Spouse visa granted after initial refusal

Visa Type: Spouse entry clearance.

Challenge: previous illegal stay for several years in the UK; closure of visa centres in Ukraine due to the War.

Outcome: Granted

We have been instructed to represent a client who is a national of Ukraine in his application for a Spouse visa Entry Clearance. The client informed us that he did not have any criminal convictions, however he confirmed he has lived in the UK illegally for some time and he now reside in Ukraine after voluntarily leaving the United Kingdom.

Although he satisfied suitability and eligibility requirements under Spouse visa Entry Clearance Immigration rules, one of the challenging parts of the case was the client’s illegal residency in the UK for more than 3 years. We have collected all the required documents to prove the genuine and subsisting relationship with his partner who at that time had a pre-settled status in the UK, our client has also passed English language test and we provided proof of income of at least £18,600 from his partner who is based in the UK.

Within 2 months’ time he has been refused Entry Clearance and we appealed the case. Home Office decided to reconsider his case and grant him Spouse visa Entry Clearance just before the hearing.

In February 2022 because of Russian invasion to Ukraine he was not able to get his visa issued as all Visa Application Centres in Ukraine have been closed until further notice.

The Home Office confirmed later that they can issue him a visa in another country provided he can travel to that country to submit his Passport. Most Ukrainian men between the age of 18-60 have been banned from leaving the country after 24 February 2022 and our client has been one of them. Few months later our client was able to leave the country and travel to France to submit his Passport, however shortly after that we received an email from the Home Office stating they cannot return the passport due to logistic problems outside UKVI’s control and that we have to apply for BRP vignette transfer and pay additional fees which they promised to refund. We booked another appointment for him in Paris VAC where he resubmitted his biometrics. After waiting for more than 2 years the client has been eventually issued with his entry clearance and joined his wife in the UK.