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Hi, I need some urgent help for advice on UK visitor visa. I am an Indian citizen living in Singapore for 21 years and married to a Singapore Citizen. It is our lifelong dream to tour Europe. Once we decided 2017 was the year to travel We wanted our first destination to be London and then travel to Belgium, France and finally Italy. So we proceeded to book flight tickets, accommodations and European train tickets to process my UK visa and Schengen applications.

I applied for UK visa on 17 April 2017 and I received the outcome of the application on 03 May 2017. Unfortunately, my tourist visa to enter UK has been rejected.

I do not understand the reason for rejection. Here is what was stated in the refusal letter:

The Decision

When assessing your application, I must take into account your personal and economic circumstances in China when coming to my decision. It is your responsibility to demonstrate that your personal circumstances in China are such that if granted leave to enter, you will comply with all of the conditions attached to any such leave and that you will leave the UK on completion of the proposed visit. You state in your application that you are unemployed. I therefore consider that you have failed to show how you financially support yourself.

In light of the above I am not satisfied your personal and financial circumstances are as claimed and that funds you state available to you are genuinely so. I am not satisfied that you are a genuine visitor and will leave UK at the end of your visit; and that you have sufficient funds available to cover your costs whilst in the UK without working or accessing public funds. Your application for a visit visa has been refused under paragraph V4.2 (a), (c) and (e).

I do not understand the reason for refusal.

  1. I do not live in China! I have travelled to China only once that too as a tourist for 3 days in 2007. The visa and immigration chops are in the passport I submitted.

  2. I have been living in Singapore for the past 21 years and hold a valid permanent residency. My current re-entry permit is valid till 2021. I have submitted copies of my Singapore identification card, also a copy of valid re-entry permit. I sincerely do not understand why the officer would think I live in China!

  3. The officer has also stated that under V4.2 (a), (c) and (e) my entry has been refused.

a. V4.2 (a) states “will leave the UK at the end of their visit; and” - I have booked and paid for train travel from London to Belgium (Brussels) on 26th June and the booking proof was submitted - Not only that I have also paid for train travel from Brussels to Paris, Paris to Venice, Venice to Florence, Florence to Rome and finally Rome to Chennai (India) - It baffles me that even after submitting all the necessary paid travel bookings the officer would think that I will not leave the UK. What else do I have to submit to prove that I will leave the UK after my intended stay of 5 days?

b. V4.2 (c) “is genuinely seeking entry for a purpose that is permitted by the visitor routes (these are listed in Appendices 3, 4 and 5); and” - My only intention to visit London is to see sights and I did state all the places I intended to visit. - I also provided Airbnb booking of accommodation in London which is also fully paid for! - What else is needed for me to submit to prove that I will be visiting the tourist places?

c. V4.2 (e) “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 dependents, and the cost of planned activities such as private medical treatment.” - I believe the bank statement I submitted had more than enough funds to support my travel. To be precise it had 18,000 Singapore Dollars which is equivalent to 10,000 pounds. - My bank statement had a lot of transactions because my husband and I share the account even though it is under my name. He deposits 2500 Singapore dollars every month to my account and we jointly use the money. Plus the rental we receive every month from our property will also be deposited to my account. Which is why though I am unemployed (house wife) the savings in my account keeps increasing. I do not know how to prove this. - Also, there were a lot of transfers between my account and my mother’s account, we lent her money whenever she needed money and it was agreed that she will pay back in the month of June 2017 which is the month of our travel. - Apart from this we had already paid for our flight tickets, train travel throughout the trip and accommodation all paid for and submitted. - I even submitted my travel insurance. - Again, I don’t understand what else I need to submit!

I am now running out of time because I have to apply for Schengen visa which has been scheduled on 18th May 2017. I will be leaving Singapore on 1st June and travelling to India. We are attending a wedding, a wedding reception and also a house warming of various family members then head to the Europe tour.

Now, everything is at stake because so far we have spent $5000 Singapore dollars for all bookings! It is too late cancel anything. For me to skip London and change my flight tickets it would cost me more money! I will loose $1000 which is a lot of money. Please do suggest what I should be doing. I am panicking because I need to have both my UK and Schengen Visas processed in time before I leave Singapore. It will be difficult to apply from India because we don’t live near any city that processes the visas and we will have to miss the family functions.

I seriously think they have been unfair because I am unemployed and careless in processing my application. Again, I do not live in China! What has China got to do with the application?!

It was an online application and then I went to VFS UK to submit all the documents.


UPDATE:

I contacted UK Embassy in Singapore via Facebook right after posting the above message in stack exchange. My frustration was obvious in the message I sent which I immediately regretted. I didn't have any hope that they would respond to Facebook message so I contacted UKVI using the phone number listed in the official website, I told the officer that there seems to be a mistake as I do not live in China. The officer agreed to escalate my application refusal immediately.

He sent an email asking me to send my details such as name, passport number, GWF number etc. So I sent multiple emails (email form in the UKVI website with 500 character limitation) explaining the situation. He got back to me that my case was escalated to the relevant officer.

Then on Monday I received a FB message from Embassy of UK in Singapore saying they are investigating the case and I should be contacted in 5 days. On the same day I received an email from manila that there was a mistake and they are overturning the refusal.

I went to VFS UK and submitted my passport. They said it will be returned with UK Visa in 3 to 5 working days. So now I am awaiting their call.

Thanks again on providing insight right when I needed it.


UPDATE:

VFS UK Singapore did not call me as promised. It was day 5 and the next day I had Schengen appointment booked and without a passport I won't be able to submit my documents for visa processing. So I didn't have a choice but to visit the visa application centre in person without a prior appointment.

The security didn't let me in as expected and he asked me to wait until an officer comes out of the office for a break. :/ Lucky for me someone did come out of the office for a toilet break and I explained my situation. I was given an enquiry Queue number and the counter staff immediately gave me my passport.

She said they called me on day 4 and that I didn't answer the phone. BUT I didn't get any phone calls! I even showed them my missed call list and there were no calls from VFS UK! They didn't have an answer. Sigh.

Took my passport and it had the long awaited UK Visa!

What a nightmare this experience has been!

  • Not a duplicate :( this looks legit – Gayot Fow May 3 '17 at 15:00
  • Esh, was your application submitted through a visa adviser or travel agent? – Gayot Fow May 3 '17 at 15:04
  • It was an online application and then I went to VFS UK to submit all the documents. – Esh May 3 '17 at 15:14
  • @GayotFow acknowledged and undone ty – Giorgio May 3 '17 at 15:19
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    Sorry for your loss however never ever ever book and pay for plane tickets to a foreign country without having already procured a visa, unless you are comfortable writing off the ticket price in the event your application is denied. – user 56513 May 3 '17 at 16:59
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Based on the scans you have provided and a guess on my part leads to the conclusion that the Manila post sent you page 1 of someone else's refusal and (possibly) page 2 of your own or even page 2 of someone else's refusal.

  • Manila (identified on the top of page 1) is in charge of processing applications submitted in Singapore; applications submitted in China go to either Beijing or Shanghai (with the exceptions of Taiwan and Hong Kong). So it's unclear what Manila was doing with a Chinese applicant unless it was submitted by a Chinese national living abroad (in which case the whole paragraph doesn't make sense).
  • The refusal is missing a paragraph that should have gone between the last paragraph on page 1 and the first paragraph on page 2. It means they went from preamble to conclusion with no discussion in the middle! This constitutes the major rationale for my 'guess'.
  • Curiously, the refusal is missing the final boilerplate caveat about 'any future applications...' Instead, there is a bizarre out-of-sequence final paragraph '...I have therefore...'. More curiously is the alien construction '...of the relevant Paragraph [sic] of the United Kingdom Immigration Rules'. They don't make grammatical mistakes like that and they either say "UK Immigration Rules" or "Immigration Rules", not "United Kingdom Immigration Rules".

Hence my guess that there was a mix-up in the mail room along with an egregious screw up in composition. You wrote that you did not use a 3rd party, so we can 'cautiously' eliminate a scam operator.

You have two choices at this point...

  1. Submit a fresh application which encloses your refusal notice and explains how there was a clear and obvious mistake;
  2. Try and send them everything without making a fresh application and hope that they will spot what happened.

You can print out this answer and include it if you think it will help. Neither approach is guaranteed to work, they may have decided to refuse your application and locate the refusal notice you should have received and send it to you. Option 1 is invariably faster. Option 2 has more risk on several fronts, but the choice is yours and we cannot tell which is the best choice without knowing lots of detail.


Personal tip: above all, avoid flaming them or displays of exasperation. Avoid finger pointing or anything at all that might get their backs up. They are intelligent, well-educated, professionals who are capable of recognising a mistake and routing it through the system. If you opt for a fresh application (my personal recommendation) and include your refusal notice they are likely to put it through as a 'gratis' application and credit your account accordingly. Insulting them might bring about the same result but why risk it. The best results occur when your text is ultra-sanitary, once again don't get their backs up.

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    @Esh as a courtesy for the assistance and insight offered by GayotFow, could you accept the answer by hitting the tick mark, please? – Giorgio May 3 '17 at 21:50

protected by Community Dec 5 '18 at 12:14

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