A UK sponsor approached us in November 2008 about getting a visa for his Thai Wife. We explained the best route and way forward to ensure she would get a visa to the UK without getting a refusal.
At the time the Thai lady was his girlfriend, we advised working on a Tourist visa and then after she had been to the UK they could look at moving forward with the relationship; perhaps getting married and then applying for a Settlement visa to allow her to live with him in the UK

The UK sponsor contacted a different visa company in Thailand. They told him what he wanted to hear, we can get you a settlement visa, your thai girlfriend will be able to live with you in the UK, this is easy; so he began the visa application with this other company. Paying all the money upfront to the company. His Thai wife was refused UK settlement visa. So now he has lost his money and his wife is still in Thailand.

The sponsor came back to me July 2009 and this is a copy of the Visa refusal notice given by the british embassy. The refusal is in red; my comments are below each paragraph

I have refused your visa application without interview on this occasion because I am not satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that you meet all of the requirements of sections 281 of the Immigration Rules in particular, sections (iv) to (vi). This decision was made on the merits of this application. However, if you have made a previous application and immigration history, this may have been considered.

The application was that bad that the visa officer did not need to justify the refusal with an interview. Please remember this couple used a Visa company to get the visa, the visa company gave him all the advice he wanted to hear, the UK sponsor paid all the fees upfront, so it then made no difference to the visa company if he gets the visa or not

The onus is on the applicants to demonstrate that they meet the requirements of the relevant Immigration rules. I have carefully considered your application on the basis of your passport, application form and documents that you have provided. Is has not been necessary to interview you in order to reach a decision.

The documents that the visa company requested from the couple did not satisfy the Visa officer. This was one of the reasons his Thai wife was refused UK settlement Visa

You have applied to join your husband in the United Kingdom with a view to settlement. You were married on the 16 January 2009 in Thailand and have produced a marriage certificate confirming this. It is stated on the visa application form that you first met your sponsor in January 2009 through an internet dating website and that your relationship began in January 2009. Your husband’s passport copys shows that he came to Thailand on the 7 January 2009 and returned on 20 January 2009. He made one further trip to Thailand on 22 February 2009 returning to UK on 10 March 2009.

When we met this couple, they were not married, we explained that the best visa to apply for first was a tourist visa, but they did not want this, another company told them that they could get them a settlement visa, this is what the couple wanted to hear, and this was the wrong decision. Being married will not help getting a visa for your Thai partner. I cannot say this strong enough, DO NOT GET MARRIED JUST TO GET A VISA as it will not work.

You submitted some evidence of contact maintainer with your sponsor in the forms of emails, telephone calls, photos and money transfer slips. However, this is not satisfactory to show that a close contact has been maintained between you two.

Phone calls, emails and money are not enough to show a relationship neither is a marriage certificate.

I note that you were issued an entry clearance in September 2006 with a different sponsor. You travelled to UK three times but there is no explanation as to what happened to your previous relationship.

The Thai wife had been to the UK three times before 3 years ago and had returned to Thailand without over staying her visa. Many people think that this is of benefit to the application, as you can see from this UK settlement visa refusal, it is not.

There is some evidence of a mortgage in your sponsors name but once again there is insufficient evidence to show that adequate accommodation is available for you and your sponsor exclusively.

As a husband and wife, evidence is needed to show that you have adequate accommodation to live together, even with a mortgage statement this area of the application failed.

In the light of all the evidence and your personal and economic circumstances, I am not satisfied on balance of probabilities that each of the parties intends to live permanently with the other as his or her spouse or civil partner and the marriage of civil partnership is subsisting. Furthermore, I am not satisfied, on balance of probabilities that the parties will be able to maintain themselves and any dependants adequately without recourse to public funds.

The visa officer believes that this is a sham marriage and the only reason for it was to get the Thai lady into the UK. It looks like the visa has been applied for so the Thai lady can come to the UK and perhaps work and send money back to her family. But it doesn’t look like a real relationship.

Your right to appeal
You are entitled to appeal against this decision under section 81(1) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. If you wish to appeal you should complete Appeal Form AIT-2, a copy which will be given to you with this notice. A Guidance leaflet is also enclosed which explains what to do.
You must lodge your appeal at the Asylem and Immigration Tribunal. You can do this by
Fax to +44(0)1509221699; or
Post to: Asylum and Immigration Tribunals Group Customer Service Centre, PO Box 7866, Loughborough, LE11 2XZ, United Kingdom; or
Returning your appeal papers to the Visa section, add address

The completed appeal form must arrive no later than 28 days after the date of this notice, and you must make sure that is is signed and dated.

Yes you have the right to appeal when you are refused a UK visa application, but this application has zero chance of being over turned. The only way forward for this couple is to start a fresh UK Settlement Visa application. I have written information on this web site before about why you should not appeal a UK visa refusal.

The only way to get a visa is to tick all of the boxes that the immigration department needs ticking. We know what they are and we can help you get the visa first time without being refused, but you must listen to good advice.

We do not charge any money until the visa has been issued, so why would we mislead you, or tell you what you want to hear, we can get you a visa, but we can only get you the visa that the embassy will issue to your situation. That situation over time will change and we can tell you the best way to get the settlement visa, but it will not be on your first application..