Lylian Zhao, Director at Beijing Jingsh Law Firm Shenzhen Office

“I just want to see my husband,” said Yu. It sounds like a simple request, but for Yu it would lead to a long and painful legal battle.

Back in February 2017, Yu married Tulu in Tulu’s home country of Sweden. Fast forward to December 2019, and Yu’s Schengen visa application has been rejected and she only had seven days to appeal. Yu came to me with tears in her eyes, “I just want to see my husband.”

I asked Yu to share her application with me and I went through the documents. As I did so, two points caught my attention:

  1. “Purpose of visit not reliable. We suspect the marriage is out of convenience.”
  2. “In our experience, many applicants from China wish to resettle in other countries.”

I chose to ignore the second point even though it appears unfair to discriminate against Chinese woman in this way. Instead, I focused on the first point and trying to prove that Yu and Tulu’s relationship was genuine. To help, I asked Yu to tell me what happened. Yu and Tulu’s story can be broken down as follows:

  • In 2016, Yu met Tulu online. Tulu flew to China to meet Yu in Shenzhen, where they entered into a committed relationship.
  • By February 2017, Yu and Tulu were married in Sweden.
  • In 2018, the couple decided to end their long distance relationship so that they could be together all the time. Yu applied for a residence permit, but the application was rejected because Yu has not spent enough time in Sweden. She appealed unsuccessfully.
  • By October 2019, Tulu had fallen ill. He was not well enough to board a plane to go to China and so hoped Yu could come to Sweden. Yu applied for a Schengen visa with an invitation from Tulu. Her application was rejected, and now she has come to me as she prepares her final appeal.

I emailed back and forth with the Swedish Migration Agency and discovered the issue was more serious than Yu realized. Yu had been rejected multiple times because she had faked her documents back in 2016 and as a result she was deemed to be “dishonest”.

Lylian Zhao with her colleagues at Beijing Jingsh Law Firm Shenzhen

I asked Yu about what had happened. She gave me the simplest answer that makes perfect sense to Chinese, but gives me a headache to explain to Swedes. She said, “I found a travel agent to take care of it”.

For those of you who don’t know, some travel agencies do not care about how they get the visa for you, just as long as they get you the visa. Sometimes, this involves applying with canceled hotel reservations. During her stay in Sweden, Yu stayed with Tulu but provided hotel reservations on her visa application. This alone created suspicion about Yu.

I explained everything to the Swedish Migration Agency and also cleared up some misunderstanding about her occupation selling merchandise through WeChat. The next day, the Swedish Migration Agency called Yu to ask her to provide supporting documents for her marriage other than her marriage certificate.

It seems surprising that a marriage certificate is deemed not enough to prove that a Chinese woman is married to a Swedish man. Nonetheless, I asked Yu to print out their chat histories and she brought me a stack thicker than a dictionary. Now, we are waiting for the Swedish Migration Agencies response.

Yu has a stable job and income and speaks good English. All she wishes to do is to take care of her sick husband on a temporary visa. I find it hard to justify why this is so hard to do. Particularly, in a country such as Sweden that is well known for welcoming and taking care of asylum seekers.

Of course, the Swedish Migration Agency should not take all the blame. Yu provided her private information to an unlicensed travel agency and was ignorant of the consequences. It’s hard to come away with any kind of conclusion other than to say to learn from Yu’s example.

I will continue to represent Yu and help her to save her marriage. Mixed race marriages that cross national borders can often be complex. I wish all can find solutions to their problems and live a long happy life with their loved one.

If you ever find yourself in a similar situation or need some advice on visas or immigration, please do not hesitate to contact us here at Beijing Jingsh Law Firm Shenzhen for expert legal advice.

Contact Information

Address: Beijing Jingsh Law Firm Shenzhen Office, 6-10th floor, Guangdian Wenchuang Building, Caitian Road, Futian, Shenzhen (深圳市福田区彩田路广电文创中心6层、7层、9层、10)

Tel: 13073529659