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I am a UK citizen and I have my Fiance living in India. He recently applied for a marriage visit visa, but unfortunately although we were sure it would be approved - it was refused. We also hired a solicitor for our case, and he is taking us through the application a second time. We plan to get married here in the UK, but we do not want to reside here. As of yet, we are unsure where we will reside; but we have said in our application that we would return to India to live. The matter of citizenship is different, but it seems we are having issues convincing the government that my fiance will return to India.

He is enrolled in a 2 year Masters Degree which ends this May. We are now pushed for time to submit the application again so that he can come over, spend 2 months here and then leave at the end of April as he has his final examinations in May. In addition, he owns a motorbike and has a large family - but no dependants. Another point was funding - my fiance paid over 55,000 INR towards the trip and borrowed 10,000 INR from his father - but they were minded by this.

The refusal points are as follows -

You have applied for a visit visa to visit the UK for a period of 3 months to marry your fiance, Miss C L on 6th April 2018.

I acknowledge the supporting documents from your UK sponsor with regards to your accommodation and relationship. I have also considered the info you have provided about your personal and economic circumstances.

You state you are a student and employed as ...at...with a monthly income of 25,000 INR. You state you will finance this visit and that you will have £950 available to you for this purpose and that your father will contribute towards the cost of the trip.

As evidence of your funds you have provided a bank book from IDBI bank pertaining to an account in your name with a closing balance of £166. I note the cost of this trip represents more than 3 times your apparent monthly income and I am not satisfied you have sufficient funds to cover the cost of your trip.

Whilst I acknowledge you ave submitted evidence of your studies and employment, I am minded by the fact that you are dependant on the money being contributed by your father. However, you have not provided documents to confirm your parents personal circumstances in India. It is your responsibility to demonstrate that your personal circumstances in India are such that if granted leave to enter, you will comply with all of the conditions attached to any such leave and that you will leave the UK on completion of the proposed visit. I consider that the documents you have submitted do not demonstrate personal or economic ties to India and I am not satisfied that you genuinely intend a visit on this occasion. I am not satisfied that you are a genuine visitor and will leave the UK at the end of your visit. I have therefore refused your application in accordance with Paragraph 4.2 (a) (b) (c) and (d) of Appendix V of the Immigration Rules.

We want to reapply as soon as possible, for the same visa. How can we strengthen this application more so? Does anyone have any ideas on further social or personal ties? Aren't examinations for a MA degree sufficient? Would it help if I perhaps booked a course in India to prove that we plan to travel back there together?

I hope someone can give us some fresh ideas. We love each other, and have been apart for 2 months now, waiting patiently for our time to be together again.

  • If he's arriving in April, he doesn't need a 3 month visa if he has to return in May, even the end of May. I don't think he's getting this visa unless maybe he has another bank account with more money that's been there for several months and is traceable as to source. If you try to add money to his main account now...search this website for "funds parking". – mkennedy Feb 12 '18 at 22:09
  • Thanks for your reply...Sorry I don't think I was clear...He would be arriving in March, or the end of February (depending on if the application is approved) and we would leave for India together at the end of April/beginning of May as he has examinations in May. My Solicitor suggested including his fathers bank statements which are consistent and have good funding. I have looked at funds parking, and I am aware to avoid that. – Caitlin Loughrie Feb 12 '18 at 22:23
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    You have instructed a solicitor to represent your application, and that's great! Can you explain what you hope to accomplish on the net? Do you not trust your solicitor? – Giorgio Feb 13 '18 at 15:06
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After seeing my comment on this question, @GayotFow shared his view of the issue via his blog, about the refusal of your fiancés Marriage Visitor Visa (MVV).

The OP is a British national whose fiance is in India and they want to use an MVV for the fiance to come the UK and get married. This throws up a flag right off the bat…

Background. The MVV was invented in 2005 because Parliament found a no other way to accommodate a specific scenario: A couple where both parties were non-EU nationals want to come to the UK and get married at a destination venue (such as a romantic castle in Scotland) and then leave the UK. The hospitality lobby had successfully argued that without a visa like this the hotel and catering industry would suffer a loss of revenue. So this visa was created and enacted.

British nationals who want to marry a non-EU spouse are meant to use the existing fiance visa rules given in Appendix FM. But these rules have a hefty fee attached to them and therein lies the confusion. People look at the various options and see that a UK fiance visa fee is about GBP 1,500, whereas the fee for an MVV is only about GBP 90. So the MVV is obviously the way to go, right?

Well, no. The fiance visa gives the holder the right to stay in the UK lawfully once the couple are married and then to apply from within the UK for a spouse visa. The holder of a spouse visa can take employment, and receive permanent residence (indefinite leave to remain, or ILR) after 5 years. And then they can apply for British nationality on the next day! The holder of an MVV gets none of those things.

But for some, it’s worth the difference in price to come to the UK, get married, and then use Article 8 (human rights) to remain in the UK. When this happens, the path to ILR is extended to 10 years. Of course the applicant’s credibility is stained, but for lots of people this aspect doesn’t mean very much as they are just starting out in life. I have been saying that it may be worth it for a very small number of cases, but 10 years is an awfully long time to hold out in a perilous immigration status with a new marriage. But if it works, it works, right?

Well, sort of. But if the strategy is to get in cheaply and to use Article 8, then the SVV costs the same and leaves their credibility largely intact, or at least more so than the outright abuse of an MVV.

Anyway, back to topic…

Reading the refusal notice I find myself repeating the mantra that “ECO’s are not idiots”. Here we have two people who want to get married. Option 1 is to send the Brit to India, get married, and return to the UK. Option 2 is to send the Indian to the UK, get married, and (optimistically stated) return to India. Any way you cut it Option 1 is somewhere between GBP 300 – GBP 400 cheaper than Option 2. So what’s the rationale for wanting Option 2? How is it that somebody with GBP 169 in the bank proposes to spend 300 – 400 pounds more to accomplish the same thing? Unless it’s to accomplish something different. Or is the ECO not supposed to notice those things? I suppose there’s an explanation that justifies an irrational plan like that, but they didn’t include it in the application.

Next we come to the point Giorgio raised… they instructed a solicitor, this is great and part of my standing advice for over two decades. So what in heaven’s name are they doing on the net asking random strangers for ideas and advice? eh? EH?

Finally (and perhaps mercifully) we arrive at my final nitpick. In comments, the OP writes…

He would be arriving in March, or the end of February (depending on if the application is approved) and we would leave for India together at the end of April/beginning of May as he has examinations in May

Let’s do the arithmetic. 7 days residency required in order to give notice plus 28 – 70 days for the notice period (more if something is turned up). That gives us somewhere between 35 to 77 days before the marriage can take place. Then add 3 – 5 days slippage to book the celebrant. His exams in India start in May. The rest is left as an exercise for the reader.

Bottom line: as a UK citizen, use of this route is abusive, which a solicitor versed in UK immigration law will recognize. A second application in the same category will likely have the same result, a refusal, and repeated refusals affect him, not you. For your future together, you may need to rethink your short term plans so that your long term goals are not affected negatively.

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