ThatOldGuy
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Back in early June, I provided my biometric residency card to SFE. I discovered that they waited until September 24th to send it for verification from the Home Office. This causes me to have a few questions:

1) Why didn't they just send it when they first got it back in early June?
2) How long will it be before I get a response, seeing as I applied going on 5 months ago now.

This seems like an extreme delay and nobody seems to be willing to take responsibility for it, to follow up or to try to work it out. It's everybody else's fault, which is understandable but not very helpful. But with those two questions answered, I will feel better.
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SFE Isaac
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(Original post by ThatOldGuy)
Back in early June, I provided my biometric residency card to SFE. I discovered that they waited until September 24th to send it for verification from the Home Office. This causes me to have a few questions:

1) Why didn't they just send it when they first got it back in early June?
2) How long will it be before I get a response, seeing as I applied going on 5 months ago now.

This seems like an extreme delay and nobody seems to be willing to take responsibility for it, to follow up or to try to work it out. It's everybody else's fault, which is understandable but not very helpful. But with those two questions answered, I will feel better.
Hi, we don't send it straight to the Home Office when you apply. We validate your ID first and then request status evidence, if you can't provide status evidence then we will eventually contact the home office or it can be done sooner if you specifically request it by stating you have no evidence.

The reason is because home office checks can take a very long time, especially during the pandemic. We can't give a timescale as to how long this takes, before the pandemic we were receiving a response within 10 working days but there is no timescale we can give right now.
So we always wait for the student to provide status evidence first.

After your eligibility has been confirmed then your application will enter the queue to be assessed which takes 4-6 weeks. After you have been assessed we will then need to verify your National Insurance Number which can take up to 2 weeks after being approved.
Thanks, Isaac
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ThatOldGuy
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(Original post by SFE Isaac)
Hi, we don't send it straight to the Home Office when you apply. We validate your ID first and then request status evidence, if you can't provide status evidence then we will eventually contact the home office or it can be done sooner if you specifically request it by stating you have no evidence.

The reason is because home office checks can take a very long time, especially during the pandemic. We can't give a timescale as to how long this takes, before the pandemic we were receiving a response within 10 working days but there is no timescale we can give right now.
So we always wait for the student to provide status evidence first.

After your eligibility has been confirmed then your application will enter the queue to be assessed which takes 4-6 weeks. After you have been assessed we will then need to verify your National Insurance Number which can take up to 2 weeks after being approved.
Thanks, Isaac
I provided not just my biometric residency card. I also provided my passport, my expired passport, over 3 years of evidence of where I was living, birth certificates for my kids. In fact, I provided everything asked for.

But basically, what you're saying, is that it may have been 5 months since I applied, but it's going to be an indeterminate amount of time from now that the Home Office returns it to you, which will then require that I am reassessed a month to a month and a half later, and then 2 weeks after that I will get approval? So I'm looking at anywhere from - Bare minimum - 2 months from now if the Home Office approves it today, all the way to however many months it takes the Home Office to approve it plus 2 months, meaning I could conceivably have finished my course before it goes through?

And there's nobody I can speak to, nobody I can escalate to, nobody who will take responsibility for this and nobody who can or will do anything to help. Is that basically it?
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SFE Isaac
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(Original post by ThatOldGuy)
I provided not just my biometric residency card. I also provided my passport, my expired passport, over 3 years of evidence of where I was living, birth certificates for my kids. In fact, I provided everything asked for.

But basically, what you're saying, is that it may have been 5 months since I applied, but it's going to be an indeterminate amount of time from now that the Home Office returns it to you, which will then require that I am reassessed a month to a month and a half later, and then 2 weeks after that I will get approval? So I'm looking at anywhere from - Bare minimum - 2 months from now if the Home Office approves it today, all the way to however many months it takes the Home Office to approve it plus 2 months, meaning I could conceivably have finished my course before it goes through?

And there's nobody I can speak to, nobody I can escalate to, nobody who will take responsibility for this and nobody who can or will do anything to help. Is that basically it?
If you can provide more evidence to cover 3 full years of status. I assume the team will have requested 01/09/2017-01/09/2020 but your biometric card wouldn't of shown those dates, it must of been issued afterwards.

If you can't provide evidence to cover 3 years of valid status then the home office check must be completed and we need to wait for the home office to respond. Unfortunately we can not predict how long the home office will take, it could be longer due to the pandemic.

There is no way to make this faster because it depends on how long the home office takes to complete the checks. I advise you to keep your university up to date with the progress.
We appreciate your patience.
Thanks, Isaac
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ThatOldGuy
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(Original post by SFE Isaac)
If you can provide more evidence to cover 3 full years of status. I assume the team will have requested 01/09/2017-01/09/2020 but your biometric card wouldn't of shown those dates, it must of been issued afterwards.

If you can't provide evidence to cover 3 years of valid status then the home office check must be completed and we need to wait for the home office to respond. Unfortunately we can not predict how long the home office will take, it could be longer due to the pandemic.

There is no way to make this faster because it depends on how long the home office takes to complete the checks. I advise you to keep your university up to date with the progress.
We appreciate your patience.
Thanks, Isaac
Right. I did provide all of that information, but it still was decided that the card needed to be verified. And it was done months after I initially sent it. I sent far more than 3 years. In fact, I had been in possession of Student Finance for the past few years at a different university.

I phone SFE and was told to contact the Home Office. The Home Office informed me I need to speak to SFE. It's been going on to almost five months now.

I understand you can't help me. So who can? Who can take responsibility, coordinate with the Home Office to verify this? As it is, I'm afraid that I will graduate my PGCE, get enormously in debt, 2 months after I graduate the SFE company will finally get the Home Office information and they will contact the University who will say "No. He is not registered with us currently" and I will then lose everything and still owe a huge amount of money.

Please help me. Everybody else is telling me how it isn't their issue. You can also tell me it isn't your issue, and tell me it may be 8 months and I may lose it. But I'm asking you not to. Please help.
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SFE Isaac
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(Original post by ThatOldGuy)
Right. I did provide all of that information, but it still was decided that the card needed to be verified. And it was done months after I initially sent it. I sent far more than 3 years. In fact, I had been in possession of Student Finance for the past few years at a different university.

I phone SFE and was told to contact the Home Office. The Home Office informed me I need to speak to SFE. It's been going on to almost five months now.

I understand you can't help me. So who can? Who can take responsibility, coordinate with the Home Office to verify this? As it is, I'm afraid that I will graduate my PGCE, get enormously in debt, 2 months after I graduate the SFE company will finally get the Home Office information and they will contact the University who will say "No. He is not registered with us currently" and I will then lose everything and still owe a huge amount of money.

Please help me. Everybody else is telling me how it isn't their issue. You can also tell me it isn't your issue, and tell me it may be 8 months and I may lose it. But I'm asking you not to. Please help.
If 3 years of valid status 01/09/2017 - 01/09/2020 was provided then your eligibility would have been confirmed and a home office check would not have started.

I never said it would take 8 months. If you call us on 0300 100 0607 or message us on Facebook/Twitter with your Name & CRN then we can review your account to see what has happened.
We can't proceed to assess your application until we either receive 3 years of valid status evidence or the home office check returns.
Thanks, Isaac
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(Original post by SFE Isaac)
If 3 years of valid status 01/09/2017 - 01/09/2020 was provided then your eligibility would have been confirmed and a home office check would not have started.

I never said it would take 8 months. If you call us on 0300 100 0607 or message us on Facebook/Twitter with your Name & CRN then we can review your account to see what has happened.
We can't proceed to assess your application until we either receive 3 years of valid status evidence or the home office check returns.
Thanks, Isaac
Hi,

I have phoned. Because I used to be considered an EU student when I originally got my degree, I was under the EU team. I received my biometric residency card while I was studying. Because I was originally an EU student and now am a home student, they needed to transfer me to SFE from the EU team for my PGCE. From what I've pieced together from dozens of phone calls:

1) I applied as a home student and included my biometric residency card and 3 years of evidence.
2) They tried to move me to SFE from the EU team, but there was pushback. They asked for more information. In this case, my original passport that gave my permission to be here. I provided both this and my newer passport, since that one had expired.
3) I provided this information.
4) This still wasn't enough to move to the SFE team from the EU team, so they asked for more information.
5) I provided this. Finally, this was enough to move me to SFE. It was now early September, since even though I had sent the information next day the moment it was requested, nobody looked at it for weeks.
6) At the end of September, they decided to escalate to the home office just to verify that my card was real as there is the potential for forgeries in this case. This was because someone finally looked at it after it had finally been moved over to the home office.
7) It has now been almost a month since it's gone to the Home Office. Nobody knows how long the delays are with the home office, but it's down to COVID-19.

You are directing me to contact SFE directly. I have. They can't help me. The Home Office can't help me. There is no one to escalate to and no supervisors to speak to. Nobody will take responsibility. So you haven't said that it will take 8 months, but nobody is willing to commit to it being less than 8 months or a year or two years. Nobody is willing to take responsibility for this case and see if there's a way to expedite it or escalate it.

I have spoken to SFE. And the Home Office. And none of them could help me, so I'm turning to you. I'm assuming based on what you're saying that like everybody else in the long list of people who can't help, can't escalate and can't help find someone who can help me that you can't help me, that you can't find anybody who can help me and you can't direct me to anybody who can, nor can you speak to anybody who can, nor can you find anybody who has a hope of maybe finding somebody or knowing somebody who can?

Because if you're directing me to phone directly, you're just saying to speak to the same people who haven't been able to help me for the last 5 months.
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SFE Isaac
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(Original post by ThatOldGuy)
Hi,

I have phoned. Because I used to be considered an EU student when I originally got my degree, I was under the EU team. I received my biometric residency card while I was studying. Because I was originally an EU student and now am a home student, they needed to transfer me to SFE from the EU team for my PGCE. From what I've pieced together from dozens of phone calls:

1) I applied as a home student and included my biometric residency card and 3 years of evidence.
2) They tried to move me to SFE from the EU team, but there was pushback. They asked for more information. In this case, my original passport that gave my permission to be here. I provided both this and my newer passport, since that one had expired.
3) I provided this information.
4) This still wasn't enough to move to the SFE team from the EU team, so they asked for more information.
5) I provided this. Finally, this was enough to move me to SFE. It was now early September, since even though I had sent the information next day the moment it was requested, nobody looked at it for weeks.
6) At the end of September, they decided to escalate to the home office just to verify that my card was real as there is the potential for forgeries in this case. This was because someone finally looked at it after it had finally been moved over to the home office.
7) It has now been almost a month since it's gone to the Home Office. Nobody knows how long the delays are with the home office, but it's down to COVID-19.

You are directing me to contact SFE directly. I have. They can't help me. The Home Office can't help me. There is no one to escalate to and no supervisors to speak to. Nobody will take responsibility. So you haven't said that it will take 8 months, but nobody is willing to commit to it being less than 8 months or a year or two years. Nobody is willing to take responsibility for this case and see if there's a way to expedite it or escalate it.

I have spoken to SFE. And the Home Office. And none of them could help me, so I'm turning to you. I'm assuming based on what you're saying that like everybody else in the long list of people who can't help, can't escalate and can't help find someone who can help me that you can't help me, that you can't find anybody who can help me and you can't direct me to anybody who can, nor can you speak to anybody who can, nor can you find anybody who has a hope of maybe finding somebody or knowing somebody who can?

Because if you're directing me to phone directly, you're just saying to speak to the same people who haven't been able to help me for the last 5 months.
If your an EU National then this will be different.

Is it EU Settled status you have? If so then we have a new procedure where we can accept the EU Settled status letter and the home office share code to confirm eligibility (the adivsor wouldn't of mentioned this on the phone as it's not been fully rolled out to advisors yet).

If you message us on Facebook/Twitter with your name and CRN and ask to speak to me (Isaac) then I'll help you with this. If you let me know the exact time you send a message so I can look for it.
Thanks, Isaac
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ThatOldGuy
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So I've sent that off to you yesterday, and someone named 'Lynsey' picked it up. Hopefully she'll have sent it your way. Let me know what I need to do to get this resolved.

Right now, having waited months, being told to wait an indeterminate amount of time and then two months later, you'll get around to approving it. That means that, since it's been going on 5 months now, it could be another month before the Home Office looks at it and another 2 months after for it to be approved. That brings us to January, almost February. Or if it takes the Home Office 2 more months to approve, that leaves me with 4 months, making it February/march that I get approved. Outside chance of 3 months due to Covid, and I'd be looking at March/April. Any further delays and I'd potentially have graduated by the time the approval gets going.

And I'm not even certain what effects that would cause. Can you confirm, in writing on here, what will happen if your company contacts the university to see if I am currently enrolled and they say 'No' because I have graduated?
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SFE Isaac
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(Original post by ThatOldGuy)
So I've sent that off to you yesterday, and someone named 'Lynsey' picked it up. Hopefully she'll have sent it your way. Let me know what I need to do to get this resolved.

Right now, having waited months, being told to wait an indeterminate amount of time and then two months later, you'll get around to approving it. That means that, since it's been going on 5 months now, it could be another month before the Home Office looks at it and another 2 months after for it to be approved. That brings us to January, almost February. Or if it takes the Home Office 2 more months to approve, that leaves me with 4 months, making it February/march that I get approved. Outside chance of 3 months due to Covid, and I'd be looking at March/April. Any further delays and I'd potentially have graduated by the time the approval gets going.

And I'm not even certain what effects that would cause. Can you confirm, in writing on here, what will happen if your company contacts the university to see if I am currently enrolled and they say 'No' because I have graduated?
Hi, no one assigned any message to me. Did you ask to speak to me? What did Lynsey advise?
Thanks, Isaac
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ThatOldGuy
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(Original post by SFE Isaac)
Hi, no one assigned any message to me. Did you ask to speak to me? What did Lynsey advise?
Thanks, Isaac
Copy and paste of the conversation:

Until we receive the Home Office check back, we're unable to progress your application.
We are unable to use the ID from your previous application.
Thanks, Lynsey.
Thu 1:59 PM

You sent
2 days ago
Well, 'Unable' is incorrect. 'Unwilling' is the more apt answer.
Okay - So basically, I'm in a situation where someone I can't speak to is doing something I can't influence, and it will take an indeterminate amount of time, and once that's done it will take a month and a half to two months after that this will be resolved. And there's nobody I can speak to, nobody you can speak to, nobody anyone can speak to and I just have to accept that the nearly 5 months this has been going on is just the way it is?
What would you do in this situation?
Fri 12:53 PM

Student Finance England
sent
a day ago
Hi John,
That is not correct. As my colleague said, we are unable to progress the application until we have the Home Office check back, and we are unable to use ID or residency details from previous applications when trying to process a new application.
I appreciate the inconvenience and how much time it is taking, but we have no control over how long Home Office checks take or trying to speed up the process as it is now out of our hands and with a different organization who do not provide us with timescales. At the moment we have to allow more time for the check to come back so we can continue with your application.
Regards, Adam
Fri 3:48 PM
You sent
a day ago
Hi Adam. Thanks for your response, but which is incorrect? I'm really excited to hear that one of my points was, as I was starting to feel like I was trapped.
Was it that you are unwilling, rather than unable to use my evidence from before? Because, physically, I would assume that you could just open up the previous application, say "Yes. That's there." and do that, but that you are unwilling rather than unable to help in that regard.
Or was it that there's nobody I can talk to, nobody who can escalate to and nobody who can help resolve this? If so, great! Let me know who can and I will escalate to them. That would be great.
Or was the part that was incorrect that it was an indeterminate amount of time? If so, fantastic! How long should the Home Office take?
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SFE Isaac
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(Original post by ThatOldGuy)
Copy and paste of the conversation:

Until we receive the Home Office check back, we're unable to progress your application.
We are unable to use the ID from your previous application.
Thanks, Lynsey.
Thu 1:59 PM

You sent
2 days ago
Well, 'Unable' is incorrect. 'Unwilling' is the more apt answer.
Okay - So basically, I'm in a situation where someone I can't speak to is doing something I can't influence, and it will take an indeterminate amount of time, and once that's done it will take a month and a half to two months after that this will be resolved. And there's nobody I can speak to, nobody you can speak to, nobody anyone can speak to and I just have to accept that the nearly 5 months this has been going on is just the way it is?
What would you do in this situation?
Fri 12:53 PM

Student Finance England
sent
a day ago
Hi John,
That is not correct. As my colleague said, we are unable to progress the application until we have the Home Office check back, and we are unable to use ID or residency details from previous applications when trying to process a new application.
I appreciate the inconvenience and how much time it is taking, but we have no control over how long Home Office checks take or trying to speed up the process as it is now out of our hands and with a different organization who do not provide us with timescales. At the moment we have to allow more time for the check to come back so we can continue with your application.
Regards, Adam
Fri 3:48 PM
You sent
a day ago
Hi Adam. Thanks for your response, but which is incorrect? I'm really excited to hear that one of my points was, as I was starting to feel like I was trapped.
Was it that you are unwilling, rather than unable to use my evidence from before? Because, physically, I would assume that you could just open up the previous application, say "Yes. That's there." and do that, but that you are unwilling rather than unable to help in that regard.
Or was it that there's nobody I can talk to, nobody who can escalate to and nobody who can help resolve this? If so, great! Let me know who can and I will escalate to them. That would be great.
Or was the part that was incorrect that it was an indeterminate amount of time? If so, fantastic! How long should the Home Office take?
It looks like you didn't ask to speak to me.

Are you able to provide us with the EU Settled Status letter and share code https://www.gov.uk/view-prove-immigration-status. If you can do this then I don't think we will need the home office check, but if you can ask to speak to me then I can review your account.
Thanks, Isaac
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ThatOldGuy
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(Original post by SFE Isaac)
It looks like you didn't ask to speak to me.

Are you able to provide us with the EU Settled Status letter and share code https://www.gov.uk/view-prove-immigration-status. If you can do this then I don't think we will need the home office check, but if you can ask to speak to me then I can review your account.
Thanks, Isaac
I did ask to speak to you. It was just further up. I didn't share the earlier 'Hi. He's not in until Saturday. Is there anything I can help with?' and the initial exchange bit where I said it was complicated.

And I just received notice that they've received positive affirmation from the Home Office, and that my review date is now the 10th of December, which means I will need the university to affirm that I am, in fact, currently enrolled. Assuming they respond, it'll be 5 days after that, so probably around Christmastime hopefully.
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SFE Isaac
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(Original post by ThatOldGuy)
I did ask to speak to you. It was just further up. I didn't share the earlier 'Hi. He's not in until Saturday. Is there anything I can help with?' and the initial exchange bit where I said it was complicated.

And I just received notice that they've received positive affirmation from the Home Office, and that my review date is now the 10th of December, which means I will need the university to affirm that I am, in fact, currently enrolled. Assuming they respond, it'll be 5 days after that, so probably around Christmastime hopefully.
I would like to help resolve this and I think I can do so if you have EU settled status letter and the share code. Please confirm if you have this.
Thanks, Isaac
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ThatOldGuy
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(Original post by SFE Isaac)
I would like to help resolve this and I think I can do so if you have EU settled status letter and the share code. Please confirm if you have this.
Thanks, Isaac
Thank you, Isaac. The Home Office has already responded to SFE and told them my card was legitimate and verified that I was allowed to be here. Do you still need the letter?
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(Original post by ThatOldGuy)
Thank you, Isaac. The Home Office has already responded to SFE and told them my card was legitimate and verified that I was allowed to be here. Do you still need the letter?
Ok that's perfect. I would like to resolve this for you, can you message us on Facebook/Twitter again and ask to speak to me, or post a response here as soon as you message and tell me your Facebook/Twitter name and I will look at the recent messages to find you.
Thanks, Isaac
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ThatOldGuy
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#17
(Original post by SFE Isaac)
Ok that's perfect. I would like to resolve this for you, can you message us on Facebook/Twitter again and ask to speak to me, or post a response here as soon as you message and tell me your Facebook/Twitter name and I will look at the recent messages to find you.
Thanks, Isaac
It's John MacDonald. Thanks, Isaac!
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SFE Isaac
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#18
(Original post by ThatOldGuy)
It's *******. Thanks, Isaac!
I see no recent message, if you're contacting from Facebook then the channel will open at 9am.
If you message at 9am and ask to speak to me then I will look out for your name.

You may want to edit your post and remove your name since this is a public forum.
Thanks, Isaac
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SFE Isaac
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Our channels are now open if you can send the message.
Thanks, Isaac
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