Last week, a British bride was left devastated when her New Zealand national fiancé was deported from the UK forcing her to cancel her wedding plans. Lliwen Roberts and Gareth MacRae have been dating for 6 years and got engaged in February 2014. The couple have spent approximately £10,000 in catering fees, dresses, jewellery, venues and entertainment for their dream wedding which was due to take place in July 2015.
Summary of the Facts
Ms Roberts, a Welsh national had plans to marry her partner of six years in a traditional wedding in Wales in front of family and friends from both the UK and New Zealand. Without a full understanding of the UK immigration Rules, the couple booked a wedding venue as soon as they got engaged in February 2014. They assumed that Mr MacRae would have no problem obtaining a UK visa as he is a commonwealth national, little did they know that was further from the truth.
Initially, Mr MacRae applied for a marriage and settlement visa which was subsequently refused due to failing to meet the financial requirement. Mr MacRae and Ms Roberts were relying on cash savings of £62,000. Under the UK Immigration Rules the financial threshold for couples relying on savings is £62,500. After the disappointment of the refusal the couple reluctantly applied for a marriage visitor visa. The condition of a Marriage Visitor Visa is that you are required to marry within the six months of obtaining the visa and leave the UK before the expiry of the validation. For this reason it is understandable why both Mr MacRae and Ms Roberts did not want to apply for this visa. Ms Roberts explains:
“It meant we would be able to get married but Gareth would have to leave the country within six months. It wasn’t ideal but Gareth’s family had already booked flights from New Zealand to come and see us get married and we didn’t want to let anybody down.”
Unfortunately Mr MacRae’s Marriage Visitor Visa was refused on the basis that the Entry Clearance Officer was not satisfied that he would leave the UK after 6 months. In a desperate attempt and last resort to get Mr MacRae into the UK he applied for a Tourist visa, which he was granted. Although it was not the visa they wanted it was a moment of relief for the couple and Mr MacRae arrived at Manchester airport last week. However, upon his arrival he was detained for three hours and questioned about his intentions of coming to the UK. Two days later Mr MacRae was put back on a plane to New Zealand, despite having documents such as an employment letter confirming his job to return to in New Zealand, a return ticket and a sufficient amount of savings to maintain himself for the duration of his trip. However, the immigration officials believed that Mr MacRae was intending on getting married in the UK which is not permitted on a Tourist visa. The couple have now sadly cancelled their summer dream wedding and have yet to decide if they want to still get married in the UK.
Are You Eligible for a UK Fiancé Visa?
The situation mentioned above can be down to a couple of things, incredibly bad luck or bad legal advice. It is important to have a full understanding of the UK Immigration Rules, in order to ensure that you meet the requirements of the visa you are applying for. Our UK Immigration Solicitors based in central London will go through the UK Immigration Rules and requirements with you to ensure that you are eligible before applying for a UK visa.
For instance, the UK fiancé visa permits a person who has settled status in the UK to bring their prospective spouse to the UK with the intention of getting married. The visa is issued for six months, during which time the applicant will need to get married. After the marriage, the applicant can apply immediately for a two-year provisional spousal visa before the expiry of their visa by making an application for Further Leave to Remain from inside the UK, which grants the visa holder conditional permanent resident status and allows to remain in the UK initially for two years.
Contact us for successful UK Fiancé Visa applications
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of the law. Please always call us for a free telephone assessment and free case assessment even if you wish to consider other advisers.