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Discussion Starter #1
So originally I was going to stick everything together like a report. A contents page at the front with the evidence split up into sections using dividers. I was going to include paragraphs at the start of each section explaining what the following pieces of evidence are and why we are including them etc. I was going to use plastic wallets to keep things together as some pieces of evidence are smaller than a sheet of paper, such as receipts and wage slips and I am scared about them coming loose from the rest of the evidence and getting lost.

However, after looking on this forum a bit last night, it seems like putting it all together in this way is probably the worst thing I can do. Unfortunately I get a bit OCD about such things and end up making them 'over organised'. I feel like I am making things overcomplicated for ourselves, or is it supposed to be this stressful lol?

Iv'e decided that that I am just going to place each piece of evidence directly on top of each other and use a few elastic bands around the whole thing to keep it all together. Then I'll put the whole thing in a big envelope, and use another envelope for a complete photocopy of everything in the same order and held together with elastics as well. Is this the best way to do this? Or would it be better to hole punch everything and use treasury tags to hold it all together?

The problem is I worry that they might not see the reason why something is included or what exactly it is. I want to make sure that we do everything as perfectly as humanly possible and so I was wondering if anyone could give me a bit of advice on the best way to do this, mainly on the following queries...

1) I was planning on including a letter confirming the details of our relationship, that I am going to sponsor my fiance etc. Should I also discuss a brief summary of what evidence I am submitting and what each thing proves in this letter? How many pages do you think is too long for this letter approximately? As I know I tend to get a bit carried away when trying to explain things?

2) Is it OK to annotate or write on print offs?
For example I have print offs from the past few months of the text messages I have sent him, as when one of us has no internet access, this is one of the ways that we keep in contact with each other. Is it OK for me to use a highlighter pen in order to quickly point out which of the text messages are the ones sent to my fiance? I would not write on anything that is an original copy which can't be just reprinted.
For the photographs I was going to get them printed out properly at my local supermarket. Is it OK for me to write on the back of these stating when and where they were taken?
For screenshots of things like sections of our chat history and emails between us listed in our inbox's, is it OK to put a title of what they are at the top of the page and then paste in the screenshots? Is it OK to put more than one screenshot per piece of paper, or is it better to just print one screenshot per page with nothing else written at all on that page?
Can I use post-it notes on top of pieces of evidence to state what they are?

3) What is the best way to keep small things together?
For example my wage slips are on pieces of paper which are about 1/4 of the size of an A4 sheet of paper and I don't want them to fall out or get lost. Is it OK to put such things into an small unsealed envelope and write on the front that my wage slips are inside? I was thinking of doing separate envelopes the same for things such as receipts and photographs. Or is it better if everything is left loose?

4) Should similar things be grouped together separately within the whole batch of evidence? For example, would it be better to put an elastic around around all my bank statements with a note on the front stating that they are my bank statements? Then another elastic around screenshots of our messages to each other with another note on the front of that, and so on for all different types of evidence before batching the whole thing together as one? Or is it better if they are all left loose and just made into one big group of everything?

5) For the photocopy of everything that we will also submit, can more than one photograph, wage slip or receipt for example be photocopied onto one sheet of paper, or is it better if everything is kept to one thing per page?
If I have written on the backs of things such as photographs, should I photocopy the backs of the photographs, or just re-write those things out on top of the photocopies?

Is there any other advice surrounding putting this together that you think will help us?

Sorry my questions are so long winded and if some of them seem really dumb. We just want to make sure everything is done properly and in a way that will not annoy the people processing our evidence. Many thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
 

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I'll just do two quick questions while I wait for my train.

Use the rubber bands. Do not hole punch your documents, you might destroy important info (like the date on a bank statement) The other problem with hole punching is that the will still just take it all out and reorganize how that person prefers to work, so you are creating work both for yourself and the officer.

5. The copies can have several small things, but if possible make them similar. Proof of relationship, proof of accommodation, and proof of finances separate.

I understand wanting it to be perfect, but mine came back completely differently than it went, even after getting it all in a "sensible" order (I thought so at least) :)

M
 

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I stapled together things that had a logical order and then left loose other things in the order i thought was appropriate.

e.g.
Financial documents in chronological order
put together the forms and stapled those in correct order
supporting evidence i just left at the back.

In retrospect i probably shouldn't have stapled it as they wil need to pull it apart maybe?....but i was rushing around a bit and didn't quite have my thinking cap on at the time.
 

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So originally I was going to stick everything together like a report. A contents page at the front with the evidence split up into sections using dividers. I was going to include paragraphs at the start of each section explaining what the following pieces of evidence are and why we are including them etc. I was going to use plastic wallets to keep things together as some pieces of evidence are smaller than a sheet of paper, such as receipts and wage slips and I am scared about them coming loose from the rest of the evidence and getting lost.

However, after looking on this forum a bit last night, it seems like putting it all together in this way is probably the worst thing I can do. Unfortunately I get a bit OCD about such things and end up making them 'over organised'. I feel like I am making things overcomplicated for ourselves, or is it supposed to be this stressful lol?

Iv'e decided that that I am just going to place each piece of evidence directly on top of each other and use a few elastic bands around the whole thing to keep it all together. Then I'll put the whole thing in a big envelope, and use another envelope for a complete photocopy of everything in the same order and held together with elastics as well. Is this the best way to do this? Or would it be better to hole punch everything and use treasury tags to hold it all together?

The problem is I worry that they might not see the reason why something is included or what exactly it is. I want to make sure that we do everything as perfectly as humanly possible and so I was wondering if anyone could give me a bit of advice on the best way to do this, mainly on the following queries...

1) I was planning on including a letter confirming the details of our relationship, that I am going to sponsor my fiance etc. Should I also discuss a brief summary of what evidence I am submitting and what each thing proves in this letter? How many pages do you think is too long for this letter approximately? As I know I tend to get a bit carried away when trying to explain things?

2) Is it OK to annotate or write on print offs?
For example I have print offs from the past few months of the text messages I have sent him, as when one of us has no internet access, this is one of the ways that we keep in contact with each other. Is it OK for me to use a highlighter pen in order to quickly point out which of the text messages are the ones sent to my fiance? I would not write on anything that is an original copy which can't be just reprinted.
For the photographs I was going to get them printed out properly at my local supermarket. Is it OK for me to write on the back of these stating when and where they were taken?
For screenshots of things like sections of our chat history and emails between us listed in our inbox's, is it OK to put a title of what they are at the top of the page and then paste in the screenshots? Is it OK to put more than one screenshot per piece of paper, or is it better to just print one screenshot per page with nothing else written at all on that page?
Can I use post-it notes on top of pieces of evidence to state what they are?

3) What is the best way to keep small things together?
For example my wage slips are on pieces of paper which are about 1/4 of the size of an A4 sheet of paper and I don't want them to fall out or get lost. Is it OK to put such things into an small unsealed envelope and write on the front that my wage slips are inside? I was thinking of doing separate envelopes the same for things such as receipts and photographs. Or is it better if everything is left loose?

4) Should similar things be grouped together separately within the whole batch of evidence? For example, would it be better to put an elastic around around all my bank statements with a note on the front stating that they are my bank statements? Then another elastic around screenshots of our messages to each other with another note on the front of that, and so on for all different types of evidence before batching the whole thing together as one? Or is it better if they are all left loose and just made into one big group of everything?

5) For the photocopy of everything that we will also submit, can more than one photograph, wage slip or receipt for example be photocopied onto one sheet of paper, or is it better if everything is kept to one thing per page?
If I have written on the backs of things such as photographs, should I photocopy the backs of the photographs, or just re-write those things out on top of the photocopies?

Is there any other advice surrounding putting this together that you think will help us?

Sorry my questions are so long winded and if some of them seem really dumb. We just want to make sure everything is done properly and in a way that will not annoy the people processing our evidence. Many thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
Put all financial together, all accommodation and all relationship together. Put copies in the identical order. Make one pile of originals and one pile of copies. Tie the originals together with string, likewise the copies. Put small items in a see-thru resealable bag. Stick photos on a sheet of A4 with brief captions below. Photocopy the sheet of photos. Your letter of sponsorship should be no more than the front and back of 1 sheet of A4. No highlighting, stapling, paper clipping, whole punching, tags, contents pages, paragraphs of over explanation for each section or post-its unless absolutely necessary to make something clear. They can figure things out. They are going to take everything apart when the package is received and put it in an order to suit them. The more obstacles you put in their way, the harder you are going to make their job.
 

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I submitted my documents to the Home Office/UKBA partner office in Beijing. They unstapled everything and put the documents in the order of their checklist. Then the documents and copies were put in a special bag to go to the Embassy. No need to staple as they will unstaple them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks everyone - I feel a lot more confident about the best way to go about collating it all together now.
 
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