Visa refusal ‘risks my wife’s life’
10:00am Monday 3rd May 2010
By Fiona Pendlebury, Bournemouth Daily Echo
A MAN claims his South African wife’s life is at risk because she is being denied a visa to come and live in the UK.
James Dean of Aylesbury Road, Boscombe, met former hospital finance manager Juanita, from South Africa, on the internet.
The couple, both 52, celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary thousands of miles apart on April 29 this year.
Initially Mr Dean lived with Juanita in Kimberley but moved to Dorset to prepare for Juanita to join him.
He says they have spent thousands in their fight to gain a three-year settlement visa and were shocked when she was turned down.
He said: “It appears that there is nothing anybody can do to bring her out.
“It makes my blood boil. I am totally at a loss where to go.”
Juanita lives with her brother on a farm but racial violence in the area means she must carry a gun at all times said Mr Dean.
“When Nelson Mandela dies, they are going to have another Zimbabwe. I don’t care how they get her here, I just want her here,” he said.
A Home Office spokesperson said it was not allowed to comment until after the General Election.
James Davis, an immigration advisor from Dorset, said in his experience entry clearance officers at embassies tended to “interpret rules very strictly and frequently refuse applications”.
He added: “When they refuse, they do have to give a reason and there is a right of appeal.”
Spouses have a right to join their partners in the UK, but only if they pass the criteria and living in a violent place does not necessarily qualify a person for refugee status.
“If she was personally targeted and the authorities were compliant, you could talk about gaining asylum, but to want to get away from a place that is generally violent carries no weight at all,” he said.
Lyn Tucker, legal executive at Ellis Jones Solicitors, said as a general rule people should get specialist legal advice at the earliest possible opportunity when applying for a visa to prevent such situations from arising.
Anyone who can help Mr Dean can contact him on 07818 884043.
» » » » [Bournemouth Echo, via Adriana Stuidt]
Right of asylum
Right of asylum (or political asylum, Greek: ἄσυλον ) is an ancient juridical notion, under which a person persecuted for political opinions or religious beliefs in his or her own country may be protected by another sovereign authority, a foreign country, or Church sanctuaries (as in medieval times). This right has its roots in a longstanding Western tradition—although it was already recognized by the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Hebrews—Descartes went to the Netherlands, Voltaire to England, Hobbes to France (followed by many English nobles during the English Civil War), etc; each state offered protection to foreign persecuted persons.
Political asylum is similar, but not identical, to modern refugee law, which deals with massive influx of population, while the right of asylum concerns individuals and is usually delivered in a case-to-case basis. There is overlap between the two because each refugee may demand political asylum on an individual basis.
» » » » [Wiki: Right of Asylum]
Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
Under the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees from 1951, a refugee is a person who (according to the formal definition in article 1A of this Convention), owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of their nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail him/herself of the protection of that country.
The concept of a refugee was expanded by the Convention's 1967 Protocol and by regional conventions in Africa and Latin America to include persons who had fled war or other violence in their home country.
Article 1 of the Convention as amended by the 1967 Protocol provides the definition of a refugee:"A person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.."
The United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees is an international convention that defines who is a refugee, and sets out the rights of individuals who are granted asylum and the responsibilities of nations that grant asylum. The convention also sets out which people do not qualify as refugees, such as war criminals. The Convention also provides for some visa-free travel for holders of travel documents issued under the convention.
» » » » [UNHCR-PDF :: Scribd-PDF]
Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
Article 18. Right to asylum
The right to asylum shall be guaranteed with due respect for the rules of the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951 and the Protocol of 31 January 1967 relating to the status of refugees and in accordance with the Treaty establishing the European Community.
» » » » [Charter for the Fundamental Rights of European Union (PDF)]
Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees
INTRODUCTION – International instruments defining the term “refugee”
A. Early instruments (1921-1946)
1. Early in the twentieth century, the refugee problem became the concern of the international community, which, for humanitarian reasons, began to assume responsibility for protecting and assisting refugees.
2. The pattern of international action on behalf of refugees was established by the League of Nations and led to the adoption of a number of international agreements for their benefit. These instruments are referred to in Article 1 A (1) of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (see paragraph 32 below).
3. The definitions in these instruments relate each category of refugees to their national origin, to the territory that they left and to the lack of diplomatic protection by their former home country. With this type of definition “by categories” interpretation was simple and caused no great difficulty in ascertaining who was a refugee.
4. Although few persons covered by the terms of the early instruments are likely to request a formal determination of refugee status at the present time.. such cases could occasionally arise. They are dealt with below in Chapter II, A. Persons who meet the definitions of international instruments prior to the 1951 Convention are usually referred to as “statutory refugees”.
B. 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees
5. Soon after the Second World War, as the refugee problem had not been solved, the need was felt for a new international instrument to define the legal status of refugees. Instead of ad hoc agreements adopted in relation to specific refugee situations, there was a call for an instrument containing a general definition of who was to be considered a refugee. The Convention relating to the Status of Refugees was adopted by a Conference of Plenipotentiaries of the United Nations on 28 July 1951, and entered into force on 21 April 1954. In the following paragraphs it is referred to as “the 1951 Convention”. (The text of the 1951 Convention will be found in Annex II.)
C. Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees
6. According to the general definition contained in the 1951 Convention, a refugee is a person who:“As a result of events occurring before 1 January 1951 and owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted ... is outside his country of nationality...”
7. The 1951 dateline originated in the wish of Governments, at the time the Convention was adopted, to limit their obligations to refugee situations that were known to exist at that time, or to those which might subsequently arise from events that had already occurred.1
8. With the passage of time and the emergence of new refugee situations, the need was increasingly felt to make the provisions of the 1951 Convention applicable to such new refugees. As a result, a Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees was prepared. After consideration by the General Assembly of the United Nations, it was opened for accession on 31 January 1967 and entered into force on 4 October 1967.
9. By accession to the 1967 Protocol, States undertake to apply the substantive provisions of the 1951 Convention to refugees as defined in the Convention, but without the 1951 dateline. Although related to the Convention in this way, the Protocol is an independent instrument, accession to which is not limited to States parties to the Convention.
10. In the following paragraphs, the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees is referred to as “the 1967 Protocol”. (The text of the Protocol will be found in Annex III.)
11. At the time of writing, 78 States are parties to the 1951 Convention or to the 1967 Protocol or to both instruments. (A list of the States parties will be found in Annex IV.)
D. Main provisions of the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol
12. The 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol contain three types of provisions:(i) Provisions giving the basic definition of who is (and who is not) a refugee and who, having been a refugee, has ceased to be one. The discussion and interpretation of these provisions constitute the main body of the present Handbook, intended for the guidance of those whose task it is to determine refugee status.
(ii) Provisions that define the legal status of refugees and their rights and duties in their country of refuge. Although these provisions have no influence on the process of determination of refugee status, the authority entrusted with this process should be aware of them, for its decision may indeed have far-reaching effects for the individual or family concerned.
(iii) Other provisions dealing with the implementation of the instruments from the administrative and diplomatic standpoint. Article 35 of the 1951 Convention and Article 11 of the 1967 Protocol contain an undertaking by Contracting States to co-operate with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in the exercise of its functions and, in particular, to facilitate its duty of supervising the application of the provisions of these instruments.
» » » » [Excerpt: UNHCR Handbook: Procedure & Criteria: Refugee Status (PDF)]