UK Spouse Visa refusal
Applying for a Spouse Visa is often a complex and lengthy process, unfortunately many Spouse Visa applications are refused by the Home Office, this can be a disheartening experience as no one wishes to be separated from a loved one. Luckily, there are steps that you can take to give your Spouse Visa application the best chance of success, there are also steps that you can take if your Spouse Visa is refused.
The IAS team of expert immigration advisers are ready to help if you have had your Spouse Visa refused. We can liaise with the Home Office to see what the grounds of the refusal were and advise you on your eligibility for appeal. One of our lawyers can also provide you with high-quality legal representation throughout your appeal. You can get in touch with our London, Manchester, or Birmingham immigration lawyers, or use the office finder to find the closest branch to you. Get in touch for advice on your options today by making an enquiry online or calling 0333 363 8577.
Why your UK Spouse Visa might be refused
There are several reasons why a Spouse Visa may be refused by the Home Office. It may be because you do not meet the Spouse Visa eligibility requirements, such as the financial requirements or the genuine relationship requirement. However, most Spouse Visa refusals are not due to the ineligibility of the applicant but rather due to a lack of evidence to prove that you are able to meet the requirements.
The genuine relationship requirement can be notoriously hard to prove that you meet; your application may be refused if the evidence you supplied to show that your relationship with your partner is genuine was not substantial enough. It may also be refused if you submitted too many documents and it aroused suspicions that you did not intend to live with your spouse after marriage.
The Home Office are trained to detect cases of marriage fraud in applications for Spouse Visas. They have very strict guidelines that can be difficult to navigate without the assistance of a professional immigration lawyer, and for this reason, having your Spouse Visa refused is common.
What to do if your Spouse Visa is refused
Having your Spouse Visa refused can be an upsetting event that is often detrimental to an individuals plans to join their family in the UK and begin a life together here. Luckily, a UK Spouse Visa refusal can be challenged through the appeal process.
You can appeal a Spouse Visa refusal under human rights grounds using Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights which states that:
“Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence…There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.”
If the Home Office is found to have breached their obligations under Article 8 by issuing you a UK Spouse Visa refusal, they may be forced to review their decision about your Spouse Visa application and you could be granted leave to remain in the UK.
What to expect from the Spouse visa appeal process
The Home Office usually explains your options in the decision letter you receive. In that letter, you should be able to know if you can appeal and the process of appealing the decision.
If you wish to go forward with a visa appeal, the first step is to submit an appeal form within 14 or 28 days of getting your decision letter. 14 days is for those in the UK that applied to switch from another visa to a Spouse visa, and 28 days is for those who applied from outside the UK.
When completing the appeal form, you can choose to have a decision made based on the details on your form or after an oral hearing where you can have representatives. You will also need to pay a visa appeal fee, which is £80 if you don’t want a hearing or £140 if you want one.
When submitting your appeal form, you can add any information that can prove why you are eligible for the visa. This can include new information which you didn’t provide to the Home Office previously but adds to your evidence.
If you wish to have an oral hearing, you will receive a date to have it in person at a UK tribunal Office, by phone, or by remote video call.
The appeal process may take anywhere from a few weeks to months. If your UK spouse visa appeal is successful, the Home Office is to reconsider their decision and, in most cases, grant you the Spouse visa. If the appeal is not successful, you may be able to bring a case to the Upper Tribunal.
Can I submit a fresh application if my previous spouse visa application was refused?
Yes. If you do not wish to appeal or your appeal was rejected, you can file a fresh application. Before you do that, ensure that you meet the requirements and have all you were missing that led to the previous refusal. More tips are below.
How to reduce your chances of a UK Spouse visa refusal
Detailed above are reasons why your Spouse visa application may have been refused. In most cases, it is due to ineligibility for the visa, mistakes in the application, or not providing enough documents/evidence to prove you meet the requirements.
To avoid getting a refusal in your re-application for a UK Spouse visa, ensure that your application is complicated with meticulous care. Check thoroughly to remove any mistakes and submit enough evidence to prove you meet the Spouse visa requirements.
Your documents should show you are in a genuine relationship with your British partner or someone with settled status in the UK; such documents may include a civil partnership or marriage certificate, lease/tenancy agreements, and photographs together. Also, you should submit documents that prove you meet the financial requirements and every other requirement for this visa.
Regardless of the option you are leaning towards (appeal or reapplication), we suggest you reach out to an immigration lawyer to find out which path will give you a higher chance of walking away with a Spouse visa and assist with ensuring that is the case. You can call us today on 03334149244 to discuss or reach out via live chat or contact form.
How can IAS help?
If you have had a Spouse Visa refused, our lawyers are here for you. Here at IAS, we are experts in all areas of UK immigration law, including the appeal process. If you choose to hire one of our lawyers to assist you with your Spouse Visa application they will ensure that you have the highest chance of success. Your lawyer will be there for you throughout the application process ensuring that you have all the documents required to prove that you can meet the eligibility requirements.
If you have already had your Spouse Visa refused, our lawyers can still help you to appeal the decision. The appeal process is incredibly complex and can be very time consuming, sometimes taking up to 12 months. Our lawyers can use their substantial knowledge of UK immigration law to support you throughout the appeal process.
Our lawyers will prepare and help you to gather all the necessary documents and paperwork required during the appeal process and will represent you before the tribunal or court.
For expert advice regarding your Spouse Visa application, speak to our immigration lawyers today by calling 0333 363 8577.
Last modified on July 17th, 2023 at 7:00 am
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The evidence of a continuous relationship is important to the success of a Spouse Visa application. The Home Office is tasked with identifying fraud marriages, so your information will be analysed in great detail in order to identify if you have had a continuous relationship.
The common misconception with Spouse Visas is the assumption that the process is relatively simple. If the relationship is genuine and there was a genuine wedding then you should have a good chance of convincing the Home Office that the relationship is real. However, as the fraudulent applications get more complex, the Home Office will look for any discrepancies in your application as a reason to refuse your Spouse Visa.
Minor issues can lead to a Spouse Visa refused letter being issued, which can be very distressing for couples in a genuine relationship. The applicant should be prepared for all information surrounding the Spouse Visa application to be scrutinised.
A spouse Visa that is refused by the Home Office cannot be put under an Administrative Visa Review, instead, your only option is the appeal process. For a rejected Spouse Visa you may be able to get hearing if the refusal of your Spouse Visa threatens your right to a private life covered in the Human Rights Act.
If you win, the Home Office will change their decision and most likely grant you the Spouse Visa. If you lose the Spouse Visa refused appeal, then it is possible to bring the case to the Upper Tribunal. The Upper Tribunal handles appeals against decisions made by the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum) and if you believe your case was mishandled in any way you may have it reviewed by them.
Your initial Spouse Visa will be valid for 33 months if you applied from outside the UK and 30 months if you applied from inside the UK. Before this time has passed, you will need to apply for a Spouse Visa extension and prove that your relationship is ongoing.
Some people may receive a Spouse Visa extension refused letter that will outline why it was refused and the steps they need to take. It is important not to ignore a Spouse Visa extension refused letter as it may state that you need to make plans to leave the UK or offer the option to appeal the decision. It is paramount that you apply within the period, as the Home Office will often penalise overstayers and you will be ruining any chance you have of any future application.
At IAS, we understand that having a Spouse Visa refused can be very distressing, and we want to offer you the help you need to unite you and your partner as efficiently as possible.
Our lawyers have had many years of experience in this area and will be able to help you understand your options and guide you through the appeal process.
Our Application Services include:
- checking your documents to ensure that they are sufficient for your application;
- helping you gather appropriate evidence to prove your relationship is genuine and longlasting;
- preparing a Letter of Representation, detailing your case as well as any relevant UK Immigration law;
- liaising with the Home Office throughout the process;
- completing your application form to the highest standard.
Our Appeal Services include:
- taking detailed instructions from you to assess your circumstances;
- discussing the requirements of the UK Immigration Rules relevant to your case;
- delivering detailed advice on the merits of appealing against a Spouse Visa refusal;
- professionally collating, completing and submitting the required appeal forms;
- producing a detailed and comprehensive document bundle for the court providing the details and merits of your appeal chronologically, as well as why it should be accepted;
- expertly representing you at the full hearing before the tribunal, and liaising with the appellate authorities to respond to any queries they may have until a decision is reached.
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