Last year in December I applied for a UK Standard Visitor visa and it was refused on the grounds that I didn't satisfy the ECO I met the requirements of paragraph 4.2 of Appendix V: Immigration Rules for Visitors.

The Decision

You have declared that you are unemployed and that you are single with no dependants to support.

You seek leave to enter for six months in order to undertake the XYZ Army recruitment and selection procedures. I note that the letter provided does not guarantee you enlistment. You have provided no explanation for your apparent new interest in joining the British Army and i have nothing to indicate that you have ever sought to join the military of your home Country.

I note you have no dependant family and have no satisfactory evidence of any income or employment in Kenya. You appear to have no significant assets.

In line of these things I consider you have failed to show sufficient strong family, social or economic ties to your home country to satisfy me that were you to be unsuccessful in the enlistment procedure you would leave the UK as claimed.

About me and my current situation

I work as a volunteer. Basically I lecture about computers at a Catholic college, so they only give me a little allowance for transport and lunch. That's why I stated I was unemployed, but since this was my first time applying for a UK visit visa I thought it was OK and I did not explain that to the ECO. At the time I applied I was in a serious relationship and my woman was pregnant but I decided not to mention that in the application.

In our tradition there are rules we follow, so I had to pay a fee for impregnating her and since I love her so much we agreed to get married. So the Lobola money was charged which is the money which a man has to pay to the parents as a thank you for the bride. If you have it you can pay cash or over a period of time, as long as you pay that is. So this tradition part was continued but I only paid the fee for the pregnancy. All this was happening while I was waiting for my application result (passport to be ready for collection).

I received the refusal on 28 December 2016. On 22 December I went to The Registrar's Office to book a day for our marriage registration but was told to wait till 6 January 2017 since they were going to close for holidays on 23 December.

Another thing is its not that I don't have a family, but on the dependants part, I stay with my family and I actually depend more on them financially than they depend on me. But since they are old I help them take care of a few things. I have got an aunt in UK who is willing to sponsor me with a return ticket and to accommodate me. And an uncle here who is also sponsoring me.

I sent an email to the Army asking if it's possible to reschedule my appointment since my visa wasn't ready and luckily enough they rescheduled my appointment for March training and issued me another letter of invitation. The Army invitation doesn't confirm enlistment because candidates must first be assessed for fitness for the Army but in the first paragraph they congratulate the candidate for satisfactorily completing phase one and they invite you for a further fitness assessment.

I would like to apply very soon and need your advice.

I tried asking advice from a UK lawyer and here is what she asked me to do:

It is unreasonable for the Entry Clearance Officer to hold against me the fact that I am not married and do not have any dependants to support. I am just 30 years old and have been courting a young lady for just under two years. I am hoping to get married with her in due course.

In any event I am still living with my parents in their home.

The letter from the British Army is as good as it gets for a very few applicants. It states clearly in paragraph 1 that I was successful in the initial stages of the application and was being invited for further assessments. Many applicants do not even receive this invitation. This is a great opportunity for my to serve in the British Army.

It is irrational for the Entry Clearance Officer to expect such correspondence to contain a guarantee of employment because by the nature of it it is what it says it is ... an invitation to be further assessed. It would be impractical for the British Army to guarantee jobs to applicants whose physical fitness has not been assessed.

The British Army are actively advertising on their website and circulating in various places invitations to Commonwealth citizens to apply for various vacancies within the Army. I simply responded to the advert by applying for the position. This is a great unmissable opportunity. Now the Entry Clearance Officer would hold it against me for being proactive.

I have once applied to join the Malawi Army. I was never even invited for assessments there. Worse still, the recruitment process within the Malawi Army selects only 15 candidates from each of the 32 districts in Malawi.

I am unsure as to who this paragraph is referring to as I am a Malawian and made my application from Malawi. This paragraph talks about my income and employment in Kenya. This is a gross error of fact and I am unable to respond to the allegations as they cannot relate to me. It follows in my opinion, that the ECO's decision cannot be upheld by law as the decision does not relate to me.

I have strong ties to malawi. I live with my parents in xyz Township, Blantyre: Mr and Mrs xyz. I have a sister xyz who also lives with us. I have grandparents, aunties, uncles, and cousins. They all live in Blantyre and are very close. I may be single but I have for the last two years been courting a lovely Christian girl called........? She is studying to become a Chartered Accountant at university. We hope to get married as soon as she qualifies. Our parents expect that of her. I am 24 years old now and would like to make something of myself to offer my future wife a decent life.

In terms of socioeconomic ties, I have been volunteering at a Catholic school teaching pupils Information Technology and how to work with computers. The Catholic school pays me an allowance for my travel and related expenses.

I believe that I will be successful in my assessment but if I was not to succeed, I would happily return to Malawi knowing that I have given it my best shot.

I am a young man wishing to take an opportunity by enlisting in the British Army. I am 24 years old and still living at home with my parents. I would like to make a life for myself to make my family proud.

In terms of returnability, my sponsor will be buying a return ticket for me to return to Malawi.

While in the UK, my sponsor Aunt xyz will maintain and accommodate me without recourse to public funds. She has a 3-bedroomed house in Staffordshire. The house has front and back garden, conservatory, garage, separate dining room and sitting room. There would adequate room for me.

At 24 years of age, I cannot reasonably be expected have any assets or savings in Malawi when I am still living at home with my parents. Not many 24-year-olds in my situation actually have assets and savings. I feel the Entry Clearance Officer has been unfair in denying me a visa based on this reason.

In support of this fresh application I hereby attach documentary evidence as listed below.





I urge the Entry Clearance Officer to attach relevant weight to the documentary evidence which has been submitted in support of the fresh application.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require any fit her information.

Yours faithfully

Advise me please if I should go ahead and reapply or not.

  • 1
    Scan your refusal letter and upload it, blanking out personal identifiable information. – Moo Feb 7 '17 at 11:45
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    Your transcript is missing the grounds for the refusal making it impossible to answer accurately. Please see meta.travel.stackexchange.com/questions/4089/… for help on scanning/uploading your refusal notice. – Gayot Fow Feb 7 '17 at 12:34
  • 5
    @PaultheSheik rarely are transcriptions the whole reality, the scan allows us to see exactly what was said, without the OPs interpretation. – Moo Feb 7 '17 at 13:11
  • 2
    No way a 'UK Lawyer' would have drafted that. No way – Gayot Fow Feb 7 '17 at 16:25
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    Yes, the best course of action is definitely to berate the ECO in your next application, go for it. And let us know the outcome. That letter, as others so eloquently put it, was not written by an immigration lawyer in the UK - it will get you nothing at all. It looks like it was written by someone who watches American courtroom dramas... – Moo Feb 7 '17 at 17:19

The eco refused you under paragraph 4.2 of Appendix V which means that he doesn't think that you are a genuine visitor to the UK and are likely to go underground once you are here.

In my opinion, ECO hands were tied here. You don't have employment, or savings, or any close family back home that depends on you. While you say that you have a girlfriend/wife/fiance that is now pregnant back home, you didn't include that fact in the application, and if I understand your post correctly, you currently are not in a position to provide for them anyway.

Those things are not easy to fix, as in order to satisfy the ECO that you won't just vanish once you hit British soil you must have some commitments to go back to. A good starting point would be to get a stable employment, move into your own place, and start building close ties to back home. It will not take months, but most likely years, before you can build those ties, and there is little you can do up to that point.


There is very little you can do in the short term to change the officers mind. My advice to you is to forget about this trip. Among things you can do in the coming months and years, you can do some traveling (preferably to developed countries on similar standing as the UK) and returning to your country within the time limits set by the visa, and get a job, home, maybe spouse and kids, then you are ready to apply again to the UK.

If you apply again so soon, seeing your current profile, you will get caught up in a serial refusal tailspin. It is not a place you want to be as an applicant.

Good Luck!

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