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I've been refused a Visitor visa for UK twice back-to-back because I haven't provided enough evidence of my personal circumstances.

Some of my background: My nationality is Albanian but I've been living in Greece for the last 10 years, after moving from my home country, Albania, when I was about 10 years old. I lived there with my grandparents whereas now in Greece I live with my parents who support me economically, as I'm still a student.

I have been invited for an interview at a software development agency in London. The company is going to cover my travelling and accommodation costs.

The documents I've submitted are:

  • Birth certificate
  • Family certificate
  • House rent agreement
  • Studies certificate
  • My bank statement
  • My father's bank statement
  • My parents' work contracts
  • A letter from the company stating they're inviting me to London for an interview at their offices and they will cover the costs of my accommodation and flights.

The refusal letters says:

"I have refused your application for a visit visa because I am not satisfied that you meet the requirements of paragraph(s) V4.2 (a) & 4.2(e) of appendix V: Immigration Rules for Visitors because:

I recognise that you are sponsored by XXX but I must take into consideration your personal circumstances in your country of residence when assessing your application. The onus is on applicants to demonstrate that they meet the requirements of the relevant rules and that the statements made in the application are true.

You have submitted two bank certificates from xxx Bank showing balances of xxx EUR and xxx EUR but these are not full statements showing transactions and I am not satisfied as to the origin of the funds. I am not therefore satisfied that the funds are yours and available for your use.

Given the above, I am not satisfied you are a genuine visitor who will leave the UK at the end of your visit. Your application has therefore been refused under paragraph V4.2(a). As I am not satisfied as to your financial status I am not satisfied that you have sufficient funds to cover costs without working or accessing public funds. Your application has therefore been refused under paragraph V4.2(e)."

I get that I have to show transaction history for the bank statements to be valid, but I'm not sure what other documents to provide that prove my personal circumstances?

  • and other papers to justify economic circumstances What were these ? Your personal bank account statements ? Or something else ? – DumbCoder Jul 28 '15 at 16:26
  • Thanks, yes I see the problem. I assume your refusals were back-to-back applications with no change in personal circumstances, right? – Gayot Fow Jul 28 '15 at 17:35
  • @GayotFow Yes, that's right – Chris95X8 Jul 28 '15 at 17:44
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    @pnuts Whoops, typo. I mean a letter from the company which basically says that they're inviting me to London for an interview at their offices and they will cover the costs of my accomodation and flights. Doesn't go into details. – Chris95X8 Jul 28 '15 at 18:18
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    @pnuts how would they know the letter is genuine? maybe they need to know the OP has enough funds to support themselves independently if the company were to withdraw support – EdmundYeung99 Jan 27 '16 at 0:15
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They refused this application under Paragraph V 4.2 (a) and Paragraph V 4.2 (e) of the rules. The show stopper was V 4.2 (e) which currently says...

must have sufficient funds to cover all reasonable costs in relation to their visit without working or accessing public funds. This includes the cost of the return or onward journey, any costs relating to dependants, and the cost of planned activities such as private medical treatment.

Based upon the evidence you listed in your question, we can start eliminating...

  • Your father's bank statement was eliminated because he is not qualified to sponsor you
  • Your parents' work contracts were eliminated for the same reason, additionally their employment status would not prevent your absconding or overstaying if you decided to
  • Your bank statements were eliminated because they were not proper statements to begin with

So that leaves your invitation letter as the only evidence they were obliged to consider. It's a weak position to be in. You didn't give the name of the company (and we don't want it by the way), but it's likely they would check to see how well they know that company and if they had a good sponsorship history and if they had the capacity to offer you a job. "Capacity" in the legal sense of the word, i.e., they had a license to bring in visa nationals for a work permit and they had enough experience doing it to be trustworthy. Whatever they found was not enough to carry the application and the application became imperiled at that point.

They went on to look at your "personal circumstances". This means things like your job and apparent life-style. You have no employment history, probably not married, probably male, living with your parents, not leading an independent life, and all the rest. "Personal circumstances" also can include your immigration status in Greece, but with all the rest and based upon what you wrote, you hit almost every trigger as a high risk applicant. In the vernacular, it was a 'no brainer'.

Finally, you applied back-to-back without changing your 'personal circumstances' when the first refusal raised credibility issues. That drew a second refusal and now matters are worse.

Some random points...

  • No matter how wonderful it seems, don't accept an interview offer without being fully satisfied that the company has the credibility and 'capacity' to hire you
  • Don't make back-to-back applications unless the 'fix' is blindingly straightforward
  • Read the guidance and the rules. They explain why your parents do not qualify as sponsors and give other useful info on how to succeed
  • Don't submit stuff that they will eliminate, it's not a game of darts. Submitting lots and lots of irrelevant evidence lowers the quality of an app
  • How does one determine if a UK company is "credible" and has the "capacity" to offer a job? – Michael Hampton Jul 28 '15 at 22:40
  • Thank you for the insightful answer. It's easy for me to provide a valid bank statement next time, and along with the letter from the company, I think it satisfies V4.2 (e). My studies certificate states the date my studies are expected to finish. This might satisfy V4.2 (a), but I can't think of anything else. Any other things I should consider for my next application? – Chris95X8 Jul 28 '15 at 23:20
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    I would be really careful; It's too open-ended to know. But you can take a look at this to see if it helps at all. – Gayot Fow Jul 28 '15 at 23:26
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    @MichaelHampton, I see your point. There's a register to check in the first instance, also company financials, how about asking them outright? It's probably better suited as a fully complete question on Expats since it is about working and would be helpful to that audience. Beyond the register, however, I don't think the answer would be much different for a domestic employer. – Gayot Fow Jul 28 '15 at 23:31
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    I'm not an expert here, but I think one possible way to address these concerns is to have your father accompany you on the trip. Gayot can confirm this; but having your sponsor - by that I mean, the person with the funds that is supporting you - travel with you may (again may) help. – Burhan Khalid Oct 27 '15 at 10:32

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