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Discussion Starter #1
Dear Experts,

My American wife and I were married on 31st January 2017, while she was in the UK on a Fiancee Visa. For one reason and another, we didn't get our first FLR (M) application fully submitted until April 13th. Around the time of the 8-week service standard, we received a letter saying that our case was 'exceptionally complex', and therefore UKVI would contact us again by July 17th, either with a decision, or with an explanation about why a decision had not been reached.

We have received no correspondence at all since then, despite calling the Home Office General Advice Centre four times, and having an urgent referral made each time. My wife also wrote a letter explaining that two of her close family members in the USA had been taken seriously ill, and asking if they could expedite her application for that reason. We received no reply to or acknowledgement of this letter.

Since 17th July, UKVI has been holding my wife's passport without explanation, or contact of any kind. I have taken the issue up with my local MP, who I hope will investigate soon.

Is there any other organisation that I can contact? Surely it cannot be legal to hold my wife's passport indefinitely? Surely there must be someone who fields complaints about cases like this, which appear to have been forgotten/overlooked?

If anybody can give us any advice about what else we can do to chase this application, we would be extremely grateful.

Thank you :)
 

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You have contacted Home Office through the proper channels, and your MP is involved. There isn't anything else you can do. Hope you get some news via your MP (they may be on holiday so delay is possible).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the well-wishes. They can really hold my wife's passport indefinitely, without explanation? I would have thought it was illegal.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Nyclon, I know it's a necessary document for visa processing, but it is also a necessary travel document for my wife, and a document for the extended detention of which I think even the mighty Home Office owes my wife an explanation.

They sent us a letter explaining why they would have to keep the passport until the 17th July, and also committing to provide further information if they needed to keep it beyond that point. Since we have received no such information (or correspondence of any kind), from the 17th, they have been keeping my wife's passport beyond the deadline that they themselves set, and without any acknowledgement. Combined with the fact that there is apparently no way to contact them about this, it raises the prospect in my mind that they can keep her passport indefinitely, and without basic transparency. What if we still hear nothing in a month? Or six months? How long can we be expected to wait with no explanation at all?
 

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Remember your wife is a guest in this country, and she can only remain in UK with the permission (leave) of the government through Home Office (just as you would be in US). As they are considering her application for renewal/extension, they are entitled to keep her passport as long as they need to. Their own set standard is just that - expression of intention, not legally binding. They keep passport of those who are under consideration to make it easier to process removal from UK if their application is turned down (otherwise they may just disappear into the black economy).
See if your MP can get things moving.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My wife's weakened position as someone who is dependent on the Home Office for leave to remain in the home which we are trying to make together is all too clear to me. I also don't personally regard it as an agreeable thing that my own wife should be made to feel like a (seemingly perennial) 'guest' in this country.

Having said that, I acknowledge, pragmatically, that as we apply for a visa, we are in the supplicant's place, and the Home Office is mighty and selectively benevolent, as if dispensing a favour, rather than a right that people can earn. My main issue is that UKVI abuse their powerful position by refusing to be transparent in the slightest, and treating their own deadlines with a disrespect that would not be tolerated in any other non-governmental job I can think of. If only I could just not do my work on time and then scoff at the suggestion that I owed anyone an explanation.

Sorry - I know this is not the outcome-driven conversation that this forum is designed for, but it may be that others feel the same as we do, and for all of us, I just didn't want to leave this thread on a damp and meekly accepting note. Perhaps I did that anyway... :)
 

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I'm afraid as someone subject to immigration control, your wife has no right as such in UK, except what the human right law defines as, and she has to wait for the government's permission to stay in this country. Home Office is currently under enormous pressure to process huge number of applications, swelled by Brexit concerns and the seasonal surge around summer. Everyone is in the same boat, as reading this forum makes it amply clear, and you just need patience to wait for the outcome when it's delivered.
 
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