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    My 2 Thai step-children were recently interviewed to come and join my wife and I in the UK but were turned down.

    One of the things we were not happy with was the fact that they were interviewed separately and alone, without the presence of an adult. They are 10 and 11 years of age at present. The poor boys were scared and confused.

    Are they allowed to be interviewed alone at such a young age, or have the embassy pulled a fast one?

    Many thanks for such a helpful and informative site. Have been viewing it for a couple of years now, but this is the first time i have posted.

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    My 2 Thai step-children were recently interviewed to come and join my wife and I in the UK but were turned down.

    One of the things we were not happy with was the fact that they were interviewed separately and alone, without the presence of an adult. They are 10 and 11 years of age at present. The poor boys were scared and confused.

    Are they allowed to be interviewed alone at such a young age, or have the embassy pulled a fast one?

    Many thanks for such a helpful and informative site. Have been viewing it for a couple of years now, but this is the first time i have posted.

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    I am sorry to hear this.

    Child settlement applications are usually very straightforward. All that is usually required is that the parent shows
    • They have legal sole custody, or the other parent is deceased.
    • The child(ren) can be adequately accommodated.
    • The child(ren) can be supported without recourse to public funds.
    See Chapter 14 - Settlement entry for children Although I would draw your attention to 14.5 - "Sole responsibility" in particular.

    Before any one can give you specific advice on the next step, it would be very helpful if you could tell us exactly what the refusal notice says.

    I am very surprised to hear that they were interviewed alone. Chapter 8 – How to apply for an entry clearance – the process, 8.13 - Interviews clearly states
    Children under 10 yrs are too young to be interviewed. It is appropriate for you to interview a responsible adult such as the parent or guardian if the child is to travel alone. Children between 10 and 14 years should be interviewed only in the presence of a responsible adult who is either the parent or guardian. Questions should be confined to relatively simple matters and details of immediate family. Children over 14 years may be interviewed alone.
    (My emphasis)
    With the refusal notice you would have given a notice of appeal form. If you are going to appeal this form must be returned to the embassy within 28 days of the refusal.

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    Here is the reason for refusal

    I have highlighted the different answers which were given when the children were interviewed alone, which I understand they should not have been. They call me dad as well as their real dad. That is why they were confused. They were asked when they last saw their dad....I am dad too

    You have applied for entry clearance to the UK to settle with your mother. Your application has been considered on the information contained in your application form, the documents submitted and the interview conducted. I recognise the importance of maintaining family ties, however I am not satisfied that you meet the requirements of paragraph 297 of the Immigration Rules, in particular:

    That one parent is present and settled in the UK and has sole responsibility for the childs upbringing.

    That one parent or a relative is present and settled in the UK and there are serious and compelling familyor other considerations which make exclusion of the child undesirable and suitable arrangements have been made for the childs care.

    That you will be accommodated adequately by the parent, parents or relative the child was admitted to join, without recourse to public funds


    Because
    You said that since you were 4/6 years old you and your sibling have lived with your grandmother. I accept that your mother lived with up until you were six years old. However, for the last six years you have lived only with your grandmother. YYou have regular contact with your mother and she comes to visit you in Thailand. I do not dispute this fact. Nor do i dispute that she sends you money via your grandmother. Furthermore, I accept that your mother has legal guardianship over you and your brother. You said that your grandmother deals with your day to day life and makes all the decisions onvolved such as meeting your teachers and ensuring you attend school. I am not satisfied that your mother has had any input into the daily running of your lives. Therefore I am not satisfied that she has sole responsibility of you or your sibling.

    I note that when your mother left Thailand in 2005, she stated at interview that you and your sibling would continue living with grandmother and then when you reached the age of 12 you would live with your father, who would take custody of you and your sibling. Your mother has failed to offer any satisfactory reason for this change of plans. I also note that you have contact with your father and you last saw him YESTERDAY/IN JANUARY. In assessing your application I have to be satisfied that your mother has SOLE RESPONSIBILITY for your upbringing. I note that your mother states that your grandmother is not in good health, but as her original plans were for you to live with your father. I am not satisfied that there are any barriers to this happening. Given the interview conducted and your relationship with your grandmother, I am not satisfied that your mother has sole responsibility for your upbringing.

    You were asked to provide evidence of the accommodation you propose to copy in the UK. What you have provided is a mortgage agreement. It is not an independent assessment of the size or occupancy of the property and as such, I am not satisfied that it is adequate or sufficiently spacious for this purpose. I am therefore not satisfied that you will be accommodated adequately by the parent you would be admitted to join. Furthermore I note that since your mother joined her husband in 2005 they have continued to claim a rebate from the local authority as a sole occupenct property. I am not satisfied that you are able to offer this accommodation without recourse to public funds

    I have considered your application under article 8 of the human rights act 1998. I note that your sponsor travelled to the UK in 2005 when it was unclear that entry clearance would be granted to you to join your sponsor. I am reminded that there is nothing to prevent your sponsor from relocating to enjoy family life or continuing to visit you. Whilst i accept that this decision constitutes limited interference with article 8, I remind myself that it is a qualified right and i am satisfied that the decision is justified and proportionate in the interests of maintaining an effective immigration control.....



    Phew.... my fingers are sore now

    My wife has sole custody of the children as stated by the local amphur. We now have a written letter from her ex husband stating that he does not want the children to live with him. He lives too far away to be a short time baby sitter too.
    The childrens grandmother regularly has to visit hospital suffering from diabetes. The children are left home alone when she does this as they have nobody else to look after them. Grandmother is an ex-schoolteacher, so of course she is not going to need much guidance from my wife over how to educate the kids.
    Neither my wife or her ex husband has lived with the children during the last 6 years. They are not close to their father at all and only see him 1 time a year. Basically i have seen the children more than he has in the last 6 years and i have only known them for just over 2.
    My wife and I are the only people who support the children, not him.

    The council tax matter has been cleared up. Basically the council tax people told me to continue to claim my discout while my wife was studying. I adjusted this a month before the children were due to come here, to show i had changed it but this form seemed to be ignored and i was branded a criminal. I am now working with the tax people to clear up the misunderstanding. Worst case scenario is about 400 quid i think, depending on what they say.

    The house deeds which i included in the application were the same ones that were included for my wifes visa application. Nowhere does it state how many rooms are in the property. This could have gone missing along with some of the other forms which were not returned at my wifes visa application. I have applied for another copy of my deeds to check this out. I enclosed external photos and internal photos of our 3 bedroom property, even encluding a photo and receipt of the bunk bed we bought for the 2 boys. They have slept in the same bed as each other all their life in thailand, so we thought it appropriate that they slept in the same room, as they cant bear to be separated. I have a spare computer room which can be cleared out and used if needed. Its as if they just ignored the photos we included.

    Obviously we will be appealing

    The tears in the eyes of the 2 boys when they got turned down will live with me for the rest of my life.
    If anything happens to grandmother in the near future, they will be home alone. Ex husband has a new family and baby, so does not need his 2 sons cluttering up his life

    Thanks for listening

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    Just in case anyone asks....

    1 boy was interviewed for 25 minutes, followed by his brother alone for 25 minutes.

    Then my wife went in with them for about 40 minutes.

    I was only asked about the council tax problem and nothing else.

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    It appears that you have fallen foul of 14.5 - "Sole responsibility". The killer being
    I note that when your mother left Thailand in 2005, she stated at interview that you and your sibling would continue living with grandmother and then when you reached the age of 12 you would live with your father, who would take custody of you and your sibling. Your mother has failed to offer any satisfactory reason for this change of plans.......I note that your mother states that your grandmother is not in good health, but as her original plans were for you to live with your father. I am not satisfied that there are any barriers to this happening.
    When you appeal, submit as much evidence as possible to show a reason for this change. The letter from their father saying he is no longer interested in looking after them is vital; plus any evidence of your mother-in-law's health problems to show that she cannot now do so.

    You should also explain the reason for the confusion over who they call 'Dad' and I would ask why they were interviewed alone when the Diplomatic Services Procedures says they should be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

    When an appeal is submitted the ECO has to review the original refusal in the light of any new evidence you have submitted. This may lead to the original refusal being overturned. See CHAPTER 27 - APPEALS 27.4 - Appeal procedures at Post when refusal was made locally.

    If the ECO decides that the refusal should stand then the appeal will be forwarded via the Home Office to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal You will be allowed to attend the tribunal and also submit new evidence, as long as this evidence pertains to the facts at the time of the refusal.

    Best of luck.

  7. #7
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    There are many previous comments on sole responsibility on the forum. Perhaps you could do a search...

    Here's one extract I posted elsewhere,which you may find relevant-

    Posted 31 January 2007 18:59 Hide Post
    quote:
    My wife has always had sole responsibility for her and has maintained regular contact throughout.

    The consent of whomever your daughter hss been living with may also be necessary on the sole responsibility point,as it may be that responsibility became joint. For example who made any decisions about schooling,health,religious instruction? If your daughter had required an operation,who would have been approached for consent?
    Adopt a belt and braces approach and get the consent of the person with day to day care and control.

    Steve aka Rolyshark
    Posts: 3482 | Location: Derby UK | Registered: 18 September 2002

    Ignored post by rolyshark posted 31 January 2007 18:59 Show Post

    rolyshark

    Posted 01 February 2007 12:53 Hide Post
    Following on from my above post The Home Office has set out various factors are relevant at all responsibility, which can be found at IDI chapter 8. Section 3. Annex m in paragraph 4.3
    the period the parent in the UK has been separated from the Child
    the previous arrangements for the care of the child prior to the parent coming to the UK.
    Who has (all has had), the day-to-day care and control of the child since sponsor came to the UK.
    Who supports the child financially,
    who takes important decisions about the child's upbringing.
    The degree of contact between the parent claiming sole responsibility and the child.
    What role the other parent and relatives outside the UK have played in the childcare and upbringing (if any)

    There are well-established principles of sole responsibility and the relevant case is Williams-
    it is not necessary for the sole responsibility to be throughout life.
    Financial support is a factor but not conclusive.
    The decision-makers should look at the role played by the parents but also at the part played in the upbringing by others.
    It is not fatal others played a part in day-to-day care.
    Each case depends on its own facts, but evidence must be such that it can be fairly said that sponsor retains sole control of the child's upbringing and responsible for the important decisions relating to the child's upbringing, such as where they live go to school and the religious instruction.

    That should be a bit clearer to you as to what they require.

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    Many thanks Nick,

    We have a letter from their father stating he cannot take care of them and has not contributed to their wellbeing. The poor lad came to meet us in Bangkok to make sure that we received the letter. We took a photo of him holding the letter, just so there was no confusion over whether he wrote it or not.

    I work offshore, so will be wondering when the appeal hearing is held. Knowing my luck it will be when I am at work!!!

    The 2 children treat me like dad anyway, so its normal for them to call me dad. They don't speak English much, so I have to communicate in Thai and using lots of pointing and gesturing..... I feel like Marcel Marceau sometimes!!

    I just feel sorry for the kids.... They were so much looking forward to being with us.

    On my wife's visa interview she was asked what was happening with the children. Our intention was always to allow her to settle into the UK before making any decisions regarding the children. Its hard enough 1 person settling, never mind 3.

    Ihe embassy tried to ask my wife to prove that she had been financially supporting her own children for the last 6 years. Bearing in mind she has had mostly cash in hand jobs during this time, it was not possible.

    Will get it sorted in the end...... Its just a long struggle

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    Thanks Steve or Roly,

    My wifes mother is a retired schoolteacher, so does indeed make decisions about the children. But I guess being a school teacher makes this factor easier than most.
    The children are very responsible for their age, so regularly have to look after themselves anyway.

    My wife has always called the children pretty much every day. I should know... I pay the phone bills.
    Cheapest way to call Thailand that I know of at the moment is Bestminutes 08448616262 1p a minute.

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    We had our Thai wedding a few days before the visa interview.
    A brilliant experience. Much cheaper than getting married in the UK anyway

    The best part about it was that my wife paid her own sin sot..... not bad eh?

  11. #11
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    Thanks Steve or Roly
    You can make the cheque payable to either

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    No cash left after the wedding

    Will have to raid my offshore bank account mate

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    Originally posted by axel1974:
    On my wife's visa interview she was asked what was happening with the children. Our intention was always to allow her to settle into the UK before making any decisions regarding the children. Its hard enough 1 person settling, never mind 3.
    Then why didn't she say so!? The ECOs are aware of this; in fact they see it all the time. Mum goes first and once she is settled in the UK the kids follow.

    The ECO accepts that your wife has contact with and visits the boys; accepts that she supports them financially, accepts that she is the legal guardian. The problem is the position of the father, which is a direct consequence of what your wife said at her interview
    I note that when your mother left Thailand in 2005, she stated at interview that you and your sibling would continue living with grandmother and then when you reached the age of 12 you would live with your father, who would take custody of you and your sibling. Your mother has failed to offer any satisfactory reason for this change of plans. I also note that you have contact with your father and you last saw him YESTERDAY/IN JANUARY. In assessing your application I have to be satisfied that your mother has SOLE RESPONSIBILITY for your upbringing. I note that your mother states that your grandmother is not in good health, but as her original plans were for you to live with your father. I am not satisfied that there are any barriers to this happening. Given the interview conducted and your relationship with your grandmother, I am not satisfied that your mother has sole responsibility for your upbringing.
    All the other points raised in the refusal are relatively minor. IMHO, if she had simply told the truth about her plans for the boys at her interview, or had produced reasons for the change of plans when applying for the boys, then you would not now be having this problem.

    However, she didn't and you do.

    She must address this issue in her appeal, but although it is the major problem it is not the only one. She must remember to address all the points raised by the ECO.

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    Maybe she felt under pressure when she had the original interview and answered wrongly. Having seen what those interviews are like, albeit briefly, I can understand why she may not have been thinking clearly.

    We would have brought the boys straight over with us, but wanted to settle here first before bringing them. As far as I was aware, we were always going to bring the children here eventually. I did not even realise that she had mentioned at her interview that the children would be going to live with their father when they were 12.

    The poor kids are now stuck in no mans land, as their father only sees them once a year and cannot afford to let them live with them permanently.

    My wife is no longer able to have children, so we are not able to start our own family anyway.

    We have everything in the envelope apart from the letter from my wifes mother stating that she cannot look after the children properly. This will have to be sent by post later
    Unfortunately, I work offshore so the hearing will no doubt be when I am next back at work. Luckily my boss is very understanding.

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    Originally posted by axel1974:
    Maybe she felt under pressure when she had the original interview and answered wrongly. Having seen what those interviews are like, albeit briefly, I can understand why she may not have been thinking clearly.
    "I was under pressure and confused, so instead of saying they would live with me once settled I said the first thing that came into my head, which was a detailed plan about how they would live with their grandmother for a specific number of years and then live with their father."

    Sorry, but no one is going to believe that!

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    I change my mind about things all the time.
    Maybe I was blonde in another life.

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    You are missing the point.

    The problem isn't that she changed her mind.

    The problem isn't that she said one thing at her interview and the opposite at the boy's. (Although it would have been better had she not done so.)

    The problem is that she didn't say that she had changed her mind or give any reasons for doing so.

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    Sorry about the delay in replying. I have been away at work for 2 weeks and cannot access this site on works computers. Security blocked for some reason.

    The children were originally going to live with their father when the eldest became 12 years old but their father no longer wants this, as he has a new family.

    So he doesn't want them... I am supporting them 100% but they are not allowed to live with us at the moment.

    I am sure common sense will prevail in the end, as its not the childrens fault

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    Good luck Axel - you have my sympathy. If the kids were interviewed on their own against the guidelines make sure you mention that in your appeal submissions.
    You should have no problem asking for an alternative hearing date if you really cant make the date they set.
    The AIT aren't unhelpful,and will assist you as much as possible.

    Rob
    Honour good men, be courteous to all men, bow down to none.

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    Originally posted by axel1974:
    ... The children were originally going to live with their father when the eldest became 12 years old but their father no longer wants this, as he has a new family.

    So he doesn't want them... I am supporting them 100% ...
    This is vital information, reinforce this point in your appeal/application. Provide as much evidence as possible to support this claim as this is very important to the successful conclusion of your appeal/application.
    Tobias - โทเบียส
    If you want to know where I am, follow me on my Thailand-UK Blog.

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