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My Nigerian girlfriend applied for a 6-month tourist visa to visit me in the UK. I would be sponsoring the trip entirely. She received a refusal letter on Monday.

The reasons for refusal do not seem to bear any resemblance to the application that we submitted. For example:

  1. We applied for and stated that she would visit for the maximum allowable period of 6 months. The refusal states "You have applied for leave to enter to visit the UK for 2 weeks".

  2. We put on the application form that she earns 20,000 N per month from her shop. The refusal states "You state you are self-employed and earn 300,000 N per month".

  3. The refusal letter states "As evidence of this you have presented a certificate of incorporation and bank statement". We did not submit any certificate of incorporation and the only bank statements submitted were from me (as sponsor).

The refusal letter goes on to talk about bank statement showing uncorroborated third part credits. This is a fantasy as we did not submit any bank statement of hers.

The last page of letter states that "Your application for a visit visa has been refused under paragraph 4.2 a & c". Further it states that there is no right of appeal or right to administrative review.

How can this be? How can they make a decision that is clearly based on documents that bear no relationship to our application and then say there is no right to administrative review? This is outrageous. It is obvious to me that there has been an administrative error and somebody needs to take responsibility for this.

I called the number following number Telephone: 00 44 203 481 1736 Monday to Friday, 24 hours Calls cost £1.37 per minute on top of your standard network charges.

I received the following email from them

Dear Terry,

Thank you for contacting UK Visas and Immigration International enquiry service.

In regards to your query, please accept our apologies for the delay and any inconvenience this may have caused.

Kindly provide us with the following information to escalate your case further to our relevant department:

  • Applicant full name:
  • GWF Reference Number:
  • Passport Number:
  • Date of Birth:
  • Country where applying:
  • Location of the VAC:
  • Type of visa:
  • Date of biometrics:
  • Nationality:
  • Contact email:
  • Brief reason of escalation:

I would really appreciate some guidance on this matter.

  • 3
    Are you sure you weren’t scammed? Have you met your girlfriend in person? I can easily imagine a scam where they ask you to send the visa application fee but then feign a rejection and ask you to send even more money. – RoboKaren Mar 27 '18 at 21:00
  • I have met and this is definitely not a scam. – TerryIfy Mar 27 '18 at 21:22
  • 1
    You may find this answer helpful. – mts Mar 27 '18 at 21:32
  • 4
    Is there any reason why you don't just follow their process? They've said they can investigate if you give them information. Do you not want to give them that information? Is there another reason you are asking this question of us? – Chris Mar 27 '18 at 21:39
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    You might want to read up on those terms, which don't mean exactly what you'd think they would in ordinary non-immigration law English gov.uk/immigration-asylum-tribunal/appeal-from-outside-the-uk gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/… – origimbo Mar 27 '18 at 23:27
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Based on what you write, it sure sounds like your girlfriend got someone else's refusal letter (or the text of someone else's refusal letter was somehow erroneously copied into hers). Such clerical errors do unfortunately happen, but UKVI will absolutely want to correct that when it's brought to their attention, so just cooperate in providing the identifying information they're asking for.

The "no right to appeal or administrative review" is not really pertinent for this situation. That means that once a decision has been made on her application she can't challenge that decision. However in this case the decision she got was not made on her application -- or if such a decision was made, that's not the decision that was communicated to her. She does have a right to get her application decided, and to get to know the results of that decision.

Your communication with UKVI will probably go most smoothly if you adopt an attitude of "somehow we got sent a decision from a different case, and here is why we think it's from a different case" rather than "they refused her visa on completely fabricated grounds, shock and outrage!"

Unfortunately it is probably most likely that the ECO did consider her application and did intend to refuse it, but something just went awry in writing it down. In that case all you'll get out of the exercise is to have the right refusal letter instead of a wrong one. But this is just a guess, and you won't know for sure until you get the right decision.

  • ok - thanks for response. I am still waiting for a response to the escalation email I sent in on 26 March. Im guessing delays due to Easter hols – TerryIfy Apr 4 '18 at 15:40

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