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It is very frustrating for those who apply for a UK visa specially those who are applying for settlement visa to join their loved one who is a British Citizen, over the past few year settlement visa fee has increased more then double and yet home office is delaying the process of making decision within the given 60 working days time frame. When the actual time frame is past, applicants get a automated email from the visa centre informing that their application is not straight forward and therefore it will take longer then 60 days. But no indication of how longer it will take, When applicants want to know the status of their visa application or contact the visa centre for updates they are charged heavy fees for no straight answers, infact they never get the answers to their questions apart from an automated reply via email and when it comes to phoning them, the punishment for calling is the phone bill you get for calling them as it is a premium number and yet you don’t get any proper update.
There are tons of people who are waiting for a decision to be made and or for the return of their passport. Most applicants are waiting over 6 months and yet there is no news from the home office and no straight answer when people try to contact them, my sister-in law has been waiting for 6 months and yet there is no news, every time we email them, they keep replying her visa status is waiting for decision and yet the same reply when we call them. After speaking to several people and immigration solicitors, it has come to my attention that it is not only my sister-in law, there are tons of people who are on the same situation. It has come to light that home office is delaying the settlement visa as they are are giving more priority to other visa’ (non settlement) where there is more money, also it has come to light that the other reason home office is delaying the settlement visa is so you contact them and by doing so they are making money.
Its time for Home Office to scrap the charges of fees when requesting updates of a visa, people are already paying hefty fee for applying, infact people should be able to check their visa status online and such a visa tracking service should be in place for every applicant regardless whom and what country they are from. If applicants need to speak to home office for update, there should not be any charge and applicants should get straight answers, answers to the question. Further it’s time to stop these delays, these delays only tell that there aren’t enough staff to carry out their duty and therefore home office should employe more staff to ease the delays and further a new system/rule should be introduced and such if there is any delays, applicants should be given refunds on the delays based on percentage of the amount of days delayed from the time frame of the process time (60 days).
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