When getting engaged, worries should include whether your soon-to-be spouse leaves the fridge door open or if they snore during the night. They should not include the prospective partner’s nationality and the difficulty in gaining a spouse visa.
Jamie Doward for the Guardian recently wrote an article on Paige Smith’s experience of applying for her Albanian fiancé to join her in the UK. The Home Office’s incorrect refusal of their application on grounds of failing to meet the minimum income threshold almost drove Paige to suicide.
MLC Immigration Lawyers deal with fiancé and spouse entry clearance visa applications on a daily basis. From our experience, we have witnessed how difficult the Home Office can be when approaching very personal and emotive applications. This includes decisions taking well over the 60 working day provisional limit given to the Home Office by themselves, thus separating newlyweds in their honeymoon phase for over 3 months whilst they make their decision.
Whilst Paige’s story saddened us, we were not surprised. Nor were we surprised by the Guardian’s report of Darmon’s visit visa refusal on grounds that there was insufficient evidence to show that her fiancé would return to Morocco, despite having already bought the return ticket. Visit visas are overwhelmingly refused on this ground which appears to allow the Home Office a blanket excuse to refuse visit visa applications.
Here at MLC Immigration Lawyers, we have had a recent procession of successful visit visa applications for non-EU national mothers of pregnant British/settled citizens to be there at their grandchild’s birth.
These successes have been a delight for us and our clients. Yet it begs the question; if the Home Office can sympathise that a grandmother wishes to be there for the birth of her grandchild and aid her daughter through childbirth and those first early days, why can they not find the compassion to loosen the stringent criteria for a successful spouse visa? Or at the very least, stop rejecting spouse visas in error such as in Paige’s case documented by the Guardian?
If you’d like to discuss your spouse visa application, Contact Us on 0161 224 4224 or firstname.lastname@example.org
By Hannah Wilkinson, Legal Support @ MLC Immigration Lawyers