 30th December she was detained and subsequently deported back to South Africa because the Immigration Officer didn't believe that she would leave the country on the 4th May on her booked return flight. Although she had travelled to the UK twice previously with work and then left. We are appealing as we speak because we had supplied far in excess of the information required and to be honest had supplied information to the level required of a marriage / fiancee visa to justify the 4 month stay. I have also written formal compliants to various government bodies as I find this appauling and the way in which she was treated. We are now planning to get married in SA and then apply for a marriage visa. As she has been refused entry into the UK under a holiday visa will this affect our marriage visa application? Can the UK Immigration stop a man and wife from being together?. We meet all the criteria, home owner, British citizen, high rate tax payer, no criminal records, can prove that we have been in a relationship for nearly 12 months. What do you think?


Thanks for your question.

The Entry Clearance Officers retain a discretionary right to refuse entry to a person they suspect might overstay, they have to as a matter of public policy I’m afraid. It does strike me as excessive on the facts for them to refuse entry if she had already been granted a visitor’s visa.

In any event a refusal of entry is not a sufficient reason to refuse and application for settlement (ie. spouse visa). Even overstays are not a sufficient reasons for refusal under Immigration Rule 320 provided the UKBA are otherwise convinced that the marriage itself is genuine.

Married couple can avail themselves of their Article 8 (Human) Right to a Family and Private life which is a useful argument, but is more persuasive the longer the couple have been together.

That said, provided you meet the eligibility criteria for settlement and provide the necessary documentary evidence to prove this then you will be fine provided it is laid out in a organised and cogent way. She has not committed a breach of the immigration rules on the facts as you communicated them to me. Because of the relatively short length of the relationship you will have to provide documentation proving that the relationship is genuine, so things like correspondence (eg historic emails between you) and photographs. You should also execute a statement explaining the relationship and it’s relatively short chronology.

The best thing you is to instruct a solicitor to prepare the settlement application on your behalf. They will advise you of your eligibility and prepare an application/covering letter with the supporting documentation in a way that the ECO prefer and thus make the application easier to determine and facilitate the expedient grant of a visa to your wife.

It should cost around £1000-1500+vat for their fees for this.
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Kind regards,

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