Currency conversion – Rials/Pounds

February 12, 2019 265

In most cases a UK visa applicant has to show that they have funds available for financial maintenance. This may be an exact amount or it may be a “reasonable” amount depending on the length and the purpose of the visit.

Normally and traditionally the Home Office uses the “OANDA” exchange rate. This is a widely-respected currency conversion program that appears on the internet which provides current and historical exchange rates for all currencies. OANDA exchange rates may thus be taken as more or less “official” rates.

Most of the time this system works very well, and the Home Office has even incorporated the OANDA system into its published policy guidance for certain visa categories.

But in the case of Iran there are complications. Because of the EU/US sanctions against Iran and the associated restrictions on currency movements a strong currency black market has emerged. The black market value of the Rial – which may be taken as a “real” value – is very considerably lower than the OANDA rate.

We have very recently become aware that the Home Office, when considering visitor visa applications, is using the black market rate for Rial/Pound conversion calculations.

A visitor visa refusal decision we have seen states as follows:

“I am aware from information in the public domain and other currently conversion tools, such as www.bonbast.com, that while the OANDA website shows the official exchange rate, it is not possible to exchange currency at the official rate ”

And thus the application was refused.

So now we know the Home Office’s position. There is no mention of OANDA in the visitor visa rules or published policy guidance (as opposed to other visa routes), so it is presumably quite legal for the Home Office to adopt this position.

The issues about funds held in Rials can be very difficult, and visitor visa applications are frequently refused because of issues concerning this; not only the value of funds but also the source of funds.

A visitor visa application thus needs to be presented in a very good way to give it the best chance of success.

At Get UK Visa we have a lot of experience in this area, and we can help you provide the best possible application.

Recent News

Apr 16, 2019

Domestic violence visa

A person who holds or held a visa as the spouse or partner of: a British citizen a person settled in the UK a person who holds leave as a refugee a person who holds leave as a partner under refugee family reunion and who experiences domestic violence or abuse from their partner, may be […]

Mar 27, 2019

Iranian apostasy asylum cases

Apostasy is when you change your religion, for example from Islam to Christianity. In many countries you are allowed to change your religion freely but in some countries, eg Iran, changing your religion is a serious criminal offence. Those who commit apostasy can be severely punished. Sometimes those who claim asylum do so on the […]

Mar 19, 2019

Judicial Review Pre-Action Protocol

What is it? It sounds rather complicated. Well, Judicial Review Pre-Action Protocol (sometimes known more simply as a “letter before action”) is the first stage in a Judicial Review application. A Judicial Review application is an application to challenge an immigration decision when there is no right of appeal to the First-Tier Immigration Tribunal or […]

Google Reviews

  • review rating 5  Fantastic service! The help and guidance provided was excellent and we got a positive result as well. Would definitely recommend to anyone going through any kind of legal process.

    thumb Ryann Green
  • review rating 5  My wife and I are so happy with the service we received from Get UK visa. Professional, helpful, and very prompt. Adel was in charge of our case and helped us all the way till we succeeded in our case. Highly recommend them.

    thumb Javad & Zahraa
  • review rating 5  Wonderful team, so helpful and great at what they doing .So pleased and lucky to be as your client ..Well done for doing your job amazingly

    thumb Bahareh Otadi
  • review rating 5  So professional and afficient, very helpful , I will advice everyone to go to Get UK Visa agency . I’m so pleased Of Mr Adel for his fantastic job he is well planned and well organised on his paperwork many many thanks 🙏

    thumb Hajar soulimani
  • review rating 5  I have been intorduced to getukvisa by a friend of mine who had a succesful case with them , all i can say i am so happy the service they provided me. I like the fact that the case handler was always available to talk and he guide me through all the process. I highly recomend them.

    thumb Rabert Fouladi