Taurus2017

Second UK Visit Visa Refusal

100 posts in this topic

ID: 1   Posted

Hi Guys,

 

Been a lurker for a while but finally signed up. Would be appreciative of some opinions on latest UK visit visa refusal for my girlfriend.

 

Background 

  • I am 32 years old, earn c.UK2.5k  a month after tax, own two properties, one mortgage free, one 50% mortgage free, own a car, full time job in engineering at management level.
  • She is 25 years old, earns only 12k baht a month, works in a beauty salon reception, rents a condo in Pattaya, and has a small rented shop which she employs her mother and sister (fairly recently opened).
  • We have been 'together' since December 2015, I have visited her 7 times since and we have documented every visit in my supporting file.
  • Made an application for visit visa to UK in June 2016 - rejected due to her old employer not giving a guarantee. She was actually earning much more then but employer was unreasonable in many ways.
  • Left it another year, once again built up an impressive supporting file, going above and beyond on my part to prove my part as sponsor. She also now has a guarantee letter from new employer, saying to call them to confirm her leave of absence for 2 month visit to UK.
  • Application submitted in Bangkok on 14th June - girlfriend was contacted at 9am on the 19th for additional questions, all OK. ( I was with her in Bangkok on holiday when she got said call).
  • Waited, and waited, and waited. Got an email on 30th June saying apologies for the delay, they wanted to do additional checks, and a decision will be reached within 5 days. 
  • Monday 3rd July - email at UK time 8.30am saying decision made.

 

Aftermath

  • Documents arrived back to girlfriend in Thailand Wednesday 5th - refusal letter enclosed - no visa. Please see attached reason for refusal (singular)
  • So they tried to contact her workplace only on 18th and 19th of June yet they waited and waited and said additional checks were needed - but seemingly didnt bother doing them?
  • She has spoken to her boss (owner of shop) who said nobody has tried to call her and can she call (obviously we stated it is now too late as the application is finished and refused with no grounds for appeal, however shocking that is)
  • She spoke to everyone in the shop who states to their knowledge they did not receive a call and the shop was open and no messages left. Who to believe? 
  • The main issue is that they hung on and on, and apologised saying they would be making more checks - this isn't stated on the refusal!! If it said "we tried again on 30th June" etc then OK - something going on in the shop then.

 

I would appreciate anyone's thoughts on this being the sole reason for refusal and if there is any action I could take as it seems completely unfair considering they made no contact, then delayed us 2 weeks stating more checks needed - there is no mention of later contact trying to be made! With all this evidence, emails etc is there any right to appeal?

 

Would we be stupid to apply immediately again stating to call the shop owner on her mobile directly? We do have a feeling the manager of the shop, who has stated to both of us that "farang and thai relationship no good" (this older lady is clearly scorned by my girlfriends situation and has openly condemned our relationship to us numerous times - this lady works in the shop and apparently does some 'bar work' to support an unemployed Thai husband and child - you get the script) - could potentially be ignoring the phone calls or say something to jeopardize the application should she been the one contacted. This surely happens quite commonly?

 

I would be much appreciative of any advice on it as it has been a really upsetting one this time around as it looks like everything else was fine and had confirmation been made - she would be flying here on Tuesday. 

 

Many thanks!

 

 

Refusal Letter.jpg

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ID: 2   Posted

The thing that needs addressing by the looks of it is proving to the ECO that your girlfriend intends on returning back to Thailand at the end of the proposed visit, this is obviously what is causing the refusal, take a look at her situation and try to provide a meaningful reason why she would return.

A job to return to is certainly one reason and should definitely be included, provide the mobile number of her employer for sure, did her employer state that this LOA was granted in the letter?

Are the other reasons you can find, does she own any property, land etc.? The more the better.

Most everything else you have clearly shown the ECO, i.e. proven relationship, enough funds available for the sponsorship for her holiday and so on, however, until she can show that she will return to the satisfaction of the ECO, then the refusals will keep on coming I'm afraid.

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ID: 3   Posted

Two months is a bit of a stretch for a first visit visa imho knowing how much time Thais get for holidays.

 

Having said that it sounds like you have a problem with her boss not answering the phone. What will she say if they do speak to her? Probably more worrying than her not answering from what you have said.

 

You need your GF to have a heart to heart with her boss and find out why she didn’t answer the phone. It's quite clear on the refusal notice that they tried to call over a period of a couple of days.

 

If the boss is being obstructive it's a problem.

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ID: 4   Posted (edited)

Mattd,

 

Thanks for the response...maybe I did not clearly state the following proof was given - 

 

  • Signed, dated LOA letter on headed paper with two contact numbers - the ECO states they tried numerous times to call however no message was left or did they try again when they delayed the application (even they haven't stated that they tried, so why did they state on an email they needed extra time to do more checks) We issued shop issued photo's of her at works also.
  • No, she doesnt have land but she rents a shop unit, and a condo - proof was given (for what it's worth). We have really done our homework this time and gave numerous reasons for return including proof.

Reading the letter it seems to look like, had they made successful contact with the shop owner as requested on her letter - the refusal wouldn't have been made as nothing else is stated. - this is my point. 

 

They then kept the application back for two more weeks and did not try again - even though they sent the email apologizing for the delay due to other checks being needed. This is why I am pretty annoyed if you get my jist - I'd rather have been rejected for a list of reasons, but the fact the refusal letter on lists that it was a phone call that the shop says was never made, nor was a call to the owner's mobile (she has subsequently said is there any way she can call them etc - obviously the application is now closed so no, she can't). They even state the contact was tried on 18/19 June however upon holding back the application - they don't mention trying to make additional later contact, albeit that was their explanation for holding it back.....

 

I understand there is absolutely no right of appeal, but its seems a bit of  trivial situation. 

 

 

Edited by Taurus2017

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ID: 5   Posted

Rasg,

 

Thanks for response.

 

The reason they would happily give her two months off is she works in a business catering to tourists - it's low season and it saves the owner paying a salary for someone to stand about! In high season - different story.

 

Also her overall boss did say to call her - surely an ECO has some knowledge that jealousy amongst working class Thai people has probably cropped up in similar scenarios, so a random person in a shop answering a phone is less likely to be a true picture than speaking to the business owner/her employer - who as I stated has subsequently said she will gladly talk to them however nobody tried her on her mobile as requested.

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ID: 6   Posted

The email was simply letting her know about the delay in processing her application over the standard 15 working days. It is standard wording when they fall behind.

 

My stepson and his wife received a similar email on the 30th June, they received a further email on the 3rd of July to say a decision had been made and their passports ready for collection on the 5th, and on the 5th they collected their passports with their visas in them.

 

As rasg says, a two month holiday is very unusual for any Thai, so it is not surprising that the visa section should want to confirm this with your girlfriend's employer.

 

Employers letters need to be on headed paper, and they will call the number in that heading. They are not going to call a mobile number, that could be anybody! It is not their fault if on calling the shop no one there was willing to call the owner to the phone or, if the owner wasn't there, pass on any message!

 

IMHO, the problem here is with her employer, or her fellow employees. That is the situation which needs to be resolved before she applies again.

 

 

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ID: 7   Posted

Has the refusal letter got a signature from the Entry Clearance Officer at the bottom of the page with date of refusal?

 

The reason i ask is because a friend had tried 3 times (Thai wife and stepson) and on the last attempt they used an agent in the Trendy building. Refusal letter came back and i compared it to my wifes a few years back. No signature on theirs and reason for refusal the 3rd time was he never provided evidence that he was British!! All his paperwork was provided, I would have asked for my money back from the agent. He was in the UK at the time of the applications.

 

Do the UK Border Agency now write Thailand instead of Thai for nationality on the refusal letters?

 

Although his refusal letter looked genuine, i wasn't 100% sure. 

 

 

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ID: 8   Posted (edited)

16 hours ago, rasg said:

Two months is a bit of a stretch for a first visit visa imho knowing how much time Thais get for holidays.

 

Having said that it sounds like you have a problem with her boss not answering the phone. What will she say if they do speak to her? Probably more worrying than her not answering from what you have said.

 

You need your GF to have a heart to heart with her boss and find out why she didn’t answer the phone. It's quite clear on the refusal notice that they tried to call over a period of a couple of days.

 

If the boss is being obstructive it's a problem.

Two months is a bit of a stretch for a first visit visa imho knowing how much time Thais get for holidays.

 

A tourist visa to the UK automatically entitles the applicant to stay six months, so it is hard to see how a two month visit would be problematical. The bottom line,I suspect, is that for some reason they believe this young lady has plans to remain in UK when her holiday visia expires. A full time job in Thailand which pays what would be a derisory salary in the UK is routinely regarded as insufficient evidence of an intention to return.

 

One can understand why so many falangs end up marrying Thai girls just to get them into their home country (often with disastrous results). The system virtually forces one to do this - or kiss the relationship goodbye. Decisions about who to admit or bar are made often by very immigration officers with little exerience of life and relationships -and I gasther that the appeals system against debatable decisions has been abandonedf.

 

The plight of people like this young couple has not exactly been helped by the Brexit decision, which has put even more pressure on the British government to tighten up its border control policy. Unless this luckless couple can produce additional evidence to convince Immigration that she is sure to return to Thailand after her visit, the outlook is not sunny.

Edited by Krataiboy
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ID: 9   Posted

Although you agreeing to Sponser her during her visit, and paying all costs which you were able to supply documentation that financially you could, this two months is a long time for just going on a vacation. Also mentioned by them that the primary focus on this application is on the applicant, and not you and your financial ability. 

 

The primary focus is if they have enough proof to indicate that she would return to Thaland on the agreed time. Giving up a job that pays 12,00 baht a month is not a big sacrifice. She could make double that cleaning rooms in a hotel anywhere in the UK. Your relationship with her is also week, and just being a Boy Friend/ Girl Friend type.

 

To be honest, and from what you have said, I don't see her as having strong ties to Thailand either. Since your job is in the UK, and where you derive you primary source of income, I would think that there is a better chance she would come with you to the UK, and stay with you there, which they don't like. Even if you apply for residency in the UK after she arrives. So by sponsering her, you may be actually hurting her application more than you are helping it. 

 

It is clear that you need to come up with some good reasons to convince them that she would come back to Thailand after her vacation there. It may seem unfare but this is how it works. I once almost had my wife refused entry because then we didn't own a house in her country. Even when I was married to her and had all kinds of proof of that, they felt she would go with me, and not return later. I was only able to get it approved as I knew the head man at the embassy.  

 

Good Luck!  

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ID: 10   Posted

things have changed a great deal in the last few years and you may just be caught in the government's attitude to immigration in general and to the possibility of you and your GF eventually settling permanently,  despite all your evidence to the contrary.  My advice for what it's worth is to contact a London based immigration lawyer  for a future application and use their services.  Yes it's pricey,  but they tend to be effective if you pick the right one.  

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ID: 11   Posted

16 hours ago, Taurus2017 said:

Rasg,

 

Thanks for response.

 

The reason they would happily give her two months off is she works in a business catering to tourists - it's low season and it saves the owner paying a salary for someone to stand about! In high season - different story.

 

Also her overall boss did say to call her - surely an ECO has some knowledge that jealousy amongst working class Thai people has probably cropped up in similar scenarios, so a random person in a shop answering a phone is less likely to be a true picture than speaking to the business owner/her employer - who as I stated has subsequently said she will gladly talk to them however nobody tried her on her mobile as requested.

What has happened to you is not uncommon even for Thai ladies who can prove a good income , e.g my Thai girlfriend was refused a tourist visa because they did not believe she would return to the UK despite the fact that she owns her own house and business plus takes care of her parents . Have heard of married couples being refused the visa but  had been granted the visa on the previous 2 applications and nothing had changed . Lastly I heard of a Brit who who successfully secured a tourist visa for his girlfriend who worked in a bar had no money or assets and they had only been together for 3 months , she had every reason not to return to Thailand , an agency was used .

                 There is no consistency in the ECO decisions and no recourse .  Makes me angry when I hear a case like yours when at the same time  aliens are pouring in the UK to live full time mostly supported by the state benefits . Has been said to me that a tourist visa can be got far easier if your lady were to go on an official tour organised by a bona fide Thai company .   Or using an agency who will mostly guarantee a result at a price .  Good luck 

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ID: 12   Posted

I think you will have to bite the bullet and pay an agency the fees for their services and then you might get the visa for your girlfriend to visa the UK,had worked for some people ,but also failed for some ,so its a gamble, but maybe your willing to take it.Good Luck.

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ID: 13   Posted

49 minutes ago, superal said:

Or using an agency who will mostly guarantee a result at a price

I have to admit that I do not understand how an agent can make any guarantees (mostly or not) when the applicant / sponsor are only going to provide the same amount of information as they would applying themselves, I do agree that there are inconsistencies in the way that visa applications are granted or denied, that is possibly due to the ECO at the time, different ECO's will define the guidelines differently? In most cases here in Thailand, the applicants would be in in a similar position to the OP, so trying to demonstrate a viable reason to return to Thailand is going to be difficult, if you use the logic that a 12,000 THB a month job can be dumped, most advise against using Children or Family as a reason, Land or property won't go away, so could also be dismissed as a reason by the ECO, in reality most things could be.

I tend to agree with the other posters now, 2 months was too much to ask for initially and this is why they want to contact the employer, perhaps not so much as to verify the employment, more to verify the two months absence from work, as they will be wondering why she is employed at all if the employer can do without her for 2 months.

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ID: 14   Posted

It's a tricky one because the manager of the shop (who is a nasty piece of work seemingly) is swearing blind to the owner that nobody called at all....I don't trust her however. I am just hoping the ECO had the foresight to call during business hours (11am to 11pm) and not before 9am as when they called my girlfriend! It isn't clear on the refusal whether anyone was reached or it just rang so we will never know the outcome. The owner requested on the headed letter to call her mobile if couldn't get through to the shop.

 

And the 2 month thing I even gave reasons why that would be ok at this time of year taking into account how quiet that business is as based around tourism solely. This is why her overall boss suggested she go now and better get back for high season. 

 

Secondly, as stated above, we provided evidence of her being a lease holder of her own business where she employs her mum and sister. Again I can see why this is taken with a pinch of salt. 

 

It just bugs me that we will never know if they did get in touch with the shop or they tried at a time when it wasn't open as I can only imagine they initially called right after talking with my girlfriend at 9am (it was the same date). The problem now is the whole thing has caused big upset in her work to the point she doesn't want to be there anymore as she believes this rat of a manager has said nobody can verify anything upon the ECO calling, however I have a suspicion they haven't even got through at all...we will never know. 

 

I can see how a strong sponsorship and weak reason to return could suggest an issue returning however this isn't mentioned on the letter - it appears to boil down to the phone calls. 

 

It is fairly disgraceful in this day and age that there is no appeal in a case like this or a way of seeing notes regarding whether they spoke to anyone or actually tried during business hours! 

 

I could really do with being pointed in the direction of someone that could have some sway with this so please PM me if you know of any avenues to go down.

 

and lastly thank you very much everyone, glad I finally joined, it's great to hear everyone's views on this! 

 

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ID: 15   Posted

She has no reason to return to Thailand, you have a hell of a lot more than she has so immigration think she wont come back hence the rejection.  

 

Don't reapply, she will get a 10 year ban if you are persistent. 

 

Reasons to return:

Land
House
Cars 

Motorbikes

Children

You, if you lived in Thailand she would have you to return to.  

 

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BANGKOK 26 July 2017 10:00
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