Bodie and Doyle

The Devil is in the Detail: why you need the Professionals

In All, Immigration by Adam

Bodie and Doyle

These gentleman may not be professional solicitors

One of the most challenging aspects of UK immigration is how the Home Office go to great lengths to make it appear relatively simple.  They helpfully put all the guidance online, showing the eligibility requirements for the different visas.  Anyone can just check they have everything and apply. So who needs the Professionals?

Right?

Except it isn’t really that simple, and today there will be hundreds, if not thousands of people opening refusal letters that have completely confused them.  They remember that they checked, doubled-checked and triple-checked everything before they posted it, along with hundreds or thousands of pounds in application fees.

So what went wrong? That comes down to the specified, detailed evidence and requirements that aren’t so readily accessible online on the Gov.UK website.  They are available, of course, but they are hidden deeper in the internet, much harder to find. Even when (or if) you do find them it becomes very clear that your checklist was woefully inadequate compared to the real criteria the United Kingdom Visas and Immigration (UKVI) used to refuse your application.

Suddenly there is a whole range of specified evidence and documentation that you were meant to include. Seemingly tiny and insignificant pieces of information apparently require substantially more explanation.  Issues or incidents from many years ago that you had all but forgotten about have become a deciding factor.  The devil is in the detail.

Doesn’t the UKVI want me to get my application right?

The UKVI (Home Office) is more than happy for you to make the smallest of errors which they can use to turn down your application.  This might seem odd to say, but it would result in people either trying to use the appeals avenue, or tackling Judicial reviews, or even simply applying again.  It’s in their interests because you have to pay again. There are no refunds for failed applications, and if you keep getting refused you could even find yourself with a UK visa ban.  This process draws an income probably to the tune of £Billions each year.

Immigration is a serious topic in the UK and social tensions are high, so people are not really going to be bothered by the issue if it only affects immigrants negatively.  In fact, in the political circles, the fewer people coming into the country, the better.  So if people keep making applications that fail, no government is going to feel hard pushed to step in and change it.  The moment a lower intake of immigrants happens it appeases a lot of the voting public who read newspapers and don’t fully appreciate how immigration really works in the UK.

However, if the laws have to change due to Brexit we can be sure that the UKVI will want to make as much money as it possibly can.  Let’s face it: UK immigration laws are a constantly movable feast, thrown around every time a manifesto is used to get voters rather than solutions.  The referendum vote to leave the EU was as powerful mandate as you could get for public attitudes towards immigration.

I’m an intelligent person: surely I can work my way through the form without help from the Professionals…

Being able to fill in an immigration application is not an intelligence test, it is a complicated act of trying to satisfy the decision maker without knowing the true detail of the questions being asked. Refusals don’t have to be the result of giving the wrong answer. Often they are merely the result of not providing the right answer.

Consider it from a different perspective: what do you do when you need the family car repairing?    Where you do you go, and to whom do you turn?

A professional.

“The only way to really get down to the devilish detail is to hire the professionals”

Imagine taking your car to a mechanic and whilst you are there pointing out that a tyre has low pressure and keeps deflating.  What do you want them to do?

Mechanic number 1 – that would be Bob, a local friend who does people ‘favours’ from his home garage.  Bob gets his air pump out and inflates the tyre to roughly the right pressure and sends you on your way.  He’s told you to return in about 3 months as your tyre might need replacing if it keeps deflating.  Bob is sure he can get you one “on the cheap” from a “mate of mate of some guy he knows.”

Mechanic number 2 asks you roughly how much driving you do and what kind of driving you mostly use the car for – such as city driving or long distance. He then takes the wheel off the car; checks the treads and the balancing; puts the wheel back on and re-sets the tracking. He explains that the tyre was deflating because it wasn’t properly fitted or set up for your kind of driving, or your car.  He also tells you the tyre is still legal, but has worn unevenly and probably only has about a month or so left in it.

I know which mechanic I would go back to. Do you?

How to stop the wheels coming off your visa application

It’s the same with immigration law issues and instructing a solicitor.  If you have the right people working on your application then you will have the best possible chance of it being accepted in the first instance. You won’t need lengthy appeals, Judicial reviews, or repeated applications.  Each of which cost more money every time – money which you could have invested in a solicitor in the first place.

It is simply not worth risking the failures, refusals and costs by relying on general information online, or just turning to people who are unqualified advisers. Qualified solicitors (our very own, in-house Professionals) give legal advice to begin with, but they also act on your behalf.  When you instruct a solicitor you enter a legal contract which is there to protect you.  It doesn’t make any guarantee or promise of success – because it is the UKVI that makes the decision – but it ensures a level of service, especially when the solicitors are members of recognised associations.  For example, UK Immigration Solicitors are accredited by the Law Society, regulated by the SRA, a member of ILPA, and uses barristers regulated by the Bar Standards board.

So the question should really be: why wouldn’t you use a qualified solicitor?

Whatever your application is for – family, work, study, visit, etc. – the only way to really get down to the devilish detail is to hire the professionals who know how to do it.


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