A British father of one has spoken out today about the ‘absolute incompetence’ of the UK Visa and Immigration Service. Christopher Malone and his two year old son are now facing the difficult situation of being separated from his American national wife. Christopher Malone arrived at Heathrow airport with his family to the shock of being told that his wife should not have traveled to the UK as she did not have a visa. A UK Marriage Visa or a Spouse visa allows foreign nationals who are married (or in a civil partnership) to a British citizen, or a person who has settlement status in the UK to enter or remain in the UK. If you are based outside of the UK you will need to apply for Entry Clearance in order to join your spouse/civil partner in the UK.
Christopher Malone: We are being Penalised for [UK Visa and Immigration International Service] Incompetence
Christopher and Christy Malone arrived in the UK earlier this year with their son Conrad in July, after being told by immigration advisers that Christy could apply for a visa once she was in the UK. When they arrived at Heathrow airport, they were stopped by Border force and Christy was told that she would have to leave the UK by the end of September as she had not obtain a visa before travelling to the UK. Christopher is a British national and their son is a dual British and American national, therefore they have the right to remain in the UK.
Mr Malone has voiced his disappointment in the ill advice he received from the Government body:
“The UK Visa and Immigration International Service gave my wife and me incorrect advice – we have it in writing. We are being penalised for their absolute incompetence.”
Since the families arrival in the UK, they have spent weeks trying to convince the Home Office of the unfairness to order Christy to go back to America. The couple are now facing the dim reality of paying thousands of pounds for a plane ticket and going through a lengthy visa application process.
Mrs Malone has echoed her husband’s sentiments:
“If we were told when we were still in California that we would have to get a visa before we could move we would have had it all done by now. We are not trying to be cheeky, we don’t like to cause waves, we just want to be treated like human beings and we want to stay together as a family. Nobody seems to want to help us.”
Qualifying criteria for UK Marriage or Spouse Visas
In order to obtain a Marriage or Spouse Visa you must:
- Apply for entry clearance for your spouse/civil partner before travelling to the UK;
- Have met each other, be legally married to each other and plan to live together;
- Meet with the minimum income threshold requirement of £18,600 for sponsoring the settlement in the UK of a spouse or partner, or fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner of non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationality, with a higher threshold for any children also sponsored; £22,400 for one child and an additional £2,400 for each further child;
- Any of the above stated income can be from the applicant and sponsor’s total income;
- Be able to accommodate yourself and your dependants entirely without recourse to public funds; and
- Be able to communicate in English and present an English language speaking and listening qualification at a minimum A1 level or above of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages unless you are exempt.
What happens once you are in the UK on a UK Marriage or Spouse Visa
UK Marriage Visas are granted for an initial five year period following which you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK (ILR) and British nationality. With a UK Marriage Visa you may bring your dependents (for example your children) with you to the UK. You must, however be able to financially support them for their entire stay. You will be able to take up employment in the UK as soon as the document is granted without the need to arrange a UK Work Permit. With a UK Marriage Visa there are no restrictions upon the type of work that can be undertaken.
Successful UK Spouse Visa Applications & Appeals
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified immigration solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process of making a an application for entry clearance so you can join your British partner in the UK or a leave to remain in the UK application step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of law.
We also undertake a great deal of appeal work before the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal and have a successful track record of successful results for our clients. We have the experience and the knowledge required to take your case forward successfully. If you have had an application refused, contact us to discuss your case so that we can provide you with a case assessment.
Contact us so that we can review your case and provide you with an assessment.