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My husband was refused visa to UK on grounds that the ECA was not satisfied that he will return to Nigeria within the stipulated time. He was requesting for visa to attend my graduation. The ECO comments were:

"you state you work part time with XYZ and as evidence you have provided a letter from them which states that you have done freelance work for them from 2012; however you have provided no documentary payment slips as evidence of payments you receive from them." "you state you have a business called ABC, you provided receipts of goods purchased online to be shipped to America; however this is not evidence of your net income" "I am not satisfied you have demonstrated the level of income you have stated" "you provided bank statement for ABC company and yourself with no provision of evidence of funds paid into these accounts so I am not satisfied that you own the funds" The final paragraph was something like “given statements made and documents provided and balance of probabilities, he/she isn’t satisfied that my husband is genuinely seeking entry as visitor for a limited period of 6 months or that he intends to leave the UK at the end of the visit required by para V4.2(a) of immigration rules.” Again one of the statements made was “you said you earn XXX monthly and your business tax clearance with yearly income of YYY. The purchase receipts of goods purchased online is not evidence of your net income”. My take is that what is he earns as a person monthly is different from what the company’s end of year income would be so I will like to understand the statement. Again, the purchase receipts were not evidence of net income but evidence of the company as a going concern purchase goods required to drive the business forward. The UK visa form suggested adding documents like bill of lading for people who do international business; hence the purchase receipts.

I need to further understand what happened for the future. So my concerns are below;- Online "useless evidence" of goods purchased in America mentioned; the goods were purchased from different companies in America and payment made via master or visa card on those companies portals. Some of these companies ship directly to Nigeria and my husband pays for the shipping while some don't so he requests that they ship to registered freight forwarding companies in America. The statement of accounts show that some of the outward payments from the accounts were for overseas purchase of the goods. I do not understand why the purchase receipts, shippers invoice/airway bills, custom duty payments receipts are useless evidence. The UK visa form requested for evidence of things like bill of lading - this shows overseas purchases and imports were made (if I understand correctly). Since he doesn’t have bill of lading, my guess is that the above mentioned receipts prove same thing.

Unsubstantiated payments into his accounts:- most of the payments were for jobs done (company acct) and the part time job (personal acct). I do not understand what no traceable deposits means as commented. Narrations on the payment into his accounts read for example “from Min of Health XYZ……” or a private company name, or whoever he executed contract for. Payment from the part time job always states the name of the government organisation (e.g. Min of Works) so I don’t understand what it means to say no traceable deposits. Were we to highlight these payments esp for the part time job to for easy read by the ECO? My layman’s thinking was why do that if you have nothing to hide? Let the officer review the statement without your input/direction (my layman thinking). Yes, there are some clients that pay cash when he delivers the job and he banks the cash immediately. However, credits into his accounts are by local wire transfer from his clients and they are narrated in his statement of accounts. For the salary slip from the government body, I guess they (all part times) will have to work on having their salary slips not just the regular wire credit payments into their accounts. Also mentioned that he needs to get proper bank accounts and start making regular deposits. I don’t understand what this means because what I see looks like a proper bank account with regular transactions i.e. deposits (cash and wire) and withdrawals (cash and wire) for his businesses. Although the part time government body had said they issue pay slips to permanent employees only. For people in their category, the form they filled upon engagement with the organisation and the letter is all they have.

My status in UK, I am in Nigeria and I have a good job were I earn about GBP2,000 monthly on the average aside intermittent allowances. Was it necessary include information of my status, in UK or Nigeria or wherever current, to the ECO since I wasn’t the person applying for the visa? If yes, that’s a lesson for next time but neither of us had/has intentions of living in the UK although I thoroughly enjoyed my educational experience in UK and that’s it. My husband even has too much to lose by leaving Nigeria now. He has built his business to what it is so far with brighter potentials ahead and he is not ready to give that all up. He has his goals and he is achieving them. He hasn’t been interested in visiting the UK in spite of my pleas and emotional blackmails. That is why I was crushed by the feedback from the ECO.

As for reapplying, that maybe futile coz the date for the ceremony may have passed by the time the feedback is received if we are looking at 3 – 12 weeks’ timeframe based on what you said. Particularly the upper limit timeframe of 12 weeks’. For me the lonely trip to n fro for the graduation ceremony is depressing if at all I will embark on that trip. I am wondering the use of my lonely attendance.

My husband's ties to Nigeria; he recently won a competitive bid for a good contract with an international NGO and they are tiding up documentation. The job will last at least a year and will be starting within first week of July. The mail from the NGO informing him of being the preferred bidder and so on was included amongst other documents submitted for visa consideration. My husband has invested substantially in his company; various equipment, good contacts, good business reputation. The man I know is unlikely to leave all these and jolt out in addition to the fact that we live very decent lives here in Nigeria.

Given the above information/explanation what can be done in future especially on the bank statements to avoid such occurrences in future?

Lastly, since there is no time to reapply for visa, given that the event may have passed by the time response is received, do you think it is necessary to write a letter addressing these issues just for the records?

marked as duplicate by Gayot Fow, Gagravarr, CGCampbell, Karlson, Dirty-flow Jun 29 '15 at 15:05

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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Generally speaking, you need to provide:

  1. Payslips (documents from a company showing your income as deposited in your account). If you are self-employed, you need to show proof of business and proof of income (receipts, business ownership documents, bank history, etc).

  2. A letter from your employer stating the length, position, salary of your job. If you are a freelancer or self-employed, you need to show proof of contracts, etc.

  3. If you own property in your country, this helps to provide "significant ties" so that you are subject to return.

On to your specific comments:

"you state you work part time with XYZ and as evidence you have provided a letter from them which states that you have done freelance work for them from 2012; however you have provided no documentary payment slips as evidence of payments you receive from them."

It is obvious that as a freelancer, you need to provide more documents that you will not drop everything and not come back. One of these documents is a contract, or proof of payment for work.

"you state you have a business called ABC, you provided receipts of goods purchased online to be shipped to America; however this is not evidence of your net income"

Income is money you have earned, your husband showed money he has spent. Just like a credit card is not proof of income, a receipt showing purchase of goods is not proof of income.

Evidence of net income would have been business accounts that were published or submitted; or a letter from the company bank.

Unsubstantiated payments into his accounts:- most of the payments were for jobs done (company acct) and the part time job (personal acct). I do not understand what no traceable deposits means as commented. Narrations on the payment into his accounts read for example “from Min of Health XYZ……” or a private company name, or whoever he executed contract for. Payment from the part time job always states the name of the government organisation (e.g. Min of Works) so I don’t understand what it means to say no traceable deposits. Were we to highlight these payments esp for the part time job to for easy read by the ECO? My layman’s thinking was why do that if you have nothing to hide? Let the officer review the statement without your input/direction (my layman thinking). Yes, there are some clients that pay cash when he delivers the job and he banks the cash immediately. However, credits into his accounts are by local wire transfer from his clients and they are narrated in his statement of accounts. For the salary slip from the government body, I guess they (all part times) will have to work on having their salary slips not just the regular wire credit payments into their accounts. Also mentioned that he needs to get proper bank accounts and start making regular deposits. I don’t understand what this means because what I see looks like a proper bank account with regular transactions i.e. deposits (cash and wire) and withdrawals (cash and wire) for his businesses. Although the part time government body had said they issue pay slips to permanent employees only. For people in their category, the form they filled upon engagement with the organisation and the letter is all they have.

You have to understand what the officer is looking for - all they want to see is sufficient evidence that you have ties to your home domicile so you [a] are not trying to immigrate under false pretenses and [b] are able to support your stay in the UK without being a burden on the services.

Having irregular payments to your account(s) are not sufficient; especially as some payments are going to a company account, others are going to his personal account - there is no regular statement.

A statement from a bank (this is usually used for company accounts) is written on the bank's letterhead, with stamps from a bank officer. It (usually) states the following:

  1. Name of account holder (legal name of person or entity).
  2. Name(s) of others authorized on the account (in case of company account, this is the authorized person's name and details).
  3. Length of banking relationship.
  4. Nature of business/entity.
  5. Financial position.

All the above is not required if your bank statement narrative shows steady income (in some countries - there is a specific narrative for salary deposits) OR you can provide a letter of employment/salary certificate.

It looks like in this case your husband provided various pieces of information that when combined did not convince the officer of your husband's financial position or ties to the country.

I think your husband could have easily resolved all this by having a statement of account from a CFA - it does not need to be audited, but that would help showing the business's income statement for a year; along with a letter from his company's lawyer (or any lawyer) showing the legal status of the company (you can also get this from the chamber of commerce) and his position/status in the company; assuming that is what he is using to provide evidence of financial status and ties.

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When dealing with UK immigration office bear in mind that not always, unfortunately, the person dealing with the practice is qualified. When we applied for my wife's residence permit they requested "two of the following:

  • Pay slip
  • Employment contract
  • Declaration from employer"

We sent the first two and the permit was refused after 3 month. We had to apply again from scratch (when a simple "please provide the missing document" would have done) and wait another 3 months.

Previously, an EEA permit was refused because in the letter I didn't clearly write "I will accompany my wife to UK", when we had already stated we were both moving to live there.

So, when applying for UK visa be sure you always send MORE than what they ask. State even the obvious and send as many proofs as possible.

  • No. The residence permit and EEA permit both have different requirements from the visitor visa. They are much more straightforward, and 'more' is not always better if it demonstrates the applicant did not read the guidance. – Gayot Fow Jun 29 '15 at 14:15
  • More straightforward? Then I'm happy I didn't request a visa ;-) They definitely don't make your life easy and often make mistakes or overlook relevant documents. So when requested to provide proof of employment for example, sending all of the accepted documents instead of just the mandatory 2 increase the chances they'll see it; stating more than once or in more than one place the reason of the visit and the time of departure will ensure they read it; and so on. – algiogia Jun 29 '15 at 14:49
  • Different visas, different rules, different presumptions. Trying to use evidence from a different set of rules creates refusals, but I do hope it all worked out for you in the end – Gayot Fow Jun 29 '15 at 15:05
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    It did, a bit later than expected :) You seem well informed. Do you work for the immigration office? – algiogia Jun 29 '15 at 15:10
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    Heavens no! That's not how you learn the rules :) – Gayot Fow Jun 29 '15 at 16:02

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