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I am an Egyptian citizen and my wife is British. We've been married for 6 months, we got married in Liverpool then have been in Egypt since then. I just recently applied to get the EEA Family permit to be able to live for 6 months with my wife during which time I was going to apply for a residence card. Unfortunately, I misread the information on the website and it turns out the family permit does not apply to me because my wife is not a worker in another EEA Member state. They are 2 back-to-back rejections.

Now I understand that I need to apply to "Join Family Living in the UK" which I will do but I need to wait for 6 months until my cash savings are secure in the bank. During these 6 months, I wish to have a Standard Visitor visa which I want to apply for asap so I can be with my wife, I am only planning to go for a month now as I have 2 jobs I have to come back to in Egypt. I know exactly what papers are needed for the family visit visa, I have the money in the bank, I have accommodation in the UK and I have an expiry date on my trip due to my job in Egypt which I can prove. Is it wise to reapply now just for a normal visit or do I HAVE to have a solicitor? Any advice would be really helpful.

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You have been applying to settle in the UK using one of the EEA routes and have been refused. You plan to wait for 6 months and apply for settlement using one of the UK routes (presumably under Appendix FM). But in the interim you want to go for a visit.

Is it wise to reapply now just for a normal visit?

You have, as they say, "tipped your hand" and they know that your intentions are to settle and live in the UK. They will assume that it's more economical for you to get in using the visitor programme (GBP 87) and then go underground compared to a settlement visa (GBP 1,195 along with the income hurdles). So from their point of view it makes sense to refuse you under Appendix V 4.2 (a) and (c) using the discrepancy method regardless of how good your evidence is.

But will a visit refusal hurt your intended settlement application? No. Settlement applications use a different set of rules where they expect you to stay on and live in the UK. There's different rules, different topology and different assumptions for that kind of application, plus they need to be a bit more careful about refusals. And once you are on a settlement track, you will not need visitor visas any more. So at the end of the day it boils down to making an 87 pound "bet" that your visit application will be approved. Given that the odds are against you, it's your personal appetite for risking the money that matters and that's something you have to decide on your own.

do I HAVE to have a solicitor?

Of course not. There is no requirement to use a professional. But since you have been having trouble understanding the rules (Unfortunately, I misread the information on the website), it might be worthwhile to consider a documentation check. These can range anywhere from GBP 100 to GBP 250 depending upon the solicitor. I wouldn't spend more for a solicitor given that you will be applying on a settlement track later this year.

Note: when you get ready to apply for settlement, please use Expats.

  • Thank you so much for your help, this is great! I realise now that even if I offer proof of return to Egypt to my job, it still might not be enough. Do you think the rejections for the EEA Family Permit might affect my settlement application in 6 months though? Also, thanks about the price recommendation for the visitor visa, last one I checked with said they charge 700 pounds!! – Waleed Hammad Jul 12 '16 at 18:57
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    700 pounds would include representation, a doc check does not. – Gayot Fow Jul 12 '16 at 19:58

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