If you look at what the Government has to say about Immigrants, the first impression you get is that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you fall in the Migrant spectrum, you are an “undesirable.” Why? Because if you’re working, you’re “stealing jobs” from British Citizens; if you’re not working then you’re “leeching off the system;” and if you’re not using benefits and you’re not working either, then – by golly – you’re “not integrating” into their society.
No matter how you cut the deck, no matter how dumb your dealer looks, there is no changing the fact that they’ve stacked it against you right from the word “go.”
All angry rants aside, yesterday, my husband and I met with our solicitor. We then spent an hour with him pouring over rules and guidelines, checking and rechecking… trying to guess just what ridiculous thought process they might have used to reach the conclusion how we don’t make the Income Requirement – despite it being verified by two different Accountants, HMRC, his bank statements… etc. al.
I keep saying that I can’t blame them and looking over the rules as we did, I am left to revise my original mantra from “You can’t expect an ECO to know accounting any more than an Accountant to understand immigration rules,” to include, “nor can you expect them to know immigration law as well as a lawyer or require that lawyers know accounting to the same degree as an Accountant.” Because that’s what this basically how it feels like it’s boiling down to at this point.
My application has changed hands no less than three times now, all within the same office, it’s taken four months for them to toss it into the “on hold” pile rather than actually look at the documentation that has been given to us; they still have my husband’s passport on top of all of the rest of our documents, plus my own. In what way is this can we call this a quality service that I have received? In what drug-induced haze does this even begin to make sense?
I’m going to make this clear right here and right now: irregardless of the missed queue-times, the hoop jumping, the radio silence, the unnecessary withholding of personal documentation, my biggest issue is the simple fact that have failed to follow their own protocols. There are only two answers to this; one is Dereliction of Duty, the other is Malfeasance. There is simply no way anyone actually looking at our documents would have concluded that we fail to meet the requirements without resorting to self-deception. I don’t know why they did it, I frankly do not care at this point. It is unacceptable. Flat out, end of discussion.
And so I’m debating, long and hard, about submitting a formal letter of complaint them; which you can do, here:
UKBA/Home Office Complaints Allocation Hub
Now, in theory, they aren’t supposed to discriminate if you nark on them, but I wouldn’t trust that too much. Just because they say that complaints do not effect your application, I wouldn’t put it past people to get vindictive anyway. Ask any police officer, they will be more than happy to tell you how many piddly rules they can pull out if they decide they don’t like your attitude/face (statistics on how minorities are more likely to be arrested or charged will back that up).
So I’m thinking about this long and hard before I’m pressing the send button on the angry e-mail that I’ve restructured into something that (on the surface at least) looks constructive.
It probably needs seven or so more revisions before it’s fit for human eyes.
All the talk about the proposed changes to that are in the Immigration bill scares me; I’ve said this several times before, but the sheer impact this will have on my normal life – as a legal immigrant to the UK – was up for debate. There is no confusion, it will give me some added challenges to integration that were not there originally. More and more likely, the largest impact will be in finding a place to live.
Why? Because they will require renters to prove that they are legally allowed to remain in the UK. This means you will be required to produce documentation that proves you are a legal resident (passport for migrants, for those born here you can get away with your birth certificate). The problem, you ask? Well, this person – a fellow American Ex-pat no less – has summed it up herself from her own recent experiences. THAT, good people, is what I have to look forward to dealing with. My accent warbles, sometimes I pass as a native, sure, but it isn’t perfect and my non-british surname already causes some eyebrow raises.
In other news, my MP (still looking at you Keith Simpson) didn’t even bother to reply to MY email. Not even a basic template letter (that he sent to my husband, but apparently I’m not good enough for that). So not only is he not doing anything for the constituents that contact him in Parliament itself, but he doesn’t have the common curtesy to say it to my face.