Pattaya Legal Corner: Appealing against UK immigration decision


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Q: If a UK settlement visa is refused, what is the appeal procedure?
You have to appeal to the Leicester appeal court dealing with immigration decisions. There are forms to fill in and you have to set out the reasons for your appeal against the negative decision of the entry clearance officer. For example, you may disagree that you have failed to satisfy a financial regulation or have not given adequate explanation of some feature of the application. You can provide extra paperwork with the appeal, but cannot submit any which are dated after the date of the initial application. It really depends on the specific circumstances. The Leicester tribunal is not a quick process and you will have to wait several months for a decision. Our experience is that where there are reasonable grounds, the tribunal will be fair. You can either ask for a paper hearing (without a personal hearing) or a representative hearing when your nominee (often your sponsor) will appear. The Home Office will also be represented at the hearing.

Q: Why is the process of applying for a British passport for a Thai child so protracted?
Of course, the Thai child must father a British father but there is quite a paper chase to this process. For example, if one of the father’s parents (the child’s grandparent) was born outside of the UK, that can create a problem. The father must be able to prove he was in Thailand on the approximate date of conception (i.e. nine months before the birth) which usually requires him to produce his passport of that era. Never throw away an old passport is a golden rule! The child’s identity has to be proved by three pieces of evidence of which one is a photo-ID. So it is often necessary to obtain a Thai passport for the baby or child as part of the application for a British passport. Proof of the mother’s pregnancy as well as the birth certificate of the new arrival is also required. These are just some of the issues when a request is made, so its best to use a lawyer with substantial experience in this field. The application process takes at least three months and often longer.

Q: Why won’t the British embassy stamp my degree qualification?
Basically because they don’t know if the information is true or not. The embassy can only confirm British driving licences and British passports because, in both cases, they have access to the relevant data bases. The same is true of other embassies in Bangkok. If you are in Thailand, you will have to use the procedure of “Apostille” whereby your document has to be sent to a government office in UK, thence to the Thai embassy in London, thence to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok. You can read all about it on the internet. If you are a teacher hoping to work in Thailand, it is best to have your documents verified before you come to Thailand. Once here, the process is both cumbersome and expensive.

Q: Can the wife of a British national receive a state pension once he dies?
Unless the wife has a British national insurance number, the answer is almost certainly no. The old days when a British man married a Thai woman to ensure she was provided for after his demise are long gone. However, she may be able to claim a portion of his occupational pension, but that depends on the specifics and (perhaps) whether he made the necessary arrangements when he was still alive. Some pension schemes do allow for payments to next of kin, others allow for the nomination of a friend or common law partner. It is not possible to be categorical on this matter without reading the terms of the policy and/or the attitude of the company in question.