Author Topic: Couple of questions I haven't seen answered elsewhere.  (Read 331 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline HelloSam

  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Joined: Dec 2017
  • Liked: 8
Couple of questions I haven't seen answered elsewhere.
« on: January 11, 2018, 11:52:41 AM »
I've done a fair bit of reading on the forums and have not found more specific answers to my remaining questions, so hopefully this post can also help others in the future. (the rest of my questions have been answered tho, many great people on here!)

First - Is there somewhere in the forums that lists recommended attorneys, I have seen two names more than others, so is the general consensus just those are the top two?

Second - In the visa application process, how does one address an overstay of a few months that occurred more than 12 months ago? What should be included? Seeking a very simple explanation letter template.

Even with a letter admitting to an overstay, how does this overstay negatively impact one's visa approval, and later possibly permanent settlement?

Question 6.6,  "Have you ever been deported, removed or otherwise required to leave any country, including the UK in the last 10 years?" OR "Have you ever voluntarily elected to depart the UK before you were served with an immigration decision and/or other papers?" If left freely without notice or arrest, how does a previous over-stayer answer this question? Appears as tho it is meant for those caught and then elected to leave.

Third - "UKVI strongly recommends that customers with any form of adverse immigration history do not purchase priority services." Adverse immigration is such a wide net. For one who overstayed a few months is it likely their application will be slowed significantly? Would paying the 551 pounds for the priority settlement visa service make little difference in approval timing?

Fourth - I have seen it said both ways, but I'll ask again. Do most successful applications provide copies of the original documents along with the original supporting documents, so two stacks of supporting documents? And does using A4 paper (which is US non standard size) help in the processing time? Any other tips you can give within the application process for reducing the time to get an approval?

Offline ksand24

  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 19414
  • Joined: Jan 2007
  • Gender: Female
  • Liked: 1946
Re: Couple of questions I haven't seen answered elsewhere.
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 12:08:04 PM »
First - Is there somewhere in the forums that lists recommended attorneys, I have seen two names more than others, so is the general consensus just those are the top two?

You've only seen those two (Laura Devine and Medivisas) because they are the only ones we recommend. This is because:
a) we know they are reputable
b) they specialise in US-UK family immigration visas
c) one of them (Victoria from Medivisas) used to be a member of the forum so we know she knows her stuff

Quote
Second - In the visa application process, how does one address an overstay of a few months that occurred more than 12 months ago? What should be included? Seeking a very simple explanation letter template.

Just include a cover letter with your application documents explaining the length and reason for the overstay, and include any immigration paperwork relating to it if applicable. Doesn't need to be more than 1 paragraph long.

Quote
Even with a letter admitting to an overstay, how does this overstay negatively impact one's visa approval, and later possibly permanent settlement?

If the overstay began before April 6th 2017, then UKVI will allow an overstay of up to 90 days without it causing an automatic visa refusal. If the overstay began after April 6th 2017, they will only allow an overstay of up to 30 days.

If it was longer than 90 days (or 30 days), it can carry a ban from the UK of anywhere from 12 months to 10 years from the date you left, depending on your situation.

In terms of permanent residency (ILR), I'm not sure, but for UK citizenship, a previous overstay may prevent you from qualifying for it for 10 years (as opposed to the normal 5 years), due to the Good Character Requirement (which now takes into account previous overstays etc.)

Quote
Question 6.6,  "Have you ever been deported, removed or otherwise required to leave any country, including the UK in the last 10 years?" OR "Have you ever voluntarily elected to depart the UK before you were served with an immigration decision and/or other papers?" If left freely without notice or arrest, how does a previous over-stayer answer this question? Appears as tho it is meant for those caught and then elected to leave.

For the first one, you can only be deported, removed or required to leave if the Home Office have caught you as an overstayer and have ordered you to leave. So if you left of your own accord without being found out by the Home Office first, you should be able to answer no.

For the second one, I believe that means that you have applied for a visa from the UK or have appealed a visa refusal, but have chosen to leave the UK before the visa/appeal decision was made. So, again, I think you can answer no if this was not the case for your.

Quote
Third - "UKVI strongly recommends that customers with any form of adverse immigration history do not purchase priority services." Adverse immigration is such a wide net. For one who overstayed a few months is it likely their application will be slowed significantly? Would paying the 551 pounds for the priority settlement visa service make little difference in approval timing?

Basically, they advise anyone who has the following not to use priority processing, because they cannot guarantee a timely decision on the application:
- been refused a visa for the UK, and/or;
- been refused leave to enter the UK, and/or;
- been deported, removed, or otherwise required to leave the UK, and/or;
- overstayed a period of leave in the UK, and/or;
- had leave to remain in the UK curtailed by the Home Office, and/or;
- been refused leave to remain in the UK by the Home Office, and/or;
- been refused a visa for Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States of America, or the Schengen countries, and/or;
- you have been interviewed, detained, or prosecuted by the police for any offence in the UK or elsewhere, and/or;
- you have an unspent criminal conviction in any country, and/or;
- you have committed a criminal offence in any country.

If you can afford it, then you can use Priority Processing, because it will still get your application put to the front of the line and opened quicker than non-priority... so it could save a few weeks of waiting, even if it takes longer than normal to make the decision.

Quote
Fourth - I have seen it said both ways, but I'll ask again. Do most successful applications provide copies of the original documents along with the original supporting documents, so two stacks of supporting documents? And does using A4 paper (which is US non standard size) help in the processing time? Any other tips you can give within the application process for reducing the time to get an approval?

The paper size has no effect on the processing... but you might have issues with printing the application on US size as the formatting could be off and it might not show everything.

Providing copies has no effect on the actual decision. However, if you DON'T provide copies, they may keep your original documents and you might not get them back.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 12:10:56 PM by ksand24 »

Offline ksand24

  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 19414
  • Joined: Jan 2007
  • Gender: Female
  • Liked: 1946
Re: Couple of questions I haven't seen answered elsewhere.
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2018, 12:19:47 PM »
Question 6.6,  "Have you ever been deported, removed or otherwise required to leave any country, including the UK in the last 10 years?" OR "Have you ever voluntarily elected to depart the UK before you were served with an immigration decision and/or other papers?" If left freely without notice or arrest, how does a previous over-stayer answer this question? Appears as tho it is meant for those caught and then elected to leave.

By the way, the guidance given for answering these two questions is as follows:

Quote
6.5 Have you ever been refused, deported, removed or otherwise required to leave any country (including the UK) in the last 10 years?

Answer Yes/No. If ‘Yes’ please give details including the date, the country you were removed from and to, and the reason for your removal. If you were removed, deported or otherwise asked to leave the UK please give additional details including your Home Office reference number (which is prefixed with the first letter of your family name, e.g. Smith = S12345) and how you left the UK e.g. voluntarily (paying for your own flight/transport), at UK government expense (arrangements were made and paid for by the Home Office).

6.6 Have you ever voluntarily elected to depart the UK before you were served with an immigration decision and/or other papers?

Answer Yes/No. If ‘Yes’ please give details including the reason, location and reference number.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 12:20:55 PM by ksand24 »


Offline Sirius

  • *
  • Posts: 2451
  • Joined: Sep 2014
  • Liked: 227
Re: Couple of questions I haven't seen answered elsewhere.
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2018, 01:07:13 PM »
In terms of permanent residency (ILR), I'm not sure, but for UK citizenship, a previous overstay may prevent you from qualifying for it for 10 years (as opposed to the normal 5 years), due to the Good Character Requirement (which now takes into account previous overstays etc.)

Yes, immigration crime now forms part of the 'must be of Good Character' requirement too. Overstaying is a crime. Under the present requirements, an overstay of more than 28 days is a fail of Good Character for 10 years. I assume that will alter to 14 days instead at some point as the 28 day grace rule was removed?
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 01:16:51 PM by Sirius »

Offline Soccer4ja9

  • *
  • Posts: 236
  • Joined: Dec 2016
  • Location: Philly to Cambridge
  • Liked: 66
Re: Couple of questions I haven't seen answered elsewhere.
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 01:23:53 PM »
Yes, immigration crime now forms part of the 'must be of Good Character' requirement too. Overstaying is a crime. Under the present requirements, an overstay of more than 28 days is a fail of Good Character for 10 years. I assume that will alter to 14 days instead at some point as the 28 day grace rule was removed?

So it's a judge of good character requirement an overstay of more then 28 days is a fail .. so does the April 6th 2017 rule still stand of 90 days before and 30 days after ? If you left the country on your own free will  ?
US girl met UK guy
Met Husband at England Rugby World Cup Oct 2015
Got engaged in Germany in July 2017
Got married in Philadelphia Oct 2017
Applying for Spouse visa for the UK
Application paid December 17th 2017
Bometrics booked for Dec 22nd 2017
Package sent off to Sheffield Dec 23rd 2017(priority)
Package recieved In Sheffield Dec 27th 😬🤞🏻
Decision email sent Jan 17th 2018 😬😳🤞🏻🙏🙌🏼
VISA APPROVED Jan 22nd
Cambridge here I come !!!

Offline ksand24

  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 19414
  • Joined: Jan 2007
  • Gender: Female
  • Liked: 1946
Re: Couple of questions I haven't seen answered elsewhere.
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2018, 01:26:53 PM »
So it's a judge of good character requirement an overstay of more then 28 days is a fail .. so does the April 6th 2017 rule still stand of 90 days before and 30 days after ? If you left the country on your own free will  ?

Yes, we're talking about 2 different things here:

- the 90 days/30 days is the maximum overstay allowed in order to be granted an initial visa to return to the UK without a ban. If it's more than this, but you left voluntarily at your own expense, then it's usually a ban of 12 months from when you left the UK.

- the 28 days (likely to be reduced to 14 days) is the maximum overstay you can have in order to qualify for citizenship after 5 years in the UK. If you overstayed for more than that, you will have to wait 10 years before you can qualify for UK citizenship.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 01:28:40 PM by ksand24 »

Offline Soccer4ja9

  • *
  • Posts: 236
  • Joined: Dec 2016
  • Location: Philly to Cambridge
  • Liked: 66
Re: Couple of questions I haven't seen answered elsewhere.
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2018, 01:31:53 PM »
Ahh ok I was getting confused !! Thank you ksands for clearing it up .. I need to stop reading these things lol
US girl met UK guy
Met Husband at England Rugby World Cup Oct 2015
Got engaged in Germany in July 2017
Got married in Philadelphia Oct 2017
Applying for Spouse visa for the UK
Application paid December 17th 2017
Bometrics booked for Dec 22nd 2017
Package sent off to Sheffield Dec 23rd 2017(priority)
Package recieved In Sheffield Dec 27th 😬🤞🏻
Decision email sent Jan 17th 2018 😬😳🤞🏻🙏🙌🏼
VISA APPROVED Jan 22nd
Cambridge here I come !!!

Offline Sirius

  • *
  • Posts: 2451
  • Joined: Sep 2014
  • Liked: 227
Re: Couple of questions I haven't seen answered elsewhere.
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 01:33:43 PM »
Yes, we're talking about 2 different things here:

- the 90 days/30 days is the maximum overstay allowed in order to be granted an initial visa to return to the UK without a ban. If it's more than this, but you left voluntarily at your own expense, then it's usually a ban of 12 months from when you left the UK.

And as long as they haven't been "Frustrating the intentions of the Immigration Rules", link above.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 01:36:04 PM by Sirius »

Offline HelloSam

  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Joined: Dec 2017
  • Liked: 8
Re: Couple of questions I haven't seen answered elsewhere.
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2018, 06:23:58 PM »
Timely and thorough replies! Thank you ksand24 and Sirius.

So that I am thorough myself and for anyone searching this question in the future:

a) "Just a paragraph explaining overstay". I called Medivisas (thanks to them btw) and they said the same thing. I asked what to say and he said just be honest. But I am still at a bit of a loss of what to be honest about. To know what to write I need to know why they want an explanation, not sure what I am even explaining. There is no explanation for breaking immigration regulations, you did or you didn't. I don't want to sound like I am justifying anything.

b) "types of things that stop a spouse visa being granted" - Excellent link Sirius, I would refer all overstayers who see this thread to read that link to know where they stand.

c) "However, if you DON'T provide copies, they may keep them". Have people on here reported that this had occurred?

New Item
d) Q6.9 "This includes road traffic offences but not fixed penalty notices (such as speeding or parking tickets) unless they were part of a sentence of the court."
Should I disclose a 2.5 year old unpaid bus lane camera penalty in a rental car. I never received any court orders to my knowledge only collection agency wanting money for the fines. I also don't want to make a non-issue in my application into an issue. Do I report these on my application, if yes, how should I do so?

Per the link below on "Good Character", its says:

3.2 Fixed Penalty Notices, Penalty Charge Notices & Penalty Notices for Disorder
Fixed Penalty Notices, Penalty Charge Notices and Penalty Notices for Disorder are imposed by the Police or other authorised enforcement officers for traffic rule violations, environmental and civil violations. It is a way of the criminal justice system disposing of fairly minor offences without the need for a person to attend court. Receiving one does not form part of a person’s criminal record as there is no admission of guilt.
The decision maker will not consider these unless the person has:
a) failed to pay and there were criminal proceedings as a result; or
b) received numerous fixed penalty notices which would suggest a pattern of
behaviour that calls into question their character.
Where a fixed penalty notice or fiscal fine has been referred to a court due to non- payment or the notice has been unsuccessfully challenged by the person in court, the decision maker will consider this as a conviction and assessed in line with the new sentence imposed. Where b. applies, the decision maker will consider the factors listed at section 3.8 – Considering Cumulative, Non-Custodial Sentences.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/658456/annex-d-v2.0-EXT.pdf

-

Thank you fro your replies and I hope our thoroughness will also be of assistance to others who see this thread.

« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 09:16:16 PM by HelloSam »

Offline ksand24

  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 19414
  • Joined: Jan 2007
  • Gender: Female
  • Liked: 1946
Re: Couple of questions I haven't seen answered elsewhere.
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2018, 06:50:54 PM »
a) "Just a paragraph explaining overstay". I called Medivisas (thanks to them btw) and they said the same thing. I asked what to say and he said just be honest. But I am still at a bit of a loss of what to be honest about. To know what to write I need to know why they want an explanation, not sure what I am even explaining. There is no explanation for breaking immigration regulations, you did or you didn't. I don't want to sound like I am justifying anything.

You need to explain and be honest about the following:
- how long you overstayed for (what dates you were in the UK from and to, and how many days you overstayed)
- the reason why you did not leave the UK before your visitor visa/other visa expired and therefore became an illegal overstayer

For example, one person might have overstayed because they had no money to get home. Someone else might have been in hospital and physically unable to travel. Another person might have deliberately overstayed because they wanted to be with their partner in the UK and couldn't bear to leave. Or, someone might have even overstayed because their home country is at war and they have nothing to go back home to.


Quote
c) "However, if you DON'T provide copies, they may keep them". Have people on here reported that this had occurred?

It's official advice from the government - UKVI say that if you do not include copies they may keep your original documents.

Quote
New Item
d) Q6.9 "This includes road traffic offences but not fixed penalty notices (such as speeding or parking tickets) unless they were part of a sentence of the court."
Should I disclose a 2.5 year old unpaid bus lane camera penalty in a rental car in Scotland, or three seperate unpaid speedcamera tickets for 15kph over in rental cars in continental Europe from 2.5 years ago (france,belgium,germany in summer of 2015)? I was abroad for several years and while I know I got notices back in USA, I never dealt with them nor have I received any further mail about them in 2 years. I never received any court orders to my knowledge only collection agencies wanting money for the fines. I also don't want to make a non-issue in my application into an issue. Do I report these on my application, if yes, how should I do so?

I would include everything, if only just to show you are being honest. There should be space on the application to list them. You should also include documentation from them and/or a copy of your driving record.

It's much better to include something that is a non-issue and have it not affect the application, than to NOT include something that turns out to be an issue... because if you don't disclose something that turns out to affect your eligibility for a visa, UKVI could determine you were trying to use deception in the application... which can result in a ban from the UK for 10 years.

As an example, a few years ago, one person here on the forum applied for a spousal visa. They had a criminal conviction which they thought was spent at the time, and almost didn't include it on the application form. However, they did disclose it, and good thing too, because it turns out it wouldn't become spent for another 4 years and it automatically made them ineligible for the visa until it was spent. So, although the visa was refused, it just meant they had to wait 4 years to apply again. However, if they had not disclosed it and then UKVI found out they didn't disclose an unspent conviction, they could have been banned for 10 years for deception.