After being in the UK a long 13+ years on Wednesday 16/01/2013 I’ve finally got my ILR at Croydon PEO, SET(O) based on the work permit
I’ve been in the UK on various student visas until 2008 when I changed to work permit category (FLR(IED) in country application) just before Tier system was introduced. I’ve stayed with the same employer for 5 years. I’ve applied for ILR on the 10 years basis, though unsuccessfully, as I had a gap in my legal residency. One of my student visa applications was refused and I had to reapply. Therefore, the gap of ~60 days between refusal date of previous application and date the new visa was granted.
Anyway back to my ILR. For those who are interested or just bored keep on reading my step by step guide:
The appointment booking was a bit of the disaster. Surely, the guidance link was very helpful http://londonseye.bl...t-for-home.html
sometimes UKBA website is so down that nothing can help. I’ve spent 3 days trying to book a slot staying up until 2am and every time either I could not login at all or when I’ve managed to get to the booking part the desired slot was gone. Thus, initially I’ve booked Sheffield PEO just to be on the safe side and then a miracle happens and in the following few days all those busy days just become available during the lunchtime. I’ve rescheduled the appointment to Croydon PEO, so I got my Wednesday 16 Jan 11am slot. Life has a funny way of helping you out… Note that rescheduling will not cancel your current booking until you book the new available slot. I was not sure about this so opened another same details account just another email to check the availability. I guess one can book 2 different slots, one per each account, but this is not tolerant in respect for other applicants trying to book such a rare commodity.
16/01/2013 10:15 Lunar House, Croydon
All armed with completed application, plenty of required and supporting documentation and copies of the same, plus a blank copy of the application, just in case. Also, I took some provision (food and water; I’ve read that food is not that nice there, though free potable water seems to be available). And so, I’ve started my personal lunar mission. If you believed they put a man on the moon, man on the moon...
By 10:30 I went through a not really but some kind of an airport-style security check, application check (it was stamped), got my ticket number then went to the 1st floor and paid £1377. Keep your number and payment receipt safe as you’ll be asked for those every time you’ll be called. Afterwards, I’ve joined the army of applicants in the waiting area.
If you can, get a cashback or other benefit credit card http://www.moneysavi...ck-credit-cards with 5% cashback you’ll get £68.85 back and of course call your bank or CC issuer so the transaction would not be declined.
11:15 my number was called and my case was registered. There is no screen showing your number and window to go to, so you have to listen carefully as there are a lot of people talking, kids screaming and sometimes the voice from the speakers is just a whisper. The ticket number will be called few times, so you still have a chance to hear it. The lady who registered the case just scanned the photo and checked the passport and a few front pages of the application. The only question was if I am applying through representative. After a negative response she wrote “No Reps” on the top of the form, which I found bit odd, then back to waiting area.
12:15 I was called again to do biometrics, you’ll sign declaration with 2 simple questions, all 10 of your fingers will be scanned and picture taken. This picture will appear on your BRP card, be prepared. After this it is recommended to wait till your biometrics are OK, as you might be called again if something went wrong. I’ve overheard that it can be checked at customer service desk, I think it was window 22. In case everything is OK you might go out for an hour or so, though I’ve stayed.
15:15 I’ve finally been called to submit my application and supporting documents to the caseworker. Apart from passport, photos and application form all he took were the copies of the required documentation, as per Section 11 of the application (hopefully I did not miss anything here):
1 copy of the passport, all pages
1 copy of the Police Certificate
12 copies of payslips, one per month for the last 12 months
1 copy of 6 months bank statement (Halifax) it was not original (posted) but printed and stamped on every page, other older posted statements were returned
1 copy of Life in the UK test (passed in 2009)
1 copy of letter from employer with the schedule of absences during the employment (the schedule might not be mandatory but I’d rather be safe than sorry)
5 copies of P60 form (one per year); although not in the list, it was taken.
No questions asked. I’ve just been told to wait for another hour or so.
16:30 my number was called and the caseworker proudly announced that indefinite leave to remain status was granted!!!! My passport returned and a piece of paper regarding my BRP given. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
End of the story? Not that fast… The paper given by the caseworker actually was not official confirmation of the ILR status, but just a paper saying that you’ll get BRP card within 7 working days. The card will be delivered by security courier DX. If you are lucky enough to live in the building with security lock entrance, the courier might never had a chance to get inside and leave Sorry We Missed You card. On the other hand, some users suggesting that there is never delivery in the 1st place but just a letter sent by post how to arrange redelivery (a little DX cost saving exercise). Thus, if you are not keen on waiting and desperate to get your hands on your precious, you can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org stating your full name, address, post code and who the sender of the item is and ask for a tracking number http://www.thedx.co....ck-faqs/#e70012. I did so on Tue 22nd Jan. The response was kind of fast within 2 hours. With this lucky numbers you can rearrange redelivery of the precious letter. Bear in mind that letter can not be delivered to different address or collected or delivered on Saturday, at least that what DX automated line said to me. However, for extra £6+ you can choose delivery either before or after lunch.
So if your case is not complicated, PEO is much better way to go rather than postal application. Extremely stressful and tiring 6 hours are much easier to digest for your nerve system, especially after celebrating in the pub rather than 6+ months of waiting without passport.
One interesting observation in Croydon PEO that I’ve noticed: a lot of people applying for visa through a representative, it looked like more than 70% on that day. Usually representatives’ clients left their lunar mission much earlier than me even if arrived later. Not sure about the reasons behind this, maybe the reps collecting clients’ paperwork so he/she does not have to stay or something else, I don’t know. However, their applications seem to progress faster… It was quite funny to see one representative running from one window to another and then back again simultaneously covering a couple of applications.
Anyway, apologies if the tale above was long but I hoped it might contribute to this forum and applicants preparing for the PEO appointment in Croydon or just help someone to pass by time.
I wish you all the very best of luck with your applications and thanks to all for the support, advice and help I’ve got on this forum.
That's All Folks!
Edited by wombat, 28 January 2013 - 12:30 PM.