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My mum's sister is a British citizen. Mum visited her in 2001 and stayed for 3 months, then visited again with me this time in 2007 for 2 months. She was given a visa without any trouble both times. While there, she met an Englishman. They eventually got married in Belarus, our home country.

Mum applied for a spouse visa in 2010, but was refused as her husband wasn't able to prove he had enough finances to support himself, my mum and I. He went to British immigration court but lost the case. Mum tried applying for the second time in 2012 after her husband got a better job, but was refused again for the same reason. Her husband went to court again and lost again.

They eventually got divorced and he passed away several years later.

Last year mum wanted to visit her sister in the UK. She applied for a visitor visa and wrote about two previous refusals in the application form, explaining the circumstances (that she's not visiting her ex-husband as he's passed away, but wants to visit her sister like she did two times before). She provided a letter from her sister saying that her family will sponsor her while she's staying with them. She also provided her own financial documents, but didn't provide payslips (only a letter from employer stating her salary) and bank statement with transaction history (only the amount of money she has in her bank account). She was refused. Here's the letter of refusal:

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I'd like to visit my aunt in the UK next year. I'm going to provide my own bank statement with transaction history, my payslips and a letter from my aunt stating I'll be staying with her family and they'll be covering food and living expences. I'll also provide my aunt's financial and property documents. Will this be enough, considering I'm an unmarried 23 year old woman? Should I mention my visa refusals in the application form if I were a minor at the time and this was a spouse visa? Can my mum try applying for a visitor visa together with me if she provides all the documents mentioned in the refusal letter? Or is our case too complicated to even try without lawyer assistance?

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    Superficially it looks like all that's being asked for are for some more detail on how that money in the savings account got there (and that it's not "funds parking") and better documentation of her employment and income. Typically the "3-strikes -> get a lawyer" applies more when you're trying for the same type of visa multiple times in quick succession. – brhans May 23 '18 at 21:51
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    They are looking for a great deal more evidence that you have a successful life in Belarus to return to. This "sponsor" thing isn't helping, if you can't afford a family/friends visit without them going out of pocket, then why don't they just visit you in Belarus? – Harper May 23 '18 at 22:41
  • Actually, I'm able to afford the trip, the only sponsorship my aunt's going to be providing is food and a place to stay. The same concerns my mum. We both have jobs and means to pay for our visit. My aunt was going to pay for mum's flight tickets as a birthday present, and that's exactly what was stated in the sponsorship letter. Also, what could be considered an evidence of successful life in Belarus in addition to bank statement and letter from employer? My mum owns property in Belarus and I live there with her, is this enough? – Lizaveta May 23 '18 at 23:14
  • Also, I have to work at my current job for at least 2 years, or face paying a large fine of several thousand dollars to the government. This is a law in our country concerning all college graduates who studied for free. Should I provide a corresponding document as evidence that I will return to Belarus? – Lizaveta May 23 '18 at 23:31
  • @Lizaveta how would Belarus put a fine on someone who has left the country? This is probably not a strong point. The job itself should be the tie to home. – user16259 May 24 '18 at 9:03
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Or is our case too complicated to even try without lawyer assistance?

There may be quite a few hurdles to overcome, what with previous marriage, immigrant intent (settlement), refusals, failed appeals. If you were a minor at the time, you may be less impacted, but your mother's UK immigration record would be of greater concern.

The UK regulates and registers those legally able to give immigration advice and services (advisers, solicitors, barristers and members of approved professional bodies). Here are tools to get you started:

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