My main focus next was trying to get in touch with the UK Border Agency. They have put in place a number of effective barriers between themselves and the public. 1 is that they have employed a call centre firm called Worldbridge which they use as gatekeepers who block all attempts at communication with the Border Agency staff in their white towers. The next is that any emails you send to email addresses published on their website get bounced back as "mail not deliverable".
If you want to get in contact, you have to fill out a website form with all your details and wait for an answer back from Worldbridge. The answer back in my case, 3 times, was the same answer. "Appeals are nothing to do with Worldbridge, you need to chase the Immigration Tribunal in UK"
If you want to make a phone call and speak to a live person, you have to call a Premium Rate Hot Line. This is a 2 Euro per Minute premium number. If you want to save money you can call a different number and pay 14 Dollars with your credit card before the call and regardless of the length of the call you will not pay more than 14 dollars. Wow, a real bargain.
Well I took my chances and tried to call the 2 Euro per minute hotline. Our telephone provider (O2) does not allow their customers to call Premium Rate numbers from the land line, only from mobile phones.
So I called them from my mobile phone. I was on there 20 minutes, and do you know what the outcome was? All the guy could do was fill in the form on my behalf. Which I could have done and already had done myself FOR FREE.
So as you can imagine 40 Euros worse off and no further forward, I was livid. I still am, when I think about what an obvious and deceitful scam this whole system is. It is now clear to me how this works:
You fill in the application form and get your documents together.
Before you can go any further you have to pay the Visa Application fee.
You make an appointment with the Worldbridge office to hand in the documents and have finger prints scanned in (for biometric data).
You go to the Worldbridge office.
They turn you away because your name is not on the list.
(Their appointment making system leaves a lot to be desired and is also presumably there to frustrate and annoy)
You make a new appointment.
You go there again.
You try to submit your documents and Worldbridge staff leave out most of what you wanted to include. Maybe they are instructed to do so, as part of the money making machine.
At this point, they have another money making scam. They say you have to give them CASH to put in with the documents which is supposedly so they can send the documents back to you with a special courier. 14 Euros. But they do not allow you to put in coins, it is notes only. Considering this amount cannot be made with Notes, as there are no 2 euro or 1 euro notes in existance, Ker-ching! More cash generated. You have to send 15 or 20 euros.
You wait 78 days to find out that it has been refused because of lack of evidence, caused by Worldbridge's attempt to 1. help keep foreigners out of UK and 2. Generating further cash by what happens next.
You send off the appeal. Appeals can take between 6 - 9 months to have the case heard.
You have little alternative other than to call their premium rate hotline at 2 Euros per minute, which achieves nothing more than filling out their free web based form. Ker-ching! More cash generated.
It becomes apparent that making a new Visa Application is going to be easier and cheaper and quicker, to just try a fresh visa application, another 73 euros (for a visit visa) Ker-ching! More cash generated.
Settlement visas are about 5 times that amount.