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Hello,

I'm new here (and to the rules) and apologise for any errors in posting or asking questions which may not fit. In any case please let me know of anything wrong.

I have read almost all the previous great answers on TSE, especially from Gayot Fow (RIP), regarding my situation i.e UK visa refused under V4.2 (a),(c) & (e). These answers helped me understand some flaws in my original application & I am almost ready with my second application (with about 6 pages of explainer cover letter & additional financial proofs). Questions below are asked particularly in context of my application(s) but may be generalised by others. I would also love your suggestions.

1. My refusal letter (from mid-september) only states -

“Any future UK visa applications you make will be considered on their individual merits, however you are likely to be refused unless the circumstances of your application change“

I saw other letters of refusal here mention

‘unless additional evidence is provided’

‘unless your circumstances change significantly’

Question Set 1 -

  • What does this really mean in my case?
  • Is there a general 'severity estimate’ based on the different 'languages' used above?
  • Will they even consider my additional evidence & explanations?
  • How bad is my refusal vis-à-vis reapplication relevance? Is it even worth making a re-application?

2. There was an error in calculating the value of my fixed deposits by the ECO. The deposit statement I had provided did not mention any totals and thus ECO computed the amounts from Page 2 in their refusal letter which is only a third of my actual deposits, while they completely ignored Page 1. I read here that 4.2(e) is mostly an icing on top of more severe 4.2 (a) & (c)

Question Set 2 -

  • Will apprising them about this oversight in calculation (which I must bring up) improve my chances even slightly?
  • What is the best way to communicate this in my new application?

3. Seems they mainly refused me on 4.2 (a) & (c), I assume it was because of my profile - a 30+yo single Indian male, freelance consultant, possible to work & earn remotely in the UK, asking for 4 months to visit his long-term girlfriend. I can see how I fit the refusal profile from UKVI ’s point of view.

I’ve now reduced my visit duration to 2 months (already lost 2 months due to refusal) in my new application, and attaching confirmed return tickets (which I also did last time) but I guess it won’t make a difference. We’ve literally been apart 13 months and I honestly wish to spend 60 days with her. Historically we’ve only managed to have 3 week long vacations together, but want to spend more time than that when it is finally possible. Is it too much to humanly ask?

Question Set 3 -

  • What are my other options to show ties to the country? I had already attached property details (owned jointly with my mother) to show my ties to land & family, I can explain a bit more but I can’t think of any other positive evidence to show. What do I do?

  • I have a small bank loan on my apartment, which I didn't mention explicitly, but my expenses reported during application and bank statement show these monthly instalment debits. Do I disclose this in my new application in case it adds value to my ties or acts positively?

  • How do I prove I am a genuine visitor if I gave them pretty much all the evidence I have already. I can give evidence of my additional income, income being genuinely derived from my profession (tax statements from the government) and the deposits resulting from the income, but that only answers the V4.2(e); points 4.2 (a) & (c) still remain.

I’m just stressed that in my opinion I can give them all genuine reasons (and some new financial evidence) but I’m afraid I’ll fall short to show my intent of being a genuine visitor. Any pointers to improve my application outcome will be super-welcome.

Thanks in advance.

EDIT (for gratitude): Thank you everyone for your help with the answers & comments, specifically @Traveller & @DJClayworth. It has given me a lot of information & other person's perspective to improve my next application. For me, both answers are equally great & sensible, however in order to mark one as 'accepted' I'll just go by the upvotes. Cheers!

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    FYI, the UK government explicitly recommends against booking any tickets before applying for visitor visa, so attaching them is neither necessary nor beneficial. Also, can your girlfriend come to meet you in India instead? (That's the obvious question the ECO will have in mind. People from "rich" countries visiting "poor" countries are way less of an overstay risk than the other way around.)
    – TooTea
    Oct 15 at 14:46
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    @TooTea I understand, but I had booked & paid for them anyway for obvious price reasons & flexibility. My GF can't visit me for very long, 2 weeks at max. It isn't about just meeting anymore, it's about nurturing our relationship. We were separated for 11 months until 2020 and another 13 months until my my possible visit, so we were seeking to spend more 'regular' time together than a short vacation. Hence sought 4 months for visa considering my good travel history to UK & Schengen. I was so wrong!
    – Abhi
    Oct 15 at 16:15
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    Have you considered applying for a marriage visa that won't require you to leave afterwards?
    – nick012000
    Oct 16 at 7:42
  • The monetary amounts remain visible (albeit in GBP).
    – Deepak
    Oct 17 at 3:55
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    @nick012000 a marriage visitor visa still requires the visitor to leave after a marriage in the UK (not on the plans yet). A fiance/partner visa (family visa) on the other hand is very expensive, and works like a precursor to immigrate to the UK, which is again, not something we're looking at the moment.
    – Abhi
    Oct 17 at 8:56
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Lets deal with question set 1 first. All of the statements in the refusal are aiming to tell you "You are welcome to apply again, but unless you fix the problems the next application will be rejected too." You can't just repeat the application and hope for a different result. It's standard statements that are always made. Some people think it's like a lottery, and if they just submit the same application again they might win this time.

For the second question set, the calculation error is not a big issue. It's not worth trying to get the decision overturned because of it. You can point it out in your next application, in notes.

Now for the questions you didn't ask. There are two serious issues with your application:

  1. The officer can't find evidence to back up your statements about income
  2. There are unexplained deposits in your accounts.

(The unexplained deposits may be from your income but the officer can't verify that).

You need to find better evidence that the deposits in your accounts actually do come from your work. For example, if your invoices show Customer X paid you a certain amount for some services, then there should be a deposit to your account for that amount from Customer X. Also any substantial deposits need to have an explanation. Any amounts you received that are unexplained will be treated with suspicion. People sometimes try to "pad" their bank balances by borrowing money, and any unexplained deposit may look like that to the officer.

Your comments about "the profile" are reasonable. You do indeed look very like the kind of person who would fail to leave the UK after your visit. You have, on paper, a huge incentive to do that - a girlfriend in the UK, a job you can probably do remotely, no other ties to your home country. (Joint ownership of property is of little value - you could continue to own it and receive income from the UK.)

But the really important question you haven't answered for them is "How can you afford to take four months off work?" Remember that you are not allowed to work, even remotely, while in the UK. Taking that time off, on top of the cost of flying to the UK, would wipe out almost all of your savings. Most people can't afford to have no income for four months. And if you can live without income for four months (for example because your girlfriend is earning enough money for both of you), then maybe you can live without income for twelve months, in which case you have another incentive to overstay your visa.

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    "As a visitor you cannot do paid or unpaid work for a UK company or as a self-employed person" gov.uk/standard-visitor Having money is not a negative. If you were a millionaire everybody would believe that you could afford to take four months off work. Oct 15 at 14:05
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    There may be a subtlety in the details of the law I am unaware of that would make it OK if you were paid only from outside the UK. But since you are a freelancer they are going to suspect that you will take contracts from UK companies, and it's up to you to prove that you won't. Oct 15 at 14:25
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    A visitor visa generally doesn’t allow people to do work, full stop. Doesn’t matter if it’s not for a local company and fully online. Hell, in Indonesia you can’t even volunteer without the necessary visas and people have been deported for it. Oct 16 at 13:42
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    @moonman239 it’s not just the UK, it’s typical around the world. I guess either governments haven’t caught on to the full remote working thing yet, or it’s a too small group of people to care. The governments would want to tax that income when someone is in their country making use of their facilities. It’s not like tourism where people pump tons of money into the economy in a short amount of time. Oct 16 at 17:12
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    @moonman239 Being able to work remotely = less ties to country of residence = easier to overstay
    – Traveller
    Oct 17 at 6:55
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Question 1

  • (1) This really boils down to “you’ll be refused again unless you address the refusal reasons credibly.” UKVI will consider additional evidence, but IMHO a 6 page explainer letter is far too long. Put the key points you want to cover in the ‘additional comments’ section at the end of the application and anything else essential and relevant in the cover letter. Imagine you are the ECO making the decision: would you carefully wade through 6 pages of minutiae and long-winded explanations as well as the application & supporting documents?

  • (2) If UKVI made a material error, you can draw their attention to it in your covering letter. Consider though, whether the deposit balance information you provided was crystal clear. If it isn’t easy to understand at a glance, find a way to improve it eg get statements that clearly show the totals, or can you highlight the relevant figures to tie up with those stated in your application?

  • (Q3) Convincing them that you’ll leave given your profile might be hard. What ties to home did you demonstrate in your previous, successful, applications? Do you have any work commitments after the planned visit or dependents in your home country that would require your physical presence there? Have you considered having your girlfriend visit you this time rather than you visiting her? It seems UKVI weren’t satisfied as to the source of your bank deposits. Does all your financial information reconcile? For example, payment amount X from invoice A shows up as X in your bank account on a credible date and with the payer’s reference?

UKVI picked quite a lot of holes in your application. IMHO it would be worth giving serious consideration to getting a ‘doc check’ before re-applying, as recommended in the canonical answer on this type of refusal UK visa refusal on V 4.2 a + c (and sometimes 'e')

Edit: a note on remote working The Visit Guidance published by the Home Office says:

“Visitors are permitted to undertake activities relating to their employment overseas remotely whilst they are in the UK, such as responding to emails or answering phone calls. However, you should check that the applicant’s main purpose of coming to the UK is to undertake a permitted activity, rather than specifically to work remotely from the UK. Where the applicant indicates that they intend to spend a large proportion of their time in the UK and will be doing some remote working, you should ensure that they are genuinely employed overseas and are not seeking to work in the UK.”

Source: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1019544/Visit.pdf

Convincing UKVI that you are ‘genuinely employed overseas’ looks hard to do for a self-employed individual who can work remotely for months at a time.

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    If her work is the reason your GF can't visit you for more than two weeks, that opens the question of what you intend to do for all those hours (I don't know her job, but an estimated 8 hours/day, 5 days/week for 3½ month is quite a lot of time), and the thought that you're going to work is not far. Again: "Imagine you are the ECO making the decision" would you like an explanation of what you're going to do? Oct 15 at 14:55
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    If your tie to home was previously a job, but you’re now self-employed (and can do that remotely), your ‘flight risk’ profile will have increased since you last had a visa. What is your travel history other than to the UK?
    – Traveller
    Oct 15 at 15:32
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    By ‘flight risk’ I meant the risk that you would overstay your visa. As a self-employed person who can carry on their work remotely, your ‘mobility’ risk factor is much higher than it was when you were employed (see graphic travel.stackexchange.com/questions/49478/… the question relates to Schengen but the graphic typically applies to all visit visas). It’s a bit like a creditscore - change one factor and a previously favourable score can turn unfavourable.
    – Traveller
    Oct 15 at 17:20
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    @Abhi You can say whatever you want. But whatever you say will be evaluated relative to the risk profile they are building. I'm just telling you why a particular piece of information might be interpreted to mean more than you thought. (That shall not be read as an reason to withhold information, that is even worse.) It was really intended to show an argument why you might need to settle for the 2 weeks she can visit - yes, I do realise it's not a long time given how long you haven't seen each other, but the ECO's job is not to provide options to nurture relationships - and I'm not an ECO. Oct 16 at 7:08
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    @Abhi I’m in a similar situation to you & your gf. I plan to visit my partner at least once before attempting a UK visit visa application for him (he had 3 between 2015-18), to help demonstrate that the relationship is genuine & ongoing after the long separation due to the pandemic. I’m also considering a visit to a country he can enter visa-free, to try to show being together in the UK isn’t a fixation. I strongly recommend you consider getting a doc check before applying, and/or your gf visiting you. The repercussions of a 2nd UK refusal could jeopardise any future travel hopes,not just UK
    – Traveller
    Oct 17 at 15:10

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