Spouse Visa Appeal - ECM Review and Pending Hearing

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Spouse Visa Appeal - ECM Review and Pending Hearing

Postby thunderb0lt » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:33 pm

Dear all

I write in respect of my brother who is the spouse and sponsor of his wife whose spouse visa application was refused on 4 points.

My brother used a solicitor to lodge an appeal at the First-Tier Tribual. In the last few weeks he has received notice of hearing to be held in June.

It is only now that my brother has decided not to instruct the same solicitor at the appeal he has received a copy of the form IAFT-2 that was lodged. The solicitor failed despiste numerous requests to provide a copy of the duly completed form.

It has now come to light that the solicitor did not lodge some of the evidence that my brother provided to him for the appeal. Based on the evidence that was lodged the ECM in his review conceded that the evidence submitted was enough to counter one of the ECO's points.

We are confident that had ALL the evidence been submitted the ECM would have allowed the appeal.

Not too sure what's the best way to go about this is it possible to submit the evidence that the solicitor didn't submit to the IAFT or ECM direct in the hope that they will overturn the decision, or is the only way to attend the hearing and provide the evidence/documents then. I understand that before the hearing you have to submit a bundle for all parties so there is a chance that the UKBA/HO may pull out at the last minute. The concern is that using a solicitor is very costly, some over £1,000.

Any help is appreciated.

Many thanks

Thanks
thunderb0lt
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Postby batleykhan » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:08 pm

My advise would be that you do all your talking at the Appeal hearing and sack the solicitor if you feel he is incomprtent :wink:
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Postby thunderb0lt » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:29 pm

Can anyone recommend a decent OISC Level 3 Immigration Advisor or Solicitor based in London that we can instruct for the hearing. If so, what are their fees.

Thanks
thunderb0lt
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Postby king2be98 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:17 am

Thunderbolt,

You are an intelligent guy, so my advice is, prepare for the appeal yourselves and represent yourselves.

I wouldn't trust a solicitor of that type ever, in fact I would rarely use a solicitor for any walk of life because their primary objective is £££, unfortunately client satisfaction is not high on their priorities, espcieally immigration specialists.

I would recommend you review each point, pm one of the more knowledgable posters here if required for further specific advice.

Immigration judges will factor in any evidence you present to them. If you go to court and hand over the documentation that was not presented by your lawyer, explain that the incompetant fool deliberately did not send them over then the judge will definitely consider your case. Remember the documents sent in the initial appeal are forwarded to the ECM to review.

Regarding your lawyer, don't use him anymore, it appears as if he deliberately did this, so the case would go to court. If the case goes to court, they charge extra for representation and additional time (if we
actually call it that).

That said, without knowing the 4 points, and what documentation that was missed, we aren't really in a position to advise how you go in. But please do one thing to help yourself for when your turn comes. Go tot he court where your hearing will be held, ask them when the next immigration appeal hearing is, attend one, two or even more so you know how it works, the nature of an appeal. Most importantly so you know what questions to prepare to answer. Judges unlike the UKBA officials, do their homework, so they generally only ask questions which are not covered in the application, appeal or in documentation.
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Postby thunderb0lt » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:53 pm

Thank you for your reply king2be98.

It’s not me that this case relates to. My brother is the spouse/sponsor, his wife is the appellant/applicant. I note what you say about solicitors, you are probably right, but isn’t it the case that instructing a solicitor adds weight as they case use case law. Also there is the need to submit a professional bundle to all parties, not too sure how competent we might be about this, also my brother might not be confident enough or be able to put his point across to a judge. Can I represent him, I have no legal knowledge though.

I also, had no idea that one can appear as an audience at a tribunal, how does one go about this.

I’m not too sure who the experienced members of the forum are and whether they would mind me pm’ing them direct on this.

I will summarise the points of refusal and the evidence we had that the solicitor failed to submit.

1) Failure to provide English listening certificate:
Like many here the applicant did the City & Guilds course, only notification of candidate results was issued as she failed to pass the other irrelevant sections. For the appeal a letter was provided from both college and City & Guilds. The ECM conceded this point as it was clear she met the requirements in this respect.
2) Lack of contact:
In the application calling cards were submitted. The ECO was not convinced. For the appeal the evidence we provided for the solicitor to submit was a detailed log of calls made, we got this from the calling card company. Also, although this was after the application was made my brother went to visit his wife in her country. He stayed for 4 weeks. The solicitor failed to submit this evidence in the appeal.

3) No bank statements and sponsor is in receipt of Working Tax Credits.

In the application my brother failed to submit the pages of bank statements showing that wage credits were made. Also stated in application in receipt of working tax credits. We provided the relevant pages for solicitor to submit at appeal, again he didn’t. In grounds of appeal he wrongly stated that these were submitted with initial application but missed by ECO due to oversight. In his review, the ECM didn’t have an issue as such with sponsor receiving WCT but more that he didn’t submit evidence to show that he is receiving WTC. He said that this issue can has easily been overcome if bank statements showing pay and WTC were lodged with appeal. Application was made pre July 2012 reg. We all know that sponsor is able to claim WTC but what is the case law/precedent.

4) No evidence to show that rental/mortgage payments being met.

Sponsor is living with parents who are secure tenants of property. For appeal we obtained letter from council confirming that parents have been secure tenants for property since 1995 and they have no objection for brothers wife living in family home. Although this doesn’t explicitly confirm that rent payments are being met. It implies as parents have been living there for over 17 years. Also had a letter from parents confirming no objection. Like point 3 solicitor said letter was submitted with application but missed due to ECO oversight.

We can’t afford to apply again as he does not meet the £18,600 finance criteria.

Is it really feasible going it alone, how do you even prepare a bundle.Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks
thunderb0lt
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Postby king2be98 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:04 am

Thunderbolt,

If I was in your situation, I would attend some hearings in court to get an idea of what happens and then I would prepare to present the case myself.

I had to appeal last year for my wife's VISA as well, I did all the research and the appeal myself. Albeit we only had 3 minor points to fight off, I put together an appeal which is concise and yet forgiving of the UKBA, it worked out and we didn't even go to court.

However some people want to use a solicitor come what may, so if that i the case with yoru brother, then get another lawyer, one with a reputable history and not just some lazy idiot who doesn't even send all the docs.

Of your 4 points, points 3 and 4 are on slight concern, but if you present these documents in court and explain exactly what happened, they will accept as additional supporting evidence, you should be fine.

Just make sure you have been to some other immigration hearings because they are open to the public.
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