A recently published article on the Free Movement website describes how McGill & Co’s John Vassiliou successfully represented a client whose Appendix FM spouse entry clearance visa application had been denied on the grounds that she had an outstanding debt with the NHS.
The client is a Turkish woman, who is married to a British man, and they have two children together. News of the alleged debt came as a great surprise to the client, as she had never been notified of any money owed to the NHS.
Subsequent investigations by John Vassiliou and the client revealed that the ‘debt’ was an unpaid invoice of £7,838, which related to hospital treatment the client received when her youngest son was born. She was in the UK on a visitor visa at that time.
Further investigations revealed that the hospital had never planned to bill the client for this treatment, and only prepared an invoice when specifically instructed to do so by the Home Office. This invoice was never actually issued to the client, and in fact had only been produced after the visa refusal letter was sent.
In addition, under the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) (Scotland) Regulations 1989, the client was never liable to pay for the treatment she received because the treatment was given in Scotland and her husband had been resident in the UK for at least a year before it was provided.
These facts led to the conclusion that the Home Office had used the information that the client’s son had been born in a UK hospital while in the country on a visitor visa (a fact the Home Office were unaware of until the client included the information in her visa application) to produce evidence justifying the rejection of the visa application.
Armed with the information they had uncovered, John was able to help the client obtain agreement from the relevant NHS board that the client should not have been charged for the treatment received; submit an appeal to the First-tier Tribunal; and arrange for a review of the case by an Entry Clearance Manager. Following this, the original decision to deny the visa was withdrawn.
The original article, giving full details of the case, can be read here.
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