A Y & J Helps Client to Overturn Visit Visa Refusal
Ms A had applied for a five-year Visit Visa which was unreasonably refused on the basis that she did not demonstrate that she had a genuine intention to visit the UK and that she would return to her country of residence at the end of her visit. Her application was refused under Paragraphs V4.2(a) and (c) of the Immigration Rules.
Ms A had been visiting the UK since 2005 and had never breached any conditions attached to her visas or ever overstayed beyond the prescribed limits of her visas.
Ms A had been living outside her country of residence of Pakistan and was on a Student Visa in Australia. It was our view that the decision was unlawful or not in compliance with the Home Office’s own guidance as there was no evidence to suggest that she would not return to Australia at the end of her visit.
What Did A Y & J Solicitors Do?
Establishing a history of strict compliance
We first spoke to Ms A about her immigration history and clarified how many times she had visited the UK in her life. We then used the information provided and argued that the Respondent failed to take into account Ms A’s extensive compliant immigration history consisting of various visas from USA, Australia and the UK.
Ms A had been travelling to the UK having previously been granted visas. She had also been granted a spouse visa in the UK, being the spouse of a British citizen. However, the relationship broke down, and Ms A left the UK prior to the expiry of her visa. These were clear indications of Ms A’s character and her strict compliance with her visas. We placed emphasis on the fact that Ms A had been a frequent traveller to the UK since 2005. Throughout this time, she had never breached any conditions attached to her visas or ever overstayed beyond the prescribed limits of her visas.
Reviewing the Immigration Rules for a genuine applicant
In this case, according to the guidance and the Immigration Rules, Ms A was indeed a genuine visitor. Not living in her own country of nationality and being financially supported by a third party did not suggest she would transgress the conditions attached to her visit visa and it neither suggested she does not have a genuine intention to visit.
We successfully argued that the Entry-Clearance Officer did not consider the Applicant’s circumstances reasonably as she had previously and simultaneously been granted visit visas in the UK and her circumstances were not materially different at the time she applied for the visit visa. Therefore, the merits of her case remained the same, and there was no reasonable ground for the Entry-Clearance Officer to suggest that she was not a genuine visitor.
On this basis, we submitted a Pre-Action Protocol against the refusal decision of the Applicant’s Visit Visa.
Result: The Refusal Was Successfully Overturned
After 10 days of submitting the Pre-Action Protocol, we received a decision confirming that the decision had been overturned.
A Y & J Solicitors Helps Client Obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain Based on Long Residence
Mr A entered the United Kingdom in 2009, being granted leave to remain as a student, and later securing an extension of his leave as a student until 2015. Mr A then applied for leave as a dependant of a Tier 4 Student, valid until 30 April 2017. Subsequently, he was granted Leave to Remain as a Dependent of a Tier 2 Migrant (his wife being the Sponsor) valid until May 2020.
Mr A approached A Y & J to assist with an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
How A Y & J Solicitors helped Mr A receive Indefinite Leave to Remain
Reviewing the case
On reviewing his case, we were satisfied that all of Mr A’s prior applications had been made in-time and that there were no breaks in his continuous lawful residence in the UK for the past 10 years.
We advised Mr A that he was able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain 28 days before the qualifying date of him reaching 10 years lawful continuous residence. Mr A informed us that the relationship between him and his wife had broken down irretrievably. We advised him that as he was applying for ILR in his own right, having completed 10 years continuous lawful residence, this would not be a factor in his application.
Preparing the application and accompanying evidence
Based on the initial consultation, we agreed to prepare Mr A’s application form, including reviewing his supporting evidence and requested further evidence in support of his application. We also prepared detailed legal representations on behalf of Mr A, which were submitted along with his application.
We advised Mr A that as a part of the long residence requirements, he was required to satisfy the English language requirement and complete the life in the UK Test. He was advised that he could prove his knowledge of English either by having a recognised English language test from an approved test centre or by having a degree that was taught or researched in English. Mr A provided us with his master’s degree Certificate and life in the UK test.
Satisfying the time in the UK and character requirements
One of the key checks we undertook was to review Mr A’s travel history over the last 10 years to ascertain his absences, to ensure he meets the requirements. We informed him that he should not have been away from the UK for more than 540 days over a period of 10 years or more than 6 months at any one time. We also informed him that there should not be any concerns regarding his character and that he should be free from any criminal or civil convictions in the UK or abroad. From the information Mr A had provided us, and by checking the travel stamps within his passports, we were satisfied that he had not been outside of the UK for more than 540 days within the 10 year period and had not spent more than 6 months outside of the UK at any one time.
The application processes
We also informed Mr A that whilst his application for Indefinite Leave to Remain was pending, he should not leave the UK until he had received a decision on his application. We informed him that if he was to travel outside the “Common Travel Area” (CTA) before the decision was made on his application, the application would be treated as withdrawn.
Mr A opted for Super Priority Service, where a decision on his application would be made within 24 hours. Once the application had been submitted by us, we uploaded Mr A’s supporting evidence and documentation onto the UKVCAS website. Mr A then attended the appointment which we had arranged on his behalf at the Visa Application Centre.
The Result: Our client was granted ILR the same day
Only a few hours later after his appointment, Mr A was notified that his application had been successful and Indefinite Leave to Remain had been granted. Less than a week later, Mr A received his Biometric Residence Permit.
A Y & J Solicitors Help a Family With a Prior Refusal And a Turbulent Financial History to Achieve Settlement in The UK Under The Ankara Agreement
Mr D, was a Turkish national residing in the UK as a self-employed businessperson under the “Ankara Agreement” in place with Turkey, along with his family members. The Rules permitted Mr D to reside and do business in the UK and, promised settlement after four years at that time.
In May 2018, upon completing four years of continuous residence, they left the matter with their previous representatives to prepare and submit an Indefinite Leave to Remain application on their behalf. However, upon receiving their decision letter from the Home Office, they came to know that instead of receiving settlement – they had been granted further leave to remain in the UK. It transpired that they were affected by the Rule change implemented on 06th July 2018, which then required applicants under the ECAA Rules to complete five years of continuous residence. It was evident that there was a lack of advice and action causing this outcome for the family.
A year later, Mr D approached A Y & J Solicitors ahead of reaching the required five years. Mr D was nervous with regards to the prospects for his settlement application and wished to have advice on his situation. Mr D did not trust his previous solicitor, which understandably caused him to be more cautious and nervous with regards to his prospects for settlement in the UK. Mr D had a consultation with a Senior Caseworker in the office, who took the time to understand his situation in detail and most importantly, his worries and concerns moving forward with an application.
Mr D previously ran a successful business in Turkey, at that time holding a large contract with one client, before moving his business to the UK. His business in the UK was operating well with a healthy profit margin. However, there were three issues raised;
- The previous client of his filed a civil matter against him in Turkey, and the matter was ongoing. That client withheld payment on services rendered by Mr D causing financial strain;
- Mr D came to know that in the prior settlement application, his previous solicitor erred on the application form and did not declare the civil matter to the Home Office;
- Additionally, the basis of the civil matter and the withholding of payments meant that Mr D was facing lots of debts and financial difficulties back in Turkey
How Did A Y & J Solicitors Tackle the Application?
Foremostly, we assisted Mr D in transferring his file of papers from the previous solicitors, so he did not have to deal with them personally again. We took the time to review the documentation in the file, to understand the immigration history and the family’s circumstances in detail. This enabled us to request only the advisable outstanding evidence and make the process much more efficient for the family.
Overall, our approach encompassed honesty and compassion, and we presented the case transparently to the Home Office. Through our advice, the family were able to clear all debts in Turkey, ahead of the application. We suggested their lawyer in Turkey issue a letter on their behalf, to outline the factual matters of the civil judgement and the prospects for our client’s success. We drafted a detailed legal representation letter as submitted with the application which gave context to their circumstances and put forward a comprehensive legal argument, disclosing the previous misrepresentation. Throughout the process we endeavoured to give guidance and reassurance when needed, to minimise stress and worry for the family.
Finally, we were able to inform them that their applications were successful, and they had, after such a journey, received their settlement in the UK. This meant their future was secure, and they could now concentrate on moving forward as a family and building the business in the UK with full peace of mind.
A Y & J Solicitors Assist An Established Oil And Gas Exploration And Production Company In South America With Their Global Expansion To The UK
We were approached by the manager of Company ‘A’, a Colombian based O & G company. The trajectory was clear, a UK office was vital to the growth of the company, and London, being the main centre for oil business in Europe, was a perfect location for the expansion.
Mr C attended our London office during a visit to the UK and met with a senior caseworker at the firm. During the consultation, we took advice on the financial position of that company, Mr C’s role in the company and its plans for the UK. The company had secured provisional contracts in the UK, and the next step was to achieve direct access to the UK market. Upon consideration of the circumstances, the sole representative visa was the most suitable route to achieve the companies aim.
The UK market was saturated with companies looking for their expertise and appointing a sole representative to lead the UK expansion from their head office, with the knowledge and language skills to build the bridge between the UK and Colombia was the solution.
Securing the Visa
We provided a service tailored to Company A, detailing the documentary requirements and providing clear and comprehensive templates that were straightforward to follow and minimised the work of the applicant.
Company A presented a brief business plan, along with their documentation and drafts to review. Following the guidance of a subject expert, the documents were scrutinised, and we were able to advise on specific areas of weakness in the application.
The Centre of Operations test
The company must show that it intends to retain its centre of operations abroad to meet the Rules. For the parent company to satisfy this requirement, it must show that it does not intend to effectively cease trading outside the UK. This can be inferred if for instance in a small company, there are few employees and the success of the company is linked to the applicant’s experience and expertise.
Company A was a relatively small company, with four other employees under the applicant, half of which were administrative. We ensured the business plan addressed this in detail and concentrated on the role of the parent company as significant to the success of the provisional UK entity. We further included evidence of a recruited individual to take over the position following the applicant’s relocation.
Inferred Control of the Company – Majority Shareholding
The sole representative must have held a senior position in the company and the Rules eliminate a majority shareholder from being appointed. Hence, while the representative cannot hold 50% or more of the shareholding of the company and must not have overall control of the company. Whilst the Immigration Rules are silent on this matter, the Home Office may find inferred control by the applicant whereby the remaining shares are held for example by one or more family members, whether that be a spouse or close relatives.
In this case, the majority shareholding was held by Mr C’s sister. Transparency was key, and we submitted a detailed legal representation letter addressing this, together with additional evidence towards the genuineness.
We assisted Mr C in the re-drafting of his business plan and gave constructive advice on the areas he should be concentrating, and the. We assisted with the online submission process and ensured Mr C was fully prepared for his appointment, assigning a clear instruction file. A Y & J Solicitors drafted submissions to the Home Office in the form of a representation letter putting forward a clear argument as to why Mr C qualifies for Entry Clearance as a sole representative.
While the Home Office did not revert within the timeframe, we chased this matter, and within a few weeks our client had his decision. The application was successful, and the company could proceed with its expansion to the UK. Very good news for Mr C and his company and it was a pleasure to assist them in achieving their goals.
Affected By Paragraph 39E – Break-In Continuous Lawful Residence, Settlement Application Refused – Affected By Paragraph 39E
Mr. A, an Indian national, arrived in the UK in 2009 as a Tier 4 General Student. Before the expiry of his leave, Mr. A extended his leave to remain as a Tier 4 General Student, valid until 2011. Mr. A then extended his Tier 4 General Student visa, which was valid until 2014. Subsequently, Mr. A applied for leave to remain as a Tier 2 General Migrant. Leave to remain was refused with a Right of Appeal on 13 January 2015. On 12 May 2015, Mr. A applied for leave to remain as a Tier 2 General Migrant. Leave to remain was granted in May 2015 until May 2018. On 25 May 2018, Mr. A applied as Tier 1 Entrepreneur. Leave to remain was refused on 8 March 2019. All of Mr. A’s applications had been made in-time.
Mr. A then applied for Administrative Review against the refusal decision of his Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa application, which was received on 26 March 2019. The Administrative Review decision was maintained and completed on 18 April 2019. Thereafter, 13 days later, on 1 May 2019, Mr. A applied for leave to remain outside the Immigration Rules. He then varied his application over a month later, while his application for Leave to Remain outside of the rules was still pending, as he had completed 10 years residence in the UK. Unfortunately, his application for Indefinite Leave to Remain was refused by the Home Office.
How Did We Help With His Long Residence Appeal?
Mr A was desperate and in need of legal advice, as he could lose his job, and be forced to return home if his appeal was to be dismissed. After days searching on Google for a lawyer specialist in appeal procedure, a friend of him referred him to us. Having reviewed the information, the Home Office decision stated that Mr. A had not demonstrated 10 years lawful residence in the UK because he had not held valid leave since 18 April 2019 (when his administrative review was maintained). Therefore, on this basis, the Home Office concluded that Mr. A has only accrued 9 years and 10 months lawful residence in the UK and therefore had not demonstrated 10 years continuous lawful residence.
We advised Mr. A to appeal the decision at the First-tier Tribunal on the basis that the Home Office failed to exercise discretion in Mr. A’s favour. Mr. A had not had any other refusals, and all of his applications since his arrival in the UK had been made in-time, we relied on relevant and recent case law to this effect which emphasised the need to also consider the past immigration history. The administrative review was maintained on 18 April 2019, and Mr. A made an application for Leave to Remain outside of the rules on 01 May 2019 (within 14 days of the AR decision being maintained). Therefore, we placed reliance on Paragraph 276B(v)(b) and Paragraph 39E of the immigration rules, which sets out an exception for overstayers.
Exceptions for overstayers
39E. This paragraph applies where:
(1.) The application was made within 14 days of the applicant’s leave expiring, and the Secretary of State considers that there was a good reason beyond the control of the applicant or their representative, provided in or with the application, why the application could not be made in-time; or
(2.) the application was made:
(a) following the refusal of a previous application for leave which was made in-time; and
(b) within 14 days of:
- the refusal of the previous application for leave; or
- the expiry of any leave extended by section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971; or
- the expiry of the time-limit for making an in-time application for administrative review or appeal (where applicable); or
- any administrative review or appeal being concluded, withdrawn or abandoned or lapsing.
We submitted an in-time application against the refusal decision at the First-tier Tribunal. On the date of the hearing, the Respondent.
The Result: The Decision to Refuse Settlement on The Day of The Hearing Has been Withdrawn
At the hearing, the Home Office withdrew their decision since it was incorrect in law and Mr. A ought to have been granted leave. This was on the basis that 39E Immigration rules had not been correctly applied.
The Secretary of State for the Home Department agreed that Mr. A should have indeed been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain, and an error has been made on their side in refusing his settlement application.
Another result for a family who no longer have to worry about their immigration status. Something for many of us to learn, do not assume that by having only one refusal and submitting an application within the permitted time (Paragraph 39 of the Immigration Rules) the Home Office can disregard this a refuse your application. Let us help you!!
A Y & J Help Client Gain Limited Leave to Remain as the Spouse of a Person Present and Settled in the UK
Our client Mrs S met her husband Mr A in 2012; they got married in 2013. After getting married, Mr A was transferred by his company to their branch in the Netherlands. Mrs S then applied for a visa and joined Mr A, and the couple had been living there together since. Last year, Mr A was transferred to the UK by his employer. After careful consideration and discussion with Mrs S, they decided to relocate to the UK. Mrs S applied for entry clearance and planned to come to the UK with Mr A. However, and the application was refused due to lack of evidence of their relationship.
After the application was refused, Mr A entered the UK first. Mrs S then applied for a Tier 2 (ICT) Long Term visa as her company offered her an opportunity to relocate to the UK, and joined Mr A about two weeks later.
Mrs S still wished to apply for a spouse visa. She then approached us for our advice.
How A Y & J helped our client achieve Leave to Remain
Compiling sufficient proof of relationship
Considering Mrs S’s refusal history, we had to provide sufficient documents evidencing her relationship with Mr A. To assist Mrs S in succeeding with her application, we prepared a detailed checklist for her, outlining supporting documents she needed for the application; especially the documents showing their relationship was genuine and subsisting. We obtained a copy of a tenancy agreement and bank statements in their joint name for the period when they lived in the Netherlands. We also provided evidence of cohabitation in the UK. In addition, we obtained letters from the couple’s friends and family in support of her application. Mrs S also provided lots of photos with Mr A and their friends and family evidencing their relationship. Their marriage certificate and their daughter’s birth certificate was also provided. After reviewing all the documents, we are satisfied that it is sufficient to prove their genuine and subsisting relationship.
Resolving minor financial discrepancies
Another important requirement was the financial requirement. Mr A had been working for his employer for more than 10 years, and his annual salary was more than sufficient. However, when we reviewed his payslips and bank statements, we spotted a slight discrepancy between the net pay shown in the payslips and the actual amount paid into the Mr A’s bank account. We requested a letter from Mr A’s employer who explained that it was simply due to rounding of numbers. As this anomaly had occurred more than once, we were not satisfied with this explanation, but the employer could not give any other explanations. In our legal representations, we explained the situation and argued that the net amount should be counted according to Paragraph 1 (k) of Appendix FM-SE if the Home Office did not accept the gross amount as shown in the payslips. Even if only the net amount was counted, Mr A would still meet the requirement.
Paragraph 1 (k) Where the gross (pre-tax) amount of any income cannot be properly evidenced, the net (post-tax) amount will be counted, including towards a gross income requirement.
The Result: Our client successfully received leave to remain
Mrs S chose the standard service and five weeks later received the grant letter and BRP card from the Home Office.
Applicant With Undesirable Immigration History Obtains a UK Tier 4 (General) Student Visa
Mr L was a student based in Myanmar who wanted to come to the UK to study a master’s degree. Mr L had a troubled immigration history and was concerned that this would cause his Tier 4 (General) visa application to the UK to be refused. Indeed, Mr. L was rightly concerned as third-country immigration offences are treated with due weight by the Home Office and often lead to refusal.
Background of the case
Mr L had previously studied for an undergraduate degree in the United States of America on an F category visa. During his degree Mr L made an asylum claim on the basis that he feared politically motivated persecution should he return to Myanmar. However, Mr L’s claim was refused and, partly due to the stress of the refusal, Mr L was unable to complete his degree and lost his student status. Mr L subsequently breached the conditions of his F visa by overstaying in the United States for more than 12 months due to his legitimate fear of returning to his home country.
Adverse immigration history feature heavily in refusal statistics
The Home Office view previous breaches of immigration law that occur in third countries in a poor light and may choose to use their discretionary grounds of refusal to refuse subsequent UK visa applications. Tier 4 (General) visas are especially difficult to obtain in these circumstances due to the historical abuse of this route by immigration offenders. The Home Office will want to be certain that the applicant is a genuine student and is not attempting to enter the UK and overstay permanently.
Where an applicant has an adverse immigration history, there is a high likelihood therefore that the Home Office will invite that applicant for interview to assess the genuineness of the application. The Home Office interview has a high failure rate, and it is, therefore, crucial that applicants seek the counsel of a seasoned immigration lawyer with relevant experience.
A Y and J Solicitors advice representations crucial in obtaining a rapid approval
A Y and J Solicitors crafted powerful legal representations that sought to persuade the Home Office that Mr L was a genuine applicant who was not a threat to the UK immigration system. Mr L’s expert lawyer also used his substantial experience to prepare Mr L for the Home Office interview.
The Result: Our client was granted Tier 4 Student Visa
However, the Home Office were successfully persuaded by A Y and J Solicitors’ legal representations and approved Mr. L’s application without undertaking an interview in less than a week. The representations illustrated a deep knowledge of immigration law that formed the basis of a powerful justification for Mr L’s past behaviour. Mr L considered that A Y and J Solicitors’ advice was invaluable in obtaining this result.
AY & J Successful in Achieving Entry Clearance for the Partner of a British Citizen and Her Son in the Case of An Absent Father.
We were approached by the sponsor, a British Citizen, working in the UK. He was soon to be married to his partner of a number of years, whom he met whilst working overseas. His partner already had a son when they met, and the father had been absent for much of the child’s life. The family grew close, and the sponsor had to spend a great deal of time abroad since the applicant was not able to visit the UK.
They wished to commit and settle as a family without the financial and emotional strain resulting from the physical distance between them. The sponsor approached A Y & J Solicitors for help on how to achieve that aim.
How AY & J helped our client achieve entry clearance
Proving genuineness of employment
Following an initial discussion, we were able to advise on the financial and adequate accommodation requirements. We were satisfied that our client would meet the requirements and advised on the documentation to provide. The sponsor spent time working remotely to be with his family, hence it was essential to provide a clear and factual outline of the circumstances of the employment; we worked with the employer to ensure this was transparent to the Home Office. It was important to show the genuineness of the employment since this could be a basis of refusal as we have seen often.
Satisfying the immigration rules on relocation of a child where the father is absent
Usually, a child can only relocate with both biological parents. In this case, the complexity lay in proving why one parent was relocating to the UK without the other parent and why the child should be allowed entry to the UK. The application needed to meet one of two legal tests – showing that either:
- The child’s parent has had and continues to have sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing, OR;
- There are serious and compelling family or other considerations which make exclusion of the child undesirable and suitable arrangements have been made for the child’s care.
With a wealth of guidance and case law on the above, there are rigorous tests to be met based on factual and evidential analysis, individual to each case. Our client had no legal documents which entitled her to full custody of the child – and the courts in the country of origin did not provide any such documents, due to religious and cultural traditions. We knew how much it meant for the family to be united in the UK without any delay, so the correct evidence and a strong application was vital.
The child’s father was absent for years, and the client was under the impression that this was sufficient since the sponsor had been taking care of the child for some time.
The child’s father was absent for years, and the client was under the impression that this was sufficient since the sponsor had been taking care of the child for some time. We advised that the strongest application would present a relinquishment of paternal responsibility and encouraged our client to reach out to the father, through his parents. The father was at first unwilling to put invest time in the matter, so we provided a tailored template declaration for him to sign off, which he eventually agreed to. We were able to supplement this with evidence of the factual circumstances of the Sponsor’s involvement in the child’s life. We drafted a detailed legal representation outlining the relevant Rules and case law applicable to the Applicant’s circumstances, outlining the reasons that the applicants both qualify to join the sponsor in the UK.
The Result: Our client and her son received UK entry clearance
After the lengthy consideration of UKVI, they received a successful decision. This was a great success and an invaluable outcome for the family. We were over the moon to have assisted and achieved this result for them.