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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone.

I had my FLR approved at Liverpool PEO on Friday! I could not have got through the process without the help of this forum so I wanted to share my experience.

Our appointment was at 1:30 and we arrived at the office at 1pm. I wanted to get there much much earlier as it seems as though, sometimes, when people are really early they get seen earlier and the process is over with much quicker. Anyway the horrendous traffic between Leeds and Liverpool made that not possible which I suppose is a good thing because, after going through security which took all of about 2 minutes, we had a seat in the waiting area and weren't seen until after 1:30 anyway.

Our number was called and we went to the desk and presented our booking confirmation. The lady asked if it was my first application for FLR(M), I said it was and she then asked me what documents I wanted to present. I thought I would be asked to present certain documents on request, such as marriage certificate, P60 etc. like some peoples' experiences but instead I just handed over my entire pile of documents along with my separate pile of copies, in the exact same order and tied with string. She seemed really pleased that I had provided copies of everything.

We were then told to go and have a seat and after about an hour I was called for biometrics. This was over in about 5 minutes. The lady asked if I had ever had any fingerprints taken as part of a visa application before, and I said I had in Sydney in 2013 when I applied for my YMS visa. She checked my fingerprints and then took a photo of me for face recognition. I was then handed a form to give back to the ladies at the main desk and told to have a seat again.

About 15 minutes later I was called to a desk by a lady who explained that she was looking over my application and could I please explain some of my financial documents to her because I provided quite a lot. I did seek advice on the forum, but I found the wording to be quite ambiguous in this section. My partner makes over the threshold alone, so I provided all of her information, however the last section asks for total combined income, so I then went back over the form and added in my own as well. I attached a note to the financial requirement section to explain how we had calculated this. I explained to her that I found the wording confusing so just put us both down in this section. She said that was okay but, if it was okay with us she would just use my partner's income as it's over the threshold and mine is just under and it would save her having to do two calculations. We said that was fine and she asked us to point out my partner's letter from HR confirming job title and salary etc., the P60, employment contract, job offer letter and 6 months' bank statements and 6 months' payslips. We were then told to have a seat. After a short wait I was called to the desk and handed all my original documents back and to have a seat again. I checked through the paperwork to make sure that everything was there. It took a while because originals and copies were all mixed together. We had all our originals back but I think the copies they took were:

Partner's employment letter
Partner's P60
Partner's bank statements
Partner's payslips
Council tax letter
Tenancy agreement
Some correspondence
Marriage certificate

They actually handed my application back which surprised me because I thought they would keep those. I guess they just put all that information into the computer. Also, I had attached several notes throughout the application to explain any kind of discrepancy - my partner's P60 only covering a partial year, a note to explain why her bank statements had two different addresses on them (she forgot to change her address when she started receiving paper statements). I had also attached a note to my immigration history explaining why I once stayed nearly 6 months. They seemed to be in quite a hurry as I'm not sure they read any of these - I know when I gave her all the financial documents that had notes attached she didn't look at them.

After about half an hour we were called back to the desk. Before she started speaking I had looked down at the desk at the sheet of paper and saw, 'Grant approved' and just started shaking. My partner started crying. She told us that the application had been approved and that my BRP will follow in the post in about 7 days. She gave me a form to sign that stated that all the information on there was correct and that my name had been spelled right for the BRP. She then told us that we were free to go whenever we were ready. The whole process took exactly 2 hours from arrival to when we left at 3pm.

We weren't given any indication of how long each section would take. We also weren't at any point told that we could leave the building and come back. I am wondering if this is because they knew that the application was quite straight forward and perhaps they knew that there was not much point asking us to leave if it wasn't going to take very long? Before we were called for the result, my partner said that she saw the caseworker who handled our application look at the lady next to her and say, "Well that was straightforward." They did speak quite loudly while they were processing peoples' applications and we overheard some people being told that their application hadn't been approved, as well as one lady say to a colleague, "I have two refusals here." I have to say I did not find the staff at all friendly (except for the guys on security!) until they told us the visa had been approved. Maybe they don't want to connect with people on any kind of human level in case they have to tell them they didn't get their visa?

The office and waiting room itself was cold and there wasn't a lot to do in there. We had brought books with us but neither of us could concentrate because we were so nervous and worried in case it wasn't approved. We expected there would at least be somewhere we could get coffee, but all there was was a water fountain in the corner. We laughed because on the board was a display of a selection of complaints and how they had remedied each complaint - the water fountain only went in recently after someone had complained about them not having one! There was a Costa across the road and various places to eat but as we weren't told we could leave and come back we just decided it was best to stay. Sheffield is closer to us but we chose Liverpool because my father in law is from there and he wanted to take us for the weekend. We think when we come to apply for the second period of FLR(M) we might try a different office - maybe Belfast or Cardiff. It's the perfect excuse for a weekend away!

Sorry for the essay. I just wanted to thank everybody on this forum, particularly Joppa, Nyclon and WestCoastCanadianGirl, for all your help and answering all my (sometimes stupid) questions. You all made the process so much easier and I would have been totally lost as to what documents to provide. The next stage will be so much easier now that we know what's involved and hopefully all we will have to do is just put all correspondence to once side. Hopefully we are both still in a stable financial situation in 2.5 years' time!
 

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Can I ask then if you were switching directly to FLR(M) from a YMS visa?

Having to overhear refusals must be so excruciating... I am very happy for you, congratulations on your approval, and hoping your FLR(M) extension and ILR go as easily when the time comes! :)
 

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Congratulations!

Was on the look out for this post all weekend long.

I hope you and your partner went out for a celebratory pint or two or six.
 

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This is amazing news, as I am about to go throught the same process! I would love a copy or the topic headings for all conversations on here to assist me! If you have a moment I would greatly appreciate it!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This is amazing news, as I am about to go throught the same process! I would love a copy or the topic headings for all conversations on here to assist me! If you have a moment I would greatly appreciate it!!
Hi, if you mean my documents checklist I posted one about a week ago. If you click on my name you should see it. Good luck with your application!
 

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Congratulations!! I got a little tearful reading your experience :).

You made me feel a little better as we have our FLR(M) appointment on 30th June in Croydon, and we're a bag of nerves. Hope we get the same result!

Congrats again, awesome news!

Jenny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Congratulations!! I got a little tearful reading your experience :).

You made me feel a little better as we have our FLR(M) appointment on 30th June in Croydon, and we're a bag of nerves. Hope we get the same result!

Congrats again, awesome news!

Jenny.
It's such an emotional experience, I still can't quite believe it. It's been long distance for us for 6 years and then we lived together for 2 and now I have FLR. It just seems that after you've had to put up with long distance for so long you are constantly thinking that it will be refused or things won't go your way! I really hope you get the same news and sense of relief! Best of luck with your application. I hope you are celebrating next Tuesday evening! :)
 

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Croydon is good... there is a coffee shop in the waiting area (it reminded of an airside airport gate waiting area) but no power outlets, so if you bring electronic tech (iPad/laptop etc) be sure that it's fully charged before you arrive... there is no public wifi (ie no free access) but if you have a data plan, the signal is strong (I was able to stream SkyGo on my phone with no problems)... due to a technical glitch with the biometric cross check computer, I ended up waiting 6 hours for a decision... fortunately, I had the first appointment of the day, so while I had to wait, I wasn't affected by the backlog that had formed. The team offered to let me go and mail back my papers after a decision was made, but we elected to stay, seeing as both my husband and I booked the day off of work and had no pressing need to be anywhere (other than at the nearby Glamorgan pub for a celebratory pint or two and dinner reservations on the Strand in the evening).

If you ask, they will advise as to wether or not you can leave while your application is being considered and what the process for that was... there is a shopping mall across the street.

Madeleine... if you considered going to Solihull, they're friendly there as well... I went to that office 3 years ago, 3 days after my wedding and had a good experience there. The office is a short-ish walk to a main shopping thoroughfare.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Madeleine... if you considered going to Solihull, they're friendly there as well... I went to that office 3 years ago, 3 days after my wedding and had a good experience there. The office is a short-ish walk to a main shopping thoroughfare.
Okay, thanks! We considered going there but my partner's father is from Liverpool and was desperate to take us there for the weekend! I am always keen to see more of the UK so we'll choose somewhere new and stay for the weekend again. I was quite surprised by the complete lack of anything in the Liverpool office to be honest. We hadn't eaten that morning due to nerves and were starving by the time we left. Luckily it was a quiet day and/or our application was straightforward as it didn't take long to process.
 

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Okay, thanks! We considered going there but my partner's father is from Liverpool and was desperate to take us there for the weekend! I am always keen to see more of the UK so we'll choose somewhere new and stay for the weekend again. I was quite surprised by the complete lack of anything in the Liverpool office to be honest. We hadn't eaten that morning due to nerves and were starving by the time we left. Luckily it was a quiet day and/or our application was straightforward as it didn't take long to process.
We went to Solihull because it was the closest we could get into as soon after the wedding as possible... back in the day, the appointment system was a complete gong show... if it wasn't next to impossible to log in right at midnight when the appointments are released (it took us 2 nights of trying), the system seemed to like to crash on a regular basis... at one point, we were unwittingly booked for two appointments (9am and 11) with only the later one showed up on my profile... late in the afternoon before the wedding, I happened to check my email and found a "your appointment has been cancelled" message. Cue buckets of tears from me (out of stress and shock to have received such a message the day before the wedding), and a frantic fiancé ringing all of his contacts at work trying to get the problem sorted (he is a Civil Servant) before everything shut for the weekend. Thankfully, it was all sorted out in the end on Monday morning.

Once the appointment debacle was sorted, we booked in to stay at the Holiday Inn... it's about a 5-7 minute walk from the Home Office location and definitely within walking distance of the train station... a few other posters have stayed there as well when going for their appointments. It's nothing posh, but it is a clean and comfortable hotel that is within easy reach of the PEO office



When we booked our premium appointment this time around, the process was unbelievably smooth... we were able to log in on our first try and were afforded the choice of any appointment on the day at our preferred office (Croydon)... needless to say, I insisted on taking the first available slot just in case there were unforeseen problems with the application process... I figured that if I got the application in early, it would be one of the first to be released after the problem(s) were resolved... there were people who arrived after me who were called up before me, but I suppose that they were being refused a visa (don't know, as I wasn't anywhere near the collections desk).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Congratulations on your visa approval Salix. :)

Just an update on my BRP ... I applied Friday 19th June and my BRP arrived in the post yesterday (Tuesday 23rd). I was certain I would miss it as we both work full time and I was worried about having to reschedule a delivery in case they didn't deliver Saturdays (and I had to take a day off work to wait for it), but it had just been put through the letterbox on our front door and was there when I walked into the house. No signature required it would seem. A bit worrying really considering it's such an important document ...
 

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Congratulations on your visa approval Salix. :)

Just an update on my BRP ... I applied Friday 19th June and my BRP arrived in the post yesterday (Tuesday 23rd). I was certain I would miss it as we both work full time and I was worried about having to reschedule a delivery in case they didn't deliver Saturdays (and I had to take a day off work to wait for it), but it had just been put through the letterbox on our front door and was there when I walked into the house. No signature required it would seem. A bit worrying really considering it's such an important document ...

They posted my documents back recorded delivery, which I had to sign for, but the BRP was in a letter size envelop and I think it was just sent standard 1st class delivery. A bit worrying indeed as I'm sure if it never got delivered to you, you would be on the hook for the replacement costs :/. But at the same time I was happy to have it and not have to take time off work to receive it!
 

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My BRP arrived about an hour ago. It was sent by a courier as opposed to in the mail. He did ask if it was me (the instructions said they would ask for ID, he didn't), he had me sign and he was off.

:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I couldn't believe how fast it all was! We booked a holiday to Greece for late July. I was worrying that mine might not arrive in time! It's so exciting that I can re-enter the UK now and not have to worry about immigration (I've been given a grilling on a few occasions before getting my YMS visa and it was horrible). This is probably a stupid question, but you still go through the non-EU line, right? I am now trying to find the perfect passport holder that will accommodate my passport and BRP :)
 
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