FREE IMMIGRATION ADVICE SINCE 1996
ENTRY CLEARANCE AS A SPOUSE
I am English Citizen living in China with my husband. We have recently found out I am pregnant and I would like to return to the UK to start our family. Because I will be having the baby I won’t be able to sponsor him immediately and we don’t want to be separated during time! I wanted to know if we could apply for a 1 or 2-year tourist visa, we could have the baby, after 6 months I would go back to work and he could stay at home and look after the baby full time. Once I can prove my earnings he can return to South Africa and apply for the spouse visas? We will have savings to support us during this time.
UK MARRIAGE VISAS
With UK Marriage visas there is a need for the UK national to have a job offer in the UK which pays over £18,600 p.a and have a proven track record of employment while overseas or savings of £62,500. As you will not be able to secure employment in the UK due to your pregnancy there maybe a way you could still secure a marriage visa as there are exceptions to this rule. I have shown an extract of the rules below:
Section EX: Exceptions to certain eligibility requirements for leave to remain as a partner or parent
EX.1. This paragraph applies if
(i) the applicant has a genuine and subsisting parental relationship with a child who-
(aa) is under the age of 18 years, or was under the age of 18 years when the applicant was first granted leave on the basis that this paragraph applied;
(bb) is in the UK;
(cc) is a British Citizen or has lived in the UK continuously for at least the 7 years immediately preceding the date of application; and
(ii) it would not be reasonable to expect the child to leave the UK; or
(b) the applicant has a genuine and subsisting relationship with a partner who is in the UK and is a British Citizen, settled in the UK or in the UK with refugee leave or humanitarian protection, and there are insurmountable obstacles to family life with that partner continuing outside the UK.
EX.2. For the purposes of paragraph EX.1.(b) “insurmountable obstacles” means the very significant difficulties which would be faced by the applicant or their partner in continuing their family life together outside the UK and which could not be overcome or would entail very serious hardship for the applicant or their partner.
I would suggest you could argue your case and request your husband be allowed to join you. Especially if you can show a record of prior employment.
On the question of your husband entering the UK as a visitor, this is certainly an option for up to six months. However, an entry clearance officer may decide that your husband’s intention after entry is to overstay his visa. If they refuse the visa then you should make a marriage visa application and explain exceptional circumstances. If the marriage visa is granted it will be for 10 years before permanent residency will be granted. During this time your husband can live and work in the UK.
Our UK Marriage Visa Was Refused, So We Appealed
I applied for a settlement visa as my husband is British and lives in the UK while I am based Overseas. I was declined as the Entry Clearance Officer stated he was not satisfied our relationship was genuine and subsisting.
This happened around August 2016. We were given the chance to appeal and we did within the 28 days in September 2016. Then in December 2016, we received a note from Global Appeals stating that the initial decision has been withdrawn and we will hear from the Decision Making Centre in due course. We were contacted by the Tribunal and advised to withdraw our appeal as the respondent had withdrawn the decision and so we concurred. It is 8 weeks now and we are yet to hear from Sheffield or the UK Visa Office in the British Embassy where the original case was filed.
Each time we inquire, we are told its still with the appeals team.
Then how can we contact the Visa Office or Sheffield directly as we are scared for our case to not become “forgotten” now that it is no longer being appealed.
Withdrawing A UK Immigration Appeal
You have now withdrawn your appeal and it is understandable as you were asked to do so. However, there is no legal requirement for you to withdraw the appeal until the UK Immigration Authorities grant your visa. I would have certainly suggested you offer to withdraw the appeal once your visa is approved. Unfortunately, it is too late to change that now so let us focus on the next step.
It is now down to the UK Entry Clearance Officer at the consulate and the appeal team now to join their thinking and return your file to the office overseas from the UK so your case can be completed and your visa issued. I would suggest you focus your efforts on building a relationship with a person within your local UK Visa office and work with them to chase up your file.
You clearly have plenty of documentary evidence to show your case will be granted but, the UK immigration department is not bound by any statutory requirement to process a case within any given timeframe, therefore, you are limited in your recourse to seeking a solution within a given period. I have worked in UK Immigration and I can assure you often the officers dealing with your case work incredibly hard but the bureaucratic framework they are required to work within is both antiquated and slow to move.
I urge you to build bridges with the staff and recognise the challenges they face. They will appreciate your understanding and may go the extra mile to help you secure your UK Visa as soon as possible.
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