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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7405
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Im a US citizen, temporary 27 month visa expired 20JUL. Submitted

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I'm a US citizen, temporary 27 month visa expired 20JUL. Submitted application for permanent right to remain on the 1st of August. I have been married to a British citizen for 15 years, 13 years of that we resided in the US. I submitted this week to the UK Border Agcy, my divorce papers from my first husband as required. I am taking the 'Life in the UK' test this coming Thursday morning in Glasgow. I didn't do that before sending in my application be cause I didn't think I had to take the test (big mistake). Anyway, I have plans to visit my family in November in the US but am told that it may take until then to reach a decision and possible not until Feb or March! I need to know if there is any help that an attorney can get for me. I feel very uncomfortable not being able to leave should an emergency come up with my elderly mother or my family. Is there anything that can be done? will my application be rejected because I sent in my test separately?
Pam Mackenzie
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for your question.

I regret to say that there is little you can do in order to speed up the application process, there is no such facility provided by the UKBA in this regard to either applicants themselves or solicitors acting on their behalf.

The UKBA aims to reach determination on all applications within 6 weeks of the date of submission, but in practice only the most well prepared and evidence applications get approved within this time and, yes, determination is usually reached much later than this. It is regrettable but not uncommon for determination to take up to three months if their resources are very stretched.

The UKBA would be entitled to reject your application because you have not submitted your life in the UK test, and in fact they probably will unless you send this to them very promptly once you have passed. If you do then it will be at the discretion of the clearance officer dealing with your whether to accept it or not. If you do not get it to them within the next the week or two then I would expect them to return your application immediately because the defect will be apparent from even the most cursory check. You may consider writing to them in the meantime letting them know that the test will follow very shortly.
The difficult is that if your application is rejected then although you have your passport to enable you to travel you will not have a visa to return with to the UK because they will be able to see that you entered on your previous visa and will know that you are not a visitor and therefore entitled to get a visitor’s visa upon port of entry in the UK.
If you do not get your passport back and you desperately need to return to the UK because of emergency then you may be able to contact the US embassy, explain the situation and obtain an emergency travel document. This would not solve the problem of how you would return to the UK unfortunately.
You’re simply going to have to take and pass the test then send it in and hope that you have an understanding clearance officer examining your file.

Sorry it could not be better news.
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Kind regards,


Thomas, Solicitor
Satisfied Customers: 7405
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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