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Appeals and Refusals Life in the UK

UK Visa news: Woman can’t say goodbye to her husband due to visa processing delay

Most of the UK Visa news updates over the past few weeks have been painful. There have been thousands of stories revolving around the UK Home office delays in recent times. Many of them heart-breaking to hear. Take this one for instance.

According to a UK Visa news story in August, a woman from Germany held up by a visa complication recently landed in Britain to say goodbye to her terminally ill husband, only to learn he had died ninety minutes earlier.

Luchy Lopez-Hammann, 52 years old, of Hamburg, arrived in Glasgow just an hour and a half after her husband Andreas Hammann, 59, died at Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride, UK. Mr. Hammann, who was in Scotland with his son John, ten, to attend his nephew Kevin Mclaughlin’s wedding last week suffered a fatal heart attack on the 9th of August, 2018. While it has been more than 2 months since the tragedy took place, we believe it’s important to spread these incidents to make people aware of the consequences of having a too much red tape in the UK immigration procedures.

Home Office bureaucracy stopped Mrs. Lopez-Hammann from entering the UK after he was taken ill. Mrs. Lopez-Hammann has a Peruvian passport and has lived in Germany for 13 years. She faced delays in obtaining a visa to reach the UK before her husband’s life support was turned off.

The family called the situation ‘ridiculous’.

Mr. Hamman, who is a German as well, faced complications after suffering a heart attack before his kidneys failed and he died at 2 pm on Saturday, 9th of August. Mr. McLaughin, 26, from Ayr, told local media that Mrs. Lopez-Hammann had been forced to travel to Berlin for an interview to obtain a visa and had to pay 500 Euros for the same. While she was eventually granted a visa waiver to travel to Scotland, McLaughlin later confirmed that this decision had come too late.

‘His wife didn’t make it in time to see him, she was hour and a half away,’ said Mr. McLaughlin whose mother Marina is the sister of Mr. Haammann.

Mr. McLaughin added, ‘We are really angry, annoyed and upset. My mum is managing to put on a brave face but is raging things have taken so long. They could have sorted this out a lot sooner, I can’t imagine what John is thinking or what he is going through at that age.’

Mrs. Lopez-Hammann only found out her husband had died when she was met at the airport by a good friend of her husband, Willie Drummond. Mr. Drummond told the local media, ‘This is an absolute scandal and was completely avoidable.’ ‘…what they did was absolutely unforgivable. We are really angry, annoyed and upset.’

A Home Office spokesman has since said, ‘In light of the exceptional compassionate circumstances of this case, we issued Mrs. Lopez-Hammann with a visa waiver to allow her to travel to the UK as soon as we were able.

Our UK Solicitors at The Smart Move 2 UK believe that it is of high importance to make sure these kinds of stories reach the ears of the people. The UK is a great country, but like so many great countries, have fallen victim to some severe red tape in its immigration laws and visa procedures.

We encourage anyone in similarly difficult situations with respect to UK Immigration and visa applications, to approach our consultants for guidance, assistance, and most importantly, valuable information.

If you have heard of other such incidents and wish to share it with people because it would serve value, then please contact our organization with your story and we will be eager to spread the word.

Image courtesy: Daily Record

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Life in the UK

UK Visa delays 2021: What to do next?

While the quantitative details might vary in the coming weeks thanks to brexit and Covid -19, the broad steps a person must take should they be facing a UK Visa delay in 2021 remains the same as the steps highlighted in the SmartMove2UK blog published below on the 3rd of October 2018.

We have a list of possible reasons for these delays in UK visa processing in 2021. If you feel that your application could be delayed due to one (or more) of the reasons mentioned, then it would help you take the necessary course of action. Even if that means just waiting patiently, which could very well be the case.

But before we get to that, here’s a quick checklist of what you should do next if you are facing an unusually long wait in hearing back from the Home Office regarding your UK Visa.

Steps you can take if you face a UK Visa delay 2021:

Paid Service Inquiry

You may contact the UKVI (United Kingdom Visas and Immigration) directly, provide them with your details, and ask them what is causing the delay. This is the most effective course of action, as the chances are highest for you to understand why your application is taking so long. There is a good chance that a talk with the UKVI should put your concerns to rest. And if not, at least you’ll know it. However, like all good things, the paid service inquiry isn’t free. Sitel UK is the new commercial partner to the Home Office responsible for service inquiries, and any email or phone call to Sitel will be chargeable. (An email to Sitel will cost you £5.48)

Contact an MP

If you are already residing in the UK on a valid visa, but are waiting for a response on your extension application, or if you are waiting for a Spouse Visa application response, you may contact the local Member of UK Parliament of the area of your residence (or your British Spouse’s residence). MPs in the UK are a great source for tackling any grievances regarding immigration related issues, or other things. You should have a clear picture of why your application is taking so long if you have a chat with an MP.

Judicial Review

While the Judicial Review is used to review any decisions made by the Home Office regarding certain visa applications, you may also call for a Judicial Review if you feel that a due process is not followed. An unspecified delay in a response for your UK Visa application may be a case of not following the due process for the same. Therefore, you may file for a Judicial Review in certain cases of prolonged delay in reciprocation by the Home Office. See next point for more information on the same.

Consult a professional

If you believe that your application is taking longer than required, with no justifiable reason for the same, you may of course choose to follow any one of the above listed options. However, in order to be absolutely sure that you not only choose the right option, but also go about the option in the right way, it’s always best to rely on guidance from people who are well versed in immigration matters and law of the UK. In other words, consult a professional immigration consultancy or a UK immigration law firm, in order to have an authority’s opinion on the matter. This could end up saving you a lot of unnecessary procedures and other hassles.

Before following through with any of the options listed however, it is important to have a look at some general reasons why your UK Visa application may be taking longer than expected. We recommend that you have a look at the list below, to have a better understanding of why your particular application may be caught up:

1) Improper paperwork:

The documentation that you submit must be complete, and well organized. Any trouble for your assessing officer in finding the relevant information in order to process an application, could potentially lead to major delays in your visa application.

2) Non-Payment of fees:

We are not saying that you have deliberately not paid for the application. However, it is possible that you inadvertently may have left out paying certain fees. Please ensure that this is not the case. If you do feel you may have not paid all the fees you were required to, you may consult a professional immigration advisor who would guide you on the same.

3) Verification of information:

Depending on the type of visa application you fall under, the assessing officer might have to contact various departments in order to ensure that the information you have provided is verifiable. This process may take longer than you might think.

Be smart, and empower yourself with the required knowledge of UK visas and immigration procedures. The best way to tackle issues like these are to stay up to date with the latest happenings.

We at The SmartMove2UK strive to provide anyone who requires with the right information on the subject of UK immigration law. However, we understand that the information may be too much and a little overwhelming for some. Especially when your application is delayed and your mind is already under tremendous pressure.

In cases like these, make the smart decision and get professional help. Our attorneys at The SmartMove2UK would be more than adequate to guide you in the right direction.

Interesting Note to keep in mind regarding these Delays:

Most of the time delays seem to be from specific countries with a history of immigration abuse. If you look at statistics from India, there seem to be a lower chance of severe delays. This implies that if your application from India has been taking longer than you expected, it’s probably because of one of the reasons mentioned above that you can fix.

This can be evidenced by the processing times data for UK Tourist visa applications from various locations across the world below:

Visa processing times are important to every visa applicant. It gives them a perspective on when a decision on their visa application is likely to be made. The UKVI publishes a guide to visa processing times for the various categories of visas and depending on the decision making, the processing times can vary. Here is a list of 12 global locations and their respective decision-making time periods based on Home Office data.

Processing Time of UK Tourist Visa, August 2019
Average UK Tourist Visa Processing Time

Here at SmartMove2UK (a unit of Smart Move Immigration), we strive to provide our clients with the confidence and UK Visa process support through their entire immigration procedures to the UK. If you are thinking about planning for migrating to the UK then book an appointment with our UK Immigration experts.
We have our offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh, Bangalore, and London.

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