I am on Tier 1 General (HSMP earlier) in UK with my wife and two kids. My mother is a widow and lives all by herself back home in pak. My two sistes are married and live in different cities away from my mother. We applied for her visitor visa twice in 2006/07, which were refused on the grounds that she will never return as I am the only son and i'm in UK etc etc. When refused third time, we appealed and it was successful without hearing. (No change in circumstances --- she was still living alone, doesn't work/housewife, not financially dependan on me) So finally she got visitor visa for 6 months and visited us in Aug 2008 - Jan 2009. When she got back, we applied for visitor visa for 2 years multiple entry after few months. As my wife was expecting, we did mention that we want our mother to be here during delivery days. She was not refused, but was only granted 6 months visa again. (though they charged for full 2 years fee). So she visited us again in June 2009 - Nov 2009.
So in short, after 2 refusals and one appeal, she started getting visitor visas and has successfully visted UK twice and left before the expiry of her visa.
This time we made another application for a 2 years multiple entry family visitor visa by the end of April 2010. She just collected her application back today. And to our shock, they have refused visa this time again. Considering that she had visited twice and followed immigration rules, we were expecting a positive outcome.
The reasons for refusal:
1. As we mentioned in our sponsor letter and application that me and my wife will fully support, accomodate and finance her trip, the ECO was not satisfied with our claims and that we would actually do so. (Evidence we submitted: my payslips for 6 months, wife payslips for sux months, bank statements of our current and saving accounts for both of us separately. All in all there were sufficient savings, combined in the access of 20K plus evidence of regualr income of around 68-70K per anum) She got visa on similar documents and grounds last time !
2. No evidence to show the available accomodation. (Ok I did attach a proof of address as utility bills but didn't provide tenancy agreement or detail of the accomodation --- however, that how I applied last two times as well when she got visa.)
3. This was a shocker ..... ECO mentioned that as you and your sponsor claim that they need help with child care for their 6 months old, this constitutes as an employment whether paid or unpaid. (Well this was a real surprise as we had no idea about such a situation. We mentioned it as a reason thinking that it would make sense that a grandmother can spend time with her grandchildern and at the same time lend heand in their care as she would normally do back home. We had no idea that this could be seen as an employment. After searching through this forum, I now realised that it was a GROSS mistake to mention that my wife has to back to full-time work after her maternity leave and we would like a close family member like my mother to be be here for few months to visit us and help with childcare)
1. For reason 1, I guess either the ECO overlooked statements and payslips or he just has no clue how much should be shown as satisfactory funds. Plus, we claimed that we would fully support her throughout the trip and the proof is that we did same for the last two trips as well. Then how can ECO claim that he is not sure that we would support her in this trip?
2. For accomodation, I can submit a tenancy agreement and council tax payslips as a proof. (We live is a 2 bedroom flat, with a separate lounge and open plan Spam and an additional small room/study. We are 2 adults and a 5 year old and a 6 months old. --- Is accomodation enough if my mother comes here, in the eye of an immigration officer. She came and stayed at the same place on last two visits but they never asked for any details earlier)
3. Now for the hard part. This childcare/employment claim ---- how can we counter it in an appeal? Honestly speaking, we did not have this in our wildest dreams that this childcare help by a grandparent would be considered as en employment. We have hit ourself in the foot by mentioning this as a main reason for her this visit. But now, how to counter this? Should I say that we did not mean that she would be full-time carer and we might have caused confusion. We meant that she would help us and if we have a child minder at home, she can oversee etc. Or is it better to admit that we were unaware of such immigration restriction and apologise but then how to convince that now if she is granted visa that she will not be doing any child care.
I need to submit appeal soon and running out of options/ideas wht to do. Wish I had founf this forum earlier and then would not have done such a gross mistake of mentioning childcare as a reason.
Is it better in these circumstances to appeal or to re-apply?
My tenancy agreement only says, two bedroom flat where in-fact there is a small room as a study which is as good as a single room (slightly smaller). If two bedroom flat is not enough for all of us, then how can I show that we have three rooms etc ? Can I measure and give details of all rooms and add pictures or does it have to be an official survery report? In that case by whom? I have only few days, will a letting agen do it, council or any private firm?
Lastly, is it better to appeal at BHC where she applied or better if I submit an appeal here in UK to AIT? With the appeal, do we have to submit of copies of ALL the documents we already submitted with original application as well ??? Or we just need to submit additional documents only to support grounds of appeal? And do we only submit photocopies for these additional documents or the originals?
I would appreciate all your help in this regard and awaiting your expert opinions. Thank you very much in advance again.