I was scheduled for my ILR application with one dependant in Solihull today at 10:45 am. My details and the documentation I had prepared have been shared here
. The documents I was actually asked for will be listed below.
I had a concern about reaching there on time so was planning to leave at 730 a.m., anyways I got late and left around 8. As expected ran into some congestion on M6 and after parking at Marks & Spencers (my tomtom failed to get us to John Lewis), reached the PEO at 10:35 a.m., phew!
So after there heres the timelines:
10:35 am - Security checkin
11:00 am - Interview with case worker
11:15 am - Sent for payment
11:25 am - Back from payment
11:50 am- Called for biometrics
12:10 am - Told to come back for documents and approval letter in 2 hours time 1:50 pm)
1:50 pm - Back from lunch
2:45 pm - Got documents and receipt of payment, NO approval letter.
Now lets talk about each of these in detail:
11:00 am - Interview with case worker
a) She asked for the completed SET(O) form
. Told us that the form has changed and now we have to also mention spent convictions in addition to unspent convictions. However, they will expect this form for the grace period of 28 days, but will ask people verbally if they have any spent convictions. I did not have any so that was all OK.
b) She asked for passports for me and partner
, which I provided along with photocopies and a schedule of absences for me. She then requested us to give her sometime to check some details from our passports. This took around 5 mins.
c) She then asked for our LIUK certificates
, which I provided with copies. My partner was duly complemented on scoring 100%, and I was ordered to pay for lunch today, which I do anyways I remarked
d) She then asked for payslips and bank statements
to prove earnings, which I provided with copies and a payslip to bank statement index. To which remarked "all spick and span" in the end
e) Then she asked for some documents to prove me and partner live together. I opened my file of cohab documents, but she suggested if I have council tax bills for the last 3 years
, and they are in both our names that should be enough. I provided that with copies.
f) She almost sent us for the payment before realizing she hadnt taken our photos
, which I then provided. Photos taken last week.
She then asked us if wanted the biometric cards on a different address, we said NO. Then she told us our ILR will be approved today and directed us to the payment counter to make the payment before being called for the biometrics.
11:15 am - sent for payment
Went there and waited for 5 mins, then realised there was a button to be pressed to be serviced, that counter is not manned all the time. So pressed it and someone came to take our payment details in 5 mins. So people going to Solihull, do remember to press that button when you reach the payment counter.
I had a concern about my bank blocking my debit card, the payment person mentioned he will come out to me in the waiting area if there is a problem, and I will have the option to either call my bank to unblock or use another card.
So payment done went out and waited for the biometrics.
12:15 am - Called back for documents and approval letter letter
Went out to Jimmys spices right in front of the PEO. Its a buffet and I would recommend it to all people going to Solihull. Starters, mains and deserts to die for, highly recommended from a foodie
01:50 pm - Back from lunch
When we came back from lunch, we were told that there was some problem getting decision from the "UK wide system" and we might either be sent documents later, or be given documents now but sent the approval later in the post. Not much was explained about this process and why there was a problem, which is my only gripe with Solihull today.
2:45 pm - Got documents and receipt of payment
Our token number was called out and we were explained that they cannot issue approval letters today, but it should be sent in the post in a couple of days. When I dug deeper the worker mentioned the decision should come in by either tonight or sometime tomorrow, and then will be put in the post to me. The biometrics will follow 7-10 working days after that.
This is quite annoying as we applied in person to get that same-day advantage and avoid sleepless nights. In particular I worked really hard to get a Solihull appointment as I thought applying there was quite safe. Allthough admittedly this may not have been there fault. Anyways so thats that, now waiting for approval letters.
Apart from this glitch, the overall experience with Solihull has been great. The waits were a bit more, but then it was really busy today. The staff was quite friendly and cool. Would highly recommend Solihull to prospective applicants.
Lastly I would really like to thank all the forum members, specially moderators who answered my persistent queries and not gave up on me in the process, you guys rock!
Sorry for the long post, but the intent was to put in as much info as I could recollect to help prospective applicants.