Refusal Based On Spouse Visa Interview Overturned
Mr A, an Indian national, was married to a Romanian national. He had been an overstayer in the UK when he started his relationship with his wife. Mr A decided to depart the UK voluntarily and returned to India in December 2017 with his Romanian partner. They decided to marry in India. Thereafter, Mr A applied for an EEA Family Permit through his lawyer. This was initially refused due to a lack of supporting documentary evidence. He then reapplied for the EEA family permit, which was approved by the Home Office.
After that, Mr A entered the UK on an EEA family permit in 2018, valid for six months. Before its expiry, he applied for a Residence Card being a family member of an EEA national. Mr A and his wife were invited to attend a marriage interview. Subsequently, his application was refused by the Home Office in a decision letter dated 17 May 2019.
Reasons for refusal
The application was refused based on the marriage interview; the Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD) was not satisfied that Mr A was in a genuine and subsisting relationship with his EEA National spouse and therefore concluded that Regulation 2 of the EEA Regulation 2016 was not satisfied. The SSHD concluded that the marriage was one of convenience, for the sole purposes of remaining in the United Kingdom. The SSHD highlighted several inconsistencies in answers during the marriage interview.
Mr A’s previous legal representatives had lodged the appeal on behalf of Mr A. However, Mr A was notified that the appeal was out-of-time. The First-Tier Tribunal (FtT) requested for reasons as to why the appeal had been lodged out of time and Mr A’s previous lawyer stated they had received the refusal decision by the Home Office on 29 May 2019, whereas, the decision letter was dated 17 May 2019. Therefore, his lawyer sent his appeal in-time on 04 June 2019.
How A Y & J helped
Mr A’s assigned caseworker arranged a meeting with Mr A and his wife, who both explained the alleged discrepancies outlined within the refusal decision. We prepared detailed witness statements on behalf of Mr A and his wife addressing each alleged discrepancy and prepared three appeal bundles consisting of almost 800 pages. This bundle comprised of three years of supporting evidence as to the genuineness of their relationship.
The caseworker at A Y & J Solicitors then wrote to the FtT explaining that the appeal was indeed lodged in-time by the previous lawyer. They attached evidence of Royal mail tracking and the envelope the decision was received in.
We instructed an experienced barrister to attend the FtT and represent our client on the date of hearing. A few weeks after the hearing, we received a decision confirming that Mr A’s appeal had been allowed and it had been concluded by the Judge that the Home Office had not proved that the marriage was one of convenience. The FtT Judge was of the view that the marriage was a genuine one.
Shortly after our successful hearing, the Home Office issued Mr A with a Residence Card, confirming that he is a family member of an EEA national.