UK Immigration and Incompetence

We are at day 14 [business days] of waiting for the UK Immigration Department to deal with our application which should take about 20 minutes [based on my thirty years of experience with Canadian Immigration].  Our stolen documents were reported to police and UK Immigration and now seeking a replacement document.  Of course being the UK we are not yet ‘replacing the document’.  Rather we are obtaining a visa so that we can go back to the UK and then submit another application and fee for replacement of the Residence Permit.  Prior to that we must obtain a UK Visa or counterfoil – which is what we are currently awaiting.  Incidentally – they charge a hefty fee for this and then another fee for the card replacement.

Patience is growing thin.

In their quest for money and frustrating clients the UK started charging for ‘e-mail’ questions.  This no doubt follows their success in not answering correctly any of our three phone calls to them previously documented on this blog for which we were charged approximately CAD $50.

So to ensure we cover all of the bases we decided to submit an e-mail question.  First on their screen is some basic information to complete, language, outside the UK etc.

We are then directed to the ‘pay’ section and out comes the Visa card, again.  Payment successful.

We then are directed to fill out their short online form, name, date of birth, citizenship, office handling the issue etc., and that all important part, ‘summary of issue’.  Then the ‘SUBMIT’ button.  Press ‘SUBMIT’ and …nothing happens.

Hmm – maybe it is my browser, so a quick switch to Chrome from Firefox – go through the screens, redo the payment section, redo the basic data — same problem.

I then contact my son, my technology expert who works in Germany.  He looks at it and says it is not anything I am doing or not doing.  There is a problem with their page rendering birthdates, in that it will not accept any date.

I then note that the ‘date of birth’ is not a mandatory field so I remove it completely, press submit and it is delivered successfully.

Does anyone test their online screens?

Their reply which is expected within 48 hours.

I can only think of the hundreds of clients out there who are completely frustrated with trying to submit an online form that simply does not work.  Not everyone has a son expert in technology with a degree in Computer Sciences.


UPDATE: JUNE 13, 2017

It is not clear that my query prompted a response but UK Immigration sent a message today.

Unfortunately they cannot continue processing my application because they do not have a record that the theft was reported to UK Immigration.

My comments:

Isn’t it ironic that it took them three weeks to find one element or piece of paper was missing?

I immediately replied to the e-mail with an e-mail I received from UK Immigration confirming they received my report of the theft, dated May 15, 2017 – the same day as the theft.  They confirmed at that time that they cancelled my Residence Card.

Could they not check if my Residence Card was cancelled?  That would be a strong indication that it had been reported.

Ironically, when I attended the visa centre in Paris [a private business contracted for services by the UK government], I included a copy of that specific e-mail from UK Immigration confirming I reported the theft.  They extracted it from the package and gave it back to me – I expect because they have instructions not to include items already in possession of UK Immigration.

What we do not have is a report back on my wife’s application.  Stay tuned.  At some point we have to say the level of incompetence demonstrated by UK Immigration is such that we will reconsider whether to ‘wait them out’.  As usual this organization has those great what we used to call mission statements, with a written commitment to its clients…also known as blah…blah…blah.

It starts out:

“We aim to be a customer-focused organisation, offering a high-quality service….

What you can expect us to do

“You can expect us to:

give you the information online which you need to make your application or claim

make the application or claim process clear and simple…”

My comment — I hope this was developed in their UK Immigration humour section and they had  a good laugh comparing client experience with this — malarkey.


June 14, 2017

Today  UK Immigration fee for service answer section replied to my inquiry about what was going on with my application.

This is completely independent of the section that told me they were missing the report I made about the theft.

Please note in their message today the usual finger is pointed at clients about ‘the onus’ being on clients.  “Please note the onus is upon individual customers to ensure that they satisfy the requirements set out in the guidance material.

The guidance material accompanies each and every application form…”

Okay — clients are responsible, but is not the UK Immigration service responsible for providing professional, timely decisions and not misplacing documents?  Please note clients pay for this type of drivel:

Dear Garry Mitchell,
Thank you for your enquiry dated 12th June regarding the progress of your visa application.
Our records show your application has been considered and is still awaiting a decision, is last updated on 24th May.
Please be aware that we are unable to see any further details about your application.

Please note the onus is upon individual customers to ensure that they satisfy the requirements set out in the guidance material.
The guidance material accompanies each and every application form. UK Visas and Immigration is not able to give,indicate or
advice upon the outcome of any such application prior to it being given full and careful consideration.

Directing you to the guidance material is the only advice we can give you. if you need any further help you should seek independent immigration advice. Immigration advisers can help you with immigration matters, including completion of forms and representing you at a tribunal. The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner(OISC) regulates immigration advisers, which means they must meet certain standards.

Yours Faithfully

Once again – you decide whether this answer was worth the CAD $11.  The message they sent was already out of date and was simply confirmation of what I already knew.


Thursday – June 15, 2017

Good news – my wife received her visa.  The question of the missing report of my stolen BRP card only pertained to me, and not to her.

Now why they could not have dealt with us as a couple is beyond logic.  When we originally booked our interview appointments with the application centre in Paris, we were scheduled with separate appointments.  Online booking does not permit two individuals [i.e. a couple] being dealt with together.  When we arrived, I asked if we could be seen together since the information was the same etc., and the answer was, ‘yes’.

After that it appears my application went one direction and my wife’s another.  So she can now return to the UK, but I must continue to wait, presumably while they try to find confirmation that my notice was received of the theft.  Oddly enough as a couple we want to be together.  We can only hope that they issue my visa before hers expires one month from now.

Tired of waiting in Paris for action by UK Immigration, we decided to go to Cannes.  Because we do not know when they will return my passport and visa, booking hotels and transportation is usually at a premium.

Keep in mind this only gets us back into the UK so we can then submit and wait for our BRP cards.

From my perspective countless hours have been spent moving paper with little efficiency.  It would be technologically possible to within two days:

a.  Interview subjects of theft

b.  Note UK Immigration and police were notified

c.  Ensure old BRP cancelled

d.  Check Criminal Indices and Interpol to ensure there was nothing new regarding applicants

e.  Reissue new BRP Cards – not visa.

This whole issue of requiring a visa from a citizen of a non-visa country [Canada], is a waste of everyone’s time.  It wastes UK Immigration time, our time, and reminds me of keystone cops with paper flying everywhere but very little being accomplished.

The damage done to us by UK Immigration is far greater than that done by the thieves who robbed us, both financially, and emotionally.  If all of the UK is run like this I scarcely wonder how they maintain a standard of living higher than Somalia’s.

So, we continue to wait for my visa, at which time we can go to the UK and apply for new BRP cards.

1 thought on “UK Immigration and Incompetence”

  1. Hey Garry and Heather
    Hope this UK application process doesn’t take much longer….very frustrating I’m sure. Glad to hear Tika was found. Not much going on here, rain again expected the next couple of days!
    Take Care
    Christine & Mike

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