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UK visitor visa refusal. What next?


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My long-term Thai girlfriend (and mother of our 17 month old daughter) has just had a UK visitor visa application rejected, and I'm not sure what to do next. Hopefully someone on here will know the ropes and can advise?


This was the 3rd visitor visa we've applied for and both of the previous 2 were successful, which is what makes this knock-back particularly surprising. We've accumulated all the paperwork and submitted all 3 applications without the use of an agent.


The reason given for the rejection is that the entry clearance officer wasn't convinced of her intentions on 2 grounds.


Firstly because on her most recent successful application we stated that she intended to stay for 5 weeks, but she ended up staying for just shy of 5 months. He said that we failed to supply a credible reason for this.


Secondly because we submitted a flight ticket for my girlfriend & daughter that was just one way.


On the 1st point, in all the posts on various message boards plus every official word I've read on the subject, I've never heard of this being a problem. When they issue you with the visa it is 6 months, multiple entry. Now if staying for longer than 5 weeks is a problem, why don't they just issue a visa for 5 weeks?! If we'd known for one minute that it'd cause problems further down the line, she would've gone home on time. But we were enjoying life as a family here in The UK and thought that as long as we abided by the terms and conditions, it wasn't an issue.


As for the 2nd point, when we decided that she wasn't going home on her original ticket, I got a refund on the return leg & then booked another return ticket, which she used to go home in April and the 2nd leg was what we submitted with this latest failed application. Again, I'm gob-smacked that this has been used against us, as on the previous 2 trips I din't even book a ticket until after they'd granted the visa!


At the end of the day, as she'd kept within all the rules on 2 previous visas, you'd think that an applicant would be given the benefit of any doubt on a subsequent application, but obviously not. Basically, rather than making a balanced judgement of the application, they've simply trawled through it looking for any tiny detail on which to reject it.


The impact of this decision is that the cost of the application has been wasted, as will be another £75 to change the date of her ticket. But, far more importantly than that, it's been 4 months since I've seen my daughter and girlfriend and I miss them like crazy. I've now got no idea when I'll see them again. My daughter is growing up without a Dad in her life. This decision smacks of someone getting out of bed the wrong side one morning and deciding to fuck up someone elses day too. Well they've certainly succeeded in doing that. I was absolutely reeling when Teerak rang me from the embassy, Thursday afternoon.


So what now? Obviously I can't just let this lie, but I'm unsure what to do next. Is there a right of appeal? Has anybody on here done this before and is it a long process? Or do we have to submit another application and try to address the issues raised in the rejection notes? This whole process is bloody expensive at the best of times, without having to ditch the ticket I've already paid for and buy another return, without any guarantees that the visa will be granted next time. And what should I say regarding the 'credible reason' for not sticking to the 5 weeks on the previous trip? The truth is simply that we were enjoying life as a family, but will this be enough? I'm not sure what else I can say to satisfy them and would prefer not to lie, but needs must.


Thanks in advance for any help.

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It seems unreasonable. But it's rejected because (i) some officers are not nice enough and (ii) many people presumed a tourist visa can be obtained easily if a previous one was granted. Let me share some experience with you.


It's a big mistake in failing to explain why your GF ended up in staying in UK for 6 months when she originally said 5 weeks. You should have said something happened and thus you changed your plan etc. The officer used it as an excuse that she would probably stay longer than 6 months if she proposes to stay longer than 5 weeks this time.


It's another big mistake in giving them an Itinerary for one way flight. The officer will take it as an indication that she doesn't know when she is coming back.


Honestly, I don't think it's a good idea to complain and seek the decision overturned. If I were you, I would make another application. But make sure (i) you will explain the reasons your GF ended up in staying in UK for 6 months and (ii) you will produce an Itinerary for the flight to UK and the return flight for say 3/4/5 months (6 months not advisable) and not a paid one way air ticket. I don't know if you had said anything in the previous applications about your GF's economic and family ties to Thailand. If not, you must do it this time.


The fact that you have a daughter 17 months old will make the officer worrying more than other cases. It's because the officer might think that your GF and daughter don't want to come back to Thailand and will try to seek court's assistance in resisting a deportation order. In normal cases if you handle it carefully, the fact that your daughter is coming with her mum together to UK should make it easier to get a tourist visa. I have never come across one refusal in similar cases over the past 7 and half years. So I am sure your GF will get it. Good luck !

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  • 1 month later...

My then girlfriend had a tourist visa to the UK several years ago and booked a ticket with return date only two weeks after going to UK. When she got there, we changed the ticket and she came home with me nearly six months later. We had no problem in getting more visas over the years, so can`t see why this should be an issue. So sorry to hear this happened to you but as the previous poster said, ties to Thailand should be emphasised in all dealing with the embassies. My wife had a daughter in Issan and owned some land and a small house there. All her family lived there and we showed all this with photo`s, letters, house books etc, to try and prempt any such problems. Good luck with the next application.


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  • 3 weeks later...

You have to calm down. You have to stop thinking about retribution and all that crap because none of it is going to get you to where you want to be.


Basically the "promises" you made to get the previous visa were broken. The rules, no, but the promises, yes.


What is the easiest visa right now ? You fly over, marry her and make a visa application for settlement based upon marriage. The criteria are so different that the issue of one way tickets and a reason to come back are dispensed with.


If you don't want to do that, then you have to deal with all the points why she was refused and get bullet proof on why she would return again this next time. This can be tricky but you need to be methodical and get someone literate to go through it after you have made your first draft to iron out the problems.


The fees for her applying for a visit visa are not expensive but I think you'll be knocked back until you really get a good story together.


I've been through a knock back, in fact a couple and then success, so I do know a bit. Happy to help if you need it.

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