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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Saturday was my priority appointment for my FLR(M) application in Croydon.

I thought I'd share my experience for the common knowledge of the forum.

I only made my appointment about six days in advance and there were still about twenty appointments available after us.

Per MapQuest the expected travel time should have been 53 minutes. Our appt. was 1:30 and they request you arrive 15 minutes before that. We left at 11:00, to give us a two hour and fifteen minute travel time. We would be circling around London on the M25 and I wanted to factor in Saturday traffic. I had already looked up parking and found the Whitgift parking center directly across the street from the public entrance. I had our destination entered into the sat nav, had all my documentation prepared and off we went.

Then we hit traffic, a closed street, a wrong turn and the time ticked on. When we officially were no longer going to be able to arrive early, I started to seriously stress. When it became obvious we were going to be late for our appointment, I teared up. All I could think about were the dire warnings on the website that if you did not appear on time, you would lose your £400 booking fee and would be turned away.

We finally made our way to the parking garage, then had to circle up to the third floor before finding a parking space. We dashed down the stairs into the rain, then needed to cross under the street through the pedestrian subway. We got to the security point at 1:45. Security took a couple of minutes and then a guard escorted us to the third floor.

When I presented at the reception desk, I made a comment about being late and the horrible traffic on the motorway. I was assured it was no problem, my appointment sheet was reviewed, my passport checked and I was given a check-in number. We sat down to await our call to the case entry desk. Only two more people checked in after us and I heard an employee say they were the last cases of the day. So there were about 15 unused appointments for the day.

We were called up to have our case opened in the computer. The girl checking us in was friendly, but professional. I asked if she had been having a busy day and she instantly got very friendly and started joking with us. We talked about being late and she assured me it was no problem. She said in all her years of working there, she had never seen anyone turned away for being late, even by several hours. She said basically if you showed up before the doors were locked for the day, you were in :rolleyes: We chatted about various immigration issues, then she took all my documents and put them into a folder. I handed her my stack of copies and she put them into the folder as well and handed it back to me.

We then went to a new waiting area and waited for me to be called for my biometrics. After about fifteen minutes we were called into a new area. A very friendly man looked at my appointment sheet, took my fingerprints, had me sign a form and took my photo. When he saw my husband sitting behind me and chuckling a bit, he smiled and asked "marriage visa?". He then directed us to the coffee shop waiting room and said it would be 1-2 hours.

Unfortunately the coffee shop was not open, but there was a vending machine in the corner. After snacking on crisps, Minstrels and sharing a very warm soda, we sat by the window and played a LONG game of I Spy :p

We stared at the monitors and watched our number inch along the board. The things I learned, when they are finished with your application, you will be directed to counter 43. If they want to talk to you, you will be directed to a different counter. When our number was called, we both jumped up and made a dash back into the center. There were three other people in line in front waiting to collect their documents. I was a bit dismayed when the first person in line was being told his application was rejected. I hoped when I got to counter 43, it was only for approved applications. The other two people in front of us had both been approved. When he took my case number check-in sheet, he picked up my documents and said "your application was successful". I've never heard a better sentence. :)

He handed me a sheet to review for accuracy, sign and pass back. He then gave me all my documents. I had a quick kiss and big hug from my husband, we packed up our paperwork, checked our passports and headed out. It was 5:40, so the whole process took us nearly four hours! A guard escorted us back downstairs and out the front door.

So my collective knowledge gained for the forum, don't go into a blind panic if you are late ;) The staff is friendly and helpful. The coffee shop may be closed on Saturdays and the waiting room is heavily populated with shrieking children. Oh, and there is some graffiti on the side of the parking garage across the street, if you play I Spy, use "something beginning with G", they won't get it no matter how clever they are :D
 

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Can you post your application checklist please! Will be making an appointment at croydon in the next few weeks :)

Thank you and congrats!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I did post my list elsewhere, but from memory.

Application
Both passports
One passport photo each
Receipts for application and IHS charge
Booking appt. confirmation
6 mos. pay slips (Cat. A)
6 mos. bank statements
Letter from employer/HR
Letter from landlord approving my residence
Marriage certificate
Three photos from our wedding
Correspondence addressed to us, six each (this isn't required the first time around, but we had it so I brought it)

Copies of everything

I think that was it.
 

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Congratulations!

I always find reading these posts amusing. I live right next door to the home office (the massive purple/red building), so when it comes time for me to have this appointment, I am in fairly good shape for being on time!

I always see the queues snaking out of the door everyday on my walk to the station
 
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