Here, by way of an update, is the terrible story of the last week, along with some background…..
A couple of months ago, due to a minor administrative mistake, Rhonda and Audrey’s resident visa applications were rejected as invalid, despite our repeated attempts to clarify what the problem was.
A great many wonderful people generously donated money to help us meet the extortionate costs of making the application, for which we are eternally grateful and most of that fee was refunded when the application was turned down.
We have since been communicating with the UKBA and the Home Office via our MP, who offered to help and who had requested that they review our case for an appeal. He told us last weekend that a letter had been written to us on Friday and would arrive this week.
The letter arrived on Wednesday: “right of appeal denied”.
It informed us in no uncertain terms, that they would not consider our case for appeal, as we had failed to register our biometrics on time, (due to them neglecting to point out that we could have done so at any time, on the MULTIPLE OCCASIONS I spoke to them about our identity documents) but we could reapply whenever we liked.
They also pointed out that any new application would likely be turned down, as my wife and daughter have overstayed their visa deadline (whilst waiting for the Home Office to get back to us) and were now considered illegal immigrants.
AND, this Monday, Rhonda’s boss, who knew her visa expired in April and had still happily been employing her since, (while she continued to make all her tax and NI contributions, I might add) announced that he could no longer have her working there and told her to leave until our appeal reference number arrived.
All of this, just two days before our right to appeal was denied.
This effectively cuts our family income in half overnight.
So yesterday we spoke to a lawyer, who didn’t bother to sugar coat the bad news.
To drive the point home that we really are in rather deep shit, he led with this terrifying announcement;
*The UKBA could turn up any time and take my family away to a transit centre, prior to deportation*
Now he had my attention, in fact I think my heart briefly stopped.
Our only options are as follows:
1) They return to the States immediately to a life of destitution and poverty, with the tenuous possibility that I could join them at some distant point in the future somehow.
2) We pay the solicitors £1500 to put our case to the highest appeal court in the land as a judicial review, admit our stupid admin error and plead family life, human rights, etc, which would also mean paying the newly inflated fees, about another £3500, when the application is submitted by the solicitors, hopefully sometime next week.
Even then, the visa would only be granted on a discretionary basis and there is as good a chance as any that they will reject it.
If you have to leave the country as the result of a “rejected” (as opposed to “invalid”) visa application, there is no refund and no return to the UK for ten years.
Fortunately, it’s payday, so we paid the lawyers my last month’s wages this morning and have a phone consultation booked for Monday at 11.00.
Assuming we don’t get a knock on the door before that.
Any crossed fingers, tribal offerings, lucky rabbit’s feet, or general good vibes would be greatly appreciated.