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Immigration to the UK

(10 Posts)
nursingdreams Wed 07-Nov-12 19:23:14

OK this may be long but just wanted to give a thorough explanation.

I lived and worked as a volunteer in one of the poorest countries in Africa for 2 years. Very early on I met my now husband.

We were hoping to get him a visitors visa to the UK whilst I worked to save up the money for the permanent visa as the advice from the UKBA suggests when applying for permanent residency your spouse needs to have been working for 6 months.

Looking back obviously this was too good to be true and the UKba rejected the visitor visa application. In Africa I was only being given a food allowance so I have nothing really in terms of money and I don't own my own property.

With all of this we decided we would get married mainly so we could share our union with his family.

I have an appointment with an immigration lawyer on Friday but I really can't afford to be throwing money away so I was hoping people could give me some suggestions or any difficulties anyone else has faced on getting a DH from Africa into the UK. I know immigration rules are getting tighter and tighter every day so really need some help.

The whole situation is frustrating as we are actually considering living permanently in his country not here in the UK but none of my family will fly and I desperately want him to meet them and experience some of my culture as I have spent 2 years living with his family.

The whole thing is driving us both mad and is not helped that I have just spent about 24 flying back to the UK and left him there so I can try to help us meet the immigration requirements, everyone we seem to talk to tells us we stand no chance, it's just so depressing. More than anything what we really need is free advice and unfortunately I'm having to pay the lawyer for her time so wanted some hints on what I should ask or clear up with her to make the most use of our money!!

TIA

FlangelinaBallerina Thu 08-Nov-12 12:53:13

You were badly advised about the visit visa. DH wouldn't have been able to work in the UK whilst on a visit visa, it's specifically forbidden, and in addition there's no provision in the Immigration Rules for someone to switch from a visit visa to a spousal visa inside the UK. However, the fact that he's got a refusal behind him may complicate things. Especially if part of the reason he was refused is because they didn't believe him about anything, or thought any of his documents were fake.

Which country is DH from? Some embassies have much lower success rates than others. If he's applying from, say, Addis Ababa, I'd prepare yourself for an appeal. They have something like a 45% initial refusal rate. A lot of the people who work in entry clearance posts have no idea what they're doing, and some of them see their job as keeping people out.

The relevant Immigration Rule that you will need to comply with is Paragraph 281 of the Immigration Rules. You can see it here.

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/policyandlaw/immigrationlaw/immigrationrules/part8/spouses_civil_partners/

You need to evidence absolutely everything. Eg if you want to show you have enough roo to accommodate him because you rent a two bed flat, enclose the tenancy agreement. Now, I went on maternity leave in June and the rules changed a lot in July, so I'm rusty. It used to be that maintenance meant you had to show you had enough income to maintain you both at the benefits level for a couple after rent/mortgage is paid. But this either has changed or is changing.

Lastly, if all else fails don't despair. EU law also gives you options. There's a case called Surinder Singh which might be very useful if you don't mind going and working or studying in another EU state for a bit.

FlangelinaBallerina Thu 08-Nov-12 12:54:16

Incidentally why are you paying? Are you not eligible for legal aid? it does still exist for immigration, though it won't do for much longer.

nursingdreams Thu 08-Nov-12 19:41:45

Thanks for your advice

My husband is from Malawi but because it's so small the visas are done through Pretoria in SA. We didn't want him to work on his visitors visa we had been told for a spouse visa I needed 6 months of payslips so we thought it would be good for him to come as a visitor whilst I worked and then he'd have gone back and applied for the spouse visa.

They rejected the visitor visa as my parents were acting as his sponsors and they didn't send the right evidence and they said they did not think he would return as he was self employed and earning a very low wage.

The whole thing is such a nightmare and we were thinking of paying one of these immigration people on the internet to assist us but a family friend recommended going to see a lawyer instead as it might help in the future if we do need to appeal. My DH has already mentioned that it may be easier for him to get a visa to Ireland and as a nurse I could work there so if all else fails we might do that and maybe my family could cope with such a short flight!!

FlangelinaBallerina Thu 08-Nov-12 19:59:54

Ok, the reasons why he was refused last time don't sound insurmountable. But you'll need to address them in this application: not so much the lack of documents, but the fact that they didn't believe him. I would suggest detailed statements from both of you (most good lawyers would advise this anyway). you can both discuss the last application. A good lawyer will include representations (legal argument cover letter type thing) with the application. They can point out that the reasons for refusal last time aren't relevant to this application, as he was basically refused because they didn't think he'd go back and he's not actually planning to go back.

What do you mean by one of those people on the internet? There are some horrendous immigration lawyers out there, fucking shysters. which area are you in?

Your Ireland plan could lead to DH joining you in the UK under EU law! Basically EU law allows citizens of EU countries to go and work, study etc in other EU states. They are allowed to have family members, which includes spouses, with them while they do this. Meaning you could have DH with you in Ireland while you work there. Do this for a few months and he could apply for entry clearance to the UK and then a residence card. This is allowed, following the case of Surinder Singh. If you had your DH with you in another EU state thanks to EU law, you can have him with you in the UK too. but you have to go and work, study or be self sufficient in another EU state first. DH would have many more rights under EU law than he would on a spousal visa so if there's nothing stopping you going and working in Ireland for a year, it might be worth thinking about. Particularly if he can't meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules. EU law applications also have the great advantage of being free.

nursingdreams Fri 09-Nov-12 15:11:01

That's great thank you so much

I'm now in Cambridge. We were looking at going through immigrationexpert but a family friend told us we should just stick to an immigration lawyer as they could help us more if we end up needing to appeal

CaliforniaLeaving Fri 09-Nov-12 22:17:08

You will need 6 months of employment pay earning $18,600 a year to sponsor your Dh. I'd stick to an immigration lawyer too, not a consultant or agency.
You can find people in the same predicament over at www.britishexpats.com in the moving back to UK section and maybe in the Africa section

CaliforniaLeaving Sat 10-Nov-12 19:25:34

Sorry that should say £18,600 not $$

FlangelinaBallerina Mon 12-Nov-12 08:53:06

Ok, I don't know anyone in Cambridge so can't make a recommendation. But do be careful: even some immigration solicitors are utter shysters. And if I were you, I'd definitely ask for advice on both a spousal visa application and options under EEA law, if you're serious about living in Ireland for a bit.

expatinscotland Mon 12-Nov-12 09:04:25

He cannot work on a visitor's visa, it's not a question of not wanting to, it's illegal.

Depending on how long you are staying in the UK, too, he may be ineligible for one due to being married to you.

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