Mumbai is not the place you want to feel lonely in. The city has 20 million people, and the human mind focuses on things it wants to have/does not have… and if you are yearning to be with your son.. all you are going to see around you is beautiful father-son relationships. Call it the irony of life, or the Irony of Mumbai. Either ways, it’s not a situation you want to be in.

Take it from Gaurav Thakkar’s own experience. Gaurav is a 65 year old, retired grandfather, living in the crowded city of Mumbai. His son, Kshitij, has been living and working in the UK for the last 10 years. Kshitij had gone there to study Law when he was just 21. During his study, he met a German girl also studying law, fell in love with her, and married her. Both budding lawyers figured that as London is the hub of global financial services and with all the top law firms having offices in London, they both decided to make UK their new home.

Gaurav had not protested. He was always a level-headed man, thinking ahead of his time. He knew his son well, and hence knew he had made the right decision. Kshitij being the dutiful son has supported his father without complaint, regularly transferring monies for his father’s expenses and flying down to India at regular intervals to meet with his father and to provide support during medical procedures.

With a young family, it was becoming increasingly difficult for Kshitij to travel to India and he now wished for his father to join him in the UK. Gaurav was relieved to be living in the UK as he had visited the UK on a family visit visa on quite a few occasions and he had also travelled to Germany, but he felt that the UK would be much more suited to his lifestyle than Germany, with the significant Indian influence and all. Things were going well.

Then finally, nearly 9 months ago, Gaurav expressed his desire to move in with his son. Kshitij was more than delighted. He immediately suggested to his father that the first step to take right now was to apply for an EEA family permit Visa. He even offered to do it himself. However Gaurav snubbed that offer. Gaurav was a man of pride …and was growing more and more sentimental about his increasing age.

“Nonsense”, he snapped at Kshitij. “Do not think I am too old fashioned for the internet age. I can get all the information I need through the government websites. And don’t forget, I might seem old but I’m only 65, not 85. Not yet started to lose my mind.”

Soon after that phone conversation, Gaurav made it a pint to get started on the EEA family permit application immediately. He went to the government websites and found the information to be complete but very general, he wasn’t sure what documentation would specifically apply to him. He then went on to the Immigration board discussing EEA Family Permit applications and soon found himself getting bogged down with excess information.

He wanted to simplify the information and if someone could just tell him what parts of the application and documentation were relevant to him.

Fortunately, help was at hand. Some well-meaning friends referred him to a UK Immigration Law firm with offices in Mumbai, New Delhi, Chandigarh and Bengaluru who could help him with his application.

Having met the UK Immigration experts, he collected all the required documents meticulously and submitted them along with his application just 3 days later. However, he has been waiting for the UK Home Office to make a decision on his EEA Family Permit application. The contents of the email…

“there are no current updates. This could be
because your application was submitted recently or the details that you
have provided above are incorrect.
If it is the former you may contact us at a later stage once our records have been updated. We will be happy to give you the current status of your application. If the information provided is incorrect then please provide the 9-digit GWF number and the date of birth of the applicant. Alternatively, once the process has been completed and a decision has been made the visa application centre will be in contact as per process.”

…ring through on every follow up that his representatives have attempted.

Number of days since the day he oh-so-hopefully gave in his application: two hundred and sixty seven…. And counting.

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