Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Oh Dear

Is this why there has been no response to my repeated queries to the UK Border Agency?

From the Herald Sun Australia


AUSTRALIANS who have experienced frustrating delays when extending their visa in Britain will feel some vindication with the publication of a damning report into the UK Border Agency (UKBA).

The Home Affairs select committee has warned that at the current rate of progress it would take 24 years to clear a backlog of asylum and immigration cases the size of the population of Iceland at the UKBA.

Between July and September last year, four new types of backlog came to light, taking the total number of cases to almost 313,000.

TNT magazine, a free weekly publication for Aussie and Kiwi expats in the UK, launched a campaign a month ago demanding the UKBA lift its game.

Group editor Carol Driver says the committee report proves the agency is inefficient and shambolic.

Driver said it shouldn't be so torturous to apply for an extension to an existing visa or for leave to remain in Britain.

"We've received a huge number of horror stories from readers who are paying for this service," Driver said. "It's something that you wouldn't stand for in the private sector."

Driver believes the UK government agency needs a "massive overhaul".

Monday's report suggests applications could be processed in 45 minutes, but many Australians have told TNT they haven't heard from UKBA for 10 months.

Unless people pay for a premium service, they have to surrender their passport to the border agency for that period.

For the first six months, the UKBA won't even accept inquiries about applications, Driver says.

TNT magazine's online petition demands a helpline be set up to provide updates at any time "not only after six months".

It also wants visas processed within three months for those eligible to work.

"It's unacceptable that people who want to work and travel in the UK and boost the economy - who have no rights to claim benefits - aren't able to due to UKBA inefficiency," Driver said


So a  delay of up to 10 month waiting for your application to be processed and the UKBA won’t even respond to any queries until after 6 months has elapsed.  Not good news!  No wonder the operators are all too busy to take my telephone calls or answer my emails.  I bet they don’t take 10 months to bank the £1000 visa application fee which is required to accompany my application documents. 

I can see there will be only one way for the UK government to resolve this mess….. Should I save ourselves £1000 and just wait for the amnesty? Smile

On a more positive note, the battery automatic watering system is now fully operational.  It appears the normal configuration is to have a pressurized system.  However ours is gravity fed.  The last part of the puzzle solution was to ensure there was a continuous “downward” run in the tube thus preventing any airlocks.  The new battery caps have been checked and distilled water will flow from them if the integral float drops.

The other thing we have noticed is it is taking less time to recharge the domestic battery bank and the bank is lasting longer.  Initially thoughts were the Smartgauge might be inaccurate, but then I read the battery manual which stated the batteries do not reach 100% capacity until they have been recharged approximately 50 times.  I suppose it’s a little like running in a new car (if you can remember back to the ‘old days’!)

I’ve already read the “Life in the UK” book once.  Much of it started to become familiar as memories from my schooldays returned.  It’s now a case of sorting the ‘wheat from the chaff’.  The plan is to do this using a coloured highlighter during the second reading.


Halfie said...

And now the UKBA is to be scrapped.

Tom and Jan said...

Yes, but if you read the article it includes the comment

Mr Sedwill, the senior civil servant in the department, said the new structure would begin on Monday, and in a leaked memo to staff said most would "still be doing the same job in the same place with the same colleagues for the same boss".

What will change?

Kevin said...

The name of the Agency, and bugger all else!! Seen it all before sadly :(