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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7602
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Good morning, I sent an email about 10 minutes ago re my

This answer was rated:

Good morning,

I sent an email about 10 minutes ago re my Ancestry Visa extension.
Was it received at your office?

Avril Cowlrick

As experts, we only see the question that you post on this thread.

Please reply with details of your question and I shall attempt to provide you with an answer.

Kind reagrds

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Did you not receive my detailed email sent a short while ago?

No, this thread is the only contact we (as experts) have received from you.

Please ask the question that you wish me to answer and I shall do so.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Good morning Tom,


I am a 68 year old NZer who has lived and worked in the UK for just over 9 years on an Ancestry Visa which expired on 22nd december 2012. I sent my application for an extension to UKBA on 22nd November ( rules state this may not be done prior to 28 days of the expiry date) and this was duly acknowledged by letter and the payment £561.00 taken from my account on 26th November. I booked a flight to Auckland to see my new granddaughter born 17th January to leave UK 22nd February which was 3 months after my application was sent in feeling that I was certain to have my Passport and Visa back by then given that the previous extension was actioned within 28 days. I had no way of knowing that I would be caught up in the huge backlog at the UKBA and they tell me my reason for wanting to leave the UK to see my granddaughter is not good enough for my application to be expedited in order to catch the flight on 22nd February and it may be June before it is actioned.. China Southern will not refund my fare or change the dates so I will lose £797 if I can't catch the flight. I am a prisoner in the UK - unable to travel anywhere - not even to Ireland on a walking holiday with my friends. This is unfair and unreasonable and must surely be infringing on my rights. I am desperate to see my new granddaughter as any new grandmother would be and am devastated that the UKBA will not help me. If I ask for my passport back my application will be withdrawn and I will become an overstayer and have to leave the country which I don't want to do.My application fee will also not be refunded even if they've done nothing. I have made a home here, have my pension paid here which I supplement by bringing funds in regularly from NZ and have a son and grandchildren in London who are British citizens. My son and his family in Auckland are my only other living relatives in the world and I just want to see my new granddaughter! I'll be exceedingly grateful if you can assist me in any way.


Kind regards,


Avril Cowlrick.

Hi Avril, Thanks for your patience.

I’m afraid that it’s an extremely frustrating and impossible situation.

The difficulty is that if you have applied by post and not in person then you are at the mercy of the waiting times that the UKBA currently have.

The UKBA would say that if you required your application determined quickly then you should have applied in person, so that it is likely to be decided within a day or two (if the application is straight-forward).

Now that the application has been submitted it is very difficult to get the matter speeded up.

Were you to withdraw the application to either attempt to apply in person then you would effectively be asking the UKBA to exercise their discretion and overlook the overstay. This is risky, they could refuse but it’s also possible they could approve the application provided that your circumstances were adequately explained in a supporting statement.

Were you to withdraw the application and return to Australia then you would have to apply again. The application would still have a good chance of success provided that you can show that you applied before your visa expired and left within a reasonable time (ie. 28 days) of your application/passport being returned to you. You would still have to show that you intended to work in the UK, so if you are not working then this would probably not be an option.

The reality (rightly or wrongly) is that it is not at all unusual for the UKBA to take three months or more to decide on an application. In fairness, they do say that you should not purchase flight tickets before your visa is approved.

If either of the above two options are not viable then you can get a letter from your MP and ask a solicitor to write a letter to the UKBA pleading for your application to be given special attention. In my experience though, this does not generally mean that your application will be expedited.

I am very sorry that I could not have better news for you, I hope you are able to see that it’s better that you honestly appreciate your limited options however.

Please remember to RATE my answer OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE or above if you are satisfied that you have received the correct legal advice (even if it is not the answer you wanted to hear), otherwise I do not receive any credit for answering your question.

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Kind regards,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I did ask for my Application back so that I could apply in person at the Liverpool office but they wouldn't release them on the grounds that if it left their office I automatically become an overstayer. If I had realised that there was such a backlog ( they say you can't send the application prior to 28 days before expiry or I could have done it months ago ) I'd certainly have fronted up but I had no way of knowing that an extension would be tied up with all the other various applications. Seems like I've hit a brick wall !!


Regards, Avril

Dear Avril,

I'm afriad so.

The only way that you can guarantee that your leave to remain is secured in the UK is to proceed with the application that they have in hand, that is the honest truth unfortunately.

It may still be worth seeing your MP, getting a letter from him then getting a solicitor to write a letter. It's not a 'magic bullet' but I would imagine you would take any help that you can get at this point.

A great many people have the same complaint as you I'm afraid.

For what it's worth though, the UKBA are unpredictable. I have seen them say that they will not determine an application for months and months only to receive determination a week or two later.

Please remember to rate my answer.

Kind regards.

Thomas and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you

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