PLEASE SUPPORT OUR FIGHT TO LIVE TOGETHER IN THE UK
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PLEASE SUPPORT OUR FIGHT TO LIVE TOGETHER IN THE UK
(And sign our petition to help fix the country's broken immigration system)
PETITION TO THE UK HOME SECRETARY SAJID JAVID MP
Thank you for taking the time to read this petition, I hope you can lend your support to our cause. I am writing to address the Home Secretary and Home Office of the UK. Could you please help my wife and myself with our current visa issues. The UKVI, which I am sure you know is based in Sheffield, my hometown, seem to be creating unacceptable delays while processing her application. I hope that you, as the Home Secretary would have some way to communicate with them, because they seem to make it as hard to contact them as possible for us everyday people.
My wife Yumi is a Japanese citizen, we were married in Saitama Japan, two and a half years ago. We are currently in the 64th week of our supposed 12 week visa process, delayed so much because of the UK Visas & Immigration services inefficient system and general incompetence.
Here I have highlighted a general timeline of our process so far.
4th January 2016 : We got married in Japan, amazing day.
Spring/Summer 2016 : Our first visa attempt. It failed due to our own fault, we rushed things too much and did not prepare correctly. We decided to wait, research and try again later.
November 2016 : My wife travelled to the UK for a Christmas visit and was stopped at Manchester airport and held without me being able to see her for 12 hours, causing her so much stress and panic. They eventually let her stay, but their handling of the situation was terrible.
7th May 2017 : Submitted visa online application and made full payment, including Health Surcharge.
9th May 2017 : Submitted Yumi's passport to Visa Application Centre in Tokyo.
3 months passed with no contact from UK Visas & Immigration(UKVI), this is around 12 weeks, when the visa should have been processed.
31st July 2017 : UKVI request several additional documents by scanned email, this request came at almost exactly 12 weeks, so makes my think her application was just sitting there until someone looked at it.
2nd August 2017: My wife and I sent 5 documents by email, 3 from her and 2 from me.
Another 3 months passed with zero contact or information. I personally tried to get in touch with them several times, but constantly running into a wall.
9th November 2017: UKVI refused my wife's application, saying we had failed to submit the extra documents.
We were shocked and could not believe it. The next day I paid a visit to an immigration solicitor in the city centre. She advised us to re-apply from the start, using their service to help us.
This seemed a bad idea to my wife and myself, as it could end up costing us another £3000+.
So we decided to appeal the decision, because we knew that those supplimental documents HAD been sent.
29th November 2017: Started appeal process after acquiring evidence from my wife's email provider.
27th March 2018: Won our appeal and UKVI revoked their decision, obviously because they knew it was their mistake in the first place.
15th May 2018: We received an email from UKVI in Sheffield. It said "WE ARE READY TO ISSUE YOUR UK VISA". We just needed to remake the Health Surcharge payment, as they refunded that part before. The would send us payment details within 7 days. Then my wife should take her passport back to Tokyo visa centre. We were so happy, it seemed like our problems were over.
2nd June 2018: Health Surcharge payment details arrive after almost 3 weeks. They seemed to forget, or possibly their different department don't actually communicate with each other. So we had to request payment details by email. I then made the payment straight away.
4th June 2018: My wife submitted her emails and passport at the Tokyo visa centre as requested.
No contact again for 6 weeks.
16th July 2018: Frustrated from waiting in the dark. I made a 20 minute call to their PREMIUM rate "Help"Line asking for information. They said they would investigate and get in contact within 15 days.
24th July 2018: UKVI decision making centre in Sheffield emailed my wife. Confirming the Health Surcharge payment from 2 months ago! Also saying "We will continue to work on you application and contact you as soon as A DECISION IS MADE!"
It seems like they don't even know that they were already to issue my wife's visa 2 and a half months ago!
Also the two email came from exactly the same address, VISAINFO.SHEFO@fco.gov.uk
We are very frustrated and angry at the situation. Knowing that we could possibly be waiting another 12 weeks or more, due to their past track record, also that they don't seem to know what they are doing.
To be honest the whole visa service is a disgrace to our country and from my observation seems to be two different systems (old and new) running at the same time and not working together well. I know the visa online service was updated a few years ago and for quite a while was in BETA state.
I believe it still is (or maybe even worse than BETA), THE UK VISA SYSTEM IS BROKEN.
I hope you are somehow able to help us. Maybe your position can help you contact UKVI and they would listen to you. I am running out of ideas what to do myself.
I hope you could bring this whole UKVI situation to the attention of the house of commons. Although I am sure they are already aware how terrible the service is. It is making our country a laughing stock across the world. It only takes a few minutes to research on the internet, to find many many similar situations to our own.
Thank you again for taking the time to read this petition. I am sorry it is a little longer than I expected, but as you can see, after 64 weeks (we have only been able to spent 14 weeks together since we got married) We are very eager to get this sorted out as soon as possible and hopefully one day, see a NEW and GOOD visa service in the United Kingdom.
Russell and Yumi Bartholomew
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