Some immigration decisions are unfairer than others, and this was a rather extreme, though not unusual, example of manifest indifference to natural justice. The client initially applied for extension of her spouse visa herself, without help from immigration solicitors, confident that she easily met the requirements of the immigration rules and her case was not complicated. Unfortunately, she failed to provide a full set of bank statements because she had changed her bank and was unable to access her old bank account. Her visa application was refused for failure to provide a mandatory document, despite the fact that her salary was way above the required threshold. She was told to leave the country or appeal and that was when she contacted Kadmos.
We had to make a decision, whether to appeal or to make a fresh application. The problem was, as it often is with immigration refusals, that our client’s passport was retained by the Home Office. If she were to appeal the decision she faced about a year of uncertainty, during which time she would still have the right to work, but would have been unable to travel. In her case it virtually meant losing her job which required extensive travelling abroad. The other option (not mentioned by the refusal letter) was to make a fresh application in country within 28 days of refusal. Yet, without a passport we could only make a postal application. And the downside of this option was that the client would not have had the right to work until this application was decided.
Success in this case was a joint achievement of immigration solicitors and the client’s local MP, who had the drive to overcome resistance of the Home Office and insist that the client’s passport be delivered to the premium service appointment centre in Croydon. Once this was arranged, the appointment for premium service was booked, and a decision was made on the same day approving spouse visa extension.
For people who do not face this type of injustice as frequently as immigration lawyers do, it may be difficult to believe that someone can be thrown out of her job, out of her home, and required to leave her family, leave the country, possibly with no option of coming back (!) – and no public interests is served by this cruelty! Yet, we are writing a success story, so we shall not complain.