MARRIAGE AND RELATIONSHIP EVIDENCE
1) wedding photos, wedding invitation, wedding dress receipt, most importantly red wedding book translated and certified
2) Screenshots of Skype records
3) print out of whatsapp convos
4) pictures of times together, pictures of us together in Thailand where we met originally
5) screenshots of Facebook pages and posts to each other, variety of dates right back to the beginning of the relationship
6) all flight confirmation and tickets over the years together
7) witness statement from a mutual friend who we met in Thailand to testify they were present when we met and believe we are sincere.
I flew out to Turkey, with all my documents to put together with Burak’s in the big ring bungee file, all set out and organised. I also wanted to accompany him to the visa centre in Istanbul for his biometrics and submission of our file just to be there for support or in case they needed to see my about anything etc
Biometrics and documentation submission day at the British visa application centre Istanbul.
I attended with Burak but wasn’t allowed in!
The file was handed over and a check list provided back confirming documentation received.
Burak had his snaps taken, a mouth swab for DNA and his fingerprints taken.. He said it was all very ‘conveyer belt’ style and very busy and the staff were quite blunt and short with him. He came out quite deflated and sad and said ‘ omg I feel so flat like I have done something wrong’ and after that we both felt a bit disheartened.. Nothing a coffee and some Turkish breakfast didn’t sort out mind!!
Also, Whilst there we also paid an additional fee of £385 to have the visa ‘ fast tracked‘ to a decision in 15 working days! We thought the whole process is so so expensive, what’s an extra £385 on top again to shorten the waiting time??!!
We paid and that was it.. It was out of our hands and the fate of our future was passed on to an entry clearance officer. All we could do now was wait patiently for the outcome and pray we would get good news.
We had an account set up with the visa centre ( you do this when you book the biometrics appointment) and were told to keep checking our account on the ‘ track my visa’ section for progress etc..
20/01/2016 – checked track my visa and it stated ‘ application passed to entry clearance officer’
22/01/2016 – I received a telephone call from the entry clearance officer asking if I was free for a 15 minute telephone interview ( luckily I was as work was quiet) she was (to my surprise) so warm and lovely on the phone, she reassured me as she could hear the nerves in my voice.
She asked a few generic questions like ‘what date did you get married? Where did you meet Burak? What are his parents names? What’s his date of birth? And then finally asked if I was still willing to sponsor and to confirm no circumstances had changed since submitting the application. After ending the phone call I had no idea if receiving a telephone interview was a good or bad thing and it left me quite anxious.
Checked online visa tracker – DECISION MADE!!! Burak also told via email to attend at the visa centre ASAP to receive decision in writing and get all our paperwork back. Luckily for us he was quite near there so made his way there immediately by subway. Got there and anxiously opened his package to a letter
‘ CONGRATULATIONS on your successful application’
And the visa was in his passport
Words cannot describe how ecstatic we both were!
Burak is now due to arrived here in the UK on the 19th of February 2016 and we will now begin our future together full time, we are aware we must make sure that we maintain these requirements for the next 5 years until Burak can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK and then in turn a passport – long process!
Our baby boy is due at the end of March and I am delighted he will be here to see his son being born. It’s been a tough and stressful process and very expensive.
The total cost of the application:
NHS surcharge, exams, fast track and all the translation and certifications is a whooping £3,500
This doesn’t include my flights out to get the documentation in and burak’s flight here on the 19th.
So if you want to include that then I would say more like over £4000!
But the wait is over, and most importantly we have had a successful outcome.
My aim is to help as many people as I can who are in the situation I was in fighting for this very tough visa, I feel passionate that the requirements ( the financial one) is discriminatory and is against the basic human right to a family life.
Why should a person who earns over £18,600 be entitled to a family life in the UK and a person who doesn’t meet this requirement isn’t entitled to a family life? It genuinely upsets me, even though I am one of the lucky ones. This law needs to change.
If anyone needs any more info or would like to talk about anything with me. Please feel free to email me any time on firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2016, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.