Eric obtained a Work Permit in 2005 as a Senior Carer through Bison UK in London in 2005. What followed over the next 18 months was a series of events which seemed to thwart his every attempt to come to the UK.
The first bad omen was the Home Office issuing his Work Permit with an incorrect date of birth, which meant the document had to be returned for reprinting.
Then in February 2006 Eric received another blow, when the British Embassy in Manila refused his Entry Clearance (Visa) application to take up his job in the UK on the basis that they did not believe he had worked as a Senior Carer.
Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) stated on the refusal notice: “I am, therefore, not satisfied on the balance of probabilities that you have been employed as a senior carer”.
It later transpired from documents obtained by our appeal team that the Embassy had in fact successfully verified Eric’s work reference as “OK”, yet still denied him a visa.
An “Employment Check Form” was completed by Embassy staff clearly showing that a telephone call was made to Eric’s employer in December 2006. The outcome column of the form was marked “OK” by staff, yet his application was still refused over one month later.
His family in London decided to appeal and instructed us to appoint our appeal specialist to take his case to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) in London.
On 6 September 2006, eight months after the refusal, Immigration Judge Buckwell ‘allowed the appeal’ on the spot, agreeing that the Embassy had been wrong to deny Eric a visa especially after they had confirmed his employment references.
The story should have had a happy ending, but the powers that be were not finished with Eric yet.
Winning the appeal was only half the battle
The British Embassy took some weeks to even acknowledge the AIT’s appeal determination, and when they finally did they promptly told Eric to get a new Work Permit, as he had not taken the existing one up within six months of issue.
We asked for a copy of the ECO’s written request so that we could ask the Home Office to reprint the Work Permit, which took two months to arrive. We duly applied for a reprint, but the Home Office said they had now changed their procedure and told us to apply for a new Work Permit and start all over again.
At this point I went ballistic. I called senior mangers, policy teams and wrote to everyone I knew in the Home Office. In my letter, sent a few days before Christmas 2006 on 21 December 2006 I said:
“This poor man has been trying to come to the UK and take up a job offer since October 2005, but has been thwarted for over a year causing him (and the UK government) substantial loss of earnings.
“This whole episode has been extremely unfortunate and distressing for Mr Fermin. If we didn’t know any better it would almost seem like a conspiracy to “keep Eric Fermin out”! Seriously, he feels like he’s being knocked from pillar to post.”
As a result of this and other protests on similar cases the Home Office later revised their procedures on Work Permit reprints.
It still took several more letters, faxes and calls to the Home Office plus two further months delay before we eventually obtained Eric’s new Work Permit reprint in February 2007.
In March 2007 Eric finally got his visa from the British Embassy in Manila, which had denied him a year earlier.
Although he now had permission to enter the UK he still needed permission to leave the Philippines. Like all OFW’s (Overseas Filipino Workers) Eric had to produce employment contracts and documents to the POEA and attend a pre-departure seminar before being issued with an OEC (Overseas Employment Certificate), all of which took a further month.
Eric eventually arrived in the UK in April 2007, 18 months after receiving his original Work Permit, and is at last working and earning money in his new employment. Fortunately for Eric, his employer was willing to wait and still needed staff. Many others are no so fortunate and fall by the wayside.
Our appeal team has had outstanding results on Entry Clearance Appeals, successfully overturning unfair Entry Clearance Refusals by British Embassies all over the world.
For details on how to appeal visit www.visaappeals.com
If you are worried about you situation or have any questions please email email@example.com.
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