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Getting your UK Visa Application Right

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In this blog, our expert Immigration Solicitors look at what you can do to avoid common errors in UK immigration and visa applications.

UK Online and London-Based Immigration Solicitors 

For immigration law advice call London-based OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

Our lawyers speak Arabic, Armenian, Farsi, French/Mauritian Creole, Spanish, Tamil Tagalog/Ilonggo, Urdu/Punjabi

Getting visa applications right

Any Immigration Solicitor will tell you that it is easy for someone to make a mistake on a UK visa application. It can be equally hard to rectify the mistake.

Even if a visa mistake was genuine and entirely innocent, sorting out the error so you can get your visa through can be mind-blowingly complex if you are not used to dealing with the Home Office.

At OTS Solicitors our individual immigration and business immigration teams do nothing but immigration work. We are therefore experts in spotting common errors in visa applications, in avoiding making common errors, and in sorting mistakes out when individuals have made their own Home Office application or used a non-specialist solicitor.

It is often assumed that UK lawyers can advise on any aspect of UK law. That isn’t the case. Immigration law is as specialist as IP or competition or tax law – none of which we hold ourselves as experts in.

The first step in getting your visa application right is using a specialist London Immigration Solicitor. If you have tried to make your application or if you are beginning to have a sneaking suspicion that your lawyer’s area of expertise is not in UK immigration law then our Immigration Solicitors recommend that you get the help you need quickly.

Error, mistake or false representation

What you may view as a simple error a Home Office official may see as a false representation. If you do not take steps to remedy a mistake and the Home Office views the error as a ‘false representation’ then this will go down on your immigration record and affect your chances of getting another visa or being allowed to settle in the UK.

If you are in any doubt about the accuracy of the information on your visa application it is best to take legal advice before you submit it or if your visa or settlement application is pending check with an Immigration Lawyer to see if remedial action is required.

Innocent mistakes in visa applications

In Home Office guidance Home Office caseworkers are told that some visa applicants will make genuine and innocent mistakes and that officials should therefore not assume that every error is an attempt at false representation. However, Immigration Solicitors understand visa applicants' considerable anxiety that an official will treat a simple error as an intention to deceive.

The Home Office guidance sets out what Home Office officials should look at when considering if a mistake in a visa application was innocent or not. These include:

  • Has the applicant made the same or similar mistake on an earlier visa application?
  • Was the mistake in the visa application easy to make? For example, getting a date slightly wrong or transposing figures
  • Was the applicant unaware that the information was provided?
  • How likely is it that the applicant is aware that the information is incorrect?
  • Does the incorrect information benefit the visa applicant?
  • Does the applicant contradict the incorrect information in other sections of their visa application or do the documents supplied in support of their visa application contradict the error?

Immigration Solicitors say there are big differences in mistakes. For example, those who say that their partner earns £5,000 a year when applying for a Spouse Visa. An income of £5,000 clearly does not meet the current financial requirement. The supporting documents reveal the sponsoring partner has a gross salary of £50,000 so the financial requirement is met. Everyone can probably agree that the mistake was an innocent one.

It may not be as clear cut if the mistake was made the other way round or if a Spouse Visa applicant said that neither they nor their sponsoring spouse had been married before but checks reveal that the sponsoring partner had been married. This may amount to a false representation if the Family Visa applicant was trying to show that their relationship with their sponsoring partner is genuine and subsisting but the dates do not match with the sponsoring partner’s earlier marriage. On the other hand, the sponsoring partner may simply have not wanted to disclose an earlier marriage to the visa applicant because they were embarrassed that the relationship had not worked out and the visa applicant trusted them and submitted the information in their visa application in good faith.

False Representations

To qualify as a false representation a mistake must be made with an element of deception and dishonesty. If an error amounts to a false representation it means the visa application will be refused and the visa applicant has their immigration record marked. A finding of deception means you could face a re-entry ban of up to 10 years.

You may think that a false representation is obviously dishonest but it is not always straightforward. A sponsoring partner may not have told their spouse that they had been married before because they did not think the marriage counted as it took place overseas. The Spouse Visa applicant then innocently put something on their Spouse Visa application that was incorrect but not deliberately dishonest or intended to be deceptive. There may need to be a frank discussion between the married couple but the error should not result in the Spouse Visa applicant being labelled as dishonest and facing a re-entry ban.

How OTS Solicitors can help you

Our Immigration Solicitors can help you with all your immigration law needs. If you are worried about how to complete your visa application or uncertain if you meet the eligibility criteria for a Spouse Visa or Work Visa then our experts can advise you and guide you through the application process. If you have had a visa application refused then our Immigration Solicitors can look at your options and see if the visa refusal and any findings of false representation made by the Home Office can be challenged on your behalf.

UK Online and London-Based Immigration Solicitors 

For immigration law advice call London-based OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

Our lawyers speak Arabic, Armenian, Farsi, French/Mauritian Creole, Spanish, Tamil Tagalog/Ilonggo, Urdu/Punjabi

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