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I am an India National. I wanted to visit a friend currently studying at Glasgow. I applied for a General Visitor Visa in early January 2015. The documents I provided were:

  1. The letter of intent to visit UK.
  2. The letter of employment.(I have a family business in which I am employee and my mother is proprietor)
  3. The letter of sponsorship from my mother.
  4. My bank statement and Income Tax returns.(My salary shown is INR 20000/GBP200 per month)
  5. My mother's bank statement and Income Tax Return.(Annual income of GBP 12000)
  6. The letter of invitation from my friend, his accommodation proof, his college admission letter, his visa photocopy, passport photocopy.
  7. Photocopy of my registration of graduation school here.

The visa was denied. The officer said I haven't provided much of my student details and I didn't show the intent to leave country post my visit, so I may not be a genuine visitor.

I have changed my travel agent.

the new travel agent is saying, your personal financial papers are not strong, so we will reapply as a business visitor for marketing survey of the firm. I am not felling it right. Should I reapply as a business visitor or proceed with the last plan and provide student details of my graduation school and Chartered Accountancy(professional course).

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    Your travel agent's advice is off target. You cannot fix a credibility issue by reapplying as a business visitor. Going for a Business Visitor on the back of a General Visitor refusal is wildly adventurous. – Gayot Fow Feb 25 '15 at 7:09
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    Do you have / can you get documents to show your ties to India? Things that will reassure the visa officer that you really are settled in India, and will return to India after the visit. (From the rejection they seem to worry you don't have enough ties, and will fail to leave after the visit) – Gagravarr Feb 25 '15 at 7:23
  • I was also having doubts on the plans he made.You are asking ties as in? – Abhishek Bajoria Feb 25 '15 at 7:41
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    Ties as you parents are in India, your business interests which need you to return etc. And don't try the travel agent. If the visa officers smell a rat , 10 more years you willn't be allowed to apply for an UK visa. – DumbCoder Feb 25 '15 at 11:07
  • Ya I will try to do that only. I got an advice to apply as a family trip with my parents also going then They may allow, because they always are strict in giving visa to a 22 year single boy having average salary in India. – Abhishek Bajoria Feb 26 '15 at 7:14
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Your story highlights a recurring theme in Southern Asia where entry clearances applications are concerned, namely travel agents and con artists professing knowledge of UK immigration law. The victim is the applicant. Don't use travel agents in the place of qualified and regulated professionals.

In your case, the first course of action is to determine if an application was ever submitted. After your biometrics were enrolled, did you actually attend the appointment at the VFS? Or did the agent go instead? Does your bank statement show a debit from the British consulate or VFS immediately after your application date? How were you informed about the refusal? Did you personally retrieve the paperwork at the VFS? Or did the agent collect it? And what does the refusal stamp in your passport look like?

Assuming the application was actually submitted, the next step is to get a tenable strategy for making a fresh application. Did your sponsor include a statement from the landlord saying it is ok for you to stay there? Does yours or your mother's bank statements have irregular cash flows? Did an Entry Clearance Assistant (ECA) from the consulate call the bank to verify your account? There's so much detail it's impossible to provide it here, you need competent and regulated representation to sort it out.

For your other question: should you go for a Business Visitor application? No. It's wildly adventurous to go for a more senior application if the General Visitor application was refused. It will get flagged for refusal by an ECA as soon as its logged in to Proviso.

You can contact Sonam Khan (the Law Society's point of contact for India) at the Law Society (email sonam.khan@lawsociety.org.uk) to get the names of a few qualified legal representatives in India. And yes, you'll have to pay them. Save all the paperwork and a copy of your first application.

In the meantime, you can read Paragraph 41 of the Immigration Rules.

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