At Wildings Solicitors we are regularly asked to advise our clients who are thinking about calling their loved ones to visit them in the UK. Some individual’s such as those from European Union countries or citizens of non-visa countries such as the USA do not need prior entry clearance to come to the UK to visit.
In any family visit application it is the intention of the applicant which is the most important factor that the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) will take into account when considering the application. In particular the ECO will need to be satisfied that the applicant intends to return back home at the end of the visit.
Wildings Solicitors have extensive experience in preparing applications from visitors as well as dealing with appeals where the initial application has been refused. The most common reason for refusal is the Entry Clearance officer not being satisfied that the Applicant will return home at the end of the visit.
We have taken this opportunity to compose a list of items that we think are very important for any family visit application to succeed. The list includes evidence for both the UK sponsor as well as the applicant from abroad as follows:
• The UK Sponsors passport showing they are settled in the UK or a British Citizen.
• Evidence of the UK sponsors finances for example their last 3 months bank statements.
• Evidence of the UK sponsors income, for example from employment or self employment
• Evidence of the proposed accommodation in the UK and we would suggest including evidence of ownership such as official copies or a tenancy agreement if rented. We also recommend obtaining an independent accommodation report. These are normally carried out by Estate Agents.
• Detailed evidence of the applicant’s assets or income, including Property, Agricultural land, Cars, Businesses, pensions and any other assets.
• Evidence of what ties the applicant has to their home country, for example evidence of marriage, children, employment, community ties etc. and can include evidence such as marriage/birth certificates, photos with family members etc.
• Evidence of how the trip will be funded, this can be from the UK sponsor or the applicant depending on who is paying for the visit, for example bank statements etc.
• Evidence that the applicant intends to return home after the visit for example a return plane ticket.
• Details of what the applicant intends to do in the UK during the visit
Once the requisite evidence is available the next stage is to prepare an organised dossier of evidence which will be submitted with the visitor application. Nowadays it is a requirement for most countries that the application is submitted online and this can be done on the Home Office website. We also recommend attaching a covering letter or sponsorship declaration and this should address any points which need to be highlighted in the evidence or any areas which you think the ECO may need more information about.
In most countries visitor visas are processed within 2- 4 weeks however the exact time will depend on how busy the Embassy is. If the application is successful then a visit visa will normally be issued allowing a person to stay in the UK for a period of 6 months.
If a visa is refused then an appeal is only allowed on human rights grounds. Human rights grounds only apply in limited circumstances, for example where the refusal prevents a visit between a spouse/partner or a parent and minor child or in other exceptional circumstances where the Home Office accept that human rights might be engaged.
The Immigration department at Wildings solicitors have assisted many clients to be reunited with their love ones. Should you need advice or assistance with any of the issues mentioned in this article or any other immigration matter, please do not hesitate to contact the Wildings Solicitors Immigration Department and we will be happy to speak to you.
Source: Asgher Hussain (Immigration Department).