Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gripes of an immigrant

I am currently in the process of applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, after which I plan to apply for British naturalisation and become a dual citizen of Australia and the UK (two passports - get me!).

The process, as with all of my previous visa applications, has been laborious, costly and time-consuming; but this time it seems even more so - I feel like I am about to collapse before I even reach the finishing line. The more entrenched I become in this process, the angrier I get.

Firstly, during the time that I've been over here, the fee for ILR has gone from free to a whopping £820:

"Traditionally, indefinite leave to remain in the UK has been free. However, under the Labour administration, fees were introduced and have risen rapidly. From free in 2003, ILR was first charged at £155. In 2005 this was raised to £335 before being raised again to £750 in 2007. The fees have been further increased to £820 as of 6th April 2009. Premium applications with an in person appointment at the Home Office cost £1020.

The government has admitted that these fees far exceed the administrative costs and are being used to fund other projects. A petition asking the government to reconsider the fees was flatly rejected."

Oh, and those premium applications? Apparently, you can't even get an appointment at the Home Office within 3 months, so you're not even saving yourself that much time for your extra £200.

Secondly, after the Home Office takes your money (which they do immediately on receipt of your application, regardless of whether it is successful or not), you are not allowed any information at all about how your application is progressing for 16 weeks. 16 weeks! Before this time, they will refer you to a web page that simply says:

"We will decide 95% of postal applications within six months".

No mention of how long the other 5% take.

So now I just have to wait, passport-less, frustrated, denied information, for - who knows how long? - while my application is processed. It's maddening.


The Girl said...

In a previous life I was an administrator in a large organisation - and even I am impressed/horrified by this process you are going through. Good luck!

Anna said...

That's appalling.

Stick with it, and good luck.

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