How do you fight the UKBA when they’re wrong?

After my plea yesterday on Facebook for any advice or help regarding the recent devastating UKBA (UK Border Agency) decision to remove me from the UK based on what I see as a technicality, many people have requested more thorough details regarding my situation so they can offer further suggestions and pass along the details to others who may be able to help.

After posting these details online, I am going to respond to the UKBA “case worker” who sent the rejection letter (as I was advised by the UKBA) with these details and copies of everything I have. Unfortunately, because this should have been a simple case, I did not take thorough copies of everything. I am hoping against hope that what I do have will be enough.

I am also going to reach out to my MP (Rushanara Ali), the local Citizens Advice Bureau and the local Law Centre. Additionally, I’m going to try reaching out to Ben Hammersley to see if he is able to help – a long shot but one I have been urged to take. What I will not be able to do is hire a lawyer; sadly that is beyond my means. Any other suggestions or advice would be wonderful; this really feels like being the littlest guy having to take on the biggest, scariest guy in the room in a fight.

Thanks, everyone. For reading, for the support, for the help. You’ve been amazing and I will keep you informed on how things are going.

TL;DR version: I applied for the renewal before the expiration of a UK visa I am still absolutely eligible for, but due to UKBA not being able to process payment – I believe their errors, not mine – I have had to send in a total of four applications. The first three were ignored by the most recent case worker, and they are rejecting my renewal because the most recent application was submitted more than 28 days after the expiry of my visa. I’m being told to leave the UK with “no right to appeal”.

My application to stay in the UK, a process which began on 30 October 2012, has been rejected as invalid because I am being considered an “overstayer” and in violation of 189(iii) of UK Immigration Law. The letter outlining the reasons for the refusal clearly shows that the case worker completely disregarded any of the circumstances leading up to the most current application, as outlined in this reasoning in the letter:

“Your leave to remain expired on 1 November 2012. A valid application was received on the 1 February 2013, therefore your leave had expired for a period greater than 28 days and therefore your application falls for refusal under Paragraph 191 with reference to 189(iii) of the Immigration Rules as you did not have leave to remain at the time of your application.”

Here is the background story.

I arrived in the UK in November 2007 with a valid UK Ancestry Visa and have continuously resided in London since that time. For those who are not aware, there are essentially two criteria that need to be met (other than the obvious ones that you would expect) to be eligible for an Ancestry visa: You have to be a national of a Commonwealth country and you have to have a grandparent born in the UK. I am a Canadian with a paternal grandmother born in Scotland. As neither of those circumstances had changed, I expected the renewal process to be simple. I was wrong.

That visa was due to expire on 01 November 2012. Having been warned countless times that the UKBA punishes people for applying early, I waited until just before the expiration to submit my application by registered post on 30 October 2012. I received a letter dated 01 November 2012 confirming the receipt of my application. There is no doubt that it was submitted well within the 28 day window the UKBA affords applicants.

In December 2012 I received a package containing all my documentation and my application with a letter dated 18 December 2012 stating that my application was invalid as I had “not made any payment and have not completed the payment page of the application form”. It then stated that I should ensure “the payment page is completed before returning” the application. (emphasis mine)

I am absolutely certain that the payment page had been filled in both completely and correctly. Anyone who has been through a similar process will understand how meticulous you are to ensure there will be no issues whatsoever with such an important piece of paperwork. However, I did not take a copy of my completed application at the time before submitting it and the payment page was never returned to me so I am unable to prove beyond any doubt that this was indeed the situation.

I returned my application with a new payment page included on or around 20 December 2012 with a covering letter explaining why I was returning my application. Yes, this was beyond the 28 day window, but a) they had not notified me until beyond the 28 day period and b) because of the wording on the letter (to wit “returning your application”) I was lead to believe that I was still within the rights of my original visa as the application was still in progress.

I received notification on 31 December 2012 that my application had been received by UKBA. In a letter dated 12 January 2013, which was included with the return of all my documentation once again, I was informed that “the fee transaction accompanied with the application has been declined”. No such transaction is recorded against my bank account and no proof of such an attempt exists. Again, the payment page was not returned with my documentation.

I submitted my application – this time an entirely fresh copy as the form had changed since the previous resubmission – yet again which was received on 21 January 2013, confirmed in a letter of receipt dated 22 January 2013. This application was returned with a letter dated 29 January 2013, stating once again that I had “not made any payment and have not completed the payment page of the application form”. As with the first return letter, this also stated that I should ensure “the payment page is completed before returning” the application. (emphasis again mine)

So I returned the application yet again, which was received on 01 February 2013, as confirmed in a letter dated 02 February 2013.  This time when I submitted the application, I took photos of myself including the payment page (I was getting very paranoid by this time) and included yet another cover letter referencing all the case and reference numbers I had been given as well as a full outline of the situation to date. On 18 February 2013 I sent a complaint email to outlining the issues and poor service I had experienced. Other than the automated response stating that I would have a reply from them “within 20 working days”, I still have heard nothing from that department.

You can imagine my relief when I saw that £561 had been charged to my MasterCard by “The Home Office UK” on 07 February 2013. As payment had been the only obstacle in obtaining my visa renewal, I expected I was finally reaching the end of this ordeal. When I received a letter dated 05 March 2013 instructing me to have my biometrics taken, I was certain that the next correspondence from the UKBA would be my passport with my renewed visa.

Instead, on 22 March 2013 I received a letter dated 15 March 2013 which outlined why I was refused leave to remain, the reason stated referred to Paragraph 191 with reference to 189(iii) of HC 395 (as amended) which reads, “189.(iii) he is not in the UK in breach of immigration laws except that any period of overstaying for a period of 28 days or less will be disregarded.”  In brief, because my first three applications had not been considered one continuous process dragged on because of internal payment issues, the letter stated that I had now “overstayed”, a violation of the UK Immigration Law.

But have I “overstayed”?

Paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules defines “Overstayed” and “Overstaying”. It reads:

6. In these Rules the following interpretations apply:

“Overstayed” or “Overstaying” means the applicant has stayed in the UK beyond the latest of:

(i) the time limit attached to the last period of leave granted, or
(ii) beyond the period that his leave was extended under sections 3C or 3D of the Immigration Act 1971, or
(iii) the date that an applicant receives the notice of invalidity declaring that an application for leave to remain is not a valid application, provided the application was submitted before the time limit attached to the last period of leave expired.

Emphasis is mine to illustrate that the 28 days in this situation should be calculated from the date of the notice of invalidity; in my case the three notices of invalidity. In each case, I responded as requested immediately and with all the details requested. At no point have I had an application submitted for processing beyond 28 days from the receipt of most recent notice of invalidity, and my original application was submitted before the visa expired. Further, paragraph 6 does not state that should there be multiple re-applications and notices of invalidity that the date considered as the start of the 28 day period will be reverted to the expiry of the visa.

Additionally, it should be clear that there are exceptional circumstances surrounding my application process. That there were issues with the payment process three times before I sent a covering letter stating that I had flagged the payment page and took pictures of its submission on the fourth application suggests that there are internal processing errors. That the “incomplete” payment page was never returned for review also suggests that the UKBA may have marked the page as “incomplete” in error. Especially telling is the return of the second application for a declined payment of which there is no record; a story that you can find told again and again online. My research has uncovered that legal advisors are telling applicants to send in cheques or bank orders, despite the larger costs, because of the high volume of applications returned due to UKBA payment retrieval errors.

I feel I am a victim of a broken process. To illustrate, I have received three barcode numbers, four case IDs and six reference numbers. Despite being told to “return” applications, each reapplication was treated by the UKBA as though we were starting again. It is clear that not one person referenced early barcode numbers, case IDs or reference numbers, even though I had included these each and every time I had corresponded with the UKBA.

That twice my application, containing my passport, birth certificate, banking information and other personal details was pushed through a shared letterbox into an unsecured hallway is also indicative that the UK immigration process is not functioning to a standard that one should be able to expect from the Home Office.

And finally, the lack of clarity around the visa renewal process and the extreme difficulty in trying to reach anyone within the UKBA also hinders the process; and I am an educated, native English speaker. I can only imagine the difficulty others must face in trying to effectively navigate their way through this jargon-ladened and frightening process. There is no help to be had directly from the UKBA; I never received a “case worker” name until my application had been already been rejected each time and even then there was no direct contact details offered. My email to the complaints department has gone unanswered.

I understand why there is a need to maintain a firm yet fair immigration system to deter and prohibit those who would try to enter and remain in the United Kingdom under false pretences or without entry clearance. However, there is no question in my case that I came to this country entire legally and with entry clearance. I have been in the UK for more than five years and at this point the only reason why my continued presence here is being deemed ‘not lawful’ is the fact that the UKBA was incapable of processing payment. It is one thing to have a firm immigration system, it is another thing entirely to have an immigration policy that is utterly inflexible and does not take into the slightest consideration the particular circumstances of the individual situation.

What has happened here is sadly a classic example of a thoroughly unreasonable, disproportionate, and inflexible application of policy without the slightest regard for the facts burdened by a system which encourages a lack of any common sense or humanity. We have case workers “just doing their jobs”; forced into making decisions which have immeasurable impact on people’s lives without being allowed the space for compassion or intelligence to fully consider the circumstances; driven instead by the policy makers, managers and others who expect them to reach and/or maintain specific numbers.

I believe I am due to be given a discretion based on the circumstances of my application, and that this decision be reviewed and a discretion granted on the basis that it will be exercised with a modicum of intelligence, common sense and humanity. We must ask what possible reason there could have been for not already exercising discretion in my favour by the case worker who reviewed my file.  Certainly it is apparent from the letter of 15 March 2013 that no consideration whatsoever was given to the impact of forcing me to leave a country in which I have made my home for more than five years now.

Because my application was simply not logically regarded as one continuous process and because the UKBA returns applications as invalid instead of more reasonably requesting the submission of just the allegedly “incomplete” payment details, I am the one now looking to pay the ultimate price if this cannot be rectified: I am being asked to forfeit my life in the UK.

128 responses to “How do you fight the UKBA when they’re wrong?

  1. Pingback: UKBA Getting The Boot | Turbotastical Tales

  2. Pingback: Captain Turbz: Jodi’s UKBA woes | Cleanse, Tone and Weigh In

  3. I am so sorry that this has happened to you. I have been the victim of a UKBA screw up in the past, although at a much less devastating level. The frustration and fear is all consuming. The worst part is that they have no process for dealing with their own human error because their attitude is that they don’t make mistakes so therefore they don’t need one. I hope that this gets resolved for you and that your MP steps up and earns his/her salary.

  4. Thank you for reading my story and your sympathy, Abbi. I’m sorry to hear that you have also been through similar: you know how this feels then. Let’s hope that the changes coming to the Home Office will ensure this doesn’t keep happening to people who don’t deserve to be treated this way.

  5. This is NOT legal advice but saw your link on the CiF article – you may find this case interesting:
    That was the same circumstances as you describe and the solution in that case was to put in an appeal anyway. Good luck.

    • Thanks so much for the comment, LJ. That case is the exact one we cited in my letter to the UKBA as well as part of my appeal to the first level tribunal.

      Really appreciate the advice. It’s awesome that you’ve verified that the Basnet case is relevant to my situation.

  6. It sounds like you’ve got it under control! Best of luck 🙂

  7. Have you tried Public Interest Lawyers?

  8. No I haven’t but I know they’ve been involved in some of the disability & bedroom tax cases & the fact they are public interest lawyers speaks volumes. Pro Bono work may be a possibility. At the very least your chance of legal aid will probably be much better through them.
    We’ve just won my son & daughter in law’s battle with UKBA at Appeal, so I totally emphasise with what you’re going through. It’s a nightmare & I wish you all the best.

  9. Home office they play with me . but remember the times cutch up everyone .

  10. home office=in office they feel at home and work none. the employee come to office and relax like it their home , watch tv, internet, and no work..for them its home.

  11. faisal mehmood khan

    please check out my case ?….i am sending my appeal on 12 October 2007
    but the UK border agency reply me 25 June 2009.He says ….MAIL WORDING ….PLEASE NOTED…..Our records show the visa section in Karachi received your appeal on 12 October 2007.The visa section informed us they have unfortunately misplaced your file.In order to resolve your query we need to wait for the file to be assured,we will contact you again once we locate your file and provide you with a more substantive reply…………but how long…….i am waiting so long time.what we i do now please tell me sir/madam,its to long time .now my age is 38 now what we i do …this my big lost .what ?.. now home office give me now work permit..?.. or student visa or nothing…?…..please sir do something .
    UK border agency post ref:GV100/144805/MC,…..MY post ref:554026……

  12. If I have one day in my life I will do something home office they will never forget it .

    • The best thing you can do is share your story. Let other people know what is happening to you and what you are doing to fight it. Make sure any injustices or mistakes are made public, so even if you don’t get the result you would like, someone else may be able to get that much further. I hope everything works out for you.

    • I am trying my best. i am sending u the hole mail response please cake out ……..
      Out of Office: Please check out my case ………..Please,Please,Please….?….. (4)

      Captain’s Note: This comment was edited by the Captain. I’ve deleted the email chain for the privacy of the commenter.

      • Faisal – I’m sorry that I cannot help you. I’m not a lawyer. I do not work for the UKBA. My visa renewal was declined on what I feel was an unfair decision, but I’ve not even won my appeal and I no longer live in the UK. Speak to a lawyer if you are not getting any response from the UKBA. I hope it all works out for you.

  13. hi, i had my appealed allowed in May, 2013 and made a fresh application to ukba for tier 4 visa extension on 7 Aug, 2013. and this application was made on the application form sent by UKBA along with a letter saying that “to avoid paying the fee i should send my application by filling this attached form rather than going online through ukba website”. i did the same but after few days i got it back as invalid saying that the tier 4 fee has changed during my appeal process from GBP 357 to GBP 406. so i have to send the new application and have to pay this new fee of 406 (they sent me a new application form again). Now the most important fact is that i received my invalid application notice on 5th sep and right on the next day on 06 sep i received another letter from uk apologizing for the error, the exact wording is “we apologize for this error and hope it has not caused you any inconvenience”. I sent my new application with all documents and fee of GBP 406. unfortunately my tier 4 sponsor license got canceled or revoked in november, and now i have recieved a new letter from ukba giving me 60 days time to make a new application along with new cas. WHAT I WANT TO ASK IS THAT TECHNICALLY I HAVE OVERSTAYED ONCE MY APPLICATION WAS MARKED AS INVALID IN 05 SEP, 2013 BUT IT WAS AN ERROR MADE BY UKBA BY SAYING ME FIRST THAT I DO NOT HAVE TO PAY AND THEN SAYING ME THAT I HAVE TO PAY BECAUSE FEES HAVE CHANGED. AND THEY HAVE ACCEPTED THIS ERROR IN ONE OF THEIR LETTER ON 06 SEP, 2013. SO YOU THINK MY FUTURE APPLICATION WILL BE EFFECTED BY THAT OVERSTAY EVEN IF IT WAS AN ERROR OF UKBA? (i have got all those letters saved) I know this is not a immigration lawyer platform but reading your comments above shows that you have got good knowledge about these matters.

    • Hi. Sorry to hear what has happened. I doubt that them saying that they made a mistake will have any bearing though – the letter I got back from the UKBA ‘complaints department’ (which is a huge joke, btw, don’t bother with them) said that they apologised for the mix-up and that they hoped it didn’t inconvenience me (It’s got me deported, so it was kind of an inconvenience, I’d say). But my lawyer still thought I would only have a 50/50 chance of winning my appeal.

      However, I would guess if you haven’t tried to appeal the overstayer designation, it WILL have an impact on your future applications. You have to disclose it, but perhaps if you include the information you shared (that they admit to a mistake and that you weren’t intentionally overstaying), hopefully a human being will review your future application and take that into account. It’s really hard to say though.

      Best of luck. I know how terrible it is to go through all this!

      • thank you for the reply and very sorry to know that you got deported because of a mistake made by ukba, they are actually good at it. In my specific case i asked one of my lawyer friend and he said that if you were designated as overstayer in ukba record then you would have not got your 60 days letter in Jan, 2014 (as i said my college at the time of my last application closed down and my visa application was still in process). Giving you a chance of submitting new cas letter by ukba shows that you are not on overstayer status on their record as that invalid application thing was happened in september 2013 and now it is Jan-feb 2014 and ukba 60 days letter to submit new cas shows you are safe in that context (i hope i am because i have got only 6 more months to go to complete my 10 years legal stay in uk).

  14. i recently applied for INDEFINITE LEAVE to remain on long residence grounds on the last day of my stay after been here as a visitor and atier 4 student,
    My application was returned as invalid reason being that i had not included the PAYMENT PAGE. i was horrified and on checking the returned pages closely, i noticed that the payment page had been ripped off and the rest rest stapled back. A new loose payment page obvoiusly with an older format put in the envelope. luckily i didnt destroy this evidence and i kept the application and phitographed the ripped tab.
    i as i received the invalid application three weeks later. i was confident i would still reapply within the 28 days grace period. so i prepared a new thorough application meticulously and sent with a mention of the strange invalidity if my first application. i fid nit make big issue of ripped page.

    i then got notice biometrics and took them. and was excited that this time thing were moving along.Imagine my Shovk to receive a rejection if ILR if my new application with NO chance of APPEAL. The reason given was that i had applied when my leave had expired. they have ignored my earlier apllication made in time. may i hasten here to it was for ILR and therefore itsent to a different office. no refund of money was given or mentioned.

    i have written back to them demanding a reconsideration. I suspect that ukba is using dirty tricks to delay and frustrate and reject applications in order to meet goverment targets. i cannot think of another reason why the carefully checked page was torn off. From what i read here im not the only one. im so angry and disgusted by the way students are been treated, after spending thousands of pounds in the united kingdom. they take your money and then they kick you out like a dog.
    Ps any advice given would be greatly appreciated. What are my chances of insisting that i get an appeal?
    i am also consulting a professinal solicitor

    • Hi Isabel.

      Sorry to hear that you are also having your own issues with the UKBA. I’m extremely happy to hear that you are consulting a solicitor – it’s the best move you can make. Seriously, they understand this stuff and this stuff gets complicated (as you know!)

      It sounds like your situation is similar to mine, with the application not being considered in time. I also paid for my application. You won’t get that back, which sucks so hard. Even though it sounds like it was their error, I wouldn’t count on it helping you too much. I even got a letter from the ‘complaints department’ that apologised for one of their mistakes, saying that they ‘hoped it wasn’t too much of an inconvenience’ (because getting deported isn’t too much of an ‘inconvenience’). My solicitor still only gave me a 50/50 chance of having the courts agree with my appeal.

      Don’t give up! Talk to your solicitor and keep at it. I hope you have support from friends and family as well – it was my friends in the UK that kept me sane while I was going through all of this malarkey. I hope your situation turns out better than mine. All the best!

  15. Great news for alleged ‘OVERSTAYERS’ with minimum of 6 years residence: Please guys, refer to paragraphs 2.3 and 4.2 of the recently published DISCRETIONARY LEAVE policy instructions. But you must claim ‘exceptional circumstances’ before the Home Office would be obliged to comply with that published policy. A landmark legal precedent for Overstayers is the case of Mohammed [2012] EWHC 3091 Admin. Simply use this useful precedent to file a strong complaint to the Home Office, rather than waste time and money to go to court. Legal precedents must be followed, and are there for predictability and assurance; used by quasi-judicial bodies (like the Home Office), lawyers and judges to decide cases without time-wasting arguments. If you are not satisfied with the Home Office’s FINAL response, contact your MP who might also help you to raise your complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman. Also see PARAGRAPH 353B of the Immigration Rules.

    • Thanks for providing some advice, Rex! There have been a lot of people looking for advice here and I hope they see your comment.

      I can’t agree more – people need to contact the UKBA (their caseworker and the complaints department) as soon as they can. And they should contact their MP (mine was awesome and wrote a great letter, even though the UKBA didn’t agree with her) before they file for a hearing at the First Level Tribunal.

      I would only add that people should enquire into Legal Aid to find out their eligibility as well as contact an immigration lawyer long before they get to the point where filing for a hearing is the only option they have left. A solicitor can help with that application and give further information/advice about a specific situation than we can here.

      Thanks again for adding to the conversation, Rex. Really good advice.

  16. I can imagine how those people are feeling who were treated unfairly by UKBA. One of my friend is in detention centre waiting to be deported eventhough he is been here over 14 years now. Solicitors are working in vain to help him. His long residency of 10 years was invalidated by ‘over 28 days gap’ of UKBA mistake. Now they have taken away 14 years provision for ILR. Not surprisingly, Home Office issued two live british passports to my six month old daughter. Home Office are so careless…..

    • Thanks for your comment, Rojan. It’s scary to hear how many people’s lives are so drastically affected by the UKBA. It’s a shame we were promised reform by the Home Secretary back in March 2013 and I’ve not heard of anything changes. I really hope that everything works out for your friend.

  17. Have you written to the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman? If not, please contact me, and I will help you.

    • Hi. Thanks so much for your comment. I didn’t write to the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman (I didn’t know there was such thing!) and I appreciate your offer, but it is a little late for me as I have left the country.

      Hopefully though if someone else sees your comment and needs your help they can contact you. Thanks again!

    • Hi Border Agency Blue, can you please email me your email address so that I can pass my wife ILR case details to you. very similar to what is already mentioned in this page. I applied her ILR and they send the application back after a month saying that it was old version of form been used. although they have charged the fees initially but than later on refunded. I have got my ILR using same set of forms so it cannot be old. I contacted UKBA but they said you have to apply again using the latest forms which I did. they refused after 4months saying that you are overstayer. so they didn’t consider our first application and not considering our first application into account. I have wrote to my local MP and also seeking legal advise but after reading these stories, it’s really scary. there should be accountability of UKBA otherwise these things will keep happening again and again. plz email me your email address on

  18. I am so sorry to hear that you have left. Another example of us losing someone that so obviously, would have made a fantastic contribution to this country, due to the complete and utter incompetence of The Home Office. Are you planning on returning?
    If anyone else has had to deal with ‘blunders’ or mistakes by the UKBA – please contact me urgently, as I am now cataloguing all cases and intend to present to the Home Affairs Select Committee and John Vine, the independent Inspector.

    • Thanks for your kind words. The truth is that I don’t know if I’ll go back or not. To say that this experience has really soured me on the UK is putting it mildly. And it’s a real shame, because I have so many wonderful friends in the UK that were like family to me and a grand job in the start up tech scene in East London. Let me know if you ever want to chat about my story if it will help with what you are doing. I hope people get in touch with you!

    • In all honesty,how do the guys at the Home Office operate and sleep at night?It’s been 2 years I have been waiting for my case worker to respond to my case on reconsidering an earlier decision to refuse me leave to remain.My MP has got involved and still no response.All the phone numbers they have do not work.I have written to the Home Office and just got a reply that I have to make contact with the case worker and that they cannot help.Given the recent redundancies,I am not even sure the case worker,Laura Barrett is still at her job or not so writing with her name on it might even not help as i fear the letter might just get tossed elsewhere..I did go to court and the reasons the judge gave were simply simply frivolous to say the least and could be challenged by a 10year old.How can you tell a gay man from a country where it is illegal for gays to be to relocate to another part of the country and try and make friends and get on with life?
      I am weighing up the options and will write to my case worker and see what happens given the information I have gathered today .
      Thanks for the support and help

      • I spoke to an immigration attorney in Wales, and he said no matter how much you prove to the Home Office that they are in the wrong, they still will not admit they messed up. Also, I could have asked for a judicial review, but I would be looking at almost 3000 pounds out of my pocket and no assurance that I would win in the end. Therefore, my cheapest and fastest route to get this solved was to come back to America and reapply. It was a pain trying to get my passport back at the airport. No one in customs knew what was going on. I was pushed to three different people before they could finally find my passport, and they were confused as to why I was voluntarily going back to the states when I was married to a British citizen. I started to think I was not doing the right thing!

    • My ILTR has been denied, due to the fact I applied too late, but my reason was that I didn’t have the money & had few personal problems too. They say I cant appeal & that I must call the no given to make arrangments to leave UK now!! they haven’t returned my passport either. I am from SA & here on a Ancestry visa, been here just over 5 years. Can you give me some advice? really stressed!!

      • I’m so sorry to hear this is happening to you. As for leaving, you should get a call from them explaining next steps. You’ll get your passport and all your docs at the airport. It’s not a nice feeling.

        The only other advice I can give is to get a lawyer. Or at least contact one. They will have much more insight into your particular situation.

        I hope it works out for you. Stay positive and stay strong.

    • Hello
      I need your help in my husband case

  19. Dear Sir/Madam

    i lived in uk before deported to pakistan on 29-10-2013 since seven and half years as an student. Later due to unlawful criminal litigation against me in UK (released later) i could not able to apply my extension to UKBA but i informed them the situation i have had been to. i was involved in litigation since 13-10-2011 as my visa expired on 30-10-2011 .my passport was confiscated by police with court order untill i got released from the charges on May 2013. i claimed Human Rights claim but they have had turned it down and deported me back home and kept me in prison with criminals for two months. then in detention later in 2013.
    Now i am in Pakistan without social life and family because in my stay seven and half years i never visited pakistan. and after the charged raised against me in UK i have had lived there on my own expenses and UKBA banned me to work or do anything in that way i lost my all valuables and money.
    Now i challenged the deportation decision via right of appeal in first tier tribunal with con donation of delay on medical bases but unfortunately tribunal had turned it down due to delay in time and did not grant me relief on medical bases.
    My life is now miserable here in Pakistan as im 35 years without oppurtunity to work in here i have done degree in Laws but without social life im struggling please advice me what the best thing i can do ? i want to start my life in UK .

    • Thanks for your comment, Shahzad. I’m really sorry to hear about what has happened to you. The best advice I can give you is to get an immigration lawyer. They will understand your rights better than anyone else. I hope it works out for you.

  20. Hi
    Like you I have also been the victim of the UKBA so called ” invalid application” rule system that make decent people overstayers in this country. in 2010, after almost 9 years 6 months in the UK legally I got married and applied for the spouse visa. They kept my application for 10 months and returned it as invalid. I did reapply within 3 weeks through a lwayer and the application returned again as invalid despite tyhe fact that this time it was with my wife s bank card. I then deciced to send a postal order with a new application and they gave me discretionary leave and I was considered as an overstayer for almost 4 months. the whole process took 14 months because we decided to send the document by post. I have to wait 3 more years before being considered for settlement and despite the fact that I am highly qualified and receive work proposition in the middle east and Africa , I cannot take those jobs because it will affect further decision when the time comes for the settlement. 2 british children and a lovely british wife, graduate from imperial college, yet I am at the mercy of a system that prove to be in the hand of person that as you said should reach their target by any mean even if that implies affecting decent people life.

  21. There is this website called hsmp forum that helped with my technical issue.

    My case was my visa was short of 3 days to apply for ILR. The forum had contacted UKBA with this error already and so I followed the steps on their website. Surprise.. surprise.. UKBA sent me a letter saying to submit my passport and they will correct the date on my original visa to cover the 3 days i fell short of ILR. No lawyer and it was all rectified and UKBA admitted their error! Just sharing…

  22. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. My husband’s visa pack was returned on Saturday due to a refused bank which he always make sure he has got enough funding in the account since visa submission.
    He was up all night worrying about what happen if he is forced to leave and leaving me and our baby alone in UK without his financial support (main income earner of the household). I have just returned to work from maternity leave, it would be extremely stressful to carry on the daily routine if they have to remove him from this country. If any UKBA officers is reading this blog and the comments, I hope that they can pay much more attention to each case from all their teams inc. the finance dept.

    Going to call the enforcement officer in few hours when they open to see if we can make the payment again. Finger crossed.

    • I am so, so sorry to hear what is happening to your family! It is the most frightening and frustrating situation to be in, I sincerely hope that it all resolves well for you and that you can keep your family together in the UK.

      I sincerely doubt that any UKBA officers are reading my blog, but there is hope for change! GDS is going to be digitalising the UKBA, which should help SO MUCH with these ridiculous payment issues.

      Definitely call the enforcement officer. And if that doesn’t work – I would highly recommend contacting a lawyer. They will know what you can do and give you the advice you need for your situation. Best of luck! Fingers crossed!

    • Hi

      Your story is exactly the same as what happened to us yesterday. I am waiting to call the enforcement officer tomorrow. Just wanted to ask what happened with your husband’s visa. Also did they keep your husbands passport. Please reply.

    • Hi Mimosa
      Could you please tell me the outcome of your case. My husbands visa application has just been returned on the same grounds.

  23. Hi . I really want some advice regarding my visa. My appeal was allowed over ( 6 months to 8 month ) now . 10-6-14 Still waiting for the visa . I live in the UK with my wife to be . I will love to work and contribute in my social life . I’m a man who have responsibility . And that is my duty to provide for my family. Since my appeal been allowed . I dint ear anything from my case worker or ukba. What can I do now ? Please help me ???

    • Hi. I’m really sorry to hear about your situation. It is so frustrating to wait for the appeal, especially when you never hear from the UKBA and that there is no way to contact someone in the organisation directly that can discuss your specific case for you. My recommendation would be to seek legal advice. If you cannot afford an immigration lawyer, get in touch with legal aid. You may be able to get assistance with them. It may also help to get in contact with your MP, as the UKBA must respond to correspondence from them. I hope everything works out for you and your family.

  24. I have applied for ILR since nov 2012 as unmarried partner of a british cititzen and we have a child too with british passport. Its now june 2014 and i am still waiting for Home office response. They have told my workplace that i am not allowed to work in the UK which is disgraceful as i have applied before my current legal stay expired in nov 2012. The application was returned as home office changed the form in nov and we returned the application within 28 days. since then they have charged me again for application fee and not refunded the money for my initial application which was made in time. The last i heard from them that they have sent two interview letters to me (which i havent received ) and there record shows that i have confirmed the interview date which is utterly nonsense. I have rang them few times to find out which address they have sent the interview invitations to but they wont give me any information which makes me think they must have confused me with some other applicant. I have been told to wait for another interview date and it has been 6 months and no interview date has been given. i have been without work and its really hard to survive so i would really appreciate any advise for me or my British partner.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that you are also struggling with the UKBA. It is disgraceful that you have never even received the interview letters and yet somehow their record shows that you have confirmed an interview date. My best advice is that you should seek legal advice. Either go directly to an immigration lawyer, or look into getting legal aid. They will know your rights and the best course of action to take. I really hope everything works out for you and your family. All the best.

  25. My wife came to the UK on a spouse Visa. When she arrived I tried my level best to get her onto Esol course so that she could improve her English so that we could apply for settlement in two years’ time.
    I got her name put onto a waiting list with an organisation who assured us that there was public funding available for Esol courses at the time. I’ve been in constant contact with them within the two years period of my wife’s visa and they offered us a place at a college when there was 4 months left for my wife’s visa to expire. I went to the opening day and was told that she didn’t qualify for free funding as her visa stated “no recourse to public funds” and that she had to pay £1000 for the course. I went back to the organisation that referred us and they said she should have been offered the place for free.
    UKBA changed the rules the following month in October 2013 and now require Entry 3 language and life in the UK test for settlement. At this point I knew my wife’s English wasn’t at a great level to sit the Entry 3 test so I opted to extend her visa. This meant that she had to do the A1 speaking and listening test that she didn’t have so I enrolled her onto a private college where she attended English language classes. It took her a couple of months to improve her English and by the time she was ready to sit the A1 exam her visa had ran out and we ended up applying a month after here 28 days overstay period.
    Her application was refused with no right of appeal despite stating to UKBA the issues we had with the organisation and change of rules. Also I explained how they messed us around and that we didn’t have the A1 certificate for extension as that wasn’t a requirement when she applied for Spouse Visa.
    I’m British by birth and I was told by UKBA in the refusal letter that if I want to continue living with my wife I should do so outside of the United Kingdom.
    Where is the justice in this?
    We have no right to a fair trial and I feel as though I’m classed as a second class citizen in my own country of birth.
    I’ve consulted a solicitor and he is trying his best to get them to issue the right of appeal but so far they have refused. My wife has been repeatedly sent threating letters from Home Office for removal if she doesn’t leave even though I told them what our solicitor is doing and passing their details onto them to discuss my wife’s case.

    • I’m sorry to hear what is happening to you and your wife. It’s wrong how they treat every applicant like a criminal – it sounds to me like you were trying to play by the rules and you are still being punished. I hope that your solicitor is able to help and that your story has a happy ending.

    • Contact to ppo and explain them fault of home office but do not push them for ur wife status. Hopefuly u will win.
      If hv any q ask me

  26. HI,

    My case is a complicated one.I am a dependant of a tier2 visa holder.We have leave to remain till 19th august 2014
    We however applied for an extension on the 15th of june and got an acknowledgement letter on the 19th of June 2014.
    Checked our account and only the fee for my husband was withdrawn.
    This now led us to query ourselves and we realised that my son and i filled the wrong application form and submitted it along with that of my husband.

    We hurriedly called the UKBA but no help,we were told to wait.We have been waiting and nothing yet.
    For the life of me,i do not know how we made such a horrible blunder,all i have read online shows that they send an invalid letter after your leave has expired thereby making a person an overstayer.
    My question is will my husbands own application as the main applicant be voided as well since that of my son and I are wrong?
    Please has any other person made this sort of mistake before?
    What can i do? Can i fill that form for return of documents or should i just wait and accept my fate?

    My greatest worry is my husband as we applied at the same time,he did everything right,the problem is that of my son and I.
    Thanks a lot for reading,I am extremely distraught and inconsolabe.
    I do not know how we made this mistake.
    Thank you

    • Thank you for sharing your story. It is complicated! I have no idea how the UKBA will handle your case, but my guess is that, given their track record, they will handle it poorly. But do not give up hope yet! Get yourself a solicitor, get the advice you need, and get it now. Find out what you need to do WELL before the 19th of August. I hope it works out for your family. Mistakes in paperwork should not tear families apart. All the best.

  27. It’s a bit worrying to hear the stories here when I am applying for my visa in a few days! I have made an in-person appointment and I hope this will at least cut down the stress of waiting.

    For the people here who ran into trouble, has anyone ever considered something called judicial review? It is basically the high court reviewing the decision of any public body and they can deem it unlawful. You would need to discuss with a solicitor if this would work and I imagine it won’t be cheap but a high court judgement may set a solid president and cause the UKBA to review their practice.

    • Okay. I have read the Basnet case and it is VERY interesting. I’m not sure what court it was made it but it appears to be an appeal court of some sort (i.e. not a court in the hierarchy of high court-court of appeal-house of lords).

      As a summary to anyone who can’t be bothered to read it, the case is virtually identical to Turbotastic’s case in that an application was made in time but the UKBA determined it was INVALID (note, not rejected – no application officially happened) as there was no payment. A subsequent application was REJECTED with no right to appeal

      The important points in the case is that:
      1) the Upper Tribunal decided there was a right to appeal based on the first application (note the lower tribunal initially determined there was no right to appeal). Do not be deterred by the phase “no right of appeal” do not be deterred if your appeal is rejected on the face of it.
      2) the burden of proof lies with the UKBA to prove that the payment was unable to be taken. This is the important bit and what anyone is Turbotastic’s case should be relying on. The UKBA sheds the payment page and does not keep records of why the payment was rejected (as of the Basnet case). So it should actually be fairly easy to win on these grounds. It sounds like Basnet produced bank statements proving he had the funds at all times and that was sufficient.
      3) As a side note to my comment above, the tribunal does actually suggest judicial review.

      The problem with this judgement is that as it is not from the High Court, Court of Appeal or House of Lords, it does not set a binding president. It only serves as guidance for future cases. Based on this, however, it would seem anyone in this situation can take their case as high as they like with a reasonable chance of winning.

      However, I would urge anyone making an application to do it in person. Even the tribunal felt there was unfairly advantageous and if you can afford it, you should definitely use that advantage.

      BTW, what was the outcome of your case?

      • Just FYI – They aren’t shredding the payment pages. They sent me copies.

        I dropped my case. The lawyers gave me a 50/50 chance of winning, and for the cost of the legal fees, I couldn’t risk it. I’ve since moved to Korea where they were happy to give me a visa! 🙂

    • Best of luck! I’m sure you will be fine. At least you know that since you are applying in person, you won’t have the issues countless others have had with the payment system.

      I did send my case to the courts after I left the UK. They were supposed to review it on 14 February. I’ve heard nothing from them. However, others may have better luck with a judicial review, if they are able to pursue that avenue.

  28. The exact same thing has happened to us. Minosa could you please tell me what the enforcement officer said to you and was your visa application successful, I am so stressed at the moment. Do not know what to do. I am sure there were funds in my husbands account.

  29. Pay £10 to get copy of your home office file Subject Access Report under FOIA. Anyone with proof that your application was knowingly mishandled, payment page ripped, can file a case of harassment in local county court against SSHD. The lawyers say that SSHD can not be fought against in county court but recording false information and harassment can be fought against. You fill N1 form, need to pay fee to the court but it depends on the amount of compensation u r asking for. If u r not working, u dont need to pay any court fee. Have fun !

  30. Anyone whose application got rejected before 2007 because of fee, check fee regulations at that time. If u sent corrected application within 28 days of rejection letter, ur application should have been validated according to the validation procedure applicable before 2007. If so many people are being tortured why not create an organisation to fight togather for justice.

  31. Captain Turbletastic,
    I’m so sorry about what happened to you. I wish you were still here fighting your case. Your case is really scaring me. My story is similar to yours. I’m a nurse, trained here. I came here in 2000 but failed to get ILR due to a drink drive offence which I failed to declare when applying for ILR but this was because I thought “spent” meant case which has been dealt with ie paid fines and done the one year no driving. Little did I know it meant the five year period has to lapse first. Anyway due to not declaring this offence which happened in 2008, my application for ILR due in 2011 was declined . I was awarded discretionary leave instead. If I was the only person affected, I would not have cared much but it affected my three children, two who were due to start university. Because of this status, the children could not get the fees other EU/ILR/UK students had,and with my nurse wages, I could not afford to sponsor my children for uni. Luckily one got a scholarship to study law in US and the second one started working and raised his fees and enrolled for a computer science degree the following year. My sons are a year apart, now my daughter 4 years younger from the second brother is doing Dental therapy, luckily her degree is funded by the NHS but I pay for living expenses which is still too much. NOW MY NIGHTMARE BEGINS

    I applied for a renewal of our discretionary leave two weeks before expiry date on 27/7/14 . My 1st son submitted his last and there was no problem. I submitted mine and the other two children in the same package with the other two children using my account for fees. My daughters documents and mine were returned that they were invalid due to insufficient funds. Problem was there was a payment made of £504 which was taken out but was returned straight away though there was still enough money for one of our documents to be processed. We returned the documents straight back, there was enough funds for the documents and included a cheque in case there was a problem with bank transitions, but they were returned again this time addressed to my daughter, with some pages belonging to me and a page for my son and the cheque missing. We wrote to the HO to find out what it is we needed to do in case we were doing something wrong. No reply was received. We emailed, wrote to the MP who replied and told us they can not change decisions. I am at present unable to work as my agency was told I was not eligible to work. My daughter was missing her fee payment page, so we replaced it back and I replaced two page missing. We sent back the documents, this time fees were collected and this time we were using individual accounts. Money was taken on 29/08/14. Visa expired on 27/07/14 which means I exceeded the grace period by five days. We have all received biometric letters and have been done but now just waiting for the postman to give us some news.
    So after reading the Captains issue, I’m in pieces.

    We have been here for 14 years. Infact I was here since 1997 Sept but left for four months in 2000 after my dad died. What advise can anyone give please. I have no money for solicitors as I have a big mortgage and paying living costs for my daughter. She finishes her course next year.

    By the way, my bank manager wrote a letter to say no home office transitions were denied or returned and I sent them a copy. My worry is I have run out of cash now, Not even enough for my mortgage or bills.


    • I am so sorry to hear what you and your family are going through. Fortunately for me, I was the only one affected by the inefficiencies of the UKBA. Unfortunately for you, it will be your entire family.

      When they say that the payment page is “missing”, I don’t think that is what they really mean. My payment page was not missing (on any of the occasions I sent it in), but rather I had missed checking a single box on the page. The wording of their letters is wretched and in no way helpful. Had they sent clearer correspondence I know I would still be in the UK. I suspect they have no desire to help people stay in the UK, however.

      Hopefully the letter from the bank will help you. However, I worry that if you made the same error I did – meaning you did not check the payment box (which is nearly impossible to see!) – that they will claim your payment was “not included”.

      Please. You need to get legal advice. I understand you are not in a place financially to do so. But as soon as you can, see if you are eligible for Legal Aid. They will be able to help you far more than anyone else can. I cannot recommend that enough. And I sincerely wish you all the best. I hope it works out for you and your family.

  32. Hi,
    Just to say my elder son who is 25 years old got his Discretionary leave for 3 years today but this was expected as he had made an in time application. The problems is with us three.

    The wait continues!!!

  33. Hello, please help me.
    I submitted my application for the renewal of my discretionary leave on the 19th of sep 2014, rec acknowledgement letter on the 26th of sep, but no money has been taking from my credit card. My visa expires on the 10th of October. please can someone enlighten me if there any problem with my payment or cos I thought the money is taken out from your account before rec acknowledgement letter. Thank u

    • Hi. I received my acknowledgement letter long before any notification came through regarding payment. Unfortunately, as far as I am aware there is no one you can contact about problems with your payment before getting your application sent back. This is a huge problem for people when dealing with the UKBA. Hopefully your payment will be fine!

  34. hi,
    knowing what I know now, I would fill in another payment form, send postal order before the expiry day of your visa. that way you would have made a payment before the visa expires, one lawyer told me never to bank transfers as anything can happen like your bank might decline payments as the system might recognise it as sparm.
    not saying this warrants your application being successful but I would do that and I wish I did.

    • I’ve heard horror stories related to postal orders as well. And bank transfers. And credit card payments. But I totally understand what you are saying. If I knew then what I know now, I would have taken the time off work and done my application in person. Or through an immigration lawyer. 🙂

  35. Still not heard from the UKVI, however, they replied my son’s email and that of my MP. They maintain that my application was rejected due to insufficient funds in my account. Because of paranoia, I have been going to the bank every week to check the date of this transaction and each time the balance has remained the same and over and above what I was supposed to pay £601. Like I said earlier, I had the bank manager confirm this in writing.
    They informed my PM that if they are any discrepancies on their part, they are prepared to pay damages though they were referring to the calls and letters they had not responded to regarding me getting me back to work. At present my son is writing another letter regarding this issue. I was earning £6000 plus.with the agency. How to I recover this as I was working as a limited company and need to pay my Tax in Nov. Anyone here to help with suggestions please.

    My second son’s payment went through alright though he was told his pictures were not the required standard that is why his was rejected. He did then send the correct pictures though he did that twice with the same type of pictures, probably misplaced the first two. Right now he has been training with Capita post his degree in IT , waiting to be placed in a full time job but cant till the paper work come through. Our lives have been wrecked. I know this dept has wrecked many lives like the Captains. I wish I could wright a book to expose their inadequacy.

  36. Hi everyone,my application was returned as invalid because the home office claimed they couldn’t take out money from my expired on the 10th of October. Submitted a new application today with post order. Do I get the 28 days grace or am I an overstayer already? So scared as i only have 3 more years to apply for ilr .

  37. My application for renewal of discretionary leave was returned today as invalid. I had more than enough in my accoubt but the home office said I have insufficient fund. Visa expired on the 10th of september.had to send the application back today with postal order. Am so scared,am I goning to be considered as overstayer or do I get the 28 days grace period. And also I was going to qualify for ilr in 3years time,do I lose this die to visa expired on the 10th of October.pleasehelp me.

    • As long as they havent decided on your case you are not an overstayer please make sure you apply again within the 28 days period after receiving the invalid notice and you do not change the purpose of your application

      • Hi there. Thanks for your comment. I don’t think that is true though. I had definitely applied again (without changing the purpose of my application) within 28 days of receiving my letter, and with the payment ‘issues’ it wasn’t taken into consideration that it was one application… they considered it four separate applications. By the time they finally took payment on the fourth, it was beyond the 28 days and they wouldn’t take into account the previous three.

        I think the best course of action for anyone here looking for help is to speak with an immigration lawyer. If you can’t afford a lawyer, see if you can apply for legal aid.

      • Captain please refer to 2009 ECWA 78 CIV JH(zimbabwe vs secretary of state). In your case they were wrong and it should not have happened to you. That is if all your facts are corrects

      • Hi Mike. I agree… it should not have happened. Thank you so much for including a reference that people can check. Unfortunately in my case, I am no longer in the UK. My year is up though if I fancy trying again. I hope your comment will help someone else searching for information though.

  38. I mean visa expired on the 10th of october

  39. Ola, what has happened to you is exactly what happened to me and my two children. I also was renewing my discretionary leave> was due ILR in 3 years. My visa expired 27 July, UKVI stated I had no sufficient funds. Sent in another application just before the 28 days. ,Now just waiting. That is all you can do. Good luck.

  40. Hi Lydia mags, thank you, for replying me,up everything goes on well got both of us.i had to pay with postal order this time around, but am still waiting for acknowlegement letter from the home office.
    Hope you hear from them soon with good news. Please let me know how it goes.

  41. I’m so glad I found this forum. I too am currently dealing with the consequences of “human error” by the home office.
    I was on a 2 year spouse visa and I submitted my application for ILR (SET M) in March which was a pretty straight forward case.
    Anyway to cut the long story short, I received my decision in August saying my request for ILR was refused based on the grounds that I did not submit my Degree certificate/transcript to prove that I studied at my University in the UK and I would have to submit another application & payment. They then returned my documents back the next day AND my original degree transcript which I had submitted with my application in March was among them!
    The case worker had failed to check my documents properly and just made a decision based on their own negligence or blindness!
    I was so angry that I immediately wrote and posted a strongly worded letter directly back to the case worker demanding that they correct their mistake asap. I have been told my case is now under reconsideration but they can not give me a time limit for when it can be sorted so I am still waiting! (Almost 3 months now) I feel like they were just trying to extort more money from me. They have no regard for people’s lives at all. These applications cost a lot of money, it’s like they don’t care how they mess with you or your family’s lives. Appalling!

  42. The problem is we have no representative to voice for us.. They try to frustrate us so we leave I think. Imagine no reply for me either, this is the 3rd going to the 4th month with no income. I’m broke just relying on hand-outs. I cry every day cause my children’s life is in their hands, I have to pay for my mortgage, tax and my daughters uni accommodation. hope all goes well Lilly,

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your financial situation Lydia. It’s a lot worse when it also affects Your loved ones, I hope you get a reply soon. I know it’s easier said than done but pls try to stay strong and remain positive for your children. You’re all in my prayers. All the best.

  43. My experience with the UK Home Office has been a nightmare! I have lived in the UK for almost 6 years with my british husband. To make a long story short, I will put some details in order for easier reading:

    1.) Arrrived in the UK Nov 2008 on fiance visa.

    2.) Married british husband in Caerphilly in Feb 2009.

    3.) Applied and received approved temporary leave to remain visa.

    So far, pretty easy…

    4.) Went to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, but was informed by the UK Immigration rep that I did not have time to take a Living in the UK test so had to apply for another temporary leave to remain. Received it.

    5.) Before temporary visa was up, my husband called the helpline to get advice on the Indefinite Leave to Remain visa. I had already taken the Living in the UK test by then. He was informed, because I lived here for 5 years that I needed to apply for a citizenship visa.

    6.) Applied for the Citizenship visa, this was back in Oct 2013, and waited for a decision.

    7.) January 2014, I received a denial, because I did not have my Indefinite Leave to Remain visa yet! Yep, we were misinformed by someone. I then filed a complaint to them for a refund and for the misinformation. I even got my MP involved which they were great assistance. This complaint went back and forth from me, to the MP, and to the Home Office. Finally, in Aug of 2014, the Home Office decided that there was not enough evidence that we received the wrong advice from them; therefore, no refund was given, and they advised me and my MP to do a new application.

    8.) Aug. 2014, I sent in a new application for temporary leave again due to not having the funds to pay for the indefinite leave to remain.

    9.) Sep. 2014, Received application back as invalid due to problems with the payment.

    10.) Sep 2014, resent the application with valid payment.

    11.) Today, recieve a denial due to being an “overstayer!” Not one time during my weekly contact with them did they say I was an “overstayer!” They advised me in an email, along with my MP, for me to do a new application! And, to top it, it states I have no right to an appeal and facing deportation in two weeks! They did not even give me a chance to provide adequet evidence as to why I should be granted a discretionary leave to remain!!!

  44. Sorry to hear about your experience,really sad.Did u apply after 28days of your visa expiring?

    • Nope. I applied in time. They considered me an over-stayer because I didn’t resubmit my application within 28 days… never mind that I was unable to. It’s a shame how their inability to properly communicate how they need you to proceed. After reading all these other stories though, I’m just so happy that I don’t have a family that was also affected by their broken procedures.

      • I thought that when I appealed their first decision on my citizen visa, they would take that into account and not start counting the 28 days. They were also the ones that said in the end that they would not consider my request for the refund and told me to apply for a new, differnet visa which I did before the 28 days would have been counted. Now they denied that one saying I was passed the 28 days counting from my appealed application. Big of a mess up. They also took away my right to appeal this decision. I have until 25 of Nov to contact the proper department for my deportation. I have a lot to finish here before I can leave. My gp is starting me on new medications which will take a month to sort, and I have a cat to bring back to America with me. This is a huge mess. Then I read online that cases like mine will require me going back to the U.S. and reapplying for a new visa after 12 months time. Not good to seperate spouses for an entire year. I am so gutted. I have lived here legally for 6 years, and the UK immigration do not care.

      • Sorry to hear that is what is happening to you. Your last sentence sums it up: …the UK immigration do not care. It doesn’t matter if they are wrong, they are nearly impossible for the little guy to fight. All we can do is keep trying though. I hope everything works out for you as well as it can under the circumstances.

  45. Have you looked into Judicial Review? if there is no right of appeal you can pursue this path.

    • I did look into Judicial Review when this all happened. Unfortunately, the lawyer put my chances at 50/50, and that wasn’t worth the £1000 it was going to cost me in legal fees. After leaving the UK, I did submit an appeal to the courts as instructed, but I never did hear back from them. I have been out of the country more than a year now though, I could reapply for my visa if I so wish.

  46. Hi everyone,
    I’m losing the will to live. Can someone advise me on what to do next when you are faced with a problem like this. I have exhausted all avenues. I tried my MP, solicitors, letters to works Dept. and the UKVI. I will need to vacate my house soon as I am in arrears and behind with all my bills. Also living on hand-outs.

    • Hi everyone, I am pleased to say we received our discretionary leave on the 19/12/14. That was a total of 5.5 months of not working. I’m just grateful that we can continue to live here. I had to engage a lawyer who charged me £250 but he received the paperwork, he increased the amount to £580 for the 2 letters he wrote to the home office of which the letters were drafted by my son. Anyway, my question now is do we apply for indefinite leave in 2017 as this is the second term of DL but it has not been continuous though we applied within the 28 days grace period. Wishing everyone the best.Good Luck

      • The above message is for Lydia Mags.
        Another question. As I have not worked for over 5 months due to their fault not being able to collect money in my account, can I claim compensation on DL?

  47. Sorry, it might be not relevant, but this is something happened due to HO error.
    I’ve been dismissed from job and upon consulting the management they referred to Employer Checking Service (ECS) which states the reason for the negative response as “An application for leave in the UK has been submitted but this was done so after the expiry of the person’s previous leave”.

    However this was happen because the letter from Home Office was dispatched to the incorrect address and this is also acknowledged by one of HO letter. Moreover, in my absence royal mail delivered that letter to neighbour shop delayed it further.

    In the light of the above information, I would like to claim that reason given by ECS check is out of my control and the outcome of ECS should be positive.

    Please, advise me what I should do to get my job back as HO is not responding my query.

    Thank you

  48. UK immigration and the home office do not communicate the same information… I believe this is either incompetency or an intentional act.

  49. Hi, I guess I’m on the same boat.. I came to UK back in 2003 and i only got a 3 year visa in 2012 which was expired 4 months ago.. then I applied to renew my visa and received a BRP letter which i took in the post office. AND since then haven’t heard a thing from them! almost 13 years of being in this country and still living like a no body and being treated like a number! no one to turn to and no one to actually talk to! I have no idea what I’m gona do if they come back with a rejection letter as it seems like that is all they do from reading all the horror stories on this Blog!

    • Sorry I didn’t reply earlier – I hope that everything worked out for you. The worst part sometimes is hearing nothing and having no one at the UKBA who you can contact – it’s like they are intentionally withholding information. Best of luck!

  50. Hello.

    To put it simply, I’m looking to file a complaint against UKBA.

    My girlfriend was refused entry to the UK yesterday coming in from the US, for absolutely no good reason other than that these bureaucratic thugs decided to pick on her.
    After three years of online contact, this was supposed to be the most special day of our lives when we finally met for the first time; instead the border officers turned it into a disaster and caused us both a significant amount of stress.
    We both suffer from anxiety, helping each other cope, and she cracked under the stress and accidentally implied that she was staying here longer than the two weeks that she had a ticket for. We both paid half of approximately $1000 for that ticket, and she went through an 8+ hour flight just to visit me; they didn’t even let us see each other for a single minute.

    After 2+ hours of waiting at the barrier for her to arrive, my father who was with me checked with Information and they gave us the number for Immigration of all things. Why Immigration, when she wasn’t emigrating!? She was only visiting for two weeks!

    After several hours and several calls because we kept getting misled and forgotten about by border staff, not only were we both in a lot of emotional stress and panic, but my already-weak back was giving me heaps of aching and is still in excruciating pain, along with my legs. So add physical pain to the situation caused by making me stand in one spot for hours on end.

    Chances are we won’t even get our ticket cost refunded, which we spend years saving for. All our savings down the drain, and all we wanted to do was finally experience a moment of happiness in our miserable lives, destroyed by heartless, cruel bullies who call themselves border agents.

    This is an outrage – we’ve both experienced immense emotional, physical and financial damages, and I want compensation for this abhorrent treatment. Katherine is probably scared out of her mind being forced onto a flight back to America, with no clue what she SUPPOSEDLY did wrong.
    She did nothing wrong, for the record. We saved up money, and she came here to visit me for two weeks, where she’d be staying with me in my mother’s house before returning to the US. There was absolutely no legitimate reason for those bureaucrats to harass her the way they did and to leave me wandering around the airport in agonizing pain.

    I apologize if I seem a tad stressed, but I’ve been through a rollercoaster of worry, fear, frustration, pain and anger today, and my fragile girlfriend has likely been put off travelling forever, jeopardizing our relationship just because some stuffed shirts decided to pick on a powerless, scared 20 year old girl.

    • I’m so sorry to hear what you and Katherine have been through. It’s terrible that the Agency doesn’t see that it is real human beings with real lives at the other end of their actions. I really hope something works out for you both. Best of luck!

      • If your complaint is about procedural or administrative error, make a formal complaint to Home Office and be sure to follow it up. Every public body such as the Home Office must reply fully to complaints within 20 working days. After you have exhausted the complaints process without success, ask your MP to query the Home Office about your case. If not satisfied with the outcome, ask your MP to refer your complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman. The Parliamentary Ombudsman can make the Home Office change their decision and also recommend compensation. It is a cost-free process and you don’t need a lawyer if you can read, write and analyse facts and information. Cheer up! and let’s beat the unreasonable bureaucrats and rogue decision-makers.

      • Thanks for the additional information. I would disagree though in the “you don’t need a lawyer if you can read, write and analyse facts and information”. I can certainly do all of those things but speaking with a lawyer really helped clarify not only my rights but also my expectations. Also, in my case, I did make a formal complaint to the Home Office (I never heard back after the initial ‘we got your complaint’), and I also had my MP write a letter to the Home Office. I didn’t try the Parliamentary Ombudsman route, so thank you so much for adding that information for others. I would also add to those currently in the fight – months after I left the UK it turns out I won the Appeal in the Lower Level Tribunal. So there is always reason to fight back! I agree 100% with you though: Let’s definitely fight back and beat these unreasonable bureaucrats! 🙂

    • I know how you feel, I have been through the exact same situation as you. UKBA thought I was trying to sneak into the UK to work illegally on the grounds that I did not bring much money and haven’t bought a return ticket from the same airline (I was planning to just stay at his house so I didn’t need much cash). In order to be together, my husband (then-boyfriend), an Irish citizen settled in the UK for being a European Economic Area citizen, came down to my home country Singapore to get married. I have gotten an EEA Family Permit as a spouse, which allows me to travel freely for 6 months, and also allow me to settle indefinitely in the UK. According to, I do not need a Residence Card to have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) but I applied anyway as employers and educational institutes do not believe that I have ILR.

      Here’s when things start getting strange. I recently received a message from Capita (who represents the Home Office) that I do not have leave to remain in the UK. I am in the middle of a Residence Card application, hence my documents are being held by the Home Office as my application is being processed. I got in touch with Capita and told them to refer to the department in charge of it to verify the existence of my EEA Family Permit. They are ‘monitoring my case’ but still insist that I do not have leave to remain in the UK in their automated messages and letters, and I hope they make a proper investigation for my case.

      It’s very frustrating when the government website says something and they say another. There are so many reports of them making mistakes, they even told a British citizen that he does not have the right to remain in the UK, as mentioned in a news report. I really don’t know what the Home Office is doing to make such a mistake as to tell a British Citizen to leave his own country.

  51. Pingback: The Outcome of my UKBA Debacle | Turbotastical Tales

  52. can anyone suggest me regarding the appeal deadline like i got rejected on 11/09/2015 and received documents on 17/09/2015 so the deadline of 28 days does it starts from the date of rejection or from the date of documents received. need urgent reply guyzz

  53. Very simple solve add to ppo
    Who will punish to home office because home is dependent on ppo. Make a
    Complaint and when u will win you will be rewarded. Further more let me know if u hv a q .

  54. Can anyone pls advice m on what to do.. My application from the home office was refused and I was asked to appeal within 14 days. The home office refused me claiming i have been arrested for passport forgery, i have never been arrested any where but sometimes ago the name I used to have my 2nd baby with thesame address. They never seen me but because the name matches and that was the name on my child birth certificate, on my children birth certificate the registrar made mistakes with my nationally which I went backlog correct, and the same national happened to be thesame. Now I don’t know what to do.

  55. Dancing in the moonlight

    my application has been refused because they lost my documents. I have proofs that they recieved my documents but I don’t know where to start really it’s like everything is working against me and I have a feeling that UKBA won’t take any responsibility.

    • It was definitely an uphill battle for me – it was impossible to even find someone to talk to. But do know that in the end (albeit too late for me as I have already relocated) I DID win my appeal through the courts. So even if the UKBA won’t hear you, the judicial system might. Don’t give up! Good luck.

      • Indeed, it’s often an uphill battle these days when it comes to dealing with the inscrutable Home Office. The official published policy at the moment is to create a “hostile environment” for migrants, even the desperate ones who are hard-pressed and driven to thoughts of suicide and self-harm. Yes, there are published cases of completed suicides flowing from immigration stress, and precious little is done about it. Many are persuaded (albeit reluctantly) to engage in marriages/relationships of convenience, and some others compromise on their sexual identity (in an attempt to benefit from Human Rights Article 3 protection against persecution of gay migrants if deported to their home country.) – It’s now essentially all about staying power and coping each passing day with the prospect of losing a long drawn-out battle. Even when victory happens, one hopes to be in good health to enjoy it. Whether or not it’s worth the protracted struggle and heartache is up to the individual.

  56. Indeed, it’s an uphill battle these days when it comes to dealing with the inscrutable Home Office. The official published policy at the moment is to create a “hostile environment” for migrants, even the desperate ones who are hard-pressed and driven to thoughts of suicide and self-harm. Yes, there are published cases of completed suicides flowing from immigration stress, and precious little is done about it. Many are persuaded (albeit reluctantly) to engage in marriages/relationships of convenience, and some others compromise on their sexual identity (in an attempt to benefit from Human Rights Article 3 protection against persecution of gay migrants if deported to their home country.) – It seems it’s now about staying power and the reality of having to cope each passing day with the prospect of losing a long drawn-out legal battle. Even when victory happens, one hopes to be in good health to enjoy it. Whether or not it’s worth the protracted struggle and heartache is up to the individual.

  57. Hi

    We put an application on 1st April 16 for a spouse visa for my wife who ks living in dubai. It was refused because the financial documents provided were for 15/16 and because i applied on 1st April and not 6th April or later the ECO refused to look at my financial documents and requested the 14/15 which i dont have.
    We put another application on late Jun using a solicitor. And used the fast service. Unfortunately it was also refused but for a very strange annoying reason. The ECO said that my application date ua 1st April. Which is not true, it is rather late Jun. Im not sure what he was looking at or if even read the cover letter or anything for that matter. Now i cany afford another application but at the same time i need the fast way out of this nonsense. How can i get the ECO to look at the application again asap.. An appeal will take forever and my son is supposed to start school in Sept, hence why we done the priority service. Really stressful and sad to see such a poor level of service. What is your advice. Please note no more money and time 😦
    Thank you

    • Send a desperate and compelling email complaint to your local MP immediately. Tell your MP this matter is causing you and (especially your spouse) serious stress. If your MP is not satisfied with Home Office’s response, he or she then raises the matter with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO). Emphasise that this is a matter of pure administrative error and maladministration. Hence, you don’t need to spend unnecessary money appealing what is in actuality, a matter of fact and not law. Enough is enough!!!

  58. Hello everyone,
    I had my Tier 2 VISA refused back in April 2015 with appeal rights and on 22 Sep 2015, appeal was allowed but on 28 October 2015. we received 60 days of temporary leave to remain in the UK which is basically to find a new COS. I have a wife and a child (child born in UK in 2012) and wife married and living in UK since Dec 2007. On the basis of the temporary leave, I was eligible for 10 year ILR and for that I applied my ILR on 23 Dec 2015. The temporary leave was expiring on 28 Dec 2015. Since the Tier 2 refused all our passports had been with the HO and my wife couldn’t take the English Test and I requested for the passport for ID purpose and I waited until 20 Jan 2016 but didn’t receive. Within the grace period of 28 days since last VISA (28 Dec 2015), I made FLR(M) application for my wife and child but a few days back the HO sent me a letter to make either FLR(O) or FLR(FP), because I wasn’t settled then, I had to make FLR(O) and this was accepted. My ILR was granted on 29 April 2016 and during that time HO asked us to pay more IHS fees as under FLR(O) its only £200 per applicant and I made further £300 each, that means I made £500 each for two people. Then I realised that my ILR was granted and hence my wife’s application for FLR(O) was in transition to FLR(M) after I became settled in UK. After a few days I received my ILR too. But in July 2016, the caseworker refused my wife’s application as a spouse of a settled person alongside with my child’s stating that the human rights claim has been refused and the case being clearly unfounded. The caseworker also mentions that my wife and kid applied out of time and he labelled them as overstayer. As I had to show the financial earnings during their application, the caseworker also mentions that any earnings until 28 Dec 2015 has been disregarded as its earned when my wife was illegaly living in the UK. I believe all our visa had a valid leave to remain in the UK from 28 October 2015 plus 60 days plus 28 day grace period. Then I realise that the caseworker never calculated the proper visa periods.
    22 Sep 2015, Appeal allowed and under section 3(c), the leave extended by virtue until the HO letter arrived on 28 October 2015 and the HO gave us further 60 day leave, until 28 December 2015. I was eligible for ILR on 20 Jan 2016 and the remaining gap period was covered by 28 day grace period. I calculated the time accordingly and hence I made application within 28 days post the last VISA granted date(28 Dec 2015). The caseworker mentions that I made the FLR application on 22 Jan 2016 which is still within the 28 day grace period. But again on 6 Jan 2016, we all three received the refusal letter with appeal rights but by then I had already made ILR application. The appeal right couldn’t be exercised against the Tier 2 decision for my wife as I already made ILR and the FLR application was the only choice. We are a family unit and my dependants application was based on my situation.
    Soon after I received the refusal of my wife’s application, I sent a letter for reconsideration and also applied for Admin Review. I haven’t yet received any response regardning reconsideration but the Admin Review was rejected as it was invalid because the letter is for out of country appeal right only. Our child has Autism and he is under investigation by the experts. My wife has been married and living with me in UK ever since we got married and we got the child born in UK in 2012.
    Now I do not have sufficient time, the time is until 10 Sep 2016 either to make a fresh application if circumstances are changed or tell them strong reasons why they wish to live in the UK but they have already put enforcement instructions to remove my wife and kid.
    The error by the caseworker is a blunder as he didn’t calculate the valid VISA time and based on that judgement, he refused the application. I consulted some solicitors by paying fees and they suggested that I can go for Judicial Review and make MN1 application for the child. I dunno what to do and its evident that they refused based purely on not considering the 28 day grace period.
    All your suggestions are highly appreciated and many thanks for reading this.
    Also please advise if we can make any fresh application and what are the chances of getting naturalisation of the child and winning the JR if I proceed. Also can my wife go back home and apply with a fresh application and will they allow her to enter sooner?
    Best regards

  59. Wondered if anyone can shed some light on this as me and my new born is a uk Citezen and my wife Indian. She already has a spouse visa which was due to expire.

    We applied for a spouse visa before the one she had was about to expire, only to get a letter back saying they don’t have our passports. ( which we have placed in the envelope on tracking delivery along with the Nesseary documents)

    So it appears they have lost both mine and my wife’s passport. What do I do now as her visa expired in August and I just received this letter saying visa application rejected.

  60. I have made an application to the home office through a qualified solicitor who has charge me for his service. My worries is that the home office have send me a direct letter without letting my solicitor knowing anything about it. Is this a good sign. Please help me. And also I made the application to the home office based on my British wife and our new baby. Please do I have a chance to remain in the country. Thank you

  61. There should NOT be any problem if you had valid leave to remain before submitting your application. It also helps if you have no previous criminal convictions and are not a threat to British people 🙂

  62. Pingback: Movin’ On | Turbotastical Tales

  63. Hi can any one help me , my friend applied for ilr in time, he did registered post for all the paper work through Royal Mail . But Royal Mail fail to deliver his documents on time it took them 6 weeks . Mean time we kept tracking our mail & kept ringing home office if they have received our documents but the person said 1st time that that they have got backlog so case worker will let him know we wrote the as well but no reply and we rang them twice after that .
    Then he got letter from Home office saying that they have received his document late due to delay by Royal Mail . And then after 2 days received another letter saying his application is rejected as he is overstayer so he should leave or appeal . So decided to appeal and his he is going for tribunal on 30 th oct 17 . Pls can any one suggest what he should do do win this trilby all & what chance he has got

    • I’ve been away from the UK for a long time, so someone else may have a better bit of advice… but if you are able to, if strongly suggest he should contact an immigration lawyer. They will have the best advice for him. Best of luck to your friend.

  64. Contact Tice Madox Solicitors, in Ilford, East London.

  65. hi , i have been here for nearly 11 years, in uk.
    first in student visa, 2008
    again extension of that, 2010
    applied psw and got invalid and the application became out of time (2011)
    2nd time rejected as invalid , because of no photos and after 10 months from the very first application got the visa(2012)
    in 2014 entered work permit 2 years after psw expiry, following visa, whch is wp was curtailed by ho (2016)
    applied for flr(0), home office later claimed that they sent a biometric invitation letter and i didn’t submit it. in reality nothing was received and ho send another letter giving an opportunity by asking to submit a fresh application and i did(2017).
    it was rejected as no grounds (march 2018)but again HO didn’t send the results, when i received SAR results only i knew, but before that itself i applied for flr(lr), though its after their decision making date(as mentioned 2018 march) , but without knowing(but received the ihs refund in bank).

    SAR reveals that my older solicitor was asked for my photos and he didn’t even ask me and informed the homeoffice i wasn’t found and homeoffice rejected it as invalid and asked to submit a fresh psw application in 14 days and the same me wth the same solicitor applied for it and homeoffice can’t even think how was it possible, how was i found again?

    Even result of FLR(LR) in feb 2019 came with explanations from out of time applications in 2012, in 2017 and 2018, with no right of appeal. my solicitor said for 2017 matter they can provide an affidavit, as the biometric invitation letter was not received. though homeoffice made the rejection of FLR(0) application in 2018, they didn’t communicate to any of us, thereby jeopardising my opportunity to apply in time for a student visa or wp. i applied for a jr as no right for appeal was given(ho clearly mentioned in the letter as an immigration judge will reject even if i had been given the right to appeal as i have breaks). now requested for a hearing date directly
    can i ask whose mistake is here, why am i not given right to appeal(in country), what should i do, my point is they didn’t communicate whatsoever jeopardising my opportunity to get any further visa

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