What the chuffing chuff is up with the UK Border Agency?

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  • What the chuffing chuff is up with the UK Border Agency?
  • cfinnimore
    Member

    This is one of those “more and more and more and more and more and more angry” things.

    Erm…

    Good luck.

    CountZero
    Member

    That’s Civil Service English. You have to pass exams to excel at that…

    druidh
    Member

    Munro Biker wrote:

    Been trying for an hour and a half to book a visa appointment on the UK Border Agency site and the website keeps coming up with this-
    “If you have been unsuccessful in finding an avaliable appointment, please do not call our contact centres. They do not have any additional appointments avaliable to them.”
    What was that about having a minimum standard of English to stay in the country????

    avaliable or available?

    munrobiker
    Member

    Indeed druidh. I want to know what on earth “avaliability” is.

    Seems the Tory cuts are really helping restrict the number of visas being granted by simply not having enough staff to ensure the website works or be able to offer any appointments. Genius!

    munrobiker
    Member

    Been trying for an hour and a half to book a visa appointment on the UK Border Agency site and the website keeps coming up with this-

    “If you have been unsuccessful in finding an avaliable appointment, please do not call our contact centres. They do not have any additional appointments avaliable to them.”

    What was that about having a minimum standard of English to stay in the country???? 😉

    chewkw
    Member

    Try booking for an appointment on-line at 8am sharp! It will be very difficult to book for an appointment after that time because of the mad scramble from all non-UK residents (non-Brits) wanting an appointment too.

    I think the earliest appointment you can find if you are lucky is within 2 weeks but if I am not mistaken it is usually 4 to 6 weeks waiting time.

    However, you can try booking during the day just in case someone cancel their appointment.

    munrobiker
    Member

    Cheers chewkw, unfortunately thanks to the late night last night (we kept trying til 2.30 but got nothing. I swear these appointments don’t exist) we weren’t up at 8am to try it. We will try during the week.

    It almost seems like they just aren’t putting the appointments online and the online form is just ruse.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    The system doesn’t work, tbh… We’ve had tons of problems with student visas this year, and considering that feepaying foreign students are the cash cow that allows the UK further education industry to function, this is not clever. But hey, it cuts immigration 🙄

    I have absolutely no useful suggestions, mind, other than beating certain government officials with sticks. Ideally foreign-grown, imported sticks.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    good luck,
    thanks to the insane new student visa laws + massive cuts to funding the foreign students at my uni are having to queue from midnight onwards to get in line early enough to be seen before the office shuts at 4pm

    munrobiker
    Member

    It’s a shame really, it’s a cheap way to get votes from the “plebs” that think “immigrant” means someone from the Indian subcontinent who can’t speak English and doesn’t want to work, when the reality is most immigrants want to work harder and sponge less than a lot of natives and will never claim a penny from the state.

    It’s all financial now- it used to be that your income was something considered but it’s now essential that you earn 4 times more than was deemed appropriate 6 months ago. Another example of the Torys hating poor people.

    chewkw
    Member

    The appointment slots are available on day to day basis but you need to be there when they are released them. Usually 8am in the morning so by say 9am all slots will be gone. During the day they may release some slots when other people cancel them but to find them you have to be very lucky.

    Problem is you need to beat the queue for booking one and you need to type quickly on your computer otherwise someone else get the appointment first.

    Also overseas students are “tagged” to ensure they are genuine by attending their courses. If they missed two or three of their lectures/seminars etc the UKBA will consider them as bogus students who are here for other purposes, so their visa will be revoked or not extended.

    The Universities will comply with the UKBA in order to maintain their highly trusted sponsorship status, otherwise they will not be able to recruit overseas students.

    My understanding is that there are some “language schools or bogus colleges” that abuse their positions by recruiting overseas students, only for the students to work illegally when here. Also depending on the course the overseas students are studying, they are normally allowed to work 20 hrs only during term time while others may not even allowed to work at all. Bogus students will simply enrol with bogus colleges then work illegally regardless.

    Unfortunately, due the abuse from some all overseas students are now deem bogus until proven otherwise.

    What the UKBA should do is to be specific in their “tagging” by referring to their annual statistic/information about bogus students rather than making life difficult for all.

    Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Subscriber

    It almost seems like they just aren’t putting the appointments online and the online form is just ruse.

    Bit like the NHS then, perfectly good system torpedoed by those managing it as it gives the punters an element of control.

    coffeeking
    Member

    I’m tired, it took me 4 re-reads to be outraged.

    grum
    Member

    What was that about having a minimum standard of English to stay in the country????

    I just did some work with a guy from Ghana, who has a PhD (and a masters) from a respectable British uni, has been teaching at British unis for years – he now has to arrange have a test to prove that his English is good enough so that he can stay in the country.

    He was trying to book the test but said it was a complete nightmare – the online system keeps stalling right at the end, and when you ring up you can’t get anyone to give you any sense either. I wonder how many people end up getting kicked out as a result of not managing to take the test due to the system being beyond useless.

    Almost as if they were doing it on purpose……

    globalti
    Member

    Lightweights.

    Try applying online for a visa for Nigeria….

    munrobiker
    Member

    Coffeeking- I only noticed on our 300th or so attempt at 1.30am.

    Chewkw- just tried at 8am and it goes straight to “No Appointments” again. Tried at midnight and the site just crashed then went to the “No Appointments” page.

    The annoying thing is that apparently solicitors have appointments available to them but charge a lot more (it’s nearly 900 quid in the first place). This sounds like a government supported version of people buying hundreds of concert tickets then selling them on ebay for twice the price.

    Very tired from a weekend dealing with this, it was so much easier last year when she needed a second student visa.

    Well done everyone for voting Tory and making other people’s lives so hard.

    chewkw
    Member

    grum – Member

    I just did some work with a guy from Ghana, who has a PhD (and a masters) from a respectable British uni, has been teaching at British unis for years – he now has to arrange have a test to prove that his English is good enough so that he can stay in the country.

    If he has GCE O-level English at min C grade (UK exam board) he should be fine otherwise it will be a nightmare as they UKBA will only response to the guideline they have on their computer system.

    munrobiker – Member

    Chewkw- just tried at 8am and it goes straight to “No Appointments” again. Tried at midnight and the site just crashed then went to the “No Appointments” page.

    You need to keep trying whenever you can because it is very difficult to get an appointment via the computerised system and you cannot simply turn up without an appointment. I also know someone tried booking for an appointment everyday for a week at 8am everyday until he got one.

    The annoying thing is that apparently solicitors have appointments available to them but charge a lot more (it’s nearly 900 quid in the first place). This sounds like a government supported version of people buying hundreds of concert tickets then selling them on ebay for twice the price.

    I think I heard someone mentioned solicitors having block appointments allocated to them before but I am not sure if that is true or myth.

    grum
    Member

    If he has GCE O-level English at min C grade (UK exam board) he should be fine otherwise it will be a nightmare as they UKBA will only response to the guideline they have on their computer system.

    I don’t know but I doubt he has – his English is very, very good though.

    Lightweights.

    Try applying online for a visa for Nigeria….

    Heh, my GF has had to do that quite a few times – I never hear the end of it. This last time she went through an agency though and it was no hassle apparently.

    munrobiker
    Member

    We just had a look on an expat forum- apparently the House of Lords are so ashamed of the new spouse visa laws that they have written an apology to the nation.

    It’s a good job someone in power thinks that just sticking “The European human right to have be with family shall not be valid as a defence to these laws” is not a very fair way to deny people’s human right to be with their family 🙄

    Premier Icon somafunk
    Subscriber

    Seriously…..get yourself a lawyer to deal with your case if you can afford it, my mate married a muslim girl from the Yemen a few years ago (he converted) and last year her permanent UK citizenship was due to go through but the UK immigration authorities, specifically the officer in charge was the most ignorant, abusive, small minded, sneeringly despicable person he’d ever had the misfortune of speaking or dealing with in his life and fully deserving of a serious **** hiding up a back alley according to him,

    My mate involved is a blacksmith involved in designing and forging specialist and very expensive hand made decorative gates, railings staircases, mirrors, chandeliers etc..etc, he’s been flown round the world to fit decorative ironwork he’s designed for clients and suchlike so he knows a fair few contacts, he eventually had to ask for help/advice from a few of his well-heeled customers as the immigration authority were stalling and questioning his reasons for marrying a girl from the Yemen and being rather abusive regarding his wife’s citizenship application (rather abusive is putting it lightly) – with the help and guidance from an expensive (foc thanks to one of his clients) london lawyer her application was processed within 4 weeks of his involvement, from what i’ve heard said to my friends in the many hours of interviews they were subjected to i have come to the conclusion that the immigration authorities are the most despicable racist individuals possible.

    R979
    Member

    I can’t give you details in how to get an appointment but unless you have to, I would suggest avoiding a face to face consultation if I were you. The last appointment I attended (yes, I actually managed to get one) was for an unmarried partner visa. It was declined (incorrectly, as it turns out) and we had to reapply by post. Net result was we were £1250 out if pocket for a day trip to Croydon.

    For my next visa I applied by post but used an immigration solicitor to check the application beforehand. This costs a fraction of the full lodging service offered by most agencies. It was ~100 so it’s cheaper that paying for the express service anyway. It may not be suitable for your situation but I can send you the details of the place if you’re interested.

    munrobiker
    Member

    R979- we’d prefer the premium service because of the situation with her job contract. Our situation is complicated but face to face is easier. Her last one was face to face and it was fine.

    She’s white American so hopefully racism won’t come into it, but by god we hate the BA.

    Premier Icon sparksmcguff
    Subscriber

    The UKBA is a nightmare to deal with. However, and much as it pains me to say this, it wasn’t the current conservative administration that started this non-sense. It was a toxic Blair who got the ball rolling. Cameron’s mob has made things worse though – much worse.

    munrobiker
    Member

    The latest set of rules set up by Cameron re the spouse visa are horrid. Blair’s were OK, reasonable considering there are too many people in the country, but not bad. The worst of the new ones are-

    – You MUST earn £18500 at least. They justify this saying “other countries have a financial requirement”, but there is almost no country where it is more than 10k. This doesn’t matter because you aren’t allowed benefits anyway.

    – You have NO human rights on this issue.

    – Having a child does not have any bearing on the financial requirement. There is a case where a Japanese lady is pregnant and will have to leave her husband and child 4 months after it is born because they do not meet the financial requirement.

    – You must reapply for a spouse visa every 2.5 years until citizenship is obtained (the time for citizenship has gone up too). If I lost my job in the next 2.5 years, that’d be it. No mitigating circumstances, not enough money, get out the country.

    – Only your spouse may sponsor you now. Not their parents, anyone who will pay for you. So even though you could find someone to guarantee your finances you cannot stay if your partner and yourself don’t earn enough.

    The latest ones even had the solicitor we saw amazed at how vicious they are. Them toffs really hate foreign people. I know immigration has to go down, but there are going to be a lot of families ripped apart by this who would never have claimed a penny from the state.

    druidh
    Member

    How does that compare with the ease of a UK citizen getting a similar VISA for the US?

    munrobiker
    Member

    The us visa system for a spouse visa is so simple and cheap that if I had enough experience to get a job we would probably go.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    Them toffs really hate foreign people

    to be fair to them, I think they just hate anyone who isn’t a toff, regardless of nationality.

    Macgyver
    Member

    ah yes UKBA. Currently in the process of waiting for the wifes stuff to be returned (along with my passport too). They have sent us a nice letter saying we got your stuff, someone will deal with it, don’t bother contacting us we’ll send it to you when we can be bothered, no idea when that might be, don’t go booking any trips in the mean time. Nice!

    And Croydon is such a hole as well.

    ilyasran
    Member

    Hi,
    New appointment opens at 12:00 midnight for next 42.day , but it is very hard to find one, because lots of people tries and website blocked 1 hour,
    but if u want eairlier or urgent appointment, i can catch cancellations for you,
    you can contact me by e-mail or skype,
    ilyasran@gmail
    skype id: ilyasran

    Premier Icon itstig
    Subscriber
    headfirst
    Member

    I dare someone to slather themselves in sudocrem, then Skype him whilst pretending to be a cat.

    konabunny
    Member

    “The us visa system for a spouse visa is so simple and cheap that if I had enough experience to get a job we would probably go.”

    US visa system is neither simple nor cheap.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    The thread necromancer looks like one of the assorted scumbags that scam people into paying extra for visa support etc.

    (I discovered there are companies that’ll “assist” you to get an NI number! £60! It takes about 2 minutes)

    athgray
    Member

    The government has said that UK border control issues will now be dealt with by landlords and GP’s. See them for advice.

    chewkw
    Member

    athgray – Member

    The government has said that UK border control issues will now be dealt with by landlords and GP’s. See them for advice.

    Yes, they are tightening the net on all avenues so sooner or later if you do not have the right papers you will find it hard to live. Just like my colleague who was told to bring in his passport for identification. Problem is he never left the country before so he has no passport but luckily has a driving license plus utility bills to “prove” his identity. Imagine you do not have any of those papers as proof … you will have to face bureaucratic nightmare. Trust me to get some of your papers in place is not easy. Do you know where’s your birth certificate? The original one and not photocopy … I don’t.

    🙄

    fatalbert
    Member

    Has no-one thought about phoning the Indian border agency! I thought all our infrastructure was controlled from over there?

    bigrich
    Member

    bloody border agency. I got pulled aside and questioned because I’ve been in Australia for five years. I figured that they don’t have a sense of humour, but I was close to sarcasm by the end.

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