HSMP Visa

Below is a timeline of my move to the UK.

Original request

Not sure when this was sent.

2006-06-07 Request Acknowledged

My application was acknowledged via email

Rejection via Mail

Application rejected due to no official letter head on the work experience reference.

2006-07-19 Request for Review

On 19th July I sent a request for review, explaining why I could not get an official letterehead from Coca-Cola Amatil. Fax N Parcel cost me 2707 PHP, or 71.13 AUD to send my documents to the London from Manila.

Application Approved

My application was approved. I'm very happy that I bothered to request a review, instead of giving up.

Applied for Landing Visa

Cost $15 + 2 x something

Marriage Certificate

The marriage certificate from the church is not official enough. Went to the office of Births, Deaths and Marriages to get an official certificate. Posted this to Canberra.

Leave to Remain LTR (HSMP)

I have done some reading on this. Only 5 weeks before the original grant of leave (2 years for me) should I apply.

Official site is at www.workingintheuk.gov.uk. From here you can find (HSMP) form (2066Kb) and the FLR (HSMP) guidance (1121Kb)

You now need 75 points, and should only apply 5 weeks before the visa expires.

UPDATE 2008-03-16: I just spotted an ad in the economist with a picture of hurdles. (how apt). They have now redone their immigration control process, HSMP looks much the same as before. But this time it is called a Tier 1 (General) - highly skilled worker. It is still points base.

The fee will be 750.

The table below is for extending HSMP, not for a new Tier 1 application.

My expected points breakdown for extending my current HSMP.

Attributes Points Comments
Qualifications 30 Bachelor's degree, no need to resend as it was in the original HSMP application.
Earnings 30+ Depending on how the contracts go. This is based on a 12 month period out the 15 previous months at time of application. This will be a bit messy to prove as I will contract through my own company again. 23-26K will award 20 points. 26-29K will award 25 points. 29-32K will award 30 points. 32-25K will award 35 points. 35-40K will award 40 points. 40K+ will award 45 points.
UK Experience 5 Will get more this if 16K pounds is earned as part of the Earnings section
Age Assessment 10 or 5 30-31 yrs old will get you 5 points. 28-29 will award you 10 points. Mine expires roughly around my birthday, so I'll see what happens.
Total 75+

I will need to prove 32K earnings to be safe.

Point 64 of the "Tier 1 (General) of the Points Based System Policy Guidance" states "Documentary Requirements All Applications 64. If the applicant has previously been granted leave under Tier 1 (General) or the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, and previously scored points for the same qualification for which he wishes to claim points in his current application, the applicant need not resubmit any evidence of his qualification.". So I should not need to send my degree again.

2008-09-23 Leave to Remain (HSMP)

They had a recent ruling or Judicial Review that says I am still under the old rules. I think the old rules are more lenient and depend on you have worked or attempted to find work while under HSMP. So the Tier 1 rules don't apply to me.

I asked about what leave meant and they said:

For information - we refer to the period between the issue of your visa and the date it expires as your 'Leave'.

That said, I provided proof of earnings via a letter from my current employer, company and personal bank statements.

I've posted this via "special delivery" at my local post office. It should arrive by the 2008-09-25.

Photos - 5 per person

Postage - 6.40

VISA - 750 (waiting for it to be deducted)

2008-09-29 Money Deducted

750 was deducted from my credit card.

I also received a letter with a reference number.

2008-10-18 Successful mail received

The confirmation letter was dated 2008-10-15.

2010-01-05 Settlement rule changes

It says "From April 2011: ... Skilled and highly skilled migrants will need to meet the salary criteria that applied when they last extended their permission to stay."

ref http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/newsfragments/35-t1-t2-annual-limits

Though I am not really sure what the last salary requirement was.

There is also a HSMP Forum judicial review (settlement in the United Kingdom) which covers my case because I applied between 2006-04-03 and 2006-11-07. I'm not sure about the actual Settlement category though. Would it be HSMP or Tier 1?

2011-08-11

I will need to apply for ILR - (permanent residency) in a couple months time. Instead of doing this via post, you can do it in person at a public enquiry office (PEO). They only take bookings 6 weeks in advance, so I will try again in a month or so.

2011-09-15

I phoned up the PEO and arranged an in person interview. They asked some basic questions just to make sure I'd be applying at the correct time. After arranging the interview I received an SMS with an appointment reference, date and time, and location. Croydon is the closest public enquiry office to London, so that is where I booked.

2011-10-22

The sent a repeated SMS with the same info.

2011-10-23

I spent the day photocopying a lot of stuff. I had a letter from my employer detailing the invoices from the past year, and also the business trips I've taken throughout my stay in UK.

I come under the HSMP Judicial Review, it turns out I do not need to score points, but just prove I am working.

2011-10-24 In Person ILR Application

My appointment is at 9:00, but was told to arrive at 8:30. We took an early train down to East Croydon - we had to change at Farringdon.

We arrived on time, the office is a short walk from the station. There are trains just outside the station but I don't know where they go. The building is called Lunar House, there we people loitering outside when we arrived.

The first step is to go through a metal detector, it is like airport security but not as vigorous.

Next we were directed to a counter where someone did some basic checks on our application. We stood at this counter for a few minutes, then it was off to the payment counter.

I handed over my card at was charged 2025 for the in person premium service. They give you a receipt, and a ticket number. Now we had to wait.

There was a snack machine, I bought some crisps. It took about an hour before we were called. The guy at the counter only asked for proof of employment. I explained I'm a contractor paid via my private company, I gave him my employer's letter and the past year's business bank account statements, and he said that was enough, and he'd call us back to the counter in case more was needed.

After a another 20 minutes or so, he told it we were approved! I guess the 2 pieces of evidence were enough as it shows the same employer depositing money into the my business account.

We had to wait again for another 30 minutes before picking up the passports, they ask you do double check the name / date of birth and that's it. I got a photocopied approval letter.. it doesn't look that nice.

I had a whole folder of other information but we didn't need it.

Now we have ILR (indefinite leave to remain) aka permanent residency. It will be another year before we are allowed to apply for citizenship.

ILR application success at Lunar House

Life in the UK Test 2014-09-10

In preparation for citizenship I must successfully complete a Life in the UK Test. This costs 50.00

We also bought the Life in the UK Handbook to study from.

Life in the UK Test passed 2104-10-04

I passed the multiple choice test. The test centre we attended looked liked a internet cafe. Now I have a paper certificate as proof of passing the test.

2016-03-03

Did passport photos in preparation of our citizenship application.

2016-04-02

Home office has received our application. I got an email receipt acknowledging the application reached them.

2016-06-22

Citizenship ceremony completed at Camden town hall.

2016-09-12

Did a friendly passport interview at the passport office in Victoria