Dear Sir or Madam,
Glad to know there is this board, hope someone can help, sorry this is so long, it's a letter I sent to UK embassy in Abu Dhabi. Never had to do this sort of thing before and visa section of embassy said to send letter.. and this is what I wrote.
I write, on behalf of and in support of, my husband and his two refused UK visa applications and the decisions that were given. We appeal for the final decision to be revoked and the reasons why will become evident later in this letter.
Firstly, I will apologise for the length of this communication, I simply want to provide you initially with some background information and to make all facts clearly known and also to give personal reference to these to support this request.
My husband is Iraqi and I am English born in Winchester and we married in Dubai on 13th May 2009. When we were deciding whether to get married in the UK, as I originally wanted, after doing some research I found that it would not be possible practically for my husband to even consider applying for a visa to come to the UK to marry as the UK marriage process would take up to three weeks and also that for that time he would have to be resident in the UK. His employer would not give him leave for length of time and so it was discussed that it would be far easier for me to go to Dubai as the process of marriage was simpler and shorter. The marriage took place and I stayed in Dubai until 23rd May using the time to search for a suitable home for us in Dubai. Also during this period my husband and I decided he would apply for a UK visa so that he could come to the UK for a weekâ€™s visit to stay with me for 2 days in London and then together to visit my father for 4-5 days before we returning together to Dubai. In the meantime, I returned to the UK to work my monthâ€™s notice with my employer and organise myself for my move to Dubai.
Can I point out here that for me, my husbandâ€™s visit to the UK was very important for me on a personal level. Firstly, both being Muslims (myself a convert, before I met my husband), as it is not allowed to court or â€˜dateâ€™ someone - if a suitable partner is found then marriage is recommended to be hasty â€“ even though neither party has met one another. Thus we made contact, found each other to be suitable and became engaged, planning to marry as soon as possible. Therefore, as you will appreciate, my situation was that I was marrying someone I had not met before, and happily after the marriage, I felt it imperative for my husband to meet my father. This is normal, and totally understandable but for me even more so as I was my fatherâ€™s only child (my mother has passed away) and his daughter would be leaving the UK to permanently live in Dubai. I wanted my father to have the reassurance that my husband was a good man and that I would be well looked after. Also, I wanted my husband to meet my father and to see the background that I came from.
My husband made the FIRST application online from Dubai on 25th May with my assistance from the UK (although my husband is fluent in English, occasionally there are some words or terminology that my husband is not familiar with). As you may appreciate not actually being with him whilst he made this application made it a little awkward but we completed it as best as we could. We eagerly awaited the decision. Unfortunately his application was refused on the following two grounds:
Visa Officerâ€™s remarks:
i) Inadequate funds to support his trip.
ii) No evidence of wifeâ€™s immigration status in UK â€“ no evidence wife is British or that marriage took place.
i) At that time my husband had over X AED in his bank account which equates to approximately Â£X. As he stated on his application I would be the one supporting his trip as he would be residing with me, and then my father, for the week. The only financial cost for my husband was his return air ticket, at the most, Â£X depending on which airline he flew with. He was also getting a regular salary of X AED per month â€“ Â£X per month which adequately covered his living expenses, with an amount remaining each month as savings. We therefore did not feel that this was a fair assumption.
ii) We agreed with the above as my husband negligently did not submit the necessary documents to prove that I am British, such as my passport, nor did he present the marriage certificate.
As a result of this refusal, my husband and I looked through the above remarks and decided to make another application and to resolve the issues of the first refusal. We did not appeal due to the time element involved.
The SECOND application was made on 22nd June.
The reason for coming to the UK was still the same, to stay with me and then to stay with and meet my father before together flying back to Dubai.
To resolve the issues of the first refusal we took the following action.
i) Referring to the first issue, my husbandâ€™s financial situation was exactly the same as previous, and again I would be supporting his trip. We could not argue this case simply continuing to state that as I would be supporting his trip, we knew he could afford to fund the air tickets.
ii) For the second issue, we used my passport to confirm my nationality, however as I was in the UK and time was again an issue, this was a scanned copy which was then emailed to my husband in Dubai.
We also provided the following documentation to support the second application:
a) A supporting letter from myself.
b) A copy of my latest bank statement â€“ again, being in the UK I could only scan and email a copy to him.
c) A letter from my employer confirming my status with the company and my resignation as I would be leaving the company to live in Dubai.
d) A letter from my father inviting us to stay with him, and witnessed by a local solicitor to confirm his signature was genuine.
e) A copy of our marriage certificate â€“ my husband neglecting to give them the original although he had this with him at the time he submitted the application in person and he says that he was not even asked for the original.
f) My husbandâ€™s 6 monthsâ€™ of bank statements â€“ original copies
g) A letter from my husbandâ€™s company confirming leave of absence given for this trip.
h) My husbandâ€™s passport and residence visa.
We then received the second refusal. The issues this time were as follows:
Visa Officerâ€™s remarks:
i) Not all documents submitted were originals.
We cannot argue with this except to say that this is down to our negligence due to our hastiness to achieve a visa and with my imminent departure drawing closer â€“ we simply wanted to get all information available to support the application to the VFS offices in Dubai as quickly as possible.
The second issue is the most important, and the reason why we are now writing to you and to which I wish to draw your attention.
Visa Officerâ€™s remarks:
ii) â€˜Have you ever been refused a visa for any country, including the UK?â€™ On the application form my husband had said yes, and gave the reference number of the first refusal of the UK visa. The officer pointed out that after checks they had discovered that my husband had been refused entry to Canada. They therefore believed my husband had attempted to withhold facts to gain entry to the UK and as a result were imposing a ten year penalty upon my husband before he could reapply to enter the UK.
Firstly, my husband on each occasion had submitted the same passport. We would like to know, since the above is such a severe penalty, why had the visa officer not found this â€˜informationâ€™ before and given the above as a reason for refusal on the first application? Also, if my husband was wishing to withhold information on the application form he would not be so keen to provide his passport????
In my husbandâ€™s passport there are two stamps indicative of refusal to enter UK. There is another stamp which simply has the word â€˜TRVâ€™ and â€˜Damasâ€™. When my husband received the 2nd refusal letter and read the paragraph about the Canadian visa he was surprised as he had completely forgotten. The visa for Canada was to visit family and attend a wedding, his trip being sponsored completely by his cousinâ€™s husband. At that time he was not familiar with embassy or visa procedures and again, in haste, took no notice. He was not aware that this stamp in his passport was the Canadian visa refusal â€“ as far as he is concerned, he does not know what TRV means. Only after this 2nd application refusal letter did he check with another member of his family who had also been denied a visa to visit Canada and seen the same stamp in their passport did he then know that this was the refusal to enter Canada.
My husband has no reason to withhold this sort of information to gain entry to the UK. At no time before our marriage has he applied to visit the UK, nor expressed any interest. Even now, he is simply following my request for my benefit as he is settled in the UAE where he and many of his immediate family reside. I know my husband to be a simple man yet a man of high integrity and morals, and well respected amongst friends, family and peers.
Any information that has suspected to have been withheld for fraudulent purposes is simply down to negligence due to being too hasty to submit the applications and not paying sufficient attention to the application guidance notes.
Coming to the present, my husband and I were going to submit a third application this week taking into account all the previous issues for refusal and attempting to prove legitimacy when it was myself that spotted the sentence about the 10 year penalty. You may wonder why it was not spotted before; at the time we had received this refusal letter we were both very frustrated as we had waited much time for the decision, anxious as my departure from the UK was imminent and very very disappointed at yet another refusal â€“ the letter was simply put to one side and we agreed that we would make a further application once I had arrived and settled in Dubai. Had we seen this before then obviously we would have acted sooner and made an appeal.
Also, I would like to point out to you that to attempt to satisfy the Visa officer we were going to provide further documents and for this purpose I recently contacted my father who would be our sponsor, as we would be staying with him for the 7-10 day visit, and asked him to provide and UPS to me a letter from him as the sponsor, proof of his address (Council Tax Bill), proof of his rental agreement with his landlord and proof of his financial ability (6 months bank statements and also investment account). (My father has never been outside of the EU therefore does not possess a passport.) All of these would have been provided along with the previous documents â€“ all originals this time.
From a personal point of view this penalty is a shock and very upsetting for me as it means I will have to travel, for the next 10 years, to visit my father without the company of my husband, and yet again, they will be unable to meet one another, and both very desirous to do so. It is also not a simple case of my father coming to Dubai â€“ my father is 67, incapacitated due to a damaged hip and also suffers from claustrophobia meaning that he will not travel in the confined space of an aeroplane.
Taking all the above into account, we therefore appeal to you implore you to please kindly review this case with much compassion and revoke the 10 year penalty decision so that my husband can reapply for a UK visa enabling us to visit my father in the UK.
I have provided scans of documents to support this letter as follows: Refusal letters, a copy of my passport and residency, page in my husbandâ€™s passport showing the â€˜stampsâ€™ of refused entry, marriage certificate, letter from my father.
I received a simple automated reply from the embassy yesterday saying we had to fill in an AIT-2, really narked me that they couldn't even be bothered to refer to the correct date of my letter, stating they had received my letter dated 16th August, received in their office 2nd July!!!! Grrrrrr
What can we do now if anything... what's our next step. Appeal? But will they simply refuse to consider as it's outside 28 days????
Just so disheartened...
Thanks for reading