UK Immigration of Australian Paramedics on Tier 2 visas

A growing number of Australian-born paramedics are relocating to Britain on Tier 2 visas, angering Australian ambulance unions. Lives are being put at risk because of a lack of paramedics who are choosing to work overseas instead of remaining in Australia say unions.

Latest news
15 June 2016 UK Immigration review teachers on Tier 2 Visa Shortage Occupation List
14 June 2016 Brexit campaigners draft Australian-style UK immigration policy
08 June 2016 UK immigration policy branded ‘racist’ against curry chefs by Tory
More Aussie-born paramedics are heading to Britain on Tier 2 visas because of better pay, more interesting work and improved working conditions. In the last 12 months Britain has had three recruitment campaigns in Australia aimed at experienced paramedics and recent graduates.

With the promise of free airfares, generous relocation packages and better pay, better training and an improved work-life balance, so far 450 Australians have taken up roles in the UK with a further 40 to follow in July 2016. Gerard Hayes, secretary for Australia’s Health Services Union New South Wales (NSW), said: “There are critical consequences of the Aussie paramedic exodus.”

Australia’s Governor-General recognises importance of Australian Paramedics in the UK

Australia’s Governor-General, Peter Cosgrove, along with his wife Lynne who happened to be in London for the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations, visited the London Ambulance Service’s emergency control room in central London.

Their visit to the London Ambulance service was made to ‘recognise the significant contribution’ that Aussie-trained paramedics are making in Britain’s capital city. The pair were then taken on a tour of the site where a dozen or so paramedics had recently made the move from Australia to the UK on a Tier 2 visa.

 

Australian paramedics Highly Skilled

Hayes said: “While it’s good that the Governor-General recognises the skill of Australian paramedics, it’s just been announced by NSW’s Health Minister that there will be 100 new paramedics joining the ranks, but in fact about 800 are needed. When some of our best and brightest see better opportunities elsewhere, it puts an extra drain on our services.”

President of the Australian Paramedics Association NSW, Stephen Pearce, said that his group had been urging the government to ‘increase the number of paramedics.’ He said: “Our concern is that new recruits that do their paramedic degree can’t get jobs.”

Pearce said that it was ‘great’ to see Aussie paramedics receiving recognition in London. He said: “We are proud of them as well, but we would rather be proud of them working in Australia.”

Acting President of the Australian Paramedics Association, Amir Samuel, revealed that staff in Australia are ‘overstretched’. However, it seems there is not so much demand for recent graduates. He went onto say that young, fresh out of university graduates were heading overseas because they are unable to secure employment with a state-based ambulance service in Australia.

Dailly blasts MoJ’s proposed 500 per cent increase in asylum and immigration tribunal fees

Solicitor advocate Mike Dailly has slammed the UK government’s proposed increase of more than 500 per cent in asylum and immigration tribunal fees, saying that “Securing a fair and just outcome should never depend upon your bank balance.”

Dominic Raab MP yesterday told the House of Commons that it is “no longer reasonable to expect the taxpayer to fund around 75 per cent of the costs of immigration and asylum proceedings”.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has launched a consultation on the fee changes, which runs until 3 June 2016.

The government’s proposal is to increase fees in the First-tier Tribunal from £80 to £490 for an application for a decision on the papers and from £140 to £800 for an application for an oral hearing.

There would be a new fee of £455 for an application to the First-tier Tribunal for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal.

The government further proposes a fee of £350 for an application to the Upper Tribunal for permission to appeal, where permission has been refused by the First-tier Tribunal, and a fee of £510 for an appeal hearing where permission is granted.

But Mr Dailly, solicitor advocate at Govan Law Centre, told Scottish Legal News that the MoJ’s deficit was “no justification” for the proposed increase.

He said: “The deficit is politically imposed. Access to justice has long since been recognised as a constitutional right in Scotland and the UK, and as such, should never be subject to the caprice of politically imposed decisions from the Treasury which will have the effect of creating further barriers to justice.

“The flaw in the MoJ’s position – and indeed this applies to the Scottish government – is the idea that there should be ‘full cost recovery’ as a business model in accessing our courts and tribunals. In other words, the notion that litigants should pay for it all. This approach crept in during the 1990s and successful legal challenges saw the introduction of court fee exemptions – exemptions which aren’t robust enough.”

He added: “Access to justice can’t operate on the same business model as a supermarket or shop because it isn’t selling a commodity, it’s offering a fundamental constitutional and human right. Securing a fair and just outcome should never depend upon your bank balance. The MoJ has already been successfully challenged on its residence test, and we have seen how employment tribunal fees has undermined access to justice for workers across the UK.

“This proposal is deeply flawed, and creating artificial financial barriers for those seeking asylum will undermine our credibility in relation to our international legal obligations.”

Mr Raab told MPs: “We are mindful of the fact that some applicants will face difficulties in paying these fees, so to make sure that the burden of funding the system is shared as fairly as possible we will continue to exempt from fees those in particularly vulnerable positions.

“This includes those who qualify for legal aid or asylum support; those who are appealing against a decision to deprive them of their citizenship; and those children bringing appeals to the tribunal who are being supported by a local authority.

“We will also extend our exemptions to protect children being housed by the local authority and the parents of children receiving local authority support. In addition, we are consulting on further extensions to the exemptions scheme in this consultation to make sure we continue to protect the most vulnerable.”

UK SCHENGEN VISA RULES BIASED AGAINST WOMEN

UK- SCHENGEN VISA

A bride looking forward to her honeymoon in Europe has to produce a permit letter from her father, while her new hubby is spared the strange exercise forced on an adult.

Such a bizarre document is listed as ‘must’ for women obtaining visa for non-professional tours to the UK or the Schengen member countries of Europe. Those discriminated against are not just newly married women travellers, but also women travelling alone (married but without a spouse’s name on passport, or unmarried).

The document listed as mandatory is a “no objection certificate” (of NOC) with a signature of the woman’s parent along with convincing evidence that the signature of the undersigned is an authentic one.

This applies to honeymoon couples (the bride) or single women who do not have the name of their spouse on their passport.

This has come to light after the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) explained on its website the documents required to obtain visas while booking package tours to the UK and the 26 countries of the Schengen.

Incidentally, several travel agents too insist on such documentation which spare the male traveller of all that embarrassing procurements that “make us feel like kids”, feel several women travellers who have recently taken package tours to these European countries.

Interestingly, these documents are mandated by the embassies of the United Kingdom and the 26 Schengen countries of Europe, who however do not specify the reasons for mandating such awkward documentation that makes women feel like “taking a parent’s permission to go on a school picnic”.

A similar “permission” from parents is also mandated for under-18 travellers who are travelling alone – another reason for women to see red for treating them like minors!

The embassies, through their respective consulates and appropriate government channels, have conveyed the ‘requirements’ to the authorised travel agents – one of which is the IRCTC, an Indian Railways body which alongside other functions also organises package tours for private parties to European countries.

Although no explanations are given why the European embassies are insisting on letters of permission from parents of women travellers (the “bride’s” in the case of honeymoon couple), IRCTC officials speculate that it must be for security reasons with fears abounding over people illegally overstaying in those countries.

IRCTC supervisor (Tourism), Thiagarajan N, is however quick to point out that it is not the IRCTC that has mandated such documents, but the embassies themselves: “The embassies concerned have made it mandatory for every tourist wanting a visa to visit their country. Our department is just following their rules and regulations and has specified the same in the package tours on our website. If the specified documentation is not provided they would not provide the visas to the tourists to enter those countries.”

He said all the travel agents have been asked to follow the same procedures when they provide package tours to these countries.

Balaji VP, a travel agent, reported to Bangalore Mirror that several women had expressed their anger at him when he informed them that they would have to submit documents signed by a parent and duly proved that it is their parent who has signed.

Interestingly, although this “rule” from the embassies has been implemented for some time, there have been no questions raised on such discrimination.

But now that the bizarre issue is out, people – especially women – are irked. While expressing utter displeasure at the European consulates for demonstrating such gender bias, Bhavana N, a procurement HR with realty firm, said, “Why are such rules not applied to the citizens of those countries too while visiting our country? These conditions are way too complicated to travel to UK and Europe than the Asian countries. Our government should take note of these and put up regulations to others visiting our country.”

Chandana S, owner of a retail chain says, “If they want us to carry a ‘NOC’ to get our visas to travel to their country, it is difficult for newly married women. I would travel to these places only to explore new places and not to find a job.”

Source:http://www.bangaloremirror.com/

UK visa fees set for big hike

The British government is set to increase visa fees across most categories of applications from March 18, in a move that will affect thousands of Indians who were the largest group of skilled workers to be granted visas to live and work in Britain last year.
The changes, proposed in January this year, mean a 2 per cent rise for most fees including the short-term visitor visas and most work or study applications and a 25 per cent increase in fees for nationality and settlement visa applications.
The UK Home Office said the increases will reduce UK taxpayer contributions towards the border, immigration and citizenship system and ensure that by 2019-2020 the system is self-funded by those who use it.
“These changes ensure that the Home Office can achieve a self-funding system, whilst continuing to provide a competitive level of service, and a fees structure that remains attractive to businesses, migrants and visitors,” a Home Office statement said.
According to recently-released figures from the Office of National Statistics, Indians formed the largest group of skilled workers to be granted visas to live and work in the UK last year.
Indians bagged the majority of the 92,062 visas issued to skilled migrants in 2015.
“Indian nationals accounted for 57 per cent of total skilled work visas granted (52,360 of 92,062), with USA nationals the next largest nationality group (10,130 or 11 per cent),” the ONS report said. Most of these migrant

s go on to apply for settlement in the UK and will now pay around 25 per cent more for such applications as the fee for a settlement application or so-called ‘indefinite leave to remain’ application within the UK will increase from £1,500 to £1,875.
The main changes effective from March 18 are: visas linked most closely to economic growth, such as those offered to workers and students, will be increased by 2 per cent.
A 2 per cent increase will apply to all visit visas to help maintain the UK›s position as one of the world’s top tourist destinations.
An increase of up to 25 per cent will apply to settlement, residence and nationality fees, as these routes deliver the most benefits to successful applicants.
An increase of up to 33 per cent for optional premium services offered by the Home Office such as the super-premium service and priority visa services overseas.
Family and spouse visas will in future cost £1,195 and the fee for ‘adult dependant relatives’ is going up to £2,676.
The next step after ILR, leading to naturalisation as British citizens, will cost £1,236 instead of the current £1,005.
Companies applying for a Tier 2 sponsor licence to enable them to recruit foreign workers, including Indians, still need to pay a fee of £1,476, which has remained unchanged.
A new £25 fee for processing invalid applications is also to be introduced. At the moment, any fee paid for an invalid application is refunded.

UK visa fees set for big hike in all categories from March 18

The British government is set to increase visa fees across most categories of applications from March 18, in a move that will affect thousands of Indians who were the largest group of skilled workers to be granted visas to live and work in Britain last year.

The changes, proposed in January this year, mean a 2 per cent rise for most fees including the short-term visitor visas and most work or study applications and a 25 per cent increase in fees for nationality and settlement visa applications.

The UK Home Office said the increases will reduce UK taxpayer contributions towards the border, immigration and citizenship system and ensure that by 2019-2020 the system is self-funded by those who use it.

“These changes ensure that the Home Office can achieve a self-funding system, whilst continuing to provide a competitive level of service, and a fees structure that remains attractive to businesses, migrants and visitors,” a Home Office statement said.

According to recently-released figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), Indians formed the largest group of skilled workers to be granted visas to live and work in the UK last year.

Indians bagged the majority of the 92,062 visas issued to skilled migrants in 2015.

“Indian nationals accounted for 57 per cent of total skilled work visas granted (52,360 of 92,062), with USA nationals the next largest nationality group (10,130 or 11 per cent),” the ONS report said.

Most of these migrants go on to apply for settlement in the UK and will now pay around 25 per cent more for such applications as the fee for a settlement application or so-called “Indefinite Leave to Remain” (ILR) application within the UK will increase from 1,500 pounds to 1,875 pounds.

The main changes effective from March 18 are: visas linked most closely to economic growth, such as those offered to workers and students, will be increased by 2 per cent.

A 2 per cent increase will apply to all visit visas to help maintain the UK’s position as one of the world’s top tourist destinations.
An increase of up to 25 per cent will apply to settlement, residence and nationality fees, as these routes deliver the most benefits to successful applicants.

An increase of up to 33 per cent for optional premium services offered by the Home Office such as the super-premium service and priority visa services overseas.

Family and spouse visas will in future cost 1,195 pounds and the fee for “Adult Dependant Relatives” is going up to 2,676 pounds.

The next step after ILR, leading to naturalisation as British citizens, will cost 1,236 pounds instead of the current 1,005 pounds.

Companies applying for a Tier 2 sponsor license to enable them to recruit foreign workers, including Indians, still need to pay a fee of 1,476 pounds, which has remained unchanged.

 

Source:http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/

UK Fiancé & Spouse Visas: Financial Requirements

Spouse visa Financial requirements

what exactly is the financial requirement? Well, that often depends on your specific circumstances. There are three routes to fulfilling this aspect of the visa, which we will break down as much as possible here.

1. Salaried Employment

The first, and easiest, route to fulfilling the financial requirement of the UK fiancé and spouse visas are through salaried employment. If you are opting to take this route, then your sponsor must prove that they earn over £18,600 before tax per year. If you are moving to the UK with dependants (i.e. children under the age of 18) then this minimum threshold will rise accordingly.

  • Applicant + one dependant = £22,400
  • Applicant + two dependants = £24,800
  • Applicant + three dependants = £27,200
  • Applicant + more than three dependants = £27,200 + £2,400 for each additional dependant

To do this, your sponsor must provide three documents that are to be included in the visa application – 6 months worth of bank statements, 6 months worth of payslips, and a letter from their employer on headed paper stating that the payslips are genuine and correct. These payslips can be from multiple employers, if you have had more than one job in the six month’s prior to applying, so long as they total more than the required minimum.

It is worth noting that you only need to provide six months worth of evidence, not a full year’s worth. Therefore, over the six month period, your sponsor’s salaried income must total 50% of the yearly requirement. For example, £9,300 or more (assuming you are applying without any dependants). However, if your sponsor is self employed, then they must provide 12 months worth of bank statements and payslips. Further, the threshold must be met by their personal income from self employment, not the income of the business.

2. Personal Savings

If you are not in salaried employment, and cannot meet the financial requirement through this method, another available option is to have substantial personal savings that you are able to rely on.

While cases that rely on personal savings vary on an individual basis, the basic concept is that your sponsor must have £16,000 + 2.5x the difference between your salaried income and the £18,600 minimum threshold in savings. Thus, your personal savings (if you were to rely on this alone) would have to total £62,500.

However, if your sponsor earned £10,000 in salaried income, you would need £16,000+ 2.5x(£18,600-£10,000)=£33,200 in savings to apply.

In addition to this, the source of all personal savings must be declared. Cash savings must have been in possession of the sponsor for at least six months prior to the date of the application. The following sources of non-salaried income may contribute towards the savings total:

  • Rental income
  • Dividends or investments
  • Interest from personal savings
  • Trust funds, bonds, stocks and shares
  • Maintenance payments from a former partner
  • Maternity allowance or maintenance grants
  • Bereavement payouts

Of course, other sources of personal savings are also permitted, such as ‘gifted’ money from family members – provided it has been in the possession of the applicant and/or sponsor for the six months preceding the date of the application. The UK government currently does not count personal loans or promises from third parties as cash savings. There is also no current legislation that would allow for a third party to waive the financial requirement. This means that the savings must be in the possession of the applicant and/or sponsor, and cannot be held by a family member, business or such.

3. Employment & Savings

Another way of meeting the financial threshold for the fiancé or spouse visa is by combining income from employment, and personal savings. This is the perfect option for couples who may miss the salaried employment threshold, but still want to pursue the visa. To calculate how much you need in savings is done by a simple equation:

£18,600 – Employment income p.a. = Deficit

£16,000 + (2.5 x Deficit) = Required savings

If we break this down, it is easy to see that essentially the amount you require in savings is £16,000 + 2.5 x the difference between your earnings and the £18,600 threshold. For example, if you earn £17,000 per year, then in savings you would need to hold £16,00 + (2.5 x £1,600) = £20,000 in savings. The same rules apply to the savings as in part two of this guide.

4. Exemptions

There are a few rare exceptions to the financial requirement of the visa. You will not need to meet these requirements if you receive any of the following during the time the application is submitted.

  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment

If you receive any of these benefits, then rather than prove you earn the required threshold, you are instead required to prove your partner will be able to live adequately in the UK without access to public funds. The procedure for this is significantly more difficult, and we would highly recommend seeking advice from a legal expert on how best to advance with your application.

So, those are the four options for the UK fiancé or spouse visa financial requirement. Remember to submit sufficient proof of every method you use to fulfil this requirement, including bank statements (of all accounts in your name), payslips, P45/P60 forms if available, and anything else you think may be appropriate. This must all be recorded in Appendix 2 of Form VAF4A (the visa application).

If you want more information on the financial requirement and all supporting documents, then we recommend reading the UK Border Agency’s guide to the supporting documents. A more detailed breakdown of exactly how to fill out Appendix 2, and what constitutes sufficient evidence is provided in Appendix FM-SE of the UK government immigration documents.

If you have any questions on the fiancé or spouse visa process contact us

Immigration Lawyers | Immigration & Visa Specialists | Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm | info@icslegal.com | 020 7237 3388

UK Fiancé & Spouse Visas: A Guide for Your Sponsor

 

UK Spouse Visa Evidence ListPreparing your application for the UK fiancé or Spouse visa is without a doubt a daunting process. It seems, however, that what is required can be split into two parts: documents from your UK partner (the sponsor) and details from yourself (the applicant). In this article we will try to break down some of the documents that your sponsor will need to provide. Be on the look out for part two of this guide, which will include the documents required by the applicant.

 

Before we start, it is worth noting that this is only our interpretation of the provided documentation. It is always worth reading the supporting documents yourself to come to your own conclusions, and getting professional legal advice where possible. You can find the UK government guide on applying for the fiancé or spousevisa here. We would also recommend reading our guide to the deciding whether the fiancé visa is for you, and why to choose the visa over other available options before getting started on this guide. If you have already decided that you are going to make the application, we wish you the best of luck, and hope that this guide helps. Without further ado, here are the documents that your sponsor will need to provide:

1. Sponsor’s proof of income

One of the most controversial requirements that must be fulfilled for your application to be successful is for your UK based sponsor to earn over £18,000 per year. To prove your sponsor’s income, you must provide the most recent 6 months worth of pay slips, so make sure you keep these!

Pay slips are sent to any UK employee by their employer, as a record of their pay for the previous month. Obviously, as you only have to provide 6 months worth of these, the total earned by your sponsor in this period only needs to equal half of the per annum financial requirement, totalling £9,000 over a 6 month period.

  • 6 months payslips
  • 6 months bank statements

 

2. Proof of appropriate accommodation for applicant

The exact documents that are required for this section are not set in stone. But, as a general rule, it is worth providing a copy of your tenancy agreement or mortgage and a letter from your landlord (if applicable) acknowledging the fact that they are aware that the applicant will be living there. If you own your own home, you will need to provide land registry documents that prove ownership rather than a letter from the landlord. Please bear in mind that these documents must be for the house in which the applicant will be staying. Therefore, if your partner will be staying with your friends or family, this must be clear and the documents must be provided for that accommodation and not your own.

Further, you will need to provide proof that the house will not be overcrowded. A house is considered overcrowded if two or more unmarried people are forced to sleep in the same room. Yep, that means if your partner is staying with you then there must be two rooms within the house or apartment that are suitable for sleeping in. In our understanding of the law, both bedrooms and living rooms are suitable rooms for sleeping in. Therefore if you and your partner are sharing an apartment, it must have a minimum of one bedroom and one living room, or two bedrooms. In addition, only rooms of 50 square feet or more will be counted. To prove that the house will not be overcrowded, we would recommend including proof of the number of rooms and the floor size of each within your accommodation.

  • Letter from landlord
  • Tenancy agreement
  • Copy of land registry agreement
  • Photographs of house
  • Council tax bill or receipt

3. Proof of sponsor’s right to live in the UK

This is one of the easier aspects of the application, as very little is actually required to fulfil this requirement. You must include within here a copy of your bio data page from your passport. While these do not need to be originals, they should be notarised by a solicitor if possible. You should also include a letter of introduction or support, written from your family stating that they are supportive of your marriage. Some sources also recommend including a copy of your degree certificate (if applicable) to prove your level of education.

  • Copy of biodata page passport
  • Letter from family
  • Degree certificate (optional)

4. Evidence of intent to marry

While this is a joint responsibility between the sponsor and applicant, it is most likely that the majority of the documentation will come from the sponsor, as the sponsor will have more access to venues, suppliers and officials within the UK. And while there are no hard and fast rules of what to include in this section, some examples of what you could provide are: a booking of your appointment to register to get married (you must give at least 15 days notice), confirmation of your ceremony from the venue and receipts from anything you have purchased, including rings, venues, caterers etc.

  • Booking of notice to marry at the registrar office
  • Confirmation of the date
  • Receipts from all relevant purchases

These are all the documents that the sponsor is responsible for providing. Remember that in the UK, only your fiancé or spouse is able to sponsor you for this visa. There are not too many, and most are easy to acquire, but it is always worth including a little bit more than a little bit less.

If you have any questions on the fiancé or spouse visa process contact us

Immigration Lawyers | Immigration & Visa Specialists | Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm | info@icslegal.com | 020 7237 3388

UK Fiance Spouse Visa – A Guide for the Applicant

UK fiance visa application form

The process for applying for the UK fiancé or Spouse visa is a very complicated one. Both applicant and sponsor will have to provide a significant amount of documentation to prove to immigration officials that your marriage is not fraudulent.

However, the requirements for the applicant are significantly higher. We would recommend starting to plan out what you intend to provide at least six months ahead of your application.

1.One Passport Photo

Perhaps the easiest item on the list, your application will need you to provide one passport sized photograph. This should clearly show your face, and conform to UK passport photo regulations. The exact requirements state that these photograph should be:

  • 45mm high x 35mm wide
  • In colour on plain white photographic paper
  • In focus, without tears or creases
  • Unmarked & unedited
  • Taken within the last month

For exact guidelines on the photograph, you can find more information on the UK Government website here. This page even provides examples of what is accepted and what is not. Despite all of the small details, passport photo regulations are relatively similar between countries, and you are able to have these taken either by a photographer, or automated booth for a very reasonable price.

2. Application Form

The most important aspect of the application is most definitely the application form. This is a document provided on the UK Government website (which you can find here), and is split into two parts: VAF4A and Appendix 2 of VAF4A. It is important to remember that both of these forms are for use outside of the UK, so you will not be able to submit your application while in the country. Fortunately, both of these forms are relatively straight forward; VAF4A will ask for basic personal details such as:

  • Passport Details
  • Contact Information
  • Family History
  • Past Travel/ Applied History
  • English Language Requirement
  • Sponsor Contact Information

Appendix 2 of VAF4A is a little more detailed, and this is where you will provide the basic information that will be evidenced in both yours and your partners supporting documents. It is important to be completely truthful when filling out this form to avoid any complications and delays with the process. There may also be some parts that you are unable to fill out straight away, but it is worth filling out as much as possible and coming back to the other parts at a later date. The form will ask you for:

  • Your Relationship to Your Sponsor
  • Accommodation Details
  • Financial Situation & Requirements
  • Financial Exemption

All UK visa applications are now made online via the visas4uk website. Once you have registered and created an account, you will be able to start your application. To apply for the fiancé visa, select: Settlement (Type) -> Marriage (Subtype). To apply for the spouse visa, select: Settlement (Type) -> Husband/Wife. From here, you will be guided through the forms listed above. At the end you must print them out and take them with you to your appointment at a visa application centre. If you are applying from North Korea, you cannot use the visas4uk website, as all applications must be made in person.

3. Passport

It is important that you provide two copies of your passport. The first of these must be your original passport (which means you will be unable to travel outside of the country while your application is being processed). The second must be a certified copy of the passport. To certify a copy, take both the photocopy and original document to an authorised person who must then write ‘Certified to be a true copy of the original seen by me’ on the copy, sign, date and print their name on the document. They must also provide their occupation, address and telephone number on the document.

People from the following professions (so long as they are not living at the same address as you, in a relationship with you, or related to you) are able to certify a document:

  • Bank/ Building Society Official
  • Councillor
  • Dentist
  • Police Officer
  • Solicitor
  • Teacher/ Lecturer

 

4. Financial Evidence

Although it is not as important as your sponsor’s financial evidence, it is worth providing your previous six month’s worth of bank statements to prove that you are also in a stable financial situation. It is important to remember that this will not count towards the £18,600 threshold that must be met for your application to be successful. This must be met by your sponsor alone. However, providing evidence of significant savings can be beneficial for your application, as it shows commitment to the relationship and marriage. Therefore, while not directly beneficial, it can reflect favourably on your application.

6. Evidence of Ongoing Relationship

This is really a joint responsibility for couples to provide, but we have included it within the applicant’s documents, as it significantly affects the applicant more than the sponsor. This is probably the most vague aspect of the application, and the one that couples often worry about the most. And, unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules about what counts as evidence of a substantive and ongoing relationship. So, it can be tempting to include as much information as possible, but we would recommend steering clear of this approach.

Instead, be selective of what you include, and focus on the items that you believe are most convincing in regards to your relationship. Below, we have listed some of the best forms of evidence that you can provide. Remember, not to use this as a checklist, but as a guide to help you decide on the evidence you have available to you, and that you believe is worth including.

  • Flight Tickets/ Itineraries of Applicant & Sponsor Travel
  • Hotel Bookings/ Other Transport Bookings
  • Photographs of You & Your Partner Together
  • Selective Excerpts of Skype Logs
  • Selection of Emails To & From Your Partner
  • Letter of Introduction from Family

It may seem a lot, but that concludes our list of documents that any UK fiancé visa applicant is responsible for providing as a part of the process. These should be provided in conjunction with your partner’s (sponsor’s) documents, as a single application. When you put the two parts together, it can seem like an overwhelming amount of paperwork. That is why we recommend starting to collect these documents early, and getting as much information on the process as possible before you apply. But, hopefully, with some of the tips we have given you in these guides you should be in a great position to get started with your application!

If you have any questions on the fiancé or spouse visa process contact us

Immigration Lawyers | Immigration & Visa Specialists | Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm | info@icslegal.com | 020 7237 3388

Minor Muslim girls in UK forced into forced marriage

Forced marriage abuse

Minor Muslim girls in the UK as young as 11 are being forced to marry men living abroad via the internet notwithstanding a ban on forced marriage in the country.
Imams in the UK and abroad have been conducting ceremonies using Skype — so girls can be married remotely before “being put on a plane and consummating the marriage at the earliest opportunity”, according to Freedom, a charity.

The marriage is often conducted with the promise of a visa to the UK for their new husband, it said.”The reason is to curb the behaviour of their children when they become ‘too western’,” charity founder Aneeta Prem was quoted as saying by ‘The Sunday Times’.

“Once married, there is enormous pressure to get a spouse visa. The hope is the girl will visit (country of husband’s origin) and fall pregnant to make the union seem more legitimate before bringing the partner back,” she said.

In one case, an 11-year-old home-educated girl from London was married on Skype to a 25-year-old man in Bangladesh.She contacted Freedom in November after reading a book about forced marriage that her older brother was given at school.

“She hadn’t understood at the time but later realised the Skype call was a marriage ceremony. The plan was for her to meet her ‘husband’ at a later date and hopefully fall pregnant.In the meantime, she was at home learning to cook and clean,” said Prem, the author of ‘But It’s Not Fair’ – an account of forced marriage.

“We see cases from many communities  including those from Hindu, Sikh, Jewish, and Mormon backgrounds. No religion accepts forced marriage but some parents are using it as a method of control,” she added.Forced marriage was made illegal in England, Wales and Scotland in 2014 but there has been only one conviction and it did not involve a child.

Karma Nirvana, a charity that runs free workshops to raise awareness of forced marriage, said in a two-month period at the end of last year it had received 38 referrals from 14 schools, including 11 from one school in Birmingham made the day after it gave a presentation.
The UK Department of Education said: “We trust teachers to know what their pupils will benefit from most, rather than prescribing a one-size-fits-all approach”.

Source: thehansindia.com

New case law on meaning of genuine and subsisting marriage

Several important new cases have just emerged on the subject of marriage and the immigration rules for spouses. They all deal with the evidence and burden of proof in such cases. The President of the Upper Tribunal’s Immigration and Asylum Chamber, Mr Justice Blake, has had a hand in all three.

EU sham marriage allegations

The first of these is Papajorgji (EEA spouse – marriage of convenience) Greece [2012] UKUT 00038 (IAC), in which the tribunal notes that there is no burden on the applicant to prove that a marriage to an EEA is not a marriage of convenience.

Meaning of and proving a “subsisting marriage”

The second case is Goudey (subsisting marriage – evidence) Sudan [2012] UKUT 00041 (IAC). The President observes (as he does in Papajoraji) that all 115 questions in the visa application form were properly completed and goes on to find that the immigration judge erred in law by imposing his own expectations of how a couple might conduct their relationship and by failing to appreciate that the evidence that was presented was properly corroborative of the relationship. Thankfully for Luddites everywhere, the President is particularly critical of the bizarre finding that the absence of texting somehow suggested the relationship was less than genuine. He then goes on:

It may be that the ECO and the judge considered that the requirement to show a “subsisting marriage” imposes some significant burden to produce evidence other than that showing that there was a genuine intention to live together as man and wife in a married relationship.  If so, we conclude that that is an error of law. The authority of GA (“Subsisting” marriage) Ghana * [2006] UKAIT 00046; [2006] Imm AR 543 only requires that there is a real relationship as opposed to the merely formal one of a marriage which has not been terminated. Where there is a legally recognised marriage and the parties who are living apart, both want to be together and live together as husband and wife, we cannot see that more is required to demonstrate that the marriage is subsisting and thus qualifies under the Immigration Rules.

Standard of proof and post decision evidence

The third case, Naz (subsisting marriage – standard of proof) Pakistan [2012] UKUT 00040 (IAC), was an appeal by the Entry Clearance Officer to the Upper Tribunal against an appeal that had been allowed. The President reiterates that post-decision evidence is admissible if it goes to show what the situation really was at the date of decision — the Hoque and Singh [1988] Imm AR 216 argument, for the case law historians amongst you — and upholds the judges’s assessment of the sponsor being a confused but honest witness.

All three are welcome cases, restoring some common sense and propriety to the judicial evaluation of other people’s relationships. Perhaps most importantly, the theme that underpins all three cases is that it should not be assumed as a starting point that all immigrants are liars who must somehow prove otherwise. The standard of proof is, after all, simply ‘more probable than not’.

 

Source:https://www.freemovement.org.uk/