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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey,

This has been the most infuriating experience I've ever gone through, but finally the fiancée visa application for my American fiancée has been made, and paid for.

I have two questions.

1. Date of Birth Wrong on Biometrics Appointment

The new UKBA website launched today. Thanks to a bug, the date of birth of my fiancée for the biometrics appointment is incorrect by ONE day - whilst it is correct on the application to the UKBA itself. How important is this? She is going in to the office tomorrow to have it corrected, and I'm hoping it's not relevant as long as it is correct on the application itself. Correct?

2. Return Waybill to the USA from Sheffield

The plan is to have my fiancée FedEX the documents that she has (passport/picture) to me in the UK, and I will then send them to Sheffield along with the other supporting documents (I have the bulk of them). Is this standard procedure, or do I have to send her the supporting documents, only for her to FedEX them back to Sheffield? The return waybill is confusing me.

I'm completely stressed out - any help would be most appreciated
 

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Return Waybill to the USA from Sheffield[/B]

The plan is to have my fiancée FedEX the documents that she has (passport/picture) to me in the UK, and I will then send them to Sheffield along with the other supporting documents (I have the bulk of them). Is this standard procedure, or do I have to send her the supporting documents, only for her to FedEX them back to Sheffield? The return waybill is confusing me.
Our lawyer advised that it's best for the documents to ALL be sent by the applicant (so have your fiance post them from the US to Sheffield). This is her application even though you're having to supply so much by way of evidence. We had to have my husband post all of the documents to me in the US and then I had to send them right back to the UK. It stinks and is costly, but that's the way of this whole deal.

I'll tell you what I did and you can take it how you will. As mentioned before, my husband forwarded his documents that I needed to send as support documentation, to me in the US. I organized all documentation and when it was time to send it in, took it to FedEx. They had me set up an account (I believe you can do this online and don't have to go into the actual store). I provided my credit card information and all of the information on the receiver (Sheffield). I put all of the documentation inside of a box (we had a lot) and included a smaller envelope for them to send me the original documents back. We requested return, which meant that the smaller envelope had the information on my address (because the UKBA demands that the documents be sent back to the applicant). We gave an estimated weight for the return docs, but it won't be charged to my card until its picked up and weighed. I advise you get both shipments tracked. It helps to know where it is on it's way! :)

I can't answer your first question, but thought something might help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Our lawyer advised that it's best for the documents to ALL be sent by the applicant (so have your fiance post them from the US to Sheffield). This is her application even though you're having to supply so much by way of evidence. We had to have my husband post all of the documents to me in the US and then I had to send them right back to the UK. It stinks and is costly, but that's the way of this whole deal.
..
Thanks for the reply.

Yeah, it's infuriating because the website states different things in different places. It all refers to New York, apart from one bit that mentions Sheffield. I've got a FedEX account, so will post it out to her so she can then FedEX it back to the UK with the correct return waybill.

In terms of photocopies, my lawyer hasn't mentioned anything about photocopies of the supporting documents - are these going to be necessary? None of the documents I'm sending I'm particularly bothered about being returned. I presume the UKBA just won't return the originals if we don't include photocopies?
 

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We were concerned about the same thing... that is confusing also... There is a bit on the site that says that all documents require photocopies, but for my application (Spousal visa), that was hundreds of things already. I was stressing about it because our dossier was crazy huge to begin with. Our lawyer told me not to fret. Just to provide photocopies of items that need to be returned. I provided photocopies of things like cards and postcards we've exchanged (evidence of our relationship being genuine and subsisting) and the survey of our flat (since they'll charge us to get another official copy) that I really want back. Also, we photocopied official documents that we wanted back. Reminder to you that you will have to submit a lot of the same docs again once you're married to get her spousal visa. You might be wise to get photocopies of some things. We made an envelope of photocopies and put it at the bottom of the stack... On all of the docs that had a photocopy, I put a note on them. I believe that you're correct in thinking that the photocopies aren't necessary if you don't need things returned. However, think about whether you'll need those specific docs again (probably not with the statements as you'll have to have the most recent 6 months and not the older ones) and maybe do those ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We were concerned about the same thing... that is confusing also... There is a bit on the site that says that all documents require photocopies, but for my application (Spousal visa), that was hundreds of things already. I was stressing about it because our dossier was crazy huge to begin with. Our lawyer told me not to fret. Just to provide photocopies of items that need to be returned. I provided photocopies of things like cards and postcards we've exchanged (evidence of our relationship being genuine and subsisting) and the survey of our flat (since they'll charge us to get another official copy) that I really want back. Also, we photocopied official documents that we wanted back. Reminder to you that you will have to submit a lot of the same docs again once you're married to get her spousal visa. You might be wise to get photocopies of some things. We made an envelope of photocopies and put it at the bottom of the stack... On all of the docs that had a photocopy, I put a note on them. I believe that you're correct in thinking that the photocopies aren't necessary if you don't need things returned. However, think about whether you'll need those specific docs again (probably not with the statements as you'll have to have the most recent 6 months and not the older ones) and maybe do those ones.
Hey, this is wonderfully helpful - and what I was thinking as my mind turned over overnight! All I really need for the FLR that I can't get again easily is my current stamped payslips, so I'll copy them and the covering letter etc and put them in a bundle like you've suggested. :)

That means that all I have to worry about now is the issue with the wrong date of birth on the biometric appointment. My fiancee is going in to the ASC to tell them it was wrong and get them to amend/advise. Sigh.
 

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For those being advised professionally, please direct all queries to them and not to the forum. You are after all paying for their services. While you are free to help others with their enquiries, this isn't a place to get free second opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
For those being advised professionally, please direct all queries to them and not to the forum. You are after all paying for their services. While you are free to help others with their enquiries, this isn't a place to get free second opinion.
What a bizarre thing to say.

There are varying levels of legal assistance, as I'm sure you're aware. Some only check the documents and nothing else, so to impose some sort of blanket ban on anybody who has paid for any sort of advice anywhere seems ridiculous.

I was under the impression that this was a community for people who had shared experiences, not some free advice service. If that's not the case, then I've come to the wrong place.
 

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There is nothing wrong in sharing experiences. But I'm just reminding people not to use the forum for free advice when you have professional advisor handling your application. It's not fair on those who give advice here freely, and it's not fair on your advisor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
There is nothing wrong in sharing experiences. But I'm just reminding people not to use the forum for free advice when you have professional advisor handling your application. It's not fair on those who give advice here freely, and it's not fair on your advisor.
Yeah, which is fair enough. Like I said though - be aware that there is a massive difference in the levels of legal support available (and dependent on jurisdiction), so not to treat anybody who has paid for any advice service as one and the same. Many lawyers treat purely with the law, and not with the practicalities of postage and other administrative issues.
 

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Also from my own experience with professional advice, they don't know everything. The rules seem to change constantly. Its actually good to do get information for both sources. There are some documents that our lawyer advised us to include that I have never seen mentioned on here or on the UKBA site. Likewise there are documents that have been recommended on here that got no mention from our lawyer or UKBA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Also from my own experience with professional advice, they don't know everything. The rules seem to change constantly. Its actually good to do get information for both sources. There are some documents that our lawyer advised us to include that I have never seen mentioned on here or on the UKBA site. Likewise there are documents that have been recommended on here that got no mention from our lawyer or UKBA.
Yeah - the law states one thing, but the regulations then state another, and then the guidance issued to the UKBA staff says another, and it's changed every month. The whole thing is a nightmare, and the new website is a shambles.
 

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Apart from ever-changing rules, those with track record of applying for visas, be they professionals or shrewd observers like most regulars here, have the benefit of experience, having dealt with Home Office or seen their modus operandi over a long period and know what they are looking for and how to meet their often unwritten requirements. Good professional advisors also have the benefit of successful appeals, both in written form and in person. What we often don't know is how good professionals are, and how competent and whether they are worth the very high fees they charge (typically £1,000 plus to assist with application). The more research you can do before parting with your money, the better the outcome is likely to be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Apart from ever-changing rules, those with track record of applying for visas, be they professionals or shrewd observers like most regulars here, have the benefit of experience, having dealt with Home Office or seen their modus operandi over a long period and know what they are looking for and how to meet their often unwritten requirements. Good professional advisors also have the benefit of successful appeals, both in written form and in person. What we often don't know is how good professionals are, and how competent and whether they are worth the very high fees they charge (typically £1,000 plus to assist with application). The more research you can do before parting with your money, the better the outcome is likely to be.
Definitely.

With regards to the problems on the new site/biometric info, I'll keep you guys up to date.

Anybody that finds other bugs in the new visa4uk site should e-mail them to [email protected] - it really is bad just now.
 

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I am personally under the opinion that it's never a bad idea to get a second opinion. Just because I chose to employ an lawyer to assist me with this process, shouldn't mean that I'm no longer eligible to get advise elsewhere. At the end of the day, the advise I choose to take is my decision. I would never suggest that someone should forgo hiring a lawyer, and just stick to the forum information, but I also would never suggest that someone stick to the one outlet for information.

As cmofish stated above, there are things that the solicitors aren't aware of or that I've found the people in these forums to be more helpful with. If I can help someone navigate the confusing waters that surround immigration by sharing what I've done, I'd like to do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quick update - my SO went into the biometric office to query the date of birth error. They took her biometrics then and there (ahead of her appointment next week), and signed a note to attach to the sheet that says the date of birth is 'as on passport'.

So looks like that's fixed...
 

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Oh that's great... on both counts. I went in a few days sooner than my scheduled biometrics appointment, and they let me get it done earlier, too. That's the easiest bit, by far!!

Good luck!
 
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