UKBA - spouse of Tier 4 Student Visa denied
September 6, 2012 12:23 PM   Subscribe

Son (Canadian citizen) has been approved for a Tier 4 UK Student Visa to attend law school in Britain. His wife (U.S. citizen) was denied her spouse of Tier 4 UK Student Visaholder because he will be working towards an undergraduate degree and not a graduate degree. United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) is actually correct to deny her - is there any other way that she can accompany him?

The United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) has accessed correctly according to the rules, unfortunately my son and his wife were unaware of this particular distinction (undergrad - no, graduate student - yes) that would prevent her from accompanying him. Will it be difficult for her to obtain a 6 month visitor visa now that she has been denied a different type of visa? And if she could obtain a 6 month visitor visa - could it be renewed 3 times which would cover the 2 year period that he will be attending university in Britain? We are not trying to game the system - just trying to understand the convoluted rules of UKBA. Any thoughts/advice would be greatly appreciated.
posted by Minos888 to Travel & Transportation around Manchester, England (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Has she looked into the Working Holdaymaker visa for Commonwealth residents? It is good for two years.
posted by saucysault at 1:47 PM on September 6, 2012

Oops! Just saw she is American, not Commonwealth like your son. Has she considered enrolling in school herself in the UK? The Open University means she could live whereever your son is.
posted by saucysault at 1:50 PM on September 6, 2012

Ex-UKBA policy official here

She could enter the UK without a visa as a visitor for up to six months at a time. The "leave to enter" is granted by a UKBA officer at the UK border, so she wouldn't need a visa for that.

While it could technically be granted three times, I'd be prepared for some tough questioning if it looks like she is leaving the UK only to re-enter and get LTE. The officer will see that she has had a visa denied in the past and may suspect that she is trying to subvert the denial, or more dangerously for her (and him) is likely to stay in the UK illegally once her six months are up.

UKBA officers on the control have pretty wide powers to refuse leave (or indeed cancel visas).

So while this idea is a good one in the short term, I wouldn't count on it. Afraid I don't know anything about visas so can't really help on that one.

Good luck
posted by tonylord at 3:26 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

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