artem1309 wrote: ↑
Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:37 am
This post is just supposed to share my story about applying for a Tier 2 Visa using the new Super Premium Service. In case you are in a similar situation, I hope this information will give you some confidence and peace of mind - you are not alone!
First of all, I've already made a post in the "In-country Tier 2 application timelines" topic on Sat Mar 23, 2019 at 10:42 am so please refer to that post for the full timeline of my application.
Basically, my application was severely delayed: instead of the standard guidance timeline of 24 hours, I received my approval letter on the 8th working day, the decision was made by the Home Office on the 6th working day. Here is how the situation was unfolding:
08.03: I applied online using the new super priority service.
09.03: I submitted my biometric information at the Sopra Steria service centre at Croydon. 09.03 is Saturday but for the extra £100 (on Sopra Steria website) I managed to get my appointment on that date. Following that, I did NOT receive any confirmation that my application + biometrics was successfully submitted. This is totally fine as apparently, they don't send any confirmations.
I was so naive to expect the decision to be made by Tuesday the latest but that didn't happen.
13.03: I called the UK Visas service line to inquire about my application. They told me that 24 hours is a guidance timeline, but this is not guaranteed. The actual deadline for that kind of service is 5 working days. I was advised that if I don't receive my decision by that time, I should contact the service centre again for the official escalation.
18.03: Having received no feedback by the end of the week, I called them again. They sent an escalation email on my behalf and I was promised to hear back on my enquiry within another 5 working days. I was also told that I should be able to claim a refund on the super-priority service following the receipt of the official decision as the service was not delivered on time.
Just so you understand: that service centre has NO access to any information on individual applications and the best they can do for you is to send an escalation email to the Home Office and put you on hold for another week.
20.03: I received a call regarding my escalation. A lady on the phone informed me that the decision was made on 18.03 and the decision letter was posted to my home address. She gave me the Royal Mail tracking number. At the noon of the same day, the delivery attempt failed as I was not at home to leave my signature upon the receipt. Eventually, I collected the decision letter from the delivery office of Royal Mail in the evening of the same day. The letter confirmed that my application was approved and that the BRP was about to arrive in a separate envelope within 7 days.
As you might have seen, a lot of people get their approval via email. It is unclear to me why this is so inconsistent, ie why some get an email and some get a posted letter. Even the call centre representative told me that it can be either an email or a letter - that is very weird to me as it looks like a lottery.
Another funny thing was that given all the delay, I found my BRP letter in my mailbox just on the next day, 21.03. It was just dropped into the mailbox with no receipt signature required. At the same time, they denied leaving the decision letter (a piece of paper basically, not a document) without a signature.
Last but not least, I made another call to the service centre regarding the refund. They advised me to use the email below:
HO emial not to be published
I dropped them an email last Friday, 22.03 and still waiting for any feedback.
And the very last: throughout all this time, I was using the "Prove Right to Work" service available at https://www.gov.uk/prove-right-to-work
. I noticed that my work permit information (expiry date) was updated the day after the decision was actually made, on 19.03 and way before I received the decision letter. So I believe it makes sense to check it from time to time - just need your current (old) BRP number and date of birth.
I hope this information has been useful for some of you. I know how annoying and nervous it is to be completely unaware of what's going on with your application having paid extra £610 for the super premium service so stay strong and remember that you are not alone!