Hello and I would appreciate in advance any help I can get, please bear with as this post might be long but I'll try to make it easier to read as much as possible. Please no rude or nasty comments, we really would like to make things work but we need help, I understand we had made reckless decisions on the first application but I would really appreciate if anybody can look at this in a logical professional manner (we cannot really afford to get an immigration lawyer or such to help us).
I met my boyfriend online about 2 years ago, and we decided to meet up, I flew over to him in South Africa, things worked out between us in real, so we got married and we've been planning on starting our life properly in the country where I live, United Kingdom.
At this point, we have already made two visa applications for him which both got refused (please check below for the Refusal Letter notes).
First Application's Refusal Letter Notes:
On his first visa application, we weren't married yet and had no professional help or further knowledge about applying for a visit visa to the UK. So the mistakes were quite obvious :(
You have stated that you intend to travel to the UK for 1 month 11 days to visit your girlfriend/fiance. I am aware of the importance of family ties, but I must also consider the immigration rules and the importance of maintaining immigration controls.
I have to consider your circumstances when assessing your application. I noted that you are unemployed and that your girlfriend's relation, (My Mother was willing to sponsor him), will be paying towards the cost of your visit but you have not provided any evidence to support this. You have provided a bank statement from your girlfriend covering xx/xx/2017 showing a closing balance of XXXX; the highest amount on the statement was XXXXX on XX/XX/2017. This does not provide evidence that she has sufficient funds to cover the cost of your visit.
There was actually a "misunderstanding" on the first application where the ECO had mistaken my bank statement to be the sponsor for my boyfriend, when we provided a letter and a bank statement from my mother to be the sponsor. Also I was a quite low in funds, which may have also been a deadly highlight for the application.
We took time to review and researched our stuff and made another application a few months after the first one which got refused as well.
Second Application's Refusal Letter Notes:
- You state you intend to visit the UK for 3 months to see your future in-laws and for tourism.
I note you were refused a visa on the XX/XX/2017. I note on your previous application you stated you were unemployed. On your current application you state you are a self-employed Farmer, earning ZAR XXXXXXX a year. However, you have not demonstrated this income through your application and this leads me to doubt that your circumstances are as stated.
Additionally, you do not appear to have any savings, income or assets of your own. On the balance of probabilities I am not satisfied that you have demonstrated that you have strong family and financial ties to your home country which would encourage you to return should you be granted entry to the UK.
Furthermore, it is unclear from your application how long you have known Miss (My name) Senyora Blahblah, and there is no evidence that you have ever met. I noted that you have never traveled to the UK before and there is no confirmation that your sponsor has ever traveled to South Africa. It is unclear as to the exact nature of your relationship and why you have chosen now to travel to the UK. Given than, I am not satisfied that your sponsor has a genuine professional or personal relationship with you.
Now at this point I have been thoroughly researching, learning and reading up the Visitor: Supporting Documents Guide, the Appendix V: Immigration Rules for Visitors and other people's visa application and situation that is very similar to ours in this forum and on other websites.
We decided to get married here in South Africa where he lives. I've been 'living' with him in SA for about 1 and a half year(s) with just a visitors visa (and been extending it) - (3 months free visa + another 3 months for the extension. Then I come back to UK and come back to SA, repeat the cycle)
We have stated he is self employed on the second application since he gets a monthly allowance from his mother (Please, I know, it was a mistake to do this), no documentation of it whatsoever and it is not self employment. Yes I know.
We also used his mother's bank statement basically to cover for his financial means as well as my mother's too as the sponsor with all the required Supporting Letters, Bank Statements and such. It was a mistake not to give his actual bank statement that did not have income coming through or any transactions.
I also understand that we need to provide evidence of our relationship, how we met, etc, etc.
We are now married, for almost a year now, he is still unemployed (because it is a real scarce to find a job here in SA, South Africa has the highest unemployment rate in the world due to bad government, racism and such).
However, he is commencing to start his own business soon which would be a salary of £2k-£3k per month, which will be good to show that he has a business that is tying him to his home country. His mother has been giving him roughly £300 funds per month to his bank for the past 3 months to show that there is incoming funds going through his bank account, and we have been using his bank account as well so it won't look as if he is parking funds there.
I understand that he needs to satisfy the 3 main requirements:
- Provide evidence that your relationship is genuine
- Provide evidence that you have a good reason to want to return to your home country once your visit is over (job, family, land ownership)
- Provide evidence of financial 'stability'
I also understand the importance of organising the documents neatly in a nice folder with a big table of contents and that documents must be translated into English if they are in a different language. And perhaps conducting a thorough scrapbook-like of how he and I met and photographs/skypecalls/messages/emails/events/flight tickets/everything about our genuine relationship.
I also understand that there needs to be a consistency throughout the previous visa applications (hence with the ECO's raised eyebrows on the self-employment on the 2nd application when we stated he was unemployed on the 1st application) and that one shall not lie in their applications.
We need advice, perhaps someone who has deep knowledge in this field. I am unsure if we should try again for another Visit Visa application for my husband (we cannot do a spousal visa yet since I am also unemployed, and I am actually still a university student who is in a gap year)
Our goal for now is to get him to even just visit the UK to meet my family who hes known of but never really met, and to experience the culture and such. We have plans for the spousal visa which is another story going to be full of tears, goodbyes and skypecalls/long distance relationship.
Its easy to say that all he needs is a job to tie him to the country but he has been applying for jobs for a year and I know you don't care but there is almost no job opportunities here in South Africa for white people (please pardon my language I do not mean to offend anyone) He has his family here in SA and is taking care of his ill grandmother who currently owns a land and is getting income for it.
We have almost given up hope due to the very strict government laws of the UK, it is kind of tearing our relationship apart and it might in the future so I am just asking as a wife who loves and cares for her husband dearly.
Will there be a chance of approval for his next visitor visa application even if
- We are married (and the ECO might think he will want to overstay in the UK since I am a UK citizen living there)
- He is unemployed, but has bank savings and commencing to start his business soon
- There were mistakes in his previous visa applications (self-employment thing on the 2nd application which was basically a lie, and I fear of him getting caught and banned if we state he is unemployed for real in the next application)
- His wife (me) is also unemployed but has a mother/father more than willing to sponsor his trip and everything (they will want to look at my bank statement too which does not really have a lot of funds in it, and they might take me as his sponsor again because I am the wife)
I would greatly appreciate any kind of advice as long as its not rude. Please pardon me if I have used foul words that may have offended anybody. Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to read this long question/post.