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Successful Visa Appeal

by Lyndie (3/31/2006)

Background

(Lifted from my earlier essay about Visa applications)

 

“The thing is, absolutely everything about our applications, both of them, was 100% true and honest, but if they don’t believe you, there is nothing you can do about. When I was preparing the appeal against the 1st refusal, I found Home Office Instructions to Entry Clearance Officers on the net. The instructions are written entirely with the agenda that they refuse everyone unless the case is so irrefutable that they can’t lose an appeal. All the instructions are about how to refuse someone and NOT lose an appeal against the decision. It is terrible.

 

Additionally, when you want to appeal, the appeal must be done in England. This means that unless an appellant has either the money to pay an English lawyer, or a sponsor willing to act as a representative in England, they can’t appeal, because they can’t come here themselves to put their case before the tribunal. He is lucky at least because I am willing and able (I trained as a barrister) to represent him at his appeal, but it is a long process and of course if anything changes over this long period (for example, he has to spend the money he saved) then it is going to be difficult because maybe by the time the appeal occurs he won’t meet the criteria that he met when he applied. I am forced to leave the money I paid for the college £1500 in the college, because if I withdraw it I’ll lose nearly £200 in ‘admin charges’ – if I leave it there, its just ‘dead’ money gaining no interest. I have probably already spent over £500 in couriers, application fees, faxing, telephone and his passport! He has paid for 2 trips to Ankara for his interviews and the emotional costs have been terrible. I think he is ready to give up because he can’t take the pain of building his hopes and then having them dashed.

 

They are also very tricky. When he was refused the first time, all the appeal paperwork was in English except for one small letter. This is totally prejudicial to the applicant, because again, unless he has someone who can understand the appeal instructions, how could they appeal? The one small letter was in Turkish, but was written in complicated vocabulary and my friend could not translate it all and tell me what it said. (It was very lucky that I was in Turkey at the time because I bought all the paperwork back to England with me.) You have 28 days to prepare and lodge the appeal and he would have had to have paid a courier to deliver the document to me. (Letters from Turkey can take four weeks to arrive in England sometimes). They wanted any Turkish documents translated into English. No where on the paperwork did they say it had to be done by anyone special. No where on the website did it say this either. It was only when I was having my Turkish lesson and I happened to ask my teacher if he would translate the small letter that was written in Turkish, did I discover that that any translations for the appeal had to be done by a certified translator. This cost more time and money (£100) and if I hadn’t by chance asked for the letter translation we would have run out of time (the 28 days) and it would have been too late to have included the evidence in the appeal.

 

I could not afford to pay for a lawyer in England, it would cost thousands of pounds, so again, if I wasn’t willing or able to represent him myself, he would have no chance of appealing the decision. It took days of research to find the law I needed to help me even decide which ‘ground’ we could appeal on. Because if you choose the wrong ‘grounds for appeal’ it doesn’t matter how good your case is, you are stuffed basically!

 

After days of research, I found the information to decide which ‘grounds for appeal’ we would use, and then further research was required to organise my paperwork. All my resources and legal training were required. If, the appellant in Turkey did not have someone with the time, energy, money, ability etc to do all of this, they wouldn’t stand a chance in hell of even submitting an appeal within 28 days let alone a chance in hell of winning it. I still have more paperwork to do and eventually I will have to go to court and argue against a Home Office barrister! The only good thing is that the Embassy in Ankara have now been given a date of the 26th of January to submit all their evidence and they have to give me copies of all their notes and paperwork concerning their decision. Even so, it is a daunting and terrifying prospect for me, because I although I trained as a barrister, I did not practice because I became a Probation Officer instead. Hell I work for the UK government and I will be fighting them in court. “

 

Anyway….

 


Next >>
Friday 24th March 2006 – Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in London.


1. Background
2. Friday 24th March 2006 – Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in London.


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