Immigration Corner | How do I get my documents back?
Dear Mr Bassie,
I recently read where you advised that it may be possible for a person to withdraw a visa application. I would like to know whether it is possible to get back my original documents in such circumstances.
There is a 'Request for return of documents and withdrawal of application' form. This form is to be used to withdraw applications made in the United Kingdom or to request documents to be returned.
This form cannot be used if persons would like to enquire about the progress of their application. If applicants applied for a visa from outside of the United Kingdom (UK), they must contact the visa-application centre where the application was made. If the applicant had applied for asylum in the UK, the case worker must be contacted.
When an applicant has been notified that an application has been refused, the applicant should follow the instructions on the refusal notice or contact.
If documents have been lost in transit, the courier concerned should be contacted directly. Please note that the UK authorities aim to return applicants' documents within 10 working days. However, this may not be possible in certain circumstances.
The return of your documents may take more than 10 working days if: applicants request documents within 10 working days from the date that the application was submitted; the authorities are unable to identify the application from the information provided in the form; the authorities are unable to identify which documents are required from the information provided in the form; the authorities need to make contact with the applicant and are unable to do so using the details provided in the form.
Please be advised that the authorities may need to undertake further checks on the application or documentation and, as a consequence, may not be able to send back the documentation immediately. There may also be a delay if the address you provide on the form does not match the address on record, and a delay in returning documents may also occur at times when the authorities are exceptionally busy.
Please note that the authorities may refuse to return applicants' documents if: the application has been refused; or there is an outstanding criminal prosecution against the applicant; or the person has applied for citizenship.
The Knowledge of Life Certificates will not be returned if the application is successful.
The Home Office will only send documents to addresses which it has on record to help ensure the security of the applicants' information. The Home Office may share personal information with other organisations where the law allows. For further information on how the Home Office uses personal data, please see the Home Office Personal Information Charter.
I hope this helps.
• John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (U.K.). Email:firstname.lastname@example.org.