Kimkimd - Visitor Visa Refusal - Decision overturned

Old Apr 16th 2019, 4:34 pm
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Default Kimkimd - Visitor Visa Refusal - Decision overturned

Hi all. Thank you for this wonderful forum thread. My friend was also refused a visitor visa because of what appears to be an error on behalf of ECO: twice. Tonight, I'll be working on both complaints.

While looking around the many confusing .gov.uk pages, I stumbled across a PDF about ex-gratia payments guidance ... and I thought: INTERESTING. It seems if you suffered losses as a result of maladministration, you can recover your losses from the UK Government.

No doubt many plans have been cancelled, air tickets have gone to waste, and family celebrations ruined because of < snipped by admin > , whom our government hires to deal with our visas, and from what I'm reading, it looks like we should be able to get our money back. Even the loss of earnings, it seems, if you have booked time off and incurred a loss of earnings. Even non-financial losses, such as emotional distress, it seems. Some very interesting payments are covered in the document I found!

From what I have read in the guide, Taking incorrect action - which it would be if they didn't review all the documents and made a wrong decision - is classified as maladministration, and I think those of you whose visa refusals have been overturned should be able to claim your losses as long as you make the claim within 3 months.

What do you think? (Sorry, not allowed to post URLs until I've posted 5 times, but if you just google 'UK Visas & Immigration Ex-Gratia Payments Financial Redress Guidance', I'm sure you'll find the PDF I'm referring to.)

Last edited by BEVS; Apr 18th 2019 at 11:20 pm. Reason: There is no need for that type of language at all. Complain if you wish but be respectful of others.
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Old Apr 18th 2019, 10:27 am
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Default Re: Standard Visitor Visa Refusal - Decision overturned after a complaint

Originally Posted by kimkimd View Post
Hi all. Thank you for this wonderful forum thread. My friend was also refused a visitor visa because of what appears to be an error on behalf of ECO: twice. Tonight, I'll be working on both complaints.

While looking around the many confusing .gov.uk pages, I stumbled across a PDF about ex-gratia payments guidance ... and I thought: INTERESTING. It seems if you suffered losses as a result of maladministration, you can recover your losses from the UK Government.

No doubt many plans have been cancelled, air tickets have gone to waste, and family celebrations ruined because of the morons whom our government hires to deal with our visas, and from what I'm reading, it looks like we should be able to get our money back. Even the loss of earnings, it seems, if you have booked time off and incurred a loss of earnings. Even non-financial losses, such as emotional distress, it seems. Some very interesting payments are covered in the document I found!

From what I have read in the guide, Taking incorrect action - which it would be if they didn't review all the documents and made a wrong decision - is classified as maladministration, and I think those of you whose visa refusals have been overturned should be able to claim your losses as long as you make the claim within 3 months.

What do you think? (Sorry, not allowed to post URLs until I've posted 5 times, but if you just google 'UK Visas & Immigration Ex-Gratia Payments Financial Redress Guidance', I'm sure you'll find the PDF I'm referring to.)
I don't think calling government workers morons is a nice thing.

also, it says do not book any flight/hotels or anything until you have visa granted, you can reserve but booking it at your own risk.
I have not looked into the pdf mentioned, but I would assume it won't be covering cheap visitor visa refusal or case worker mistake cases, "emotional" damage should not be extraordinary, as it states in so many places so many reasons that you might not get visa, and your hopes should not be up.
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Old Apr 18th 2019, 2:08 pm
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Default Re: Standard Visitor Visa Refusal - Decision overturned after a complaint

Please don't call public servants doing their job names. Not everyone gets a visa. If someone doesn't fulfill the requirements necessary they will be refused. A visa is a privilege not a right.
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Old Apr 18th 2019, 3:15 pm
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Default Re: Standard Visitor Visa Refusal - Decision overturned after a complaint

Hi all. My sister was refused a visa (on similarly unfounded grounds) in the past, but that was at the time we could appeal visitor visa decisions, and I appealed that successfully. Now they removed the rights to appeal - which is ludicrous considering the number of appalling mistakes they make - I thought Judicial Review was my only option, and I was ready to pursue it. Thanks to this thread, it looks like - maybe - I won't have to resort to that.

I just wanted to describe the situation and update you all to let you know what I've done and received so far, in the hope it may help someone. My situation was as follows.

Application 1
At the beginning of March, my friend - let's call him O. - applied for a visa to visit me in the UK. The ECO's reasons for refusal were:

(1) O. states he will stay with me for the duration of his visit, but the ECO is not satisfied O. has a professional or close relationship with me.

As suggested by the latest version of the Home Office Visit guidance, in his application, O. describes the circumstances of our meeting, gives the details of how we keep in touch and provides the detail of our plans for his visit. The Guidance also says that the applicant may be refused where he fails to provide 'a written undertaking from the third party' to confirm the third party is willing and able to provide the maintenance and accommodation (in O's case only accommodation). With his application, O. attached a covering letter from me, where I also describe how we met and that I have stayed at his flat in Ukraine on three occasions in the last two years, thus confirming the statements O. makes about our relationship in his application. In addition, I also described how we keep in touch, our detailed plans for O's visit to the UK, and welcomed him to stay at my home for the duration of the visit. Despite the Visitor Supporting Documents Guide saying not to, I also attached a Council Tax and a utility bill as evidence of my residential status in the UK and my ability to provide O. with the accommodation. The invitation letter should have left no doubts in ECO's mind as to our relationship or my willingness to provide O. with the accommodation, but it seems, it was not considered, and we were simply disbelieved as to our relationship.

(2) O. states his annual salary is £XXXXX, but the financial documents supplied do not demonstrate this.

With his application, O. provided his tax return documents, which indicate income in excess of that he stated on his application. O. also provided a letter from his employer, which states that O's contractual relationship with the company began in 2014, he was granted time off to visit me in the UK, and his contract would stand on his return to Ukraine. The employer reference also contained a breakdown of O's monthly income, which happened to confirm the information contained in his Tax Return records. O. also provided several other documents to prove his legal status and tax status in Ukraine. Therefore the documents supplied with the application demonstrated clearly both O.'s stated wage and how he supported himself in Ukraine.

(3) O. supplies a bank statement, but the bank statement does not show the origin of the input funds; therefore, the ECO is not satisfied the documents accurately reflect O's financial circumstances.

The monthly income from O's employer as stated in his reference letter can be matched exactly to the income in O.'s bank account. The Guide to Supporting documents suggests to send the bank statement as evidence of funds being available for the trip. It also suggests a letter from an employer is supplied as proof of earnings. This is exactly what O. did, also providing a certificate from his bank confirming his is the sole owner of the aforementioned bank account, has a bank card he is able to use abroad, and stating the balance at the time which permitted him more than double of his planned expenditure in the UK (which he planned would be around £100 per day). Nowhere does the Guide imply that the bank statement has to specifically indicate the origin of the input funds - it is meant to be a proof of funds available for the trip - and O.'s bank account demonstrates he is able to support himself in Ukraine and all his financial documents accurately reflect his financial position. But even so, the origin of O.'s input funds would have been evident from the Tax Return and the reference letter from his employer, which appear to have not been taken into consideration when making a decision about O.'s application.

(4) ECO is not satisfied O. is genuinely seeking entry to the UK for the purposes permitted by the visitor routes, that he will leave at the end of his visit, or that he has sufficient funds to cover all reasonable costs without working or accessing public funds.

To address this, I quoted the permitted visitor routes as per Appendix 3 of the Guidance and stated that what both O. says in his application and I say in my invitation is covered by the permitted visitor routes. I cited the Visit Guidance to say that the applicant does not need to provide details of the itinerary but simply have some plans for their stay and provide information about this on the application, which O. did, and I confirmed in my invitation letter, also providing a detailed itinerary; and our statements are in agreement with one another and the Home Office's guidance about the permitted visitor routes. I further cited HO's Visit Guidance where they give an outline of the grounds for doubting the applicant's intentions to leave the UK at the end of the visit; I showed how O. does not pose a danger to illegal immigration in the UK by describing his strong economic ties to Ukraine; a family in Ukraine (as indicated by the information he provided inn his application); no family whatsoever in the UK; a reliable and consistent employment history; accommodation in Ukraine; a consistent and reliable employment history; and how he enjoys a comfortable lifestyle with the income he receives from his employer, which would be difficult to match in the UK due to the cost of living in this country -- all the indicators they list in their own guidance. I cited the part of the Visit Guidance where they say that an applicant's previous travel history must be checked and how the travel to Schengen countries and the US especially works in O's favour, referring to the three Schengen visas and a US visa in O's biometric passport (which was submitted with the application), and stressing the fact that O. had never stayed abroad for extended periods of time or been refused a visa to any country in the past. Though return tickets were not required, the evidence of a return flight O. submitted with his application should have also worked in his favour, indicating he has intentions to return to Ukraine at the end of his visit. I indicated that the bank balance in O's account is more than sufficient to cover the activities he and I planned for his visit, saying that despite of ECO's allegations, it is evident that O. will be able to provide for his trip without working or accessing public funds.

In conclusion, I cited the bits about the Burden of Proof from the Visit Guidance and explained how it is evident from the ECO's refusal letter that, despite the Guidance, not all of the information O. submitted with his application has been taken into consideration, the decision to refuse his visa was made with evidence ECO did not substantiate and described how the ECO's allegations about V 4.2. (a, c, e) could not be clearly accepted as reliable, using the wording from their Guidance.

Application 2
Despite the HO's Visitor Supporting Documents Guide specifically asking to NOT submit any photos unless requested, with his second application, O. submitted photos of me and him. This time the ECO was satisfied that O. and I have a relationship, saying O. attached the evidence of our relationship. I indicated how despite what they say in their Guide to Documents, the ECO did not accept our matching statements about our relationship in the first application, yet accepted the photos, which they tell you to not send, as evidence.

The application was refused because the ECO examined the statement from O.'s bank and could not see the origin of the input funds, and therefore was not satisfied O. was receiving income from his stated employer. This was despite there were two bank statements submitted with O's application: one for his income account and one for his expenditure account. The statement for O.'s income account clearly states his employer to be the originator of the input funds. Each month, O. transfers the money into his expenditure account, which he uses for his living expenses. This is a standard practice in Ukraine for the type of work O. does. Though ECOs are expected to be familiar with the practices and customs of the applicant's home country, O. attached a covering letter with his application to explain how the income is received into his income account and then moved into the expenditure account, giving the details on which the transfers between the accounts can be matched in both statements. The ECO clearly considered only O's expenditure account; The ECO had overlooked the statement for O's income account, did not take into consideration O's covering letter or the reference letter from his employer (again).

CONCLUSION
In coming to conclusions as to the origin of O.'s input funds, the reference letter from his employer (which the HO suggest you provide with the application in the documents guide) and his tax records were overlooked on both occasions. ECO's justifications concerning the lack of incentive to leave the UK at the end of his proposed trip were unsound and the positive evidence, such as that O. holds a senior, well-paid position in his company was not considered, as was the history of O's compliant travel to the EU, Schengen countries and the US and no previous visa refusals. No attempt to verify the submitted documents was made, therefore not accepting them as evidence. Much of the submitted evidence, central to the application, was missed and therefore not considered.

Given that visitor visa applicants have no right to appeal or administrative review, one would expect HO's staff diligence and attention to detail to be impeccable, and such negligence as flawed decisions due to failure to consider key evidence damages the HO's reputation.

I requested that in the light of the above, the applications are reconsidered.

------------
That was pretty much what I wrote. I complained about 2 applications at once because O. and I had specifically prepared the second application ensuring we address every single of the ECO's concerns with the first application. < all snipped by admin > I pointed out where the ECOs made judgements which were arbitrary and subjective, as well as in contradiction with the evidence submitted with the application. The letter was around 5,300 words (13 pages). I had to attach a ZIP archive containing 18 documents that I had reasons to believe the ECOs did not consider or misinterpreted in making their decisions on both applications, where I highlighted the specific parts I questioned ECO understood or taken into consideration. All this is, of course, super time consuming, stressful, and completely unnecessary.

The email was sent to several email addresses. Today, I received a reply to say there won't be a reply because they don't deal with international visa enquiries; I emailed back to say that this is a complaint in accordance with their procedures on so-and-so website and asked that they accept it. Fingers crossed they overturn the decision and we don't have to pursue the judicial review route (with my law degree, I am confident that I will be able to handle it - I've handled similar problems and worse in the past, but I wouldn't want the expense of that).

I'll keep you updated on how this goes. Thank you all for your advice, and the OP for starting the thread. Up until I saw it, I thought Judicial Review was my only option.

Last edited by BEVS; Apr 27th 2019 at 7:41 am. Reason: I already directed about this once.
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Old Apr 18th 2019, 3:17 pm
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Originally Posted by moneypenny20 View Post
Please don't call public servants doing their job names. Not everyone gets a visa. If someone doesn't fulfill the requirements necessary they will be refused. A visa is a privilege not a right.
I apologise. If I figure out how to do it, I will be happy to edit my post.

Hi all. Something else you may be able to do is complain to Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. If you google this, a link will come up, and you can follow through with the steps, choosing the Home Office as the department to complain against. I just came across a report from 2016, saying that they upheld 75% of complaints against the Home Office that year - higher than for any other department. Kim

Hi all. I just wanted to let you know the outcome of my complaint. My friend has just received an email saying his visa application decision has been overturned!
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Old Apr 26th 2019, 2:38 pm
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Default Re: Standard Visitor Visa Refusal - Decision overturned after a complaint

Originally Posted by kimkimd View Post
Hi all. I just wanted to let you know the outcome of my complaint. My friend has just received an email saying his visa application decision has been overturned!
congrats to your friend
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Old Apr 27th 2019, 7:39 am
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Default Re: Standard Visitor Visa Refusal - Decision overturned after a complaint

Originally Posted by moneypenny20 View Post
A visa is a privilege not a right.
It certainly is.

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