Spouse Visa Refusal Reasons UK

This relates to UK Spouse Visa Refusal Reasons in the light of spouse/partner visa requirements stated in Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules and related legislation.  The post covers most common refusal reasons due to an inability of an applicant to fulfil suitability, relationship, English language, accommodation and financial requirements for entry clearance and leave to remain applications as a spouse/partner of a UK sponsor/spouse.

Common Reasons UK Spouse Visa Refusal

Spouse Visa Refusal Reasons UK

There are many common reasons for UK spouse visa refusal such as the inability of an application to prove he/she comes within the definition of spouse/partner, which is the basis of a spouse/partner visa application,.

Similarly, refusal reasons relate to the immigration status of partner, age, degree of relationship, genuine and subsisting relationship, the validity of a marriage or civil partnership, the previous relationship, intention to live together permanently in the UK, immigration status of the applicant for extension applications, inability of an applicant to meet financial requirement, adequate maintenance and accommodation, and English language requirement.

Moreover, a spouse visa application can also be refused due to suitability and general grounds such as applicant is not conducive to the public good, a refusal on basis of a deportation order, criminality, conduct, character and associations, false representation and failure to disclose material facts, current partner is not the same as at the last grant of leave.

Definition of ‘Partner’

The UK spouse/partner visa is applied for entry clearance or a leave to remain on the basis of applicant’s relationship with the UK sponsor/partner and the requirements for entry clearance or leave to remain as a partner/spouse are set out in section EC-P or R-LTRP of Appendix FM, respectively. For the purposes of that section, a “partner” is defined in paragraph GEN.1.2. of Appendix FM as the applicant’s spouse, civil partner, fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner, or a person who has been living together with the applicant in a relationship akin to a marriage or civil partnership for at least two years prior to the date of application.

Therefore, if from the information provided by the applicant the immigration concludes that the applicant does not meet the criteria under GEN.1.2. and does not fulfil the definition of a partner and cannot meet the requirements of section EC- P or R-LTRP then an entry clearance or leave to remain application is refused under paragraph D-ECP.1.2. or D-LTRP.1.3. of Appendix FM, respectively.

Immigration Rules Appendix FM: Family Members
GEN.1.2. For the purposes of this Appendix “partner” means-
(i) the applicant’s spouse;
(ii) the applicant’s civil partner;
(iii) the applicant’s fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner; or
(iv) a person who has been living together with the applicant in a relationship akin to a marriage or civil partnership for at least two years prior to the date of application, unless a different meaning of partner applies elsewhere in this Appendix.
Entry Clearance
D-ECP.1.3. If the applicant does not meet the requirements for entry clearance as a partner, the application will be refused
Leave to Remain
D-LTRP.1.3. If the applicant does not meet the requirements for limited leave to remain as a partner the application will be refused.

Immigration Status of Partner/Spouse

An application for entry clearance or leave to remain as a partner/spouse under paragraph E-ECP.2.1. or E- LTRP.1.2. of Appendix FM, respectively, if the Immigration Status of an applicant’s partner/sponsor does not fulfil any of the following criteria:

  • in the UK or returning to the United Kingdom with the applicant as his/her partner or spouse;
  • a British citizen;
  • present and settled in the United Kingdom;
  • being admitted for settlement on the same occasion with the applicant;
  • in the UK with refugee leave or humanitarian protection.

The Immigration Status of EEA National Partner and Non-EEA Partner

If an applicant has applied for leave to remain on the basis of relationship with his/her EEA (Non-EEA) partner/spouse, then for the purposes of Appendix FM, “present and settled” or “present and settled in the UK” is defined in paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules, which states that the EEA (Non-EEA) partner must hold a valid residence permit issued under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2000 that has been endorsed under the Immigration Rules to show permission to remain in the UK indefinitely, or a valid document certifying permanent residence issued under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 or the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016, in order to be recognised as present and settled in the UK.

Therefore, if from the information provided by the applicant the immigration officer concludes that an applicant’s EEA (Non-EEA) partner/spouse does not meet the criteria of “present and settled” under paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules then the application is refused under paragraph E-LTRP.1.2. of Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules.

Entry Clearance
E-ECP.2.1. The applicant’s partner must be-
(a) a British Citizen in the UK, subject to paragraph GEN.1.3.(c); or
(b) present and settled in the UK, subject to paragraph GEN.1.3.(b); or
(c) in the UK with refugee leave or with humanitarian protection.
Leave to Remain
E-LTRP.1.2. The applicant’s partner must be-
(a) a British Citizen in the UK;
(b) present and settled in the UK; or
(c) in the UK with refugee leave or as a person with humanitarian protection.
GEN.1.3. For the purposes of this Appendix
(b) references to a person being present and settled in the UK also include a person who is being admitted for settlement on the same occasion as the applicant; and
(c) references to a British Citizen in the UK also include a British Citizen who is coming to the UK with the applicant as their partner or parent.

Paragraph 6 Immigration Rules
Immigration Status of an EEA National 
For the purposes of an application under Appendix FM, or as a fiancé(e), proposed civil partner, spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, same sex partner, child, parent or adult dependent relative under Part 8, an EEA national with a permanent right to reside in the UK under European law must hold either a valid residence permit issued under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2000 which has been endorsed under the Immigration Rules to show permission to remain in the UK indefinitely, or a valid document certifying permanent residence issued under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006, in order to be regarded as present and settled in the UK.
Non-EEA National
For the purposes of an application under Appendix FM, or as a fiancé(e), proposed civil partner, spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, same sex partner, child, parent or adult dependent relative under Part 8, a non-EEA national with a permanent right to reside in the UK under European law must hold either a valid residence document issued under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2000 which has been endorsed under the Immigration Rules to show permission to remain in the UK indefinitely, or a valid permanent residence card issued under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006, in order to be regarded as present and settled in the UK.

Age

If an applicant is under the age of 18 at the date of application, then an entry clearance or leave to remain application as a spouse/partner of a UK sponsor is refused under paragraph E-ECP.2.2. or E-LTRP.1.3. of Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules, respectively.

If an applicant’s partner is under the age of 18 at the date of an entry clearance or a leave to remain application then the application is refused under paragraph E-ECP.2.3. or E-TRP.1.4. of Appendix FM, respectively.

Entry Clearance
E-ECP.2.2. The applicant must be aged 18 or over at the date of application.
E-ECP.2.3. The partner must be aged 18 or over at the date of application.

Leave to Remain
E-LTRP.1.3. The applicant must be aged 18 or over at the date of application.

E-LTRP.1.4. The partner must be aged 18 or over at the date of application.

Degree of Relationship

If the immigration officer deems an applicant’s relationship with the UK partner/spouse within the prohibited degree of relationship as defined by the Marriage Act 1949, the Marriage (Prohibited Degrees of Relationship) Act 1986 and the Civil Partnership Act 2004 then an entry clearance or leave to remain application as a spouse/partner is refused under paragraph E-ECP.2.4. or E- LTRP.1.5. of Appendix FM, respectively.

Entry Clearance

E-ECP.2.4. The applicant and their partner must not be within the prohibited degree of relationship.

Leave to Remain

E-LTRP.1.5. The applicant and their partner must not be within the prohibited degree of relationship.

The Requirement to Have Met in Person

If the immigration either not able to verify or accepts due to certain reason(s) that an applicant has not met in person with the UK sponsor/partner then an entry clearance or leave to remain application as a spouse/partner of a UK sponsor is refused under paragraph E-ECP.2.5. or E-LTRP.1.6. of Appendix FM, respectively.

Entry Clearance

E-ECP.2.5. The applicant and their partner must have met in person.

Leave to Remain

E-LTRP.1.6. The applicant and their partner must have met in person.

Genuine and Subsisting Relationship

If the immigration officer does not accept that an applicant’s relationship with UK partner/spouse is genuine and subsisting then the specific reasons will be stated in the refusal and a spouse/partner visa application for entry clearance or leave to remain will be refused under paragraph E-ECP.2.6. or E-LTRP.1.7. of Appendix FM, respectively. Here it is pertinent to point out that a genuine and subsisting relationship is usually associated with a combination of the following factors:

Long-Term Relationship

The applicant is in a current and long-term relationship with the UK sponsor and can provide evidence to this end.

Evidence of Cohabitation

The applicant is cohabiting with the UK partner/spouse and is able to provide a satisfactory documentary evidence.

Children

The applicant has biological children together with the UK partner/spouse and shared responsibility for them (and also for any adopted or step-children).

Joint Financial Responsibilities

The applicant shares financial responsibilities such as paying for mortgages, utility bills or tenancy, operating a joint bank account with the UK partner/spouse.

Visiting Other’s Home Country and Family

The applicant or the partner has travelled to other’s home country and met with family members and can provide evidence of this.

Here it is important to note that the fact that an applicant has never visited the United Kingdom is not regarded as a negative factor, but as stated above, it is a requirement of the Immigration Rules that the couple has met in person.

Arranged Marriage

The couple, or their families acting on their behalf, have made definite plans concerning the practicalities of the couple living together in the United Kingdom. In the case of an arranged marriage, the couple both consent to the marriage and agree with the plans made by their families.

Entry Clearance

E-ECP.2.6. The relationship between the applicant and their partner must be genuine and subsisting

Leave to Remain

E-LTRP.1.7. The relationship between the applicant and their partner must be genuine and subsisting

Valid Marriage or Civil partnership

For establishing the validity of a marriage or civil partnership in an application for entry clearance or leave to remain as a spouse/partner of a UK sponsor, an applicant needs to provide the specified evidence as required by paragraph 22, 24 or 26 of Appendix FM-SE to the Immigration Rules. A failure to do so would deem the marriage or civil partnership invalid for an entry clearance or leave to remain application as a spouse/partner of a UK sponsor/partner under E-ECP.2.7. or E-LTRP.1.8. of Appendix FM, respectively. Moreover, an application will be refused on the aforesaid grounds if the evidence furnish is accepted by the ECO due to some reasons, which the immigration officer is required to explain in the refusal letter.

Entry Clearance

E-ECP.2.7. If the applicant and partner are married or in a civil partnership it must be a valid marriage or civil partnership, as specified.

Leave to Remain

E-LTRP.1.8. If the applicant and partner are married or in a civil partnership it must be a valid marriage or civil partnership, as specified.

Immigration Rules Appendix FM-SE: Family Members

Evidence of Marriage or Civil Partnerships
22. A marriage in the United Kingdom must be evidenced by a valid marriage certificate recognised under the laws of England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.
24. A civil partnership in the United Kingdom must be evidenced by a civil partnership certificate.
26. Marriages, civil partnerships or evidence of divorce or dissolution from outside the UK must be evidenced by a reasonable equivalent to the evidence detailed in paragraphs 22 to 25, valid under the law in force in the relevant country.

The Previous Relationship has not Broken Down Permanently

For establishing that the previous relationship has been broken down permanently and the relationship is not polygamous for an entry clearance or leave to remain application as a spouse/partner of a UK sponsor, an applicant needs to provide the specified evidence as required by paragraph 23, 25 or 26 of Appendix FM-SE to the Immigration Rules. A failure to do so would attract a refusal of an entry clearance or leave to remain application as a spouse/partner of a UK sponsor/partner under E-ECP.2.9. or E-LTRP.1.9. of Appendix FM, respectively.

The refusal letter may refer to the date of previous marriage or civil partnership with the previous spouse/partner; however, the applicant has not provided the evidence specified in paragraph 23 or 25 or 26 of Appendix FM-SE to the Immigration Rules that concludes that the applicant’s previous marriage or civil partnership with the previous spouse or partner has been dissolved. There is no evidence that this is a polygamous relationship that falls within paragraph 278(i) of the Immigration Rules.

Fiancé(e) or Proposed Civil Partner

It is essential for grant of an entry clearance visa as a Fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner for marriage or civil partnership in the UK that neither the applicant nor partner is still married to, or in a civil partnership with, another person at the date of the entry clearance application.

If either the applicant or the partner in the UK has been married or in a civil partnership with another person then the applicant is required to provide acceptable evidence that the previous marriage/civil partnership has ended to enable the proposed marriage/civil partnership to take place.

A failure to provide the specified evidence would attract a refusal under paragraph E-ECP.2.9.(ii) of Appendix FM.

Entry Clearance

E-ECP.2.9. (i) Any previous relationship of the applicant or their partner must have broken down permanently, unless it is a relationship which falls within paragraph 278(i) of these Rules; and

(ii) If the applicant is a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner, neither the applicant nor their partner can be married to, or in a civil partnership with, another person at the date of application.

E-LTRP.1.9. Any previous relationship of the applicant or their partner must have broken down permanently, unless it is a relationship which falls within paragraph 278(i) of these Rules.

Paragraph 278(i) of the Immigration Rules

278. Nothing in these Rules shall be construed as allowing a person to be granted entry clearance, leave to enter, leave to remain or variation of leave as the spouse and civil partner of a man or woman (the sponsor) if:

(i) his or her marriage or civil partnership to the sponsor is polygamous; and

Appendix FM-SE Evidence of Marriage or Civil Partnerships

23. A divorce in the United Kingdom must be evidenced by a decree absolute from a civil court.

25. The dissolution of a civil partnership in the UK must be evidenced by a final order of civil partnership dissolution from a civil court.

26. Marriages, civil partnerships or evidence of divorce or dissolution from outside the UK must be evidenced by a reasonable equivalent to the evidence detailed in paragraphs 22 to 25, valid under the law in force in the relevant country.

Intention to Live Together Permanently in the UK

If the immigration officer does not accept that either an applicant or his/her UK spouse either intend to live together or have been living together permanently in the UK then a spouse/partner visa application for entry clearance or leave to remain will be refused under paragraph E-ECP.2.10. or E-LTRP.1.10, respectively. The ECO will explain the reasons to this end in the refusal letter.

Entry Clearance

E-ECP.2.10. The applicant and partner must intend to live together permanently in the UK.

Leave to Remain

E-LTRP.1.10. The applicant and their partner must intend to live together permanently in the UK and, in any application for further leave to remain as a partner (except where the applicant is in the UK as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner) and in any application for indefinite leave to remain as a partner, the applicant must provide evidence that, since entry clearance as a partner was granted under paragraph D-ECP1.1. or since the last grant of limited leave to remain as a partner, the applicant and their partner have lived together in the UK or there is good reason, consistent with a continuing intention to live together permanently in the UK, for any period in which they have not done so.

D-ECP.1.1. Except where paragraph GEN.3.1.(2) or GEN.3.2.(3) of this Appendix applies, an applicant who meets the requirements for entry clearance as a partner (other than as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner) will be granted entry clearance for an initial period not exceeding 33 months, and subject to a condition of no recourse to public funds, and they will be eligible to apply for settlement after a continuous period of at least 60 months in the UK with leave to enter granted on the basis of such entry clearance or with limited leave to remain as a partner granted under paragraph D-LTRP.1.1. (excluding in all cases any period of leave to enter or limited leave to remain as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner); or, where the applicant is a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner, the applicant will be granted entry clearance for a period not exceeding 6 months, and subject to a prohibition on employment and a condition of no recourse to public funds.

Purpose of Fiancé(e) or Proposed Civil Partner Visa

Since the sole purpose of entry clearance application as Fiancé(e) or Proposed Civil Partner is to enable marriage or civil partnership to take place. Therefore, if the immigration office is not satisfied that an applicant is seeking entry to the UK to enable his/her marriage or civil partnership to take place with the UK sponsor then the application is refused under E- ECP.2.8. of Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules.

E-ECP.2.8. If the applicant is a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner they must be seeking entry to the UK to enable their marriage or civil partnership to take place.

Marriage or Civil Partnership Visa Extension

If an applicant was last granted entry clearance to the UK as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner; however, the marriage or civil partnership did not take place during the 6 month period of that entry clearance then in terms of E-LTRP.1.11. of Appendix FM if the applicant has a good reason and evidence that the proposed marriage or civil partnership will take in the next six months then he/she can apply for Marriage or Civil Partnership Visa Extension.

Leave to Remain

E-LTRP.1.11. If the applicant is in the UK with leave as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner and the marriage or civil partnership did not take place during that period of leave, there must be good reason why and evidence that it will take place within the next 6 months.

Spouse Visa Extension: Immigration Status of the Applicant

In order to qualify for leave to remain as a spouse/partner, an applicant must not be an overstayer, on immigration bail, temporary admission, temporary release and in breach of immigration laws. A failure to do so would attract a refusal under paragraph E-LTRP.2.2. of Appendix FM.

Leave to Remain

E-LTRP.2.2. The applicant must not be in the UK –

(a) on immigration bail, unless:

(i) the Secretary of State is satisfied that the applicant arrived in the UK more than 6 months prior to the date of application; and
(ii) paragraph EX.1. applies; or

(b) in breach of immigration laws (except that, where paragraph 39E of these Rules applies, any current period of overstaying will be disregarded), unless paragraph EX.1. applies.

EX.1. This paragraph applies if

(b) the applicant has a genuine and subsisting relationship with a partner who is in the UK and is a British Citizen, settled in the UK or in the UK with refugee leave or humanitarian protection, and there are insurmountable obstacles to family life with that partner continuing outside the UK.

Paragraph 39E of the Immigration Rules

Exceptions for Overstayers

39E. This paragraph applies where:

(1) the application was made within 14 days of the applicant’s leave expiring and the Secretary of State considers that there was a good reason beyond the control of the applicant or their representative, provided in or with the application, why the application could not be made in-time; or

(2) the application was made:

(a) following the refusal of a previous application for leave which was made in-time or to which sub-paragraph (1) applied; and

(b) within 14 days of:

(i) the refusal of the previous application for leave; or
(ii) the expiry of any leave extended by section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971; or
(iii) the expiry of the time-limit for making an in-time application for administrative review or appeal (where applicable); or
(iv) any administrative review or appeal being concluded, withdrawn or abandoned or lapsing.

Applicant has not met Financial Requirement

If an applicant fails to meet the financial requirements in terms of Appendix FM then the refusal letter will state that the applicant has not met the required level of income or cash savings necessary in his/her circumstances and the Secretary of State is not satisfied that the applicant has met the financial requirement.

Applicant has not provided the specified evidence or covered the specified period

If an applicant has either not provided the specified evidence or covered the specified period in terms of Appendix FM-SE, then the refusal letter will state that in view of the fact that the applicant has not provided the specified evidence or the necessary evidence for the specified periods as required in Appendix FM-SE to the Immigration Rules, therefore, the Secretary of State is not satisfied that the applicant has met the financial requirement.

Applicant has not met Adequate Maintenance

If the applicant has not been able to meet the adequate maintenance then an entry clearance or a leave to remain application as a spouse/partner is refused under paragraph E-ECP. 3.3.(b) or E-LTRP. 3.3.(b). of Appendix FM, respectively.

The refusal letter will state that the applicant has failed to demonstrate that there will be ‘adequate’ maintenance for himself/herself, spouse/partner and any dependants without recourse to public funds.

The refusal letter will further state that the calculation below sets out the applicant’s net income after accommodation costs have been deducted. These figures demonstrate that an applicant’s net income after accommodation costs have been deducted, is less than the level a British family of that size would be entitled to under Income Support.

Projected Income Calculation

The following formula has been used to calculate the income available to maintain applicant, his/her partner/spouse (and dependents) in the UK, taking into account the details of projected income and accommodation costs provided an applicant in the application:

A – B ≥ C

A minus B is greater than or equal to C. Where:

  • A is the projected income (after deduction of income tax and national
    insurance contributions);
  • B is what needs to be spent on accommodation; and
  • C is the Income Support equivalent for a British family of that size.

Income support equivalent calculation

The refusal letter will also state that based on the current benefit and tax rates it is apparent that applicant’s net income after accommodation costs have been deducted is less than would be available to a British family of equivalent size. It is therefore found that the applicant does not have ‘adequate’ maintenance to support himself/herself, spouse/partner (and any dependants) in the UK.

E-ECP.3.3. The requirements to be met under this paragraph are-

(b) the applicant must provide evidence that their partner is able to maintain and accommodate themselves, the applicant and any dependants adequately in the UK without recourse to public funds.

E-LTRP.3.3. The requirements to meet this paragraph are-

(b) the applicant must provide evidence that their partner is able to maintain and accommodate themselves, the applicant and any dependants adequately in the UK without recourse to public funds.

Applicant has not met Adequate Accommodation

As per paragraph E- ECP. 3.4. and E-LTRP. 3.4. of Appendix FM for an entry clearance and a leave to remain application, respectively, as a spouse/partner of a UK sponsor is required to provide evidence that adequate accommodation, without recourse to public funds, will be available for applicant’s family.

An applicant is refused if an applicant either failed to provide the evidence or the evidence does not demonstrate that adequate accommodation without recourse to public funds will be available for applicant’s family in the UK.

Entry Clearance

E-ECP.3.4. The applicant must provide evidence that there will be adequate accommodation, without recourse to public funds, for the family, including other family members who are not included in the application but who live in the same household, which the family own or occupy exclusively: accommodation will not be regarded as adequate if-

(a) it is, or will be, overcrowded; or
(b) it contravenes public health regulations.

Leave to Remain

E-LTRP.3.4. The applicant must provide evidence that there will be adequate accommodation, without recourse to public funds, for the family, including other family members who are not included in the application but who live in the same household, which the family own or occupy exclusively, unless paragraph EX.1. applies: accommodation will not be regarded as adequate if-

(a) it is, or will be, overcrowded; or
(b) it contravenes public health regulations.

Applicant has not met English Language Requirement

If an applicant is not able to fulfil English Language Requirement, then the applications for entry clearance, leave to remain and further leave to remain are usually refused under E-ECP.4.1. E-ECP.4.2., E-LTRP.4.1., E-LTRP.4.1A. and E-LTRP.4.2. of Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules and paragraphs 32B, 32C and 32D of Appendix FM-SE to the Immigration Rules.

Presence is not Conducive to the Public Good

If an applicant fails to meet the requirements for entry clearance as a partner because paragraph S-EC.1.2 of Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules applies then the application is refused with the reason that the Secretary of State has personally directed applicant’s exclusion from the UK Kingdom is conducive to the public good.

Refusal on Basis of a Deportation Order

If on the date of application, the applicant was subject to a deportation order then an entry clearance or leave to remain application as a partner/spouse is refused under paragraph S- EC.1.3. or S-LTR.1.2. of Appendix FM.

Refusal on Basis of Criminality

An entry clearance application as a partner/spouse is refused on Criminality & General Grounds for Refusal under S-EC.1.4 and S-EC.2.5 of Appendix FM; whereas, a leave to remain application of a spouse/partner is refused on the basis of criminality under paragraph S-LTR.1.3.-1.5 of Appendix FM.

Refusal on Basis of Conduct, Character and Associations

If an applicant fails to meet the requirements for entry clearance or leave to remain as a partner/spouse under paragraph S-EC.1.5 or S- LTR.1.6 of Appendix FM, respectively then it may be deemed that an applicant’s exclusion from the United Kingdom is conducive to the public good due to conduct, character, associations or other reasons. This makes it undesirable to grant either entry clearance or leave to remain – and may also include convictions that do not fall within the purview of paragraph S-EC.1.4. or S- LTR.1.3. to S-LTR.1.5. 

Immigration Rules Appendix FM: Family Members

S-EC.1.4. The exclusion of the applicant from the UK is conducive to the public good because they have:

(a) been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of at least 4 years; or
(b) been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of at least 12 months but less than 4 years, unless a period of 10 years has passed since the end of the sentence; or
(c) been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of less than 12 months, unless a period of 5 years has passed since the end of the sentence.

S-EC.2.5. The exclusion of the applicant from the UK is conducive to the public good because:
(a) within the 12 months prior to the date on which the application is decided, the person has been convicted of or admitted an offence for which they received a non-custodial sentence or other out of court disposal that is recorded on their criminal record; or
(b) in the view of the Secretary of State:
(i) the person’s offending has caused serious harm; or
(ii) the person is a persistent offender who shows a particular disregard for the law.

Leave to Remain Application

S-LTR.1.3. The presence of the applicant in the UK is not conducive to the public good because they have been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to imprisonment for at least 4 years.

S-LTR.1.4. The presence of the applicant in the UK is not conducive to the public good because they have been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to imprisonment for less than 4 years but at least 12 months.

S-LTR.1.5. The presence of the applicant in the UK is not conducive to the public good because, in the view of the Secretary of State, their offending has caused serious harm or they are a persistent offender who shows a particular disregard for the law.

Refusal Due to Non-Compliance

If an applicant fails to attend an interview, provide information, provide physical data, undergo a medical examination or provide a medical report then an application for entry clearance or leave to remain as a partner/spouse is refused under paragraph S-EC.1.6. or S-LTR.1.7. of Appendix FM, respectively.

If an applicant has given a reason then in the refusal letter provides an explanation that why the reason is not accepted. In case an applicant has not responded then the refusal letter states that the applicant has failed to comply with the requirement without giving any reasonable excuse.

Refusal on Medical Grounds

If an applicant fails to meet the requirements for entry clearance as a partner/spouse under paragraph S-EC.1.7 of Appendix FM then the application is refused on medical grounds. The refusal letter may state that the ECO has received a medical report from the Medical Referee of the applicant and the ECO has concluded that on medical reasons it is undesirable to admit the applicant to the UK.

S-EC.1.7. It is undesirable to grant entry clearance to the applicant for medical reasons.

Applicant Left or Removed with a Conditional Caution

If an applicant either left or was removed from the UK with a Conditional Caution issued by a constable, an investigating officer, or a person authorised by a relevant prosecutor in accordance with section 22 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003  and it has been less than 5 years since the caution was issued then an entry clearance application as a partner/spouse is refused under paragraph S-EC.1.8 of Appendix FM.

S-EC.1.8. The applicant left or was removed from the UK as a condition of a caution issued in accordance with section 22 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 less than 5 years prior to the date on which the application is decided.

Criminal Justice Act 2003

22 Conditional cautions
(1) An authorised person may give a conditional caution to a person aged 18 or over (“the offender”) if each of the five requirements in section 23 is satisfied.
(2) In this Part “conditional caution” means a caution which is given in respect of an offence committed by the offender and which has conditions attached to it with which the offender must comply.
(3) The conditions which may be attached to such a caution are those which have one or more of the following objects—
(a) facilitating the rehabilitation of the offender;
(b) ensuring that the offender makes reparation for the offence;
(c) punishing the offender.]
(3A) The conditions which may be attached to a conditional caution include—
(a) (subject to section 23A) a condition that the offender pay a financial penalty;
(b )a condition that the offender attend at a specified place at specified times.“Specified” means specified by a relevant prosecutor.
(3B) Conditions attached by virtue of subsection (3A)(b) may not require the offender to attend for more than 20 hours in total, not including any attendance required by conditions attached for the purpose of facilitating the offender’s rehabilitation.
(3C) The Secretary of State may by order amend subsection (3B) by substituting a different figure.]
(4) In this Part “authorised person” means—
(a) a constable,
(b) an investigating officer, or
(c) a person authorised by a relevant prosecutor for the purposes of this section.

False Representation and Failure to Disclose Material Facts

If an applicant fails to meet the requirements for either entry clearance or leave to remain in the UK as a partner/spouse under paragraph S-EC.2.2.(a) or S-LTR.2.2.(a) of Appendix FM, respectively, then the refusal letter states the nature of false document, representations, or information, which has been furnished in support of your application. The refusal letter also provides the explanation of assessing and terming such documents, information or representations as false.

If an applicant fails to meet the requirements for either entry clearance or leave to remain in the UK as a partner/spouse under paragraph S-EC.2.2.(b) or S-LTR.2.2.(b) of Appendix FM, respectively, then the refusal letter may state that the applicant failed to disclose the material facts and provide the details i.e. which material facts the applicant did not disclose in the application, along with the reasons for not disclosing the material facts.

Since under the Rules an ECO can use discretion if the ECO deems appropriate. So, if the ECO has considered about using discretion but finally decided not to use it then can add that exercise of discretion is not appropriate on this occasion, along with the reasons of not exercising discretion.

Entry Clearance

S-EC.2.2. Whether or not to the applicant’s knowledge-

(a)false information, representations or documents have been submitted in relation to the application (including false information submitted to any person to obtain a document used in support of the application); or
(b) there has been a failure to disclose material facts in relation to the application.

Leave to Remain

S-LTR.2.2. Whether or not to the applicant’s knowledge –

(a) false information, representations or documents have been submitted in relation to the application (including false information submitted to any person to obtain a document used in support of the application); or
(b) there has been a failure to disclose material facts in relation to the application.

Maintenance and Accommodation Undertaking

If the immigration officer has requested the sponsor to provide the maintenance and accommodation undertaking under paragraph 35 of the Immigration Rules or otherwise, but the sponsor did not provide any such undertaking then the application for entry clearance or leave to remain as a partner/spouse is refused under paragraph S-EC.2.4. or S- LTR.2.4. of Appendix FM, respectively.

Entry Clearance

S-EC.2.4. A maintenance and accommodation undertaking has been requested or required under paragraph 35 of these Rules or otherwise and has not been provided.

Leave to Remain

S-LTR.2.4. A maintenance and accommodation undertaking has been requested under paragraph 35 of these Rules and has not been provided.

Paragraph 35 Immigration Rules: Undertakings

35. A sponsor of a person seeking leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom may be asked to give an undertaking in writing to be responsible for that person’s maintenance, accommodation and (as appropriate) personal care for the period of any leave granted, including any further variation or for a period of 5 years from date of grant where indefinite leave to enter or remain is granted……………………..

Refusal on Non-Compliance with the Investigation

If an applicant or the UK partner/sponsor has not complied with the investigation u/s 50(7)(b) of the Immigration Act 2014 of their proposed marriage or civil partnership then the leave to remain application as spouse/partner is refused under paragraph S-LTR.2.5. of Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules.

The refusal letter usually states the date on which the Secretary of State gave notice to the applicant or his/her partner under section 50(7)(b) of the Immigration Act 2014 and either one or both of respondents did not comply with the investigation of the proposed marriage or civil partnership.

S-LTR.2.5. The Secretary of State has given notice to the applicant and their partner under section 50(7)(b) of the Immigration Act 2014 that one or both of them have not complied with the investigation of their proposed marriage or civil partnership.

Immigration Act 2014– Section 50(7)(b)

50 Conduct of investigation

(7) Within the 70 day period, the Secretary of State must—

(b) give notice of that decision to the persons to whom the Secretary of State gave the section 48 notice relating to the proposed marriage or civil partnership.

Deception was Used in a Previous Application

A leave to remain application as a spouse/partner is refused under paragraph S-LTR.4.2. of Appendix FM if the Secretary of State is satisfied that the applicant has either made false representations or failed to disclose material facts for the purpose of obtaining a leave to enter or a previous variation of leave or in order to obtain documents from the Secretary of State or a third party in support of the application for leave to enter or a previous variation of leave.

Deception Used in a Previous Application to Prove Right to Reside

A leave to remain application as a spouse/partner is refused under paragraph S-LTR.4.3. of Appendix FM if the Secretary of State is satisfied that the applicant has either made false representations or failed to disclose material facts for the purpose of obtaining a document indicating that the applicant has a right to reside in the UK.

The refusal letter gives a detailed explanation of the reasons and also states that the Secretary of State has deemed that refusal is appropriate and is not prepared to exercise discretion in favour of the applicant.

S-LTR.4.2. The applicant has made false representations or failed to disclose any material fact in a previous application for entry clearance, leave to enter, leave to remain or a variation of leave, or in a previous human rights claim; or did so in order to obtain from the Secretary of State or a third party a document required to support such an application or claim (whether or not the application or claim was successful).

S-LTR.4.3. The applicant has previously made false representations or failed to disclose material facts for the purpose of obtaining a document from the Secretary of State that indicates that he or she has a right to reside in the United Kingdom.

Failure to Pay Litigation Costs Awarded to the Home Office

A leave to enter or remain application as a spouse/partner is refused under paragraph S-EC.3.1. or S-LTR.4.3. of Appendix FM, respectively, if the Secretary of State is satisfied that the applicant has failed to pay outstanding litigation costs awarded to the Home Office.

Failure to pay an outstanding charge to the National Health Service (NHS)

A leave to enter or remain application as a spouse/partner is refused under paragraph S-EC.3.2. or S-LTR.4.4. of Appendix FM, respectively, if the Secretary of State is satisfied that the applicant has failed to pay an outstanding charge or charges with a total value of at least £500 in respect of National Health Service (NHS) treatment that the applicant has received. This is in accordance with the relevant NHS regulations on charges for overseas visitors, based on evidence received by the immigration officer from the relevant NHS body.

Entry Clearance

S-EC.3.1. The applicant may be refused on grounds of suitability if the applicant has failed to pay litigation costs awarded to the Home Office.

S-EC.3.2. The applicant may be refused on grounds of suitability if one or more relevant NHS bodies has notified the Secretary of State that the applicant has failed to pay charges in accordance with the relevant NHS regulations on charges to overseas visitors and the outstanding charges have a total value of at least £500.

Leave to Remain

S-LTR.4.4. The applicant has failed to pay litigation costs awarded to the Home Office.

S-LTR.4.5. One or more relevant NHS bodies has notified the Secretary of State that the applicant has failed to pay charges in accordance with the relevant NHS regulations on charges to overseas visitors and the outstanding charges have a total value of at least £500.

Current partner is not the same as at the last grant of leave

If an applicant has applied for leave to remain or indefinite leave to remainon the basis of a partner who is not the same partner with whom the applicant applied for the previous grant of leave then the application is refused under paragraph E-LTRP.1.10. or E-ILRP.1.4. of Appendix FM.

E-LTRP.1.10. The applicant and their partner must intend to live together permanently in the UK and, in any application for further leave to remain as a partner (except where the applicant is in the UK as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner) and in any application for indefinite leave to remain as a partner, the applicant must provide evidence that, since entry clearance as a partner was granted under paragraph D-ECP1.1. or since the last grant of limited leave to remain as a partner, the applicant and their partner have lived together in the UK or there is good reason, consistent with a continuing intention to live together permanently in the UK, for any period in which they have not done so.

E-ILRP.1.4. In calculating the periods under paragraph E-ILRP.1.3. only the periods when the applicant’s partner is the same person as the applicant’s partner for the previous period of limited leave shall be taken into account.

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Related: Spouse Visa English Requirement, Spouse Visa Accommodation Requirements and Set M Guidance

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