Thus, actual purpose of this write-up is to â€˜try covering smaller detailsâ€™/â€™finer pointsâ€™ based on my understanding.
Along comes my cover letter which will tell you exactly what documents I submitted.
On Oct 05, I went to VFS to collect my application. One person was there to inquire VFS about dependent maintenance fund. As we were waiting and had time to kill, we chattered. I was answering his questions like a specialist. Indeed, I should be thankful to this forum.
So this is payback time for me.
1) Story of VFS, Pune:
VFS Pune was not very crowded and I believe on most of days, it should not. Though, I got additional set of photocopies, VFS person didnâ€™t take them and told â€˜originals are fineâ€™.
I had asked for appointment by emailing to VFS. Details are on VFS site for appointment. My appointment was 11 AM morning, but VFS people were slow and didnâ€™t call me till 12.15 noon.
I kept waiting because sign over VFS person shoulder was saying â€˜This area is under CCTV surveillance. We are watching.â€™ Who knows if they do â€˜psychological profiling too using this camera. just kidding.
When watch told â€™12:15â€™, my patience was over. I went to person at help desk and asked â€“ Why is it so late, are you even checking your appointment calendar? Politely but loudly.
He immediately asked for my documents and process started. Oops!!! Why didnâ€™t I ask him earlier?
VFS person didnâ€™t take my cover letter. He told â€˜twiceâ€™ that cover letter is not necessary because they have also put a checklist stating documents. BUT I insisted and put the cover letter with it. I had got A4 size printout for each section, I put them in between of documents thus â€˜marking the sectionsâ€™.
â€¢ Visa photograph is available inside VFS. If they find any problem with your photo, no worries
â€¢ UK photo guidance are available on VFS site. 45mmX35mm. No white boundaries. No photo editing. Simple brightness setting is not a problem.
â€¢ Photocopy 1/- per page is available inside.
â€¢ VFS has premium service for outside city applicants. i.e. VFS will send by courier once they receive application. I didnâ€™t ask for charges as I was in Pune.
â€¢ I opted for SMS alert facility for 100 INR. Though, I found online application tracking link more effective. I didnâ€™t get SMS about â€˜ready for collectâ€™ status. I checked online and went to VFS. SMS arrived after collection . It may be because of bulk SMS banned due to Ayodhya verdict. Whatever reason might be, I found online tracking effective. Advantage of being in IT industry? Huh.
2) Story of my fee payment:
I preferred to take a demand draft to VFS, Pune. Carry cash has always been uncomfortable for me. I find it unsafe, risky and a bundle of paper. Thus, I preferred going to ICICI bank, wrote a cheque to myself and got demand draft.
If you prefer to pay cash, 200 INR will be charged by VFS cash counter.
Funny and irritating part of story is â€“ I had to go back to VFS and then bank at 3.30 PM when VFS called and told draft is not legal because bank forgot to sign the draft. Arrgh
In morning, when I went for submitting my application, security guards checked my demand draft, then cash counter personnel verified my passport and demand draft. What did they check then?
â€¢ Draft is good. I didnâ€™t know how draft should look like and missed signatures.
â€¢ Draft saves your time at VFS and they are easy to carry
â€¢ Draft charges are lower (172 INR) than 200 INR which VFS will charge.
3) Story of my ICICI bank statements:
Two weeks before my application date, I visited ICICI bank branch (relatively smaller branch) closer to my place. RM told me bank statements on letter head are not possible. They can give a dot-matrix printer signed and stamped. Much cajoling, no results.
I decided to go to my base branch - Shivaji Nagar. Lots of people in this forum have mentioned to go to bigger branches. I did same.
Mantra was - Be firm, be polite and be persuasive. Rightly so, I decided not to waste my time. I directly entered branch managerâ€™s cabin. With complete suaveness and professionalism <devil>, I explained my cause and my expectation from bank. He readily agreed. He called one middle level staff and told me to provide me 12 month bank statement on official stationary.
Here, I talked and befriended this mid-level manager. After all, I needed his direct extension to provide to UKBA. Also so, because once we talked about finance (my domain), my business analyst profile and how much fun it is, he was more than happy to help me.
At this point, I also asked two additional letters from him on bank letterhead. One letter stating 3 months min-balance; and other letter stating that â€˜bank statement is genuine and total 7 pagesâ€™.
â€¢ It is official stationary. Official stationary simply cuts all garbage of electronic, stamp, signed etc. Bank logo and name is on every page.
â€¢ If bank giving you official stationary, then why not to get it signed and stamped. Do so.
â€¢ Get another authentication letter mentioning account#, your name, statement period and TOTAL PAGES of statement.
â€¢ Donâ€™t think that I got authentication letter (and additional min fund letter) for hack of it. My actual purpose was â€“ Official will put his/her name and put a signature on such letter. So, I also asked to write contact number there as well. Additionally, if you are spending so much time with him/her, ONE has to remember you and your name. So that, when BHC calls them, it â€˜clicksâ€™ to them immediately. I befriended two managers sitting on adjacent desks there, for this very purpose and showed those contact details
â€¢ Take a highlighter and highlight transaction rows showing your salary. I also put a circled number at very left of transaction for every month i.e. 1 for august salary, 2 for July salary etc.
â€¢ Since, I was submitting single statement for my min fund requirement and past earning; I wrote â€˜min fund STARTâ€™ and â€˜min fund ENDâ€™ at left side of statement and highlighted those words.
4) Story of my employer:
I requested 12 month pay slips from finance dept. using intranet portal. Finance dept. put a stamp and a â€˜birdieâ€™ signature on it. Also, in company records, my middle name â€˜kumarâ€™ was missing. I took this opportunity to again let few people in company â€˜remember my name and documents, they gave me.â€™
Thus, I visited finance department, got full signature pay slips. I also went to HR department to ask a letter stating that â€˜kumarâ€™ is middle name and actual name is XX kumar YY.
â€¢ It is helpful, if someone in HR and finance remember that some work was done for â€˜Mr xyâ€™ couple of weeks back. I put same people contact details on VAF9 form.
â€¢ I canâ€™t comment, if BHC actually called and confirmed something.
â€¢ Employer (HR) denied giving me earning letter with Gross and Net. I didnâ€™t push them, as documents I had were sufficient.
â€¢ I didnâ€™t tell my UK visa reason. I just told some family business funding is needed so taking business loan on my name.
5) About qualification and English requirement:
I am post graduate and I did three years Masters of Computers Application course. My qualification was in both English as well as qualification section on point based calculator. Thus, I didnâ€™t submit any additional documents.
As It has been discussed many a times, a letter from college or university is NO HELP. You have to get NARIC evaluation done, if PBS does not give you points.
â€¢ No use of running to collect any college or university letter about English language requirement. I wasted my efforts, until I asked this forum and read the guidelines 3-4 times.
â€¢ Degree certificate was very much sufficient. However, MCA being a 3 year course, I also sent my 6 semester mark sheets. I didnâ€™t need to, but I did because, two sections for claiming points were critical. Even if it was extra paper load, I did so.
6) My views (and purely my views):
You may or may not agree but I derived my own conclusions, based on my readings, browsing and discussions.
â€¢ Case workers either donâ€™t care or not too good. Try to keep your application as simple as possible.
â€¢ Try reading more of â€˜rejections and Administrative Reviewâ€™ threads on this forum. They actually tell you â€˜what not to doâ€™
â€¢ Put a nice cover letter. It is surely helpful
â€¢ If you have computer to â€˜track your applicationâ€™, donâ€™t subscribe to SMS service. Anyways, in worst case, you get email about document collection.
â€¢ Better highlight details on bank statement, bank letters and pay slips for the case worker.
â€¢ List of items, I highlighted in my application -o Word â€˜Gross Payâ€™ in my all 12 pay slips
o Word â€˜MMM YYYYâ€™ in my all 12 pay slips
o Rows â€˜Incentiveâ€™ and â€˜arrearsâ€™ in my 1 payslip (post annual appraisal one)
o Row â€˜bonusâ€™ in my 1 pay slip.
o All 12 transaction rows of salary credited in bank statement stating â€˜Salary for MMM â€“ Mr. XX YYâ€™
o I put a arrow marker each for â€˜min fund STARTâ€™ and â€˜min fund ENDâ€™ with highlight on them.
7) Cover letter is with this thread. I am not putting any more details.
Table of Content: Age Assessment::::
Qualification::::::: Past Earnings:::::::::
Language:::::::::: Maintenance Funds: