For most of our clients from the Philippines, however, this is the hardest part of the application process because they just cannot stand the waiting and the doing-nothing stage.
“It was better when we were still gathering the documents because we were very busy collecting the papers that we did not feel and realize how time passed by so rapidly, we did not notice how the days went by,” ECO-Friendly clients from the Philippines would remark.
Processing usually takes around 60 working days after filing if the application is straightforward, according to the UK immigration website.
This means that if there are no complications with the documents filed by the Filipina applicant, and the personal and financial circumstances of the British sponsor/partner complies with the requirements on the minimum income threshold, the decision could be released around 60 working days after the application is lodged.
To somewhat calm or appease the applicant for the UK Spouse Visa or UK Fiancée Visa, the immigration officials at Sheffield office would send the status of the application via text messages or emails (like if the application has been received by the Sheffield office, or if the original documents have been returned and on its way to the applicant, or if a decision has been made and has been forwarded to the local VFS).
These notifications, however, are not really sufficient to satisfy the anxiousness or restlessness of the applicant waiting here in the Philippines.
Based on ECO-Friendly’s years of experience, it is really only when the actual passport has been received by the applicant with the entry sticker (vignette) affixed to it can the applicant for the UK Spouse Visa or UK Fiancée Visa truly breathe a sigh of relief!
Lately, however, despite receipt of the passport with the vignette attached to it, most approved visa applicants from the Philippines become more apprehensive and nervous because of what is indicated in the vignette.
In the last few visa approvals that our applicants have received, the vignette indicated that the validity of the visa is only for one month, which generated a bit of a stir among ECO-Friendly clients for the UK Spouse Visa and UK Fiancée Visa, who assumed that they will only be allowed to stay in the UK for one month, and that after this one month period had lapsed, they need to return to the Philippines.
In the past, the vignette indicated that the visa was valid for two and a half (2.5) years. In the new vignette, however, the validity is for only 30 days or one month.
ECO-Friendly would like to assure the UK Spouse Visa and UK Fiancée Visa holder that this is perfectly standard and normal, and the 30-day period indicated in the vignette denotes the number of days the applicant is allowed to travel in the UK.
According to the UKVI, if the UK Spouse Visa or UK Fiancée Visa holder does not arrive in the UK within this 30 day period, he or she will need to apply for a vignette transfer, with a corresponding fee.
Under UKVI rules, however, the actual allowed stay in the UK, shall be for a period of 33 months, which is stated in a letter attached with the decision packet.
Before the lapse of this 33-month period, the UK Spouse Visa or UK Fiancée Visa holder shall be given the privilege to renew the visa so that he or she can stay and finish the whole five (5) years stay in the UK to comply with the 5-year stay as required, for the eventual filing for settlement.
According to the UKVI, “Where you have been granted 6 months or 33 months Entry Clearance under Appendix FM, the endorsement of your vignette indicates the basis on which you have been granted leave under the Rules. That will also enable you to identify when you are likely to be able apply for settlement (assuming that you continue to meet the relevant requirements).
Where the endorsement on your vignette includes the phrase – STANDARD, it means that you are currently on a five-year route to settlement. If you continue to meet the requirements and make the appropriate applications for further leave to remain, you are likely to apply for settlement in 5 years.
In the sample visa above, validity is from 20/04/18 until 20/05/18.
Juana is therefore allowed to travel to the UK from 04 April 2018 until 20 May 2018.
However, when she gets to the UK, she will need to go to a designated post office to collect her Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) which will act as her visa or residence permit and this document states that she can stay there from 20 April 2018 until 20 January 2021 or a period of exactly 33 months.
The next steps, ECO-Friendly will discuss in another article. Until next time!
For your queries regarding your UK Spouse Visa, UK Fiancée Visa or any other UK Settlement Visa, please do not hesitate to contact us by clicking the ECO-Friendly contact box below.