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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7673
Experience:  UK Lawyer holding practising certficate for England & Wales.
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Dear Sirs, My wife is here in UK for a visit and was due to

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Dear Sirs,
My wife is here in UK for a visit and was due to go back to Ethiopia to apply for her settlement visa. Her visit visa will be expiring sometime in February 2017.
She planned to fly back to Ethiopia early November so that she makes her application for settlement Visa, but we hear that there is unrest in Ethiopia and the interest has been cut off too.
Basically we want to know if there is the law stop us from applying for her settlement Visa here from UK?


Thanks for your question. I will try to help.

If she is in the UK on a visit visa then her application to switch to a settlement/spouse visa would be rejected if she made it within the UK, this is because all visitors are under the visa condition that they must return to their home country before the expiry of their visit visa.

This is enforced very strictly and is taken to include any attempt to switch to another visa category.

Her application would almost certainly be rejected and the (expensive) application fee would be retained.

Probably the only times that they would exercise discretion and allow the application would be where your wife was seriously ill and travel would worsen her condition and would need a doctor’s note.

It might also be possible (though certainly not guaranteed) to apply if f the country itself had descended in to open civil war and it demonstrable that your wife would face a real and serious threat to her life if she were returned. They would probably expect to see that travel to the country had been advised against by the home office.

IN the circumstances, I would not be optimistic that he in county application would be allowed.

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Kind regards,


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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks your advise has been to the point and clarifies where I stand.Ethiopia is going through a civil unrest. It has declared state of emergency and has switched off the internet. The problem we have are two folds, she can not submit her application while in Eth as the internet is shut and conditions can get worse while she is there ... Would you still feel the authorities do not at present feel this case falls within any exceptions?ThanksHaddis

Hi Haddis,

I understand that the home office's travel advice is mixed. With travel not being recommended to certain parts, some parts advised "only essential travel" and others okay.

Addis Abbaba is apparently calm with no incidents for example.

I would still probably expect the application to be rejected, but then you would be forced to appeal to a tribunal where the evidence would get a fairer hearing. It would take about 4 months to arrange an appeal from when the application is rejected.

I would also not make the application unless you are able to instruct a UK solicitor to prepare the application and supporting evidence.