Just wanted to share our experience at Croydon PEO for our ILR under Hsmp Jr document.
The appointment was at 9.AM and we reached the office by 8.10AM. After going through the security checks, lined up for the payment. Guess what.. "the system was down"!.
Believe it or not, I took cash and special delivery envelop just in case because you never know what can go wrong.
The staff started issuing receipts manually, and this took some time. After staying the in queue for about 15/20 minutes we went to the common waiting area for our number to be called. It was 9.30 AM by this time. While we were walking to find a good seat, our number came up on the display and a gentleman was waiting for us. He was very pleasant and welcoming. He asked us to have a seat and asked for the form and the receipt.
He then said to take our time and give him all the documents that we have brought with us. I had taken all the payslips and bank statements covering for the whole 4 years, and proof of address for my wife (i.e. council tax, bank statements, bills) and it was very bulky. However, then and there, I decided to give him:
* 1 year bank statements
* 2 year payslips + all P60's
* passports (mine + wife) + pics
* current employment contract
A small laugh went over the gentleman's face when he saw the paper lot. I guess he was relieved that I didnt give all 3 files I had prepared!!! He then very politely said, "it might take sometime to get through all the papers we provided him and he will go though all of it," and asked as to go have coffee/something to eat if we wished to. He directed us to the cafe and said that he will call us if there is anything.
We grabbed some sandwiches and a tea waited the gentleman to call us. After about 45 minutes, the gentleman called us back to the counter and said that everything is fine, and that he is just waiting for the "approval" from the supervisor to issue the stamp. He then returned all the documents that I had given to him. I have to say, he had gone through it throughly, and I felt that he had cross checked my payslips against the current account statements.
He then warned us that the stamping of the visa should not take more than 1 hour max, and we were relieved and happy. All this delay was because of the systems being down thanks to a power failure.
Anyway, after another wait, our number was called for the passport-collection counter. Again the member of staff there apologised for the delay and gave us the passports with the new stamps. She explained the contents of the covering letter which was accompanying the passports. She also mentioned that my ILR started from mid Jan, (not from mid Feb, which is the date I applied for it), and to use the covering letter If I decide to apply for naturalisation.
Although the whole process took extra time, it was a good experience. The staff was very helpful and polite. I think the right documents in the right order, properly organised, is the key to the whole process.