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Author Topic: Royal Mail lost my passport. What are my options?  (Read 13474 times)
cardany
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« on: November 29, 2008, 08:27:13 PM »

Hi I recently applied for the Post-Study Work Visa. When I phoned a couple days ago to ask about the status of my case. Home Office said that they already sent out my passport on November 4 by recorded delivery. I haven't received anything. I then called Royal Mail but they said that since it wasn't by special delivery, they were not able to track it. Home Office will not classify the passport as lost until after 4 weeks, which means on December 2. I will call back that day to formally report it lost. Is Home Office responsible for the cost of replacing my passport and visa? I mean I paid £400 for the visa, they should've at least sent it by special delivery which has tracking, right?

Anyways, I am actually going abroad next week. I have dual nationality so I could leave with my other passport. I also wrote a letter to Home Office requesting a written confirmation of the situation so that I could come back to the UK with my other passport without a long-stay visa.

I just don't know what to do about the situation (or what I can do). If anyone has been in similar situation or has any advice, I'd love to hear from you!

Thanks!
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contrex
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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2008, 08:57:23 PM »

I'm surprised that Royal Mail said that, since, just like Special Delivery, Recorded Delivery items have a tracking number and you can use it to trace the items progress on the Royal Mail website or during contact with their customer services. Home Office post rooms record this number and should be able to provide it. The RD sticker has two parts which bear the tracking number. One goes on the packet and the other is stuck in a posting book kept by the sender which is signed by the Royal Mail when they collect the item. After delivery, a scanned image of recipient's signature should be visible on the web site. (or not if they lost it, or it was stolen in transit, I suppose. Passports with visas in are attractive items for thieves and/or dishonest Royal Mail employees.)


[afterthought]

I am also surprised that they did not send a passport by SD.


« Last Edit: November 29, 2008, 10:13:29 PM by contrex » Logged
cardany
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2008, 10:10:28 PM »

Thanks for your reply Contrex.

Yes there is a tracking number and Home Office did give it to me. However, the person at Royal Mail explained that the tracking number for recorded delivery doesn't exactly track a package, it actually gets delivered like regular mail, but when it is delivered, someone has to sign for it, and when that happens, the website would update. She also said that there is no barcode on the package like it would with special delivery.

The thing that worries me the most is the fact that I don't know who has my passport!! When I call Home Office on Tuesday I will ask them if I should report it lost to the police or something. I'm just frustrated by the general lack of empathy of the Home Office staff!!
« Last Edit: November 29, 2008, 10:12:59 PM by cardany » Logged
contrex
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2008, 10:12:35 PM »

They ought to send passports by SD. It ought to be normal practice for such a valuable document.

« Last Edit: November 30, 2008, 01:50:41 PM by contrex » Logged
cardany
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2008, 10:16:08 PM »

Contrex, do you know if Home Office will take responsibility for the lost? I would just like them to pay for the cost of replacing the missing documents, and I think it is fair because they were being cheap on their side!! (Fair enough, I could've attached a special delivery envelope with my application but I had no idea that they don't send passports by special delivery!!)
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contrex
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« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2008, 12:55:55 AM »

I doubt it, considering they will argue that this guidance is widely available

Quote
The Home Office returns items by Recorded Delivery, which is not considered as
fast or as safe a service as Special Delivery. If you would like the Home Office to
return your passport to the International Student Advisor by Special Delivery you
must buy a pre-paid A5 or C5 size Special Delivery envelope from the Post Office
(cost £4.20) and give this to the International Student Advisor when you book your
appointment to submit your passport (and police registration certificate, if
applicable).

From Leicester University's guidance notes
« Last Edit: November 30, 2008, 01:50:59 PM by contrex » Logged
medivisas
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« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2008, 09:09:54 PM »

The Home Office take repsonsibility for nothing, and even when an applicant sends a special delivery envelope it usually won't get used. 

You have no option but to wait the four weeks, get the Royal Mail to confirm it is lost, get a new passport, get the Home Office to get you a new visa.  They won't accept responsibility, but they probably will pay if asked.

But how will you get back into the country?

Vicky
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Aless
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« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2008, 10:08:29 PM »

Home Office only ever send stuff back by recorded delivery - this is nothing new, so I don't know why everyone's acting so surprised they didn't use Special Delivery.

Vicky has the best piece of advice - technically, you'd need Royal Mail to confirm it's lost before anyone will commit to anything.
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BUNAC: 9/2004 - 12/2004. Student visa: 1/2005 - 7/2005. Student visa #2: 9/2006 - 1/2008. FLR(IGS): 1/2008 - 10/2008. FLR(M): 10/2008 - 10/2010. ILR 10/2010!!

Finn, 25/12/2009; Micah, 10/08/2012
contrex
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« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2008, 10:16:47 PM »

UKBA web site...

Quote
We will return your passport(s) and other documents by recorded delivery. If you would like them to be returned by special delivery, you must provide a prepaid special delivery envelope big enough for the documents to be returned.

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CharmCityGirl
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« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2008, 10:43:49 PM »

UKBA web site...



I did just this and they sent back my special delivery envelope along with all my other documents in the recorded delivery envelope. I was more than a little annoyed that I had paid for the special delivery.
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hatsumomo
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« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2008, 09:34:37 AM »

They've always used the SD envelope I included in my dealings with them.  I don't think i'd be chuffed if they did otherwise!
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contrex
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« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2008, 11:59:13 AM »

You get the passport back, and the unused SD envelope, you got lucky.
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hatsumomo
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« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2008, 12:17:09 PM »

You get the passport back, and the unused SD envelope, you got lucky.

Maybe it's because I always addressed the envelope to my home address before putting it in with the application, thus making it useless if not used for that purpose?
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cardany
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« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2008, 12:53:19 PM »

The Home Office take repsonsibility for nothing, and even when an applicant sends a special delivery envelope it usually won't get used. 

You have no option but to wait the four weeks, get the Royal Mail to confirm it is lost, get a new passport, get the Home Office to get you a new visa.  They won't accept responsibility, but they probably will pay if asked.

But how will you get back into the country?

Vicky

Well the funny thing is Royal Mail has already confirmed it as lost since their deadline is 15 days, but Home Office won't confirm it as lost until after 4 weeks. I guess I didn't read their website thoroughly because I definitely didn't see the attach a SD envelope part. They didn't have it on the Post-Study Work section or on the guidance notes! Ugh! I'll call them tomorrow and see what they say. I'm hoping that at least they would give me another visa for free if it has already been approved and all...

As I said I have another passport, so I'll use that to leave and enter the country. I wrote to Home Office requesting a letter detailing the situation (such as the outcome of my visa application and that my passport has been lost in the post) so that I could show it to the immigration officer on my return. I know how slow Home Office is but I'll be gone for 4 weeks and I hope they'll send me a letter?! (I'm having it send to a friend here in the UK so she can forward it to me overseas) Anyways, when I asked if Home Office would send me a letter about the situation, the woman at Home Office said they would. If they don't, I guess I could 'pretend' to be tourist on my return...but I really don't want to lie.

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medivisas
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« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2008, 01:07:52 PM »

I think that, in this situation, leaving the UK may not be a good idea...

Vicky
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