Many of the UK visa refusals we see here share a common pattern and the prevailing reasons refer to V 4.2 (a) and (c).
I do understand that, while the applicants may describe very different individual circumstances, there's a consistent pattern and, broadly, fall into specific categories:
Credibility (lifestyle, lack of ties, visit history, lies & omissions)
Funding (insufficient funds, provenance of funds, funds parking)
Sponsorship (family, friends, employer)
Question: What most commonly triggers a UK visa refusal where V 4.2 (a) and (c) are given as the grounds?
Secondarily: Given that there is a clear pattern, to what extent are these refusals predictable? Does sponsorship make a difference? Is there a set of personal circumstances, however abstract, where a refusal is all but guaranteed? For example, why do those we see here on TSE who sought entry for the PLAB or British Army appear to be refused with a common theme? Is there a uniform shortcoming or is it just discrimination?
PLAB: What is about applications for a visa, for the purpose of sitting the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) exam, that seem to invite refusals. After all, the test is given so that international medical graduates can show that they qualify to practise medicine in the UK. The first part, PLAB 1, can be taken in centres outside of the UK. However, PLAB 2 can be taken only in the UK. Why can't you can't get a visa just to sit the exam, promising that you'll leave immediately after?
British Army: Since Commonwealth citizens are eligible to apply online to join, even those who don't reside in the UK, why is it so difficult to get a visa just to attend an interview to see whether you are suitable? Even with an invitation from the Army, such visa applications seem to be unsuccessful. Isn't a career in the British Army a valid reason?
Lastly: After such a refusal, what approaches would increase the chance of a successful application?