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Author Topic: EEA2 turn around time, any recent experience?  (Read 18363 times)
lilbruiser4
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« on: December 31, 2009, 07:15:32 PM »

Hi all,

 Happy New Year!  I've just sent in my EEA2 residence card application and have read the horror stories of it taking 8+ months last year to be processed.  But recently with the supposed new legislation I have heard from some of you just this past fall that people were getting their residence cards processed and passports back in 3-4 weeks.  Has anyone recently apply in the last couple of months?Huh and if so what was your turn around time experienced?

Any info is appreciated, I'm contemplating whether to book some flights home for March but don't really want to go to the hassle of haggling them for my passports back and are hoping I might actually see them back by the end of January anyway.

THANKS!
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Petunia
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2009, 10:27:55 PM »

A friend of mine just received his residence card in the mail last week; processing time was 3 weeks exactly.
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« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2009, 10:30:30 PM »

Wow, something must be changing or they are dealing with the newest first.  I've heard people waiting forever for theirs.
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JuniorMint
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2010, 03:59:42 AM »

By law, they're allowed 6 months from the date on the application to process and issue the residence card.

I received a Certificate of Application (piece of paper that proves you're allowed to work while the application gets processed) 4 weeks after I sent in my application.

It took 9 months to get my passport with the residence card inside it.  Part of the reason, was they moved their European applications section from Croydon to Liverpool - and it made all sorts of chaos.

At the 8 month mark, I was getting fed up and I decided to be more proactive and chase it up.  I contacted SOLVIT's Ireland branch and they got on the case.  I also e-mailed UK BIA expressing my disappointment and also pointing out that they were now violating European law.  Things started to move after that point and I received the residence card in my passport a month later.

I believe since then (conclusion of 2008), one of the bureaucracies in the E.U. scolded UK BIA for all the delays and since then things have improved dramatically.  I certainly hope you don't have to wait as long as I did.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2010, 04:04:17 AM by JuniorMint » Logged

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DanielD1980
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danielcduckett

« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2010, 01:20:33 PM »

Hiya, unlike the last poster, I submitted my EEA2 application in August of this year after the move that he referenced.  It took only two weeks to get my Certificate of application and then after that I waited about two more weeks to get my passport back with the stamp inside.  So...a total wait time of four weeks.  If you complete the application properly and submit all the necessary documents that they ask for, you shouldn't have any problems. 

Also, don't book any flights until you have your passport in hand, otherwise you'll have to call the Border Agency and request it be sent back to you on an emergency basis, which will only delay your application from being processed.  My advice: do exactly what they ask for on the application, submit plenty of documentation and your ORIGINAL passport, and sit back and wait.  Best of luck!
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cetikk
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2010, 08:40:32 PM »

Hi there,

I was wondering if you got your passport yet?

thanks
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lilbruiser4
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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2010, 11:05:58 PM »

Nope!  I received the CoA about 2 weeks after applying but since then, nothing.  It's only been 2 months... but I was hoping that I'd get it back in 3-4 weeks like others were this past fall.  Really stinks, I was going to go home to the states for some big family birthday celebrations this weekend but can't unless I get it back in the next day or two and I don't think that's going to happen  Undecided

I'm just hoping it's not going to take 6+ months like it has in the past, I don't know how the others dealt with it.  I really do not like this feeling of wondering what is going on with it and that I'm basically being forced to be stuck in the UK until the border agency gets to it in their leisure.  I'm also having difficulties securing work without the visa (employers just don't understand the CoA so prefer to take someone else) both because I don't have it and without the visa and my passport I can't travel outside of the UK which is usually a good part of my work... come on UK!

I know I could request my passport back in the interim but I really don't want to slow down things any further by doing so....

Anyone else apply recently (Oct/09 and on...) and have any updates?
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DanielD1980
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danielcduckett

« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2010, 08:49:49 PM »

Regarding the COA and employers having problems, there is a phone number dedicated for employers to ring and they will receive information from the Border Agency confirming your right to work.  The Border Agency will then send a letter for your employer restating this and you will use this to apply for your National Insurance Number.  Just make sure you take plenty of proof of identity and proof of your address (bank statement, bill in your name) and they should be able to process it without your passport.  Be sure to take both the COA and the letter from the Border Agency as they'll be proof that you're going to begin employment. 

About getting your passport back, I'd say just hold tight.  I know that sounds silly, but there could be any number of reasons why they're backed up.  Hopefully you'll get it soon though!
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jenx
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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2010, 12:50:52 PM »

Lil, just wanted to say hang in there, I know it's tough... I had to wait 8 months last year (applied in April, received December) and I know how much it sucks. But it's already a distant memory, once you get that residence card (and you will, don't worry about that) you'll be so happy.

My only advice is, don't be afraid to write and ask what's going on. (I found writing letters to be the only reliable method of communication, phoning and faxing were useless.) While they have six months to decide, it can't hurt to write a letter saying that your opportunities for employment are being affected by not having your passport, and inquire whether they have an estimated processing date. Whenever I wrote a letter, I usually got a letter back within a week. They may not say anything very specific, but at least it could jog things if somehow your application got lost in the queue somewhere.

I didn't have problems getting work while I was waiting, but I think I was lucky. I was pretty assertive about it though -- basically, you have the right to work as soon as you get married, so I sort of looked at my marriage certificate as proof of my right to work. The COA showed I was in the process of formalising it, but the residence card is not a visa really, it does not grant you the right to work in itself. I just put on my cover letter/CV that I had unrestricted right to work in the UK, and when asked I said I was married to an EU national and could provide proof of my right to work (didn't get into specifics about COA vs resident card or whatever). Again, I was probably lucky, but it seemed to work.

Anyway hope you don't have to wait too long! Good luck!!
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lilbruiser4
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« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2010, 01:23:28 PM »

DanielD, do you know where I can find this number for employers to call? I already have a NI number as I applied for one when I arrived on my EEA Family Permit, but I'm sure since nothing explicitly states that I have the right to work some possible employees will want this verification (unless I'm lucky too!)

Also, making it a bit complicated I am an unmarried partner on EEA national (we have though been together for almost 6 years and been living together well documented for 4 1/2 of those years now).  I've heard both sides of the coin on the "your considered an extended family member so you aren't allowed to work until you receive your EEA2 residence card" and the "you've already been granted EEA family member status through the issuing of the EEA Family Permit so you have the right to work while the residence card application is in process" BUT haven't been able to find any definitive answer either way on the Home Office's website... anyone know which to be true or where I can find definitive guidance on this?

 I'm spending a lot of time and energy looking for a job now and if I learn that for some reason my right to work from the EEA family permit doesn't extend past it's expiration for unmarried partners, well at the least I don't want to waste my time at the moment looking for a job I would be ineligible to get until they finally get me my EEA residence card!

Thanks Jenx for the idea of writing, I was thinking of giving them a call but since they express not to do so in the COA, I've been hesitant.  I think I'll have my partner fill out an EEA1 form to include with my letter too, he doesn't need one so we didn't think of giving it in with my EEA2 application but perhaps this is slowing the process too?

Many thanks for the kind insight!  Grin
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Petunia
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« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2010, 01:51:55 PM »

Unmarried partners are extended family members, and so the Certificate of Application that you received would be different that the one received by a spouse.  The CoA for a spouse makes specific mention of the right to work while the application is being processed and lists the phone number for employers to call.

If you want, you can have a read through the European casework instructions on the UKBA site, specifically, the following quote.

Quote
The extended family members are defined in Regulation 8 as being:
• more distant family members of the EEA national or of his spouse / civil partner who can demonstrate that they are dependant
• partners where there is no civil partnership but they can show that they are in a ‘durable relationship’ with the EEA national.



http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/ecis/chapter5.pdf?view=Binary

The UKBA do have six months to process an application.  Hopefully it won't take that long, but if you start to get close to the six month mark and still haven't heard anything, definitely write to them as jenx suggested.
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cakewench
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« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2010, 09:41:04 PM »

The glacial EEA2 processing time in Britain really gets me upset, to be honest.  We've lived in other countries within Europe, and so far, no others have expected us to mail off our passports and just live without them for 8+ months.  We're currently waiting for our son's passport back.

Try http://ec.europa.eu/solvit/ for an official complaint to the European Commission if the processing time gets to be excessive.  You contact the representatives from your partner's country (in my case, Germany) and from there they will contact the Home Office, or whichever contact they have here.  You can also try contacting your MP.

In the meantime, don't be put off requesting your passports back.  It will add to processing time, but really only about the amount of time it takes to mail them back and forth, etc.  We had to request ours back last year for a trip, and when we arrived home there was a letter waiting for us, asking for them back because we'd finally made it through the processing queue.  If we don't get my son's permit in the next month or so, we'll be doing this yet again.
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DanielD1980
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danielcduckett

« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2010, 11:34:20 AM »

DanielD, do you know where I can find this number for employers to call? I already have a NI number as I applied for one when I arrived on my EEA Family Permit, but I'm sure since nothing explicitly states that I have the right to work some possible employees will want this verification (unless I'm lucky too!)

The number should be on your CoA and it is 0845 010 6677

My CoA explicitly states that I have the right to work "Until such time as your application has been decided by the UK Border Agency, you will be treated for immigration purposes as a family member of a legally resident EEA national, and, as such, you are free to live and work in the United Kingdom." 

However, since you are pursuing a different route, your letter is probably worded differently.  If you have a NIN, I'm not sure why an employer would have a problem with your working since you've proven to the government that you have the right to work and to have a NIN.
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lilbruiser4
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« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2010, 10:19:11 PM »

OKay so my COA is different, but this document you've attached Petunia (thank you) doesn't get me any closer to knowing if I can work while waiting for the EEA2 to be cleared.  Again I have read from a number of people that if you hold an EEA family permit prior to applying for your EEA2 and are an unmarried partner than you have the right to work despite that "extended family member" classification (but not if you hadn't applied for an EEA family permit 1st)... but it doesn't state explicitly on the COA I have the right to work like it does apparently for married people either so I'm a bit lost.  But importantly, it also doesn't say I can't... they know I have a NIN and it's not a temporary one as it's on the EEA2 application so still a big question mark to me. Not sure I get why they'd allow people to work for 6months and then have to lose their job indefinitely while waiting for them to issue an EEA2, it just doesn't make sense.

I'm going to send them a letter tomorrow, as clearly beyond wondering the status of my application it would be nice to have some definitive response on my ability to be legally employed here (or if I'm really stuck here, not able to travel and not able to work  Embarrassed) in which case I for sure need to get my passport back so I can at least go home for awhile and spend time with the rest of my family while my hands are tied.

C

Unmarried partners are extended family members, and so the Certificate of Application that you received would be different that the one received by a spouse.  The CoA for a spouse makes specific mention of the right to work while the application is being processed and lists the phone number for employers to call.

If you want, you can have a read through the European casework instructions on the UKBA site, specifically, the following quote.


http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/ecis/chapter5.pdf?view=Binary

The UKBA do have six months to process an application.  Hopefully it won't take that long, but if you start to get close to the six month mark and still haven't heard anything, definitely write to them as jenx suggested.
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DanielD1980
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danielcduckett

« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2010, 10:04:17 AM »

This might or might not be great advice, but why not have your potential employer go ahead and phone the number that I gave.  They will get a definitive answer from the UKBA as to whether you're legal to work.  If your COA doesn't state either way, you need to get the answer from someone and that's the only route that I can think of.  If you are eligible to work, the UKBA will send a letter stating so to your employer and that's you set to go. 

I'd recommend not trying to get your passport back during the process.  From what I've read that can only delay their decision since you'd have to send it back for them to be able to place the residence card in it.  Think about this: if they make the decision to grant your residence card while you're away, you won't know and they'll have no way to get it to you since you're in possession of your passport.  If you stay and they grant it, you could get it within a couple of days of their decision.
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