Dear Mr Bassie:
I am applying for a visa online and I have started the process. How long can I keep my application online in my account? Any advice will assist me.
Thank you for your question as this is very timely.
The United Kingdom Border Agency has announced that from October 1, 2012 there will be some changes to the United Kingdom online application customer account. As of that date, the British authorities have instituted a change in the length of time that a completed application online will be held in that person's customer account. The applicant's information will only be held in his or her customer account for eight weeks, that is 56 calendar days.
The authorities have also instituted that in all such applications, an email will be sent out to the applicant advising that a 10-day counting-down period has been initiated prior to deleting that person's online application. Further, if the applicant is desirous of keeping a copy of the application for his/her own records, then it is recommended that the individual print a copy or save it in a local computer.
If the applicant has completed or partially completed an application prior to the first of October, 2012 changes, then the following series of developments will take place:
If the applicant had saved a complete or partially completed application more than eight weeks prior to the changes occurring on October 1, 2012, that individual will receive a warning via email indicating that the application will be deleted within 10 days.
If an applicant has completed or partially completed an application less than eight weeks prior to October 1, 2012 then that person will receive a warning via email upon reaching the eight-week limit.
These changes not only apply to the online application process where an applicant enters his or her details and then prints and sends to the authorities abroad the paper application, but also to applications submitted within the United Kingdom.
Furthermore, it should be noted that each time a person accesses his or her application, the eight-week period will start again and there is no limit on how many times this can occur.
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 (UK). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.