As a top destination country for most travellers, it is not uncommon for applicants of United Kingdom (UK)UK Visas to be denied. Over the years, one of the identified major reasons for the refusal of UK Visas has been the use of fake bank statements by Visa applicants.
It is easy getting a UK student visa or Visitors’ Visa as long as you have the right documents. It must however be noted that the financial requirement is a bit difficult to meet. People therefore resort to the use of fake bank statements as a way of meeting the strict financial requirements.
The truth is, some people get lucky to get their UK Visa application approved even with the use of fake bank statements but as a prospective traveler, don’t even think of it. Considering the risks associated with it, resorting to the use of fake documents is just not worth it.
At this point, one would ask why then do applicants resort to such tactics, when they are well aware that the use of fake bank statements is illegal and invites an outright refusal? The Entry Clearance Officer or Consular-In-Charge will never consider the application if he finds out that the bank statement attached to the application is fake. He may however probe more just to find more issues to justify a refusal, though the fake bank statement alone is enough basis for refusal. The candidate may end up been banned for 10years with automatic refusal when it come to a UK visa application.
Effects of Using a Fake Bank Statement
- A fine or Jail Sentence
The Criminal Code, 1960 (Act 29) sub section 16—Provisions Relating to Fraud.
For the purposes of any provision of this Code by which any forgery, falsification, or other unlawful act is punishable if used or done with intent to defraud, an intent to defraud means an intent to cause, by means of such forgery, falsification, or other unlawful act, any gain capable of being measured in money, or the possibility of any such gain, to any person at the expense or to the loss of any other person.
From the above quote, you can clearly see that it is a criminal offence to fake a bank statement or forge any document whatever the need be. Note that your finger print would be taken by the authorities which means no matter how long it takes, it will pop up during your next application. You then become a criminal in the books which will go a long way to affect your credibility as an upstanding citizen.
- Automatic Refusal and Travel Ban
When a visa is refused on any other reasons except forgery and falsification of documents, there is the possibility of getting an approval by applying again or making an appeal.
- What does the United Kingdom Immigration Rules say on grounds for refusal?
Immigration Rules Part 9: Grounds for Refusal
False representations, etc. grounds
- 7.1. An application for entry clearance, permission to enter or permission to stay may be refused where, in relation to the application, or in order to obtain documents from the Secretary of State or a third party provided in support of the application:
- (a) false representations are made, or false documents or false information submitted (whether or not relevant to the application, and whether or not to the applicant’s knowledge); or
- (b) relevant facts are not disclosed.
9.7.2. An application for entry clearance, permission to enter or permission to stay must be refused where the decision maker can prove that it is more likely than not the applicant used deception in the application.
- 7.3. Entry clearance or permission held by a person may be cancelled where, in relation an application, or in order to obtain documents from the Secretary of State or a third party provided in support of the application:
- (a) false representations were made, or false documents or false information submitted (whether or not relevant to the application, and whether or not to the applicant’s knowledge); or
- (b) relevant facts were not disclosed.
9.7.4 Permission extended under section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971 may be cancelled where the decision maker can prove that it is more likely than not the applicant used deception in the application for permission to stay.
Previous breach of immigration laws grounds
- 8.1. An application for entry clearance or permission to enter must be refused if:
- (a) the applicant has previously breached immigration laws; and
- (b) the application is for entry clearance or permission to enter and it was made within the relevant time period in paragraph 9.8.7.
- 8.2. An application for entry clearance or permission to enter may be refused where:
- (a) the applicant has previously breached immigration laws; and
- (b) the application was made outside the relevant time period in paragraph 9.8.7; and
- (c) the applicant has previously contrived in a significant way to frustrate the intention of the rules, or there are other aggravating circumstances (in addition to the immigration breach), such as a failure to cooperate with the re-documentation process, such as using a false identity, or a failure to comply with enforcement processes, such as failing to report, or absconding.
9.8.3. An application for permission to stay may be refused where a person has previously failed to comply with the conditions of their permission, unless permission has been granted in the knowledge of the previous breach.
The UK immigration is particularly stringent on the verification of bank statement(s) attached to visa applications. The persistent use of fake bank statements has made them grow and thus put in measures to truncate future attempts.
It’s better not to have enough money in your accounts and get refused than to use a fake statement and get a 10years ban on travel into the United Kingdom and automatic refusal for every application you submit even if the President of the Republic attaches a sponsorship letter because it’s a criminal offence.
- What does the European Union Immigrations Rules say about refusal of visa?
In Matter of European Commission, set out in Regulation (EU) 2018/1806 the commission determined that, where there is reason to doubt the validity of the visa applicant, the Applicant must present evidence to show that the intention is not to enter the Schengen area for the purpose of evading the immigration laws.
The Chapter IV: Issuing of the Visa
Article 32: Refusal of a Visa
- Without prejudice to Article 25(1), a visa shall be refused:
- If the applicant:
- Presents a travel document which is false, counterfeit or forged;
- does not provide justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay;
- does not provide proof of sufficient means of subsistence, both for the duration of the intended stay and for the return to his country of origin or residence, or for the transit to a third country into which he is certain to be admitted, or is not in a position to acquire such means lawfully;
- has already stayed for three months during the current six-month period on the territory of the Member States on the basis of a uniform visa or a visa with limited territorial validity;
- is a person for whom an alert has been issued in the SIS for the purpose of refusing entry;
- is considered to be a threat to public policy, internal security or public health as defined in Article 2(19) of the Schengen Borders Code or to the international relations of any of the Member States, in particular where an alert has been issued in Member States’ national databases for the purpose of refusing entry on the same grounds; or
- does not provide proof of holding adequate and valid travel medical insurance, where applicable;
- If there are reasonable doubts as to the authenticity of the supporting documents submitted by the applicant or the veracity of their contents, the reliability of the statements made by the applicant or his intention to leave the territory of the Member States before the expiry of the visa applied for.
- A decision on refusal and the reasons on which it is based shall be notified to the applicant by means of the standard form set out in Annex VI.
- Applicants who have been refused a visa shall have the right to appeal. Appeals shall be conducted against the Member State that has taken the final decision on the application and in accordance with the national law of that Member State. Member States shall provide applicants with information regarding the procedure to be followed in the event of an appeal, as specified in Annex VI.
- In the cases referred to in Article 8(2), the consulate of the representing Member State shall inform the applicant of the decision taken by the represented Member State.
- Information on a refused visa shall be entered into the VIS in accordance with Article 12 of the VIS Regulation.
Based on the statement made in sub-section 5 above, all Schengen Member States would get to know reasons for your refusal through the Visa Information System (VIS). This simply means your Visa will be refused by all Schengen States. As long as the embassy is part of the Schengen State, they have access to your details and reason(s) for your refusal.
I am working on a VIS article which would be ready soon. This touches more on the VIS and things one should consider essential, as well as those ones we must avoid. A good or bad Visa decision goes a long way to affect future applications.
I must emphasise that, kindly stay away from fake bank statements and forged documents. We will only attach documents we get confirmations on. The Entry Clearance Officer has been empowered by the law to verify every document attached to the application whenever he or she has doubts.