The Fun Never Really Ends with the UKBA

I’ve been owing you guys a final update on the situation with the UKBA and as I sit here tonight all deported and stuff in my mother’s kitchen in Canada, I thought it was about time to give you one.

1. The “Interview”

I spoke a couple of times with some very polite (and understanding – whoo boy… because was I upset with them) people at Beckett House over the phone in my last few weeks in London. They are the ones that deal with getting folks out of the country once they had agreed to go. They were the ones that got blasted when they told me that a) I *had* to go back to Canada and b) I wasn’t going to get my passport back until I was at the airport. It would have been nice to know that much, much earlier.

They asked me to come in for an “interview” with the UKBA in the days prior to my flight. They told me I’d be able to explain my story and that perhaps my case would be escalated for review by a senior case worker. That I should bring my papers. That I should be ready to explain what happened.

What a crock.

I went into their office, which felt a lot like going into a Job Centre. Dire. So very dire. My “interview” took place at one of the windows through a pane of glass. The guy asked me a couple of questions, one of which was how I had been supporting myself whilst in the UK. And a few others that were on my flipping application. Then he disappeared for a good 10 minutes.

When he returned, he gave me all my supporting documentation (like birth certificates, etc) except my passport. He gave me a letter to give to the ticket counter at the airport and said that they would give me my passport. The letter said I could be “detained at any time” and really didn’t make me feel very safe.

He also gave me a form to fill out to appeal the decision of “overstayer” which had to be sent in from out of the country. That’s what I filled in tonight. More on that below.

2. The Airport

First, if you are going through this: TAKE A COPY OF YOUR PASSPORT PICTURE PAGE TO THE AIRPORT WITH YOU. No one told me that. I just did as my passport is my only ID, so I always have that copy with me. Without it, I don’t think I would have received my boarding pass.

I also didn’t get my passport at that time. I had to go through security first, and then call immigration on a phone at the other side. Several times. Because first the person on extension 2019 told me to call extension 7026. There was no answer. So I called 2019 back. They asked my name. They asked me to hold. They asked me to call them back in 10 minutes. I feeling panicky at this point. I mean, after everything I’d been through with immigration, I didn’t really trust them to actually get my passport to the correct airport.

I called them back after 10 minutes. They put me through to another line that rang and rang and rang. So I hung up and called them back. They said that the “department” that had my passport wasn’t in until 9:00 (just about the same time as my flight!) but they would see what they could do. Then I was told to hang on, someone would be there in 15 minutes with my passport.

Once the immigration officer finally showed up with my passport, she actually escorted me through to the waiting area where all the food and stuff is. And boy oh boy… for someone who knew fuck all about my situation was she ever condescending. She already had her mind made up that my deportation was all my fault. I would have been a lot more argumentative with that bitch but I was still nervous about getting detained, as they said I may be in their vaguely threatening letter. So I kept my mouth shut and got on my plane.

3. The Appeal

I now have a final option where I can send a bunch of information (again) to the Tribunal to ask them to overturn the decision that I’m an Overstayer. I don’t even care about getting chucked out and a 12 month re-entry ban at this point: I have my year-long job to do in Korea now. HOWEVER… not having to claim on any future applications to the UK that I “overstayed” (with a lengthy explanation) would be nice. So I filled out their form.  In a last little bit of awesomeness though, the directions included with the form had a) the wrong website given for you to access for information,  b) spelling error on the form (it said “her” instead of “here”), and c) they had the sections that needed to be filled in for non-asylum appeals incorrectly labeled. Amazing.

Hopefully there are only two more things I will have to endure in what has been a stressful, long-running, agonising and ridiculous process: 1) waiting for the decision regarding my appeal from the Tribunal and 2) the re-application process 13 months from now if I choose to go back to the UK. 🙂

As always: If there is anyone out there that is reading this that is going through their own nightmare with the UKBA… you are not alone. Reach out to others online. There are some really great resources. Share your stories. Every situation is different and there may be someone out there that could benefit from knowing what you went through, just as you may benefit from reading someone else’s story. Get legal advice. I recommend Gary McIndoe of Latitude Law (www.latitudelaw.com) who gave me great advice and was so much help.

Thanks to everyone for reading this saga and your support throughout it. Hopefully as my new adventures kick off (more on that soon!) my blog will be much more entertaining and a hell of a lot less gloomy going forward.

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12 responses to “The Fun Never Really Ends with the UKBA

  1. Geez ….. What a nightmare & the topping on the cake, that bitch who knew nothing about your saga totally judging you & acting like sometimg special!!?? I hope, at the very least, they grant you this one request & take “overstayer” off your information. What a fiasco. On a more positive note, congrats on Korea! How exciting! Keep us posted on all your new adventures ❤

  2. What a story you told there yeah????? mine isn’t that bad. the UKBA took away my passport and was given a threatening letter like yours, being detained anytime, etc, etc. But my story was a bit different, because my father was UK born, I already had UK citizenship, but I didn’t have my parents marriage certificate. BS!!!!!!!! But anyway I enjoyed a lovely summer in Coventry, and got my passport back no questions asked at Heathrow. everything is case by case, so everyone’s circumstances are different. Cheers!!!!!

  3. thanks for your sharing your story , I hope u ve better ending 🙂

    PLEASE HELP ME TO GET MORE INFORMATION
    hi Im a girl 22 years old , this blog really useful ,sory I have bad grammar hope you will be understand 🙂 , I came to the UK in 2012 and applied visa for permanent residence straight away ( because my mum is british but I grew up in indonesia , she wanna me stay in here ) and more than a year i didn’t receive my pasport still waiting until I don’t know when I can get it i cant go abroad as well 😦 I can’t stand living in the UK , I left a lot of important moments for example: when my father passed away I can not go home, I don’t want miss another moment and now on June 2014 me and my fiance getting marrid all the wedding preparations are ready, and invitations have been distributed, but I’m still in the UK, I am afraid I stress I want to go home , so i decided to go back to my country / asked home office to return my pasport , finnaly I called UKBA to return my pasport but they told me ”they will give my pasport in Airport ” , the question is
    1. where & how do I get my pasport ?
    2. i worry if I book ticket aready but i cant get my pasport , who shall I meet with ?do they will give my pasport in Airport?
    3. Im going to indonesia but my flight is transit to singgapore , is that ok ? I worry if i get my pasport but after that i have problem in singgapore .

    • Hi Aya. Sorry to hear that you are having problems with the UKBA as well. It’s terrible how many stories there are. I am so sorry to hear that you were unable to be home when your father passed away, that must have been horrible. 😦

      When I halted the process and asked for my passport to be returned, I received a phone call from the ‘Removals’ Department of the UKBA. I had to make an appointment and go and see them in their office near London Bridge Station in London. There I was asked a handful of questions (the answers to which were in my visa application, but that’s a different story) and then given all my supporting documentation.

      The day of my flight, I checked in at my airline’s check-in desk. They gave me an internal number for security at Heathrow to call. I went through security at Heathrow and called the internal number at the other side. I waited about 30 minutes and a border agent gave me my passport and escorted me through to the waiting area (nothing like being made to feel like a criminal right until the end!)

      They should give you your passport in the airport as well, but you may want to check if there are any complications. I don’t know how quickly they can return your passport (I’m sure every situation is different) and so I’d confirm that before you book your ticket if you can. The UKBA is certainly not going to reimburse you if you end up unable to fly because of them.

      As for the transfer in Singapore, I really don’t know if that will be okay or not. My flights had to be booked for Canada (where I am from) and no where else. Please, please, please double check this with someone who knows more than I do before you book your ticket!

      I really hope it works out for you. Best of luck!

  4. Hello,
    i am bob i am from india, i got banned from uk for 5 years Re-entry. But i volunteer came back with all my expenses. recently i came to that according to 370(7B)

    ”Those who otherwise breach immigration laws but leave voluntarily and pay for their own departure can return after 12 months”
    Butwhy i got banned for 5 years?
    please help.
    thank you,
    bob

    • Hi Bob. Sorry to hear that you’re having problems with the UKBA as well. I don’t know why you would have a five year ban. You should probably discuss your situation with an immigration lawyer. Best of luck!

  5. You never know what people are going through until you are a victim yourself. I personally believe the home office and Immigration are having a swell time messing people about. My unanswered question is …the send people away who contribute to the society and give asylum to people they end up paying benefit too. Isn’t that dumb? I do believe tha section of the government needs revamping.. starting from the Home secretary

  6. Oh My!!!!!! … Thank you for writing this up … I am British, living in Germany, with a Thai wife and Thai step-son … and I cannot think of any agency I’d rather deal with less than the UKBA … the German Tax Office is easier and more pleasant to deal with (and that’s really saying something).

    …and the “20 working day” alleged response time from UKBA is an absolute outrage! Completely unjustifiable in this day and age of email and the internet … perhaps in the 1940’s when the system was paper driven … ooops! .. Oh Yeah! I see it now!

    I’d love to know … why would you want to go to the UK? … I mean I have to go back because of my parents are getting on, and their health is failing … and they really need my support .. and it’s a sign of how much I love them that I’ll take a deep breath and try and deal with these Vogons! … You know .. I’d rather be in Canada … or remain in Germany… anyway .. ho! hum! …

    Was just wondering … the last update on this seemed to be November 2013 … Did it ever get resolved? … did you get your name “cleared” as such?

    .. anyway .. wish me luck … the fun begins in a few months to get a residence permit for my wife and step-son … 🙂

    • Hi Nick. Thanks for your comment. I ended up leaving the UK – it was too expensive to fight the decision. Since it has been more than a year, I’m now free to go back (although I’m not sure if this whole debacle will hurt future visa application attempts or not). Do I want to? Not at the moment. The whole situation turned the UK sour for me, even though I have loads of great friends there. I’m now in Korea and loving it, so I’ll stay here for a bit. All the best with your application! If you can, apply in person or get a lawyer. Fingers crossed it all goes smoothly for you.

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

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