Didn't Get The UK Visa. Slim Chance of Presenting At The London Conference.

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image: freeeducator.com
The reason given in the rejection letter I got instead of the visa I was expecting is that "the second statement which is in your name, shows a recent unexplained deposit amounting to $5,160 (£3,971 @ £1=$1.29913) which makes up the entire closing balance. I have been unable to establish the source of these funds, and I am not satisfied that the funds in question are genuinely available to you for your own personal use... As such, I am not satisfied that you have provided an accurate portrayal of your current personal and financial circumstances nor satisfied that your intentions to visit the UK are as stated and that you will leave at the end of your visit." 


On Wednesday morning, I went for the passport collection hoping I would see visa approved on it. I had done a good job of providing all the three types of evidences the ECO (entry clearance officers), who do the actual approval or denial decision, look for. 1) Financial capability 2) Genuine travel reason 3) Strong ties to home country. Done extensive research on how best to put forward my application without being vague about those three points.

So even though the conference organizers had written clearly in the letter of invitation that they were covering all my costs -- flight, daily allowance and accommodation. I still prepared my application with evidence that I am more than capable of funding my entire trip with clear description of my 5 day itinerary.

You know the feeling you get when go to check a course result back in the university and you see a 40 E. For a course you knew you did very well. It had happened to me before, I think twice. I felt surprisingly relieved -- that it was not an F and it was not my grade, that the lecturer just had it in for me. I didn't feel like there was anything I could have done better. If a lecturer wants to mark you down, it matters very little what is in your exam answers scripts. I had the very same feeling again. 

The officer must have looked at my application and immediately felt somehow about it (could be a valid concern like I hadn't gotten a visa before to the UK or US, or something else rubbing off wrongly in the whole mix), but instead of keeping that sudden grudge aside, he just looks for a way to explain why he is not giving me the visa. Not minding that the reason is incorrect.

In the reason (as shown above), the second statement referred to is my GTB Domiciliary account statement. I had provided my stocks account statement and pointed out the line of transaction there where I sold some of my shares and withdrew the $5160 into my domiciliary account. So the explanation of the source was there. I don't think any hardworking and financially savvy Nigerian will keep millions in his savings or non-interest bearing accounts (like Domiciliary). So the "unexplained sudden recent" deposit is actually an explained one and with records of similar transfers from my investment account to my domiciliary account. So the aspect that the money might not be mine is another strange conclusion.

The end of the matter is that the decision has no right of appeal nor administrative review. So, very much like the 40 E scenario I depicted. 

A couple of my friends have enlightened me on how better to put in a re-application. Tried to explained what spooked the officer. That the opportunity to be on a global stage presenting alongside some of the world's greatest in this our small data analysis niche is something of huge value and I shouldn't just throw in the towel. That getting the visa will greatly improve my future chances of getting visa again, and to other countries (that they all like to see that UK already granted me visa before).

That I shouldn't feel bitter and close my mind to the possibility of being reconsidered. That I should reach out to the organizers and see if they can give some more compelling sponsorship letter. 

Truth is I don't feel bitter. I just feel unlucky. And wanting to just move on with my generally good life. This is just one isolated case. Another opportunity (maybe lesser) will come. I just strongly don't feel that, if all the evidences I provided weren't good enough to the extent that I had to be given an obviously untrue reason for rejection, a re-application will make any difference. I would have preferred if the reason had been something more believable -- you are a first time applicant and you are sponsoring yourself (not a company sponsoring you), or I don't like the feeling I am having about you. 

Also, maybe another time, if the opportunity is a big enough one, I will engage visa processing experts and pay them to rub their expertise on the application.

1 comment:

  1. Visa application can make us feel so vulnerable specially after being denied without being reconsidered.


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