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VISA Expires in 2 months - how to get through immigration?

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Phil_C
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VISA Expires in 2 months - how to get through immigration?

Post by Phil_C » Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:44 am

Any help on the following scenaria would be great appreciated.

My girlfriends student VISA expires on the 28th February, she is back home in Brazil for Christmas.

Whilst in Brazil she applied for a new student VISA however was rejected, when coming back to the UK Immigration will have a record of this and are likely to grill her with questions, making sure she only stays for the 7 weeks left on her VISA, which she intends to commit to. However there is a very high likelihood that she is not going to be allowed back in the country for 7 weeks unless she has a very good reason, and I have been advised that needing to close back accounts and move her belongings out of her rented accommodation (the truth) is not strong enough. I donçt know anyone who has been through immigration recently and don´t know what constitutes a good enough reason to be let in the country. She does have an option of coming back with me on the same flight in January as I will be visiting her at Christmas however I am not sure if this will help her situation or make it worse as they are more likley to believe her intentions are to overstay from her VISA.

If anyone has had similar experiences to the above scenario or has been through immigration questioning recently with a soon to be expired VISA some advice would be greatfully appreciated.

Thank you for taking the time to read the posting.

Phil

jes2jes
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Post by jes2jes » Tue Dec 19, 2006 2:11 pm

Phil C wrote:
My girlfriends student VISA expires on the 28th February, she is back home in Brazil for Christmas
Has your girl friend completed her course of studies in the UK? I assume it is yes. If yes and she was continuing on another higher level course than previously, it should not have been a problem of applying In-Country after her holidays. All she needed was registration and acceptance letters for the new course from the Institution and relevant documents in case she is quizzed at the airport/immigration. But this is not so.

What was the basis of the refusal of her visa as this would help with her plan of action?

She is likely to face a few grillings since IO's at Entry point can access her file in Argentina by communication (fax, telephone etc) to ascertain the reason for refusal if no reason code is written in her passport.

If and only if she has the registration and acceptance letters and fees paid (part or full) for the new course/institution then she can say that she applied there to make life easier whilst in her home country for holidays but this is also subject to interpretation by the IO at the POE. It can be deduced that, by inference, she wanted to stay longer in the UK so went home to apply for another visa for that intent. Has she been refused renewal of her visa before whilst in the UK?

She does have an option of coming back with me on the same flight in January as I will be visiting her at Christmas however I am not sure if this will help her situation or make it worse as they are more likley to believe her intentions are to overstay from her VISA.
Note that, she can choose to fly with anyone of her choice and it will make no difference. If you can apply for an UPV or fiancé visa (with the intention to marry in 6 months) then fine. May be you should look into those options as plan B.

She can fly to the UK but there is probality of being questioned about it or not being question. The decision is for both of you to make.

I am just trying to help but others of more deep understanding and knowledge will come through with time.
Praise The Lord!!!!

Phil_C
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Post by Phil_C » Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:38 pm

She has completed her course of study in the UK and has been rejected on the basis that her next intended course (ABE Certificate in Human Resources) is not a progression from a compting diploma, she was also rejected as I was put down as the guardian and they do not believe she will stay in the UK for only a year.

We have all the ducumentation to show that she has been accepted on to a course and has paid etc however the course starts at the end of Jan so unfortunately I believe if she was to show these documents they would immediately jump to the conclusion that she may over stay due to VISA running out in 7 weeks. She has never been refused a VISA before this is the first time.

Fiance VISA at this point is not an option, it prevents you from studying or working for up to 6 months until you get married.

Our main goal is to make sure she can get in the counrty and through immigration, I have been told that her current VISA running up until end of Feb may have now been waivered due to her applying and being rejected for a new VISA. I beleive it will be up to the discrimination of the immigration officer and down to how well she can answer the questions she will get.

Trying to find out what questions will be asked and how best to answer them. In particular good reason for her to be let back in for 7 weeks.

Your help is appreciated.

Mafia
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Post by Mafia » Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:27 pm

Phil_C wrote:I beleive it will be up to the discrimination of the immigration officer and down to how well she can answer the questions she will get.
I presume you mean “discretion” rather than “discrimination”.

The Mafia … :twisted:
Providing alternative opinions ... for better decisions.

Wanderer
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Post by Wanderer » Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:51 pm

Phil_C wrote:She has completed her course of study in the UK and has been rejected on the basis that her next intended course (ABE Certificate in Human Resources) is not a progression from a compting diploma, she was also rejected as I was put down as the guardian and they do not believe she will stay in the UK for only a year.

We have all the ducumentation to show that she has been accepted on to a course and has paid etc however the course starts at the end of Jan so unfortunately I believe if she was to show these documents they would immediately jump to the conclusion that she may over stay due to VISA running out in 7 weeks. She has never been refused a VISA before this is the first time.

Fiance VISA at this point is not an option, it prevents you from studying or working for up to 6 months until you get married.

Our main goal is to make sure she can get in the counrty and through immigration, I have been told that her current VISA running up until end of Feb may have now been waivered due to her applying and being rejected for a new VISA. I beleive it will be up to the discrimination of the immigration officer and down to how well she can answer the questions she will get.

Trying to find out what questions will be asked and how best to answer them. In particular good reason for her to be let back in for 7 weeks.

Your help is appreciated.
I think the ECO's might be thinking she's using student visas as settlement visa with the courses being so different.

Anyway you CAN study on a fiancee visa!

How come you where entered on the application as her guardian, that's stupid and throws credibility of the window?

Phil_C
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Post by Phil_C » Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:32 pm

Thanks for the comments, believe me wanderer if I knew then what i know now the application would have been very different. Putting me as the guardian was a mistake, I was ill advised by a VISA agency and we had time constraints when making the application.

I have been through the whole Fiance VISA in great detail with my girlfriend, her family have put a lot of pressure on her to go for it however this seems to have backfired and she does not want to stay in London indefinately...at present its not an option for us.

We may apply for a VISA extension if she can get back in the country, it depends on a lot of factors at this point.

If you have advise regarding Immigration questionning and what constitutes a valid reason to be let in the country I would appreciate your assistance.

jes2jes
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Post by jes2jes » Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:42 pm

She has completed her course of study in the UK and has been rejected on the basis that her next intended course (ABE Certificate in Human Resources) is not a progression from a compting diploma, she was also rejected as I was put down as the guardian and they do not believe she will stay in the UK for only a year.
This is exactly what caused her refusal. You as the fiance and boyfriend acting as the guardian (sponsor?) was a mistake. The ECO would perfectly assumed she wants to use the SV route to settlement and I will think the same if I was in His/her shoes.

The second issue for rejection too was moving from a higher course to a lower one. I completed ABE myself many years ago before moving onto higher things. With her completion of a degree/diploma/??? in computing, she could have received a waiver from the certificate stage for the HR to maybe Diploma and this would have made more 'sense' to the ECO than starting from scratch to buy time to stay in the UK.

I will tell you my personal experience if it may help. My wife before we got married a couple of years ago was on a WHV and she went home for her dad's funeral. She then applied for a SV for a professional chattered course but was rejected. ECO said she could do the same course in her home country. Well, since she had a several months left on her visa. She flew back to the UK and we got married some months later before her visa expired. We could not apply for UPV since my background does not 'allow living together'. So we married and applied for a dependent visa and this was granted and she has been living in the UK since and I must add enjoying a happy marriage as well.

The only thing you would have to note is that, anytime she flies through HTR, they ask her why were you refused a visa in 200x and has to give the same story over and over.

Your girl friend can fly to the UK but she would be at the mercy of the IO at immigration. The only thing I can also suggest is that, contact ABE on her behalf and ask them for a waiver to whatever stage she would be allowed to start and send the letters by courier to her. They are down in Wimbledon in SW London.

Hope this helps. Any questions do shout.

I am not sure a refusal of a visa cancel's the existence of a previous one. What I know is that, the granting of a visa in another category would cancel an existing one. John, Smith, JAJ and Co will comment since they are the experts.
Last edited by jes2jes on Fri Jan 05, 2007 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Praise The Lord!!!!

Kayalami
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Post by Kayalami » Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:57 pm

Phil_C,

Your second sentence adds to that the ECO is not satisfied that on the balance of probabilities she is a bonafide student - the ECO construed a you were going for pseuodo settlement position.

Technically her student visa is no longer valid given that she does not fulfil the criteria for its issuance - her studies are completed and she has returned home. Even if she had applied for an in-country extension the immigration rules were amended to discourage short term and/or non degree level course extensions so IMHO she would not have been successful.

People who do not need a visa to visit the UK (non visa nationals) are advised to obtain one if they have been refused a UK visa before or have been refused entry after arriving in the UK. AFAIK there is no legal requirement to do so i.e. you can risk it. Your g/f can thus return to the UK and seek entry as a visitor. Attempting to re-enter on her student visa would be misrepresentation and as such she would be an illegal entrant were she to be landed. In any case the IO would at the first instance see the ECO refusal code/ mark on her ppt which would raise up the ‘requires extra scrutiny flag’. There is a centralised record of refusals for those who conveniently or otherwise lose their 'refusal annotated passport'.

She would then have to convince the IO that she was a bonafide visitor. The burden of proof is on her to do so. It’s a major risk to take in terms of costs and the very high chance of refusal. Add to that note that its pretty impossible to change status to anything in the UK from a visitor so if any of her/your plans change she would have to leave again. Is there a likehood of her getting a WP? It might be an option for the time being if your relationship is such that you are not yet ready/ in a position to go down the settlement route.

Good luck

Phil_C
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Post by Phil_C » Fri Jan 05, 2007 12:44 pm

Apologies for the delayed reply to your postings, I have just returned from Brazil and had limited internet access.

Jes2Jes and Kayalami, thank you for taking the time to review my girlfriend’s situation and provide your comments, your experience with these situations makes your posting valuable and I hope they help others in similar circumstances.

To give you an update: My girlfriend intends to enter the UK mid January and leave just before her VISA expires at the end of February (flights booked). It’s a big risk, as pointed out by Kayalami her VISA (technically) is no longer valid, it will depend on the Immigration Officer that she gets.

At this stage her case is that she went home for a holiday (not for good), consequently she will need to argue that she has never overstayed on her previous Visa’s and that she has a mountain of things to sort out before she goes back to Brazil indefinitely, i.e. all her belongings that have been accumulated whilst living in the UK for 3 years, as well as closing bank accounts, claiming tax back and picking up certificates from courses that she has completed.

It looks like it could go one of 3 ways:

1. Allowed to stay on her current VISA until the end of February.
2. Her VISA is invalid and she is given a 6 month tourist VISA.
3. She is deported – This would be a disaster.

If she is deported, we have no plan B, I am guessing that it will be very difficult for her to come back into the UK anytime soon.

It could be that I am being overly optimistic about her chances of getting back to the UK. If you are reading this and know anyone recently who has managed to get back to the UK with limited time on their VISA or Vice Versa has been deported, I would appreciate your comments and any insight into the process.

jes2jes
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Post by jes2jes » Fri Jan 05, 2007 2:21 pm

Phil_C wrote:Apologies for the delayed reply to your postings, I have just returned from Brazil and had limited internet access.

Jes2Jes and Kayalami, thank you for taking the time to review my girlfriend’s situation and provide your comments, your experience with these situations makes your posting valuable and I hope they help others in similar circumstances.

To give you an update: My girlfriend intends to enter the UK mid January and leave just before her VISA expires at the end of February (flights booked). It’s a big risk, as pointed out by Kayalami her VISA (technically) is no longer valid, it will depend on the Immigration Officer that she gets.

At this stage her case is that she went home for a holiday (not for good), consequently she will need to argue that she has never overstayed on her previous Visa’s and that she has a mountain of things to sort out before she goes back to Brazil indefinitely, i.e. all her belongings that have been accumulated whilst living in the UK for 3 years, as well as closing bank accounts, claiming tax back and picking up certificates from courses that she has completed.

It looks like it could go one of 3 ways:

1. Allowed to stay on her current VISA until the end of February.
2. Her VISA is invalid and she is given a 6 month tourist VISA.
3. She is deported – This would be a disaster.

If she is deported, we have no plan B, I am guessing that it will be very difficult for her to come back into the UK anytime soon.

It could be that I am being overly optimistic about her chances of getting back to the UK. If you are reading this and know anyone recently who has managed to get back to the UK with limited time on their VISA or Vice Versa has been deported, I would appreciate your comments and any insight into the process.
I must say that you are taking a big gamble in taking the above step but that is your choice and life is about taking chances (but bear the Immigration rules in mind).

I am not sure about point one and two above but read the following from the UK visas website (www.ukvisas.gov.uk) and note the emphasis I have highlighted:
........................................................................................................
You asked if a national of Brazil needs a visa to come to the UK as a visitor.

No, you do not need a visa.

On arrival in the UK you must satisfy an immigration officer that you qualify for entry to the United Kingdom as a visitor under the Immigration Rules. 8)

Students
Please note that if you are allowed to enter the UK as a student for up to six months, you will not be allowed to extend your stay unless you arrived with a student or prospective student visa, or are studying on a course at degree level or higher. The Home Office will charge you a fee for applying to extend your stay.

If you entered the UK as a visitor, and you are still in the UK as a visitor, then you will not be allowed to switch to student status. This is due to the Immigration Rules Change that came into effect on 3 April 2006.

This is the point it gets dangerous and it applies to your fiancé (big gamble indeed)

N.B. Even though you do not need a visa, if you have previously been refused a visa for, or entry to, the UK you may want to apply for one to find out if you qualify for entry before you travel. Please contact Rio de Janeiro for further information.
At this stage her case is that she went home for a holiday (not for good), consequently she will need to argue that she has never overstayed on her previous Visa’s and that she has a mountain of things to sort out before she goes back to Brazil indefinitely, i.e. all her belongings that have been accumulated whilst living in the UK for 3 years, as well as closing bank accounts, claiming tax back and picking up certificates from courses that she has completed.
I am afraid this is not convincing enough and it would be difficult to sell this to any of the IO officers at LHTR/GWK/STD etc.

The reason: Anyone at all can arrange this on her behalf with the proper authorisation without her needing to be in the UK. Don't forget you have also been put on her earlier application which makes it more convincing that her boyfriend can do this on her behalf.

What you need is favour from God and not a gamble. I don't believe in luck so I won't wish you one but the chances are slim. You should have a Plan B and start thinking about one really.

I wish you all the best and please post her successful landing when she arrives. You did not mention which airport she would be using which can also be of help! :o

All the best.
Praise The Lord!!!!

Phil_C
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Post by Phil_C » Fri Jan 05, 2007 3:35 pm

Thanks for looking this up Jes2Jes.

Trust me, I am trying to figure what is best to do, her getting deported would be a nightmare.

She may be better off altogether cancelling the flights and applying for a new student VISA, i.e. a degree level course and using a member of her family who lives in the UK as the sponsor / guardian.

I am receiving very conflicting opinions regarding her VISA status. Her passport still says that she has until 28th February, it has not been crossed out or tampered with and there is only a small marking stating Rio de Janerio Dec 2006 on another page. It is very hard to get a clear answer, and it still seems to come down to the IO, although I know that Kayalami has told me technically it’s invalid, however I have advice to the country from VISA agencies.

If it’s the case that she will definitely be told that the VISA is now declared VOID she will most certainly get into hot water and as per your posting we should seek clarification and advice from Rio de Janeiro regarding a tourist VISA.

“N.B. Even though you do not need a visa, if you have previously been refused a visa for, or entry to, the UK you may want to apply for one to find out if you qualify for entry before you travel. Please contact Rio de Janeiro for further information.”

Lastly, her reason for getting back in the UK to me seems perfectly valid, for example she has managed to secure a job teaching English in Brazil when she returns at the end of February, (perhaps she should get a letter proving this). She has left all her English study books (about 12 in total) and her study notes over here. All her work clothes are here as well as 2 suitcases full of clothes and material possessions, these are things I cannot simply send to her or sort out and you cannot buy in Brazil. I have only just returned from Brazil and will not be able to make the trip again for several months. I agree that bank accounts etc I may be able to do, but the rest…not a chance. I would be horrified if they don’t let her in, so I am very concerned......I did not initially believe it to big a big gamble however it may well be smarter to seek an alternative route now.

If anyone has been in a similar situation, i.e. you have been deported or managed to get in to the UK with limited time left on your VISA, your posting would be appreciated.

jes2jes
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Post by jes2jes » Fri Jan 05, 2007 3:56 pm

Phil_C wrote:
it has not been crossed out or tampered with and there is only a small marking stating Rio de Janerio Dec 2006 on another page
This is enough for IO to check out the refusal via the database as mentioned earlier by Kayalami using her DOB etc

Your reason's for her coming over although may be true would not be valid enough I am afraid. Put yourself in the shoes of the IO and you will see where I am coming from.

To tell you the truth, you can ship all her things through any of the freighting companies without her coming over here so think it through. If weapons, gold, valuables can be shipped and exported, personal belongings would just be very easy (and it is really!).

My advise is to call the Rio office and IND for confirmation before she leaves and if she can even obtain some some of documentation from Rio to this effect, it will go a long way. Her current employment status would be a plus but her ties in the UK are too strong and this is what would be used as a yardstick in judging as to whether she would want to settle in the UK or return to Brazil.

Someone else would offer their advise. This is just my human opinion but if I were you, I will seek clairification first.

Jes
Praise The Lord!!!!

Phil_C
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Post by Phil_C » Fri Jan 05, 2007 4:19 pm

Jes, thanks for your posting again.

It looks like it will take too long to apply for a tourist visa from Rio and I would'nt know what documentation to ask for.

I am going to work out exactly what she needs to sort out over here in terms of belongings and other business. I am still racking my brain for a good enough reason for her to get through immigration. She will see if she can get a letter with her job offer in Brazil to show them and will also have a letter from a member of family in London stating that she has many belongings there to pick up (which is true) and omits any mention of myself.

Your are right that her belongings could be shipped, I do believe this takes time though and certain belongings she needs more urgently i.e. computer / study books.

I will post later in the month the outcome but in the mean time I am working hard to find a solution to the above.

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