"I have never welcomed the weakening of family ties by politics or pressure" - Nelson Mandela.
"He who travels for love finds a thousand miles no longer than one" - Japanese proverb.
"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence." - Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
"When people's love is divided by law, it is the law that needs to change". -
David Cameron.

Monday 27 March 2017

More FOI: Serendipity

Author : Steve

Further to the post below, the Home Office response to the FOI contains a very useful link to tables containing a lot of data on numbers of visas processed/refused over a number of years. Now, while I don't think you can extrapolate data specifically for family partner visas on individual countries from those links, you can use them to identify a general trend over time. (The tables contain general data for countries, and for partner visas, but not both together, which is the area of my interest; hence an FOI request is required for this).

In particular, Table vi_01_q allows you to pull off data by category, for example family partner, per quarter. The data for recent years is tabulated below.

The total numbers (all nationalities) for 2016 are : 10958 family partner refusals / 37569 total = 29.2% overall. This gives us a baseline to compare with the percentages of visas refused by country in this post.

These are the total numbers of applications for partner visas since 2011, per quarter:

2011q1 7,110
2011q2 10,067
2011q3 9,676
2011q4 9,340
2012q1 11,409
2012q2 11,797
2012q3 10,639 (new rules are introduced about now)
2012q4 5,885 (big drop - the impact of the new rules is felt!)
2013q1 7,025
2013q2 8,289
2013q3 9,002 (but we start to see the number of applications recovering here)
2013q4 8,066
2014q1 7,354
2014q2 7,909
2014q3 8,378
2014q4 8,287
2015q1 9,162
2015q2 10,270
2015q3 9,643
2015q4 9,649
2016q1 8,776
2016q2 9,574
2016q3 9,366
2016q4 9,853

... while the numbers of applications never quite reach pre-2012 levels, they get close.

Also - from the same set of tables - consider the percentage of visas refused over the same time period :

2011q1 18%
2011q2 13%
2011q3 16%
2011q4 15%
2012q1 15%
2012q2 15%
2012q3 22%
2012q4 42% (big jump in refusals after the 2012 rules come in!)
2013q1 33% (but then the % of refusals starts to drop...)
2013q2 30%
2013q3 18% (... back to pre-2012 levels!)
2013q4 20%
2014q1 15%
2014q2 15%
2014q3 40% (why so many refusals here - maybe the impact of the Immigration Act 2014?)
2014q4 32%
2015q1 27%
2015q2 24%
2015q3 29%
2015q4 27%
2016q1 31% (this looks like a bad quarter as well)
2016q2 28%
2016q3 26%
2016q4 26%

So - to draw a tentative conclusion - the 2012 rule change had a big short term impact on family visas, but after several quarters people adjusted and the numbers of visas granted are (almost) back to the same levels.

Which was sort of predicted at the time the rules came in... people adjust, as they have to, because after food and shelter, family is the most important think in most people's lives, regardless of what the government says. People adapt.

Maybe you can also see the impact of groups and campaigns like BritCits, Family Immigration Alliance, Love Letters to the Home Office, and I Love My Foreign Spouse here as people self-organise, share information about news and tactics, and build each other and the sum of knowledge up - over time; even if, like bodhisattvas, they continue to share their experience for the good of others after succeeding in their own fight.

And of course, it is a fact that as the world continues to globalise, historic forces continue to interconnect the world politically, economically, and inter-personally. As I've said before on this blog, practically since its inception, the rules were always doomed to fail in their intention because love finds a way. Even after the first refusal. One way or the other.

Juggling on the Berlin Wall

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