I am in a similar situation, if not worse, to your article on visa delays. It is six months since I submitted my spouse visa extension application and I am still waiting for a decision from the Home Office. Therefore, I am without any formal documents to prove my right to reside in the UK, as my visa expired on 13 May.
My fixed-rate mortgage ends at the end of September and I am struggling to remortgage my home due to my visa status since application forms only accept future visa expiry dates. I am also unable to leave the country to visit my parents abroad. I have called the visa hotline and contacted my MP, but am merely told that there is no timescale for when I can expect a decision, even though its website states eight weeks.
While I understand that the pandemic may cause some delay, having paid £1,052.20 for my application plus £110 for an out-of-hours appointment attending the UKVI service point, I find a six-month delay hard to accept.
The Home Office has said that the rights allowed under visa conditions will continue until a decision on an applicant’s status has been reached, provided they applied before their current visa expired.
However, as you’ve found, lenders, landlords and employers may be reluctant to accept an applicant with expired documents.
The Home Office told you that while the response time should be eight weeks, your application had been delayed by the pandemic. Shockingly, it was only after I queried the length of its backlogs that it discovered an “administrative error”. Your application was approved two days after I contacted the press office.
Untold others are still waiting, for although visa services have reopened after lockdown it is at a reduced capacity. However, it says it has “adapted our working practices in order to minimise waiting times”.
Anyone with an urgent case should call helpline on 0800 678 1767.
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