I had the immense pleasure of speaking in confidence with a fellow Visa applicant that has been on hold. For the sake of confidentiality, on Transplant Monologues, we will refer to them as “Golden-Eye.”
In their own words:
Well I got my letter on Sunday from my solicitor so almost 3 days after it was sent. First 6 pages were the reasons of refusal letter detailing how I do not meet the threshold requirement. I’m sending you the 1st and last page as the other ones deal specifically with my case and I think these to are pretty much what most people will get.
Oh and by the way, where it says “Exceptional circumstances consideration”. “progressive hand weakness” is almost complete loss of function in my husband’s left hand. [sic] …that operation they have kindly noted was the removal of two vertebra from his neck 3 months ago. But as far as they are concerned he can just go with me back to Canada. [sic] Then there’s that bit where they say they’ll help me leave the country.
Then the right to appeal part you have 10 working days (most things are 28) to file the appeal and it has to all be new information. Oh and you can only appeal once! And not everyone will get the right to appeal. and then the appeal forms. [We need to use] form IAFT-1 but I think that can be found online. … I think this stuff would be the most useful information for people so they know what to expect.
The appeal fee is £140 to do it in person.
Obviously, the brackets ( [ ] ), and ellipsis (…) are by me, as it involves personal matters regarding Golden-Eye’s spouse. I also saw fit to hyperlink the form IAFT-1 for your reading pleasure. Golden-Eye was kind enough to also include scans of certain parts of their refusal letter, which we will look at with some detail below, but first I wanted to address the concerns raised by their experience.
First of all, the use of the word “Progressive.” This is a term used with Progressive Medical Conditions; with it comes the strong implication that Golden-Eye’s spouse’s condition will deteriorate further. In my (perhaps not-so-humble) opinion, not only is it right that they should be granted rights to appeal, but they shouldn’t have been denied in the first place because this is an obvious case where European Human Rights – heck, UK Human Rights as well – would and should have been applied. So, it’s safe to say, my first reaction was to mentally flip the table and gesture wildly at my computer screen, making noises with my mouth that did not actually form words in any language known to the human race.
It needs to be restated again, in all caps for emphasis: first of all, NOT EVERYONE IS GOING TO BE ALLOWED TO APPEAL, secondly: THOSE WITH RIGHTS TO APPEAL WILL ONLY HAVE 10 DAYS TO DO IT.
That, actually, doesn’t surprise me. My husband and I have seen them apply arbitrary time limits before (when we were first notified that we were being put on hold, for example; they gave us only 10 days to submit additional information for consideration). It strikes me that the UK Home Office has a perpetual hard-on for “10 days.”
I don’t need to say it, but I will anyway: this is a blatant bully tactic designed to dissuade applicants from appealing against the decisions made by way of rendering the time constraints so narrow that it is a feat that only the most organised (and you’re only able to prepare if you know what’s coming, which they try their hardest to see that you don’t, let’s just be honest here), tenacious and perhaps even lucky can hope of achieving.
In short, the UK Home Office is a jerk-wad and they get off on making you cry. An individual from a minority group does not need to ask if someone is discriminating against them; they KNOW what is happening to them.
Now, let’s take a look at those scans Golden-Eye shared with us:
Okay, first of all: Appendix FM Paragraph 276ADE (1). We have the following information from Appendix FM itself, which states:
Now, according to this article by Novells Legal Practice, I can see that Golden-Eye’s case would, at best, fall under “Family life with a partner.” Unfortunately, being as I am not an Immigration Lawyer/Solicitor, my ability to purse the jargon is limited. Very limited. If anyone more experienced in these matters would like to weigh-in in the comments, it would be appreciated. That disclaimer out of the way: As best as I can figure, the sole purpose of paragraph 276ADE of Appendix FM is an attempt to limit or exclude as many people as possible from being considered under the Article 8: Rights to Private and Family Life in the UK.
Did I mention that the UK Home Office was a jerk-wad? I did… Moving on:
Page 2, rather the second page that Golden-Eye supplied us, mentions the condition of their spouse and seems to suggest that their spouse emigrate to Canada instead, completely ignoring any possible limitations or access to medical care he might receive as an Immigrant of Canada. Assuming that he would be granted permanent residency right away; though I can’t speak to how easy or difficult that could be, I did manage to find this bit of information regarding Health Care in Canada specifically dealing with Immigrants. I can easily see the process, irregardless of how well it is managed by the respective province or territory, being one of nail-biting anxiety until that card is in his hand. ANY amount of time where Golden-Eye’s spouse is without health care is going to be scary and potentially dangerous.
An interesting thing to note: the letter does not explicitly say when the applicant must leave the country if they do not wish to appeal. Instead, it gives you contact information to (I assume) both notify them of your intention to leave their (in my words) dinky island, get them (in caps, because this is bat-schite, really) TO SEND YOUR DOCUMENTS BACK, because they’re holding them hostage like… what was the word? Oh yeah: jerk-wads.
Then there is the bit down at the bottom of this page that reminds you that you could be banned for up to 10 YEARS from the UK. As if over-staying was actually our fault, or something. It also seems to imply that the refusal will be held against us, anyway; regardless of leaving voluntarily or not. I don’t need to say it, you’re already thinking of the word best to describe them.
Getting into the decision part of the documents provided, we observe that Golden-Eye was originally admitted to the UK as a Tier 5 – Youth Mobility Migrant. Like most people, we can assume that love and marriage happened after the fact and was only a happy bonus to Golden-Eye’s life and what prompted them to apply for a FLR(M) or SET(M) Visa as the Tier 5 YMM Visa is a temporary visa which cannot be extended.
We also see the application of Section 47 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act of 2006 which is all about the ifs and whens of a person being “removed” from the UK.
It should be noted that there are still changes that have yet to come into effect on the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act which include changes to Section 47. I do not know if, when these changes come into effect, they will be back-dated to cover older cases or if said older cases will be “grandfathered” into the old rules.
The 3rd page supplied by Golden-Eye also goes into their rights to appeal, specifically naming Section 82(1) of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act of 2002 and as amended in the same act for 2006.
Which really doesn’t tell us anything beyond just stating that Golden-Eye has the right to appeal to the Tribunal.
This takes us to Golden-Eye’s final page.
This page, while giving the final bullet-point of grounds for appeal, goes on to let us know that, in accordance with Section 17 of the Immigration, Asylum (Treatment of Claimants) Act of 2004 which states:
Basically, they’ve implied that Golden-Eye is liable to disappear into the woodwork the second she gets her documents back so they’re holding them, her husband, and her, hostage. Reminding us that, once again, we are all guilty until proven innocent in the eyes of the UK Home Office. What are they, again? … That’s right, big-time jerk-wads.
But that’s not all, sports fans. They’ve invoked Section 120 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act of 2002, as well, reminding us of the requirements that Golden-Eye’s reasons must meet:
Outlining just what and how many kinds of hoops a person will need to jump through to some how convince them that you aren’t “guilty.”
The only consolation Golden-Eye has is that they are not requiring Golden-Eye to leave the country while the appeal is in progress; though I suspect this may have something more to do with the fact that the UK Home Office will still have their passports.
Finally, under the directions for removal, it doesn’t give a date when a person will have to leave. Only that they should do so as soon as possible after their visa expires or if their appeal is unsuccessful. Reminding us again that if one does not go willingly, they’ll eject you with force.