Eleventh Hour Fun with the UKBA

Every time I think that this nightmare with the UKBA must be over, something else happens.

As you might know if you read this blog, it’s been about six weeks since I told the courts I wouldn’t be fighting the UKBA’s decision any longer. They told me they would tell the UKBA. After a few weeks  of hearing nothing from the UKBA, I contacted them to formally request my documents back because, at this point, I’m anxious to get moving and get on with things. This past year has been no way to live.

This “request” was yet another faceless, voiceless form to fill in; the UKBA is nothing if not consistent in avoiding all contact with the plebs. Oh, and also that it could take up to another 20 working days to get my documentation back and to not contact them until 20 days had passed.

Friday was 20 days.

So what do you do when 20 days goes by? It’s the UKBA, kids. So of course you have to fill out another fucking form. It would be funny if it wasn’t so ridiculous.

I don’t know if sending the second form triggered this or if it was just a coincidence… but someone from the UKBA called me today. They did not have good news. I am not a happy person at the moment.

You might know or remember that I had planned on going straight to Korea from the UK. Well, the UKBA has managed to fuck up all of that as well.

What I Learned Today that is
Making me Unhappy/Blind Raging Mad

  1. It is going to be another 5 – 14 working days until something called “Becket House” has my passport.
  2. They will email me when they have it so I can book a last-minute flight to Canada.
  3. I’m not allowed to fly anywhere else.
  4. I won’t actually be given my passport until I’m at the airport.
  5. This is the first time I’ve heard about any of this.

This means that I can’t get my Korean visa before I leave the UK. It means I have to pay the price of a last minute ticket to Vancouver. If I book 8 months in advance that’s a £700+ flight. I’m terrified what this is going to cost. In what was already a horrible, stressful process, now I have an extra 10 hour flight and huge cost to deal with. Never mind what I’m going to do with my extra stuff or what I’m going to do with myself in BC once I’m there and trying to sort out my Korean visa. All without an income, because I can’t work here and I won’t be able to work in Canada as (with any luck) I’ll only be there a few weeks.

What the living fuck, UK? Can anyone explain to me why I can’t get my passport before I have to leave so I can make my travel arrangements? Can anyone explain why the UK has the right to tell me where I go as long as I go? And don’t say “policy”. If one more person says “policy” to me today I’ll lose my fucking mind.

Not only am I furious about the (continuous) lack of information, the additional stress and hassle this will cause and the considerable amount of money (I don’t have) that this is going to cost; they’ve also stolen any joy I might have had in going home and seeing my friends and family there. I won’t ever forgive them for that.

For a year now this has been a never-ending cluster-fuck. I should have known that it wouldn’t end any better than it all started. If anyone needs me, I’ll be in the pub.

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2 responses to “Eleventh Hour Fun with the UKBA

  1. I’ve been reading your thread on this Home Office issue for the past hour and I’m really sorry that you have had to go through all that; at least I understand to an extent how this feels. Unfortunately we both seem to be wearing the same pair of shoes. I came into this country in January 2012 on tier 4 student visa. In March 2013, i rounded off with my masters’ degree.
    Bearing in mind that my visa was to expire on the 30th of July, I had applied for an extension before my visa was to expire. But as fate will have it and for a reason I can’t seem to fathom; my bankers draft wasn’t in the envelope when the application was made. What really happened was that I had processed the banker’s draft at the post office but after filling the necessary forms and handing the envelope containing my documents to the lady at the counter, she handed me back my receipts and the bankers draft stapled together. At that point, I didn’t realize she actually gave me the banker’s draft, I genuinely thought she had given me my receipts and some other evidence of payment. I asked her if that was all and she said “yes, i could go”. I left with the relief that I had at least made an application in time.
    Two months later, I received a response from the Home Office saying my application was rejected because I had not made any payments and I had not completed the payment information page. I was dumbfounded because I was sure I completed the payment information page and I was sure I had made payments; to make matters worse, the payment information page was not included in the application form that was returned to me. I started thinking someone dubious was trying to play a fast one on me. It was not until I explained the situation to a friend of mine, who then asked me if i had evidence of payment. I told him I did and brought out the receipts (it was still stapled to the banker’s draft). He looked at it and told me, the banker’s draft should have been in the envelope when it was sent. Honestly, I never looked at the receipts after it was handed to me at the post office, so I couldn’t identify the banker’s draft was attached to the receipt. On realizing this error, I re-included the banker’s draft in the application and sent it off again. Within the same week I received a confirmation of application with a different reference number from the initial confirmation of application I had received earlier.
    In the beginning of the third month; October of precisely, I received another letter from the home office asking me to come for a bio-metrics registration. I was delighted because I thought since I’ve being called for a bio-metrics, they must have processed the payment and continued processing the extension I applied for.
    I got the shock of my life on Saturday the 2nd of November, when I received yet another letter from the Home Office, this time they claimed that the time of my application was on the receipt of the second application I had made and this was well over 28 days after my visa had expired. It was stated that I was an overstayer and I have being ordered to leave the country before the 11th of November. I actually don’t have a problem with their decision to refuse the application; the real issue is their decision that I am an overstayer. The implication of being an overstayer is that I get banned for at least a year.
    What am I supposed to do about my graduation ceremony which will come up in February next year? My parents live in Nigeria and they plan to be present for my graduation ceremony here in the UK; my mum especially has being saving for the occasion. How will they take it knowing that their son can’t even attend his graduation? That aside, my lovely Habiba (girlfriend for 1 year and 4 months) has been so heartbroken. She told me yesterday she had to be administered some first aid at her office because she nearly fainted. I know it’s because she can’t bear knowing that we may have to be without each other for at least another year. My Habiba is British; at times like this, I just wish I had married her earlier on. We were both working on establishing a business together, the business plan is finished, the company has being registered, logo designed, website is currently under construction and we are at the point of seeking investments; just so confused now.
    I sought some legal advice yesterday and the lawyer said he would get back to me today. I intend to write to the Home Office explaining my situation and I’ll also add some documents as evidence. I was at my university yesterday to demand a letter to the UKBA that I will need to come back into the country for my graduation. I will also include the receipts of my payments and copies of the banker’s draft. And even may be some pictures of I and Habiba, to at least show them I actually have started a life here and that a one year ban will be devastating
    I’m really scared to think of what the eventual outcome will be like but I hope it turns out well or like My Habiba would say “everything works out in its own time”.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m so sorry to hear what has happened to you. It is terrible that a simple mistake can be so ruinous. I hope you have a better ending to your story than I have to mine and that you will be able to fight the decision. Definitely lodge the appeal; even if they do not rule in your favour if you enter it to the Tribunal now your hearing may not be scheduled until after your graduation, and you will be able to stay in the country until the hearing. Best of luck!

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