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Home Office told to stop telling EU visa porkies

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

We've had our fair share of problems. One example: My Russian wife initially came to UK on a fiancee visa, we got married in UK and then went for several weeks holiday (/honeymoon) in Russia. The visa was going to expire before we came back to UK so we applied to the UK embassy in Moscow to replace it with a Spouse visa.

I'd been googling and got a UK Home Office document on the process that explained what was required. Printed that off and took it with us along with everything it said we needed. They couldn't cope, the expectation was that she'd have made the fiancee to spouse visa change in UK in the short interval between getting married and going on honeymoon. The embassy staff came up with their own "how to" document, well actually two versions English and Russian (and older than the version I'd got from the internet). On one version there were 12 requirements, on the "translation" only 11.

The problem then was that the requirements included that I provide documents which must not be more than 6 months old including proof of income/assets (pay slips, bank statements), evidence of my residence like domestic utility bills. Not surprisingly I'd not taken those on holiday with me. I pointed out they had them on file from the fiancee visa, they pointed out that those were now older than the required 6 months and presumably they thought that was enough time to sell my house and spend my demonstrated net asset value of around £1M. I countered with the version of the requirements from the internet, essentially, if I recall correctly: a copy of the marriage certificate and her Russian passport complete with fiancee visa.

Having accepted that the current set of rules from the internet was valid and better than the old and confusing ones they had, now the guy had a struggle with the conditional clauses.

"We need to see X" he said so I pointed out the document said "If you don't have Y then you need X", that meant as we had Y we didn't need X.

To their credit he did eventually conclude that someone more senior needed to get involved. "Come back tomorrow to see him". The new guy turned out to have the added benefit of a functioning brain and that rarest of commodities in the public sector: common sense. "Come back this afternoon and you'll have the visa."

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