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Millsey
20th May 2012, 18:59
It's very early days but I've started looking into what evidence we can provide for my wife's ILR application in the future.

So far I've got her name added to the council tax bill. I've just switched gas and electricty providers and they advised me they would need to speak to my wife as well before adding her name, due to DPA purposes. The same applies to my water rates, I've had to send a letter signed by us both to get her added to the bill.

We also have a NHS card in her name from having registered with my GP.

I've added her as joint policy holder on the house insurance, too.

I spoke with someone from DWP about a NI insurance number, but as we don't have any immediate plans for her to work, I was told there is no need for her to have a NI number unless she plans to seek employment or claim benefits.

I went to my bank to see if we could make it a joint account but she failed the credit check because they could find no trace of her in the UK. Maybe I should have done this later, once some of the other bills reflect her name, so I'll look into this again soon.

Can anyone give me some other ideas? :)

the_link
20th May 2012, 19:13
What is DPA purposes? I added my wife to utility bills from the outset. No requirement for telephone interviews.

NI number - best to get your wife NI number immediately.

Credit check for an ATM card? Add your wife to your utility and council tax bills and she will get a bank account with little or no problem.

Achieved all of the above within weeks (not months) of my wife entering the UK. Yes, there'll be some jobsworth who spout utter drivel, but just call back and speak to someone else.

Millsey
20th May 2012, 19:24
Data Protection Act.

They want to make sure she agrees, or is actually aware I'm asking, to add her to the bills, as she will be jointly liable for paying them.

the_link
20th May 2012, 19:28
Change your provider for an easier life.

Thanks, anyway. ;)

Millsey
20th May 2012, 19:34
Helpful as ever, Link.

Your medal is in the post.

jimmbo60
20th May 2012, 19:36
Millsey the quickest way to get a NI number is to apply for a benefit. Before they can do anything, like say you can't have any is to issue you with a temporary NI number to get you on the system.

the_link
20th May 2012, 20:59
Not necessary, James. Phone to Jobcentre Plus and have application form sent through. Took about two weeks start to finish.

jimmbo60
20th May 2012, 21:09
Cool. With my work i just take people in done there and then, but slightily different circumstances:thumb:

toddmeister
20th May 2012, 21:23
I would also get her NI sorted even if its not needed right now. When my Mrs had her first interview for her work they asked her to bring evidence of her NI number to the interview so I'm glad we already had it sorted before she started looking for work. I called the dedicated NI telephone line (its on the Directgov website) and told them my wife wanted a NI number, they asked why and I told them she was thinking of going self-employed. The only other questions they asked were what type of visa she had and what date she entered the UK. A form came through the post a few days later which we returned with a copy of her passport and her NI came through the post a couple of weeks later.


I went to my bank to see if we could make it a joint account but she failed the credit check because they could find no trace of her in the UK

My wife's bank account was simple to sort also (her own personal acc, plus our joint account). We are with Halifax and they gave me the option to "vouch" for her, which basically meant me signing a form stating that I had known her for so long. After that she had no probs getting an account with debit card. Might be worth asking your own bank if they can do the same

Steve

Millsey
20th May 2012, 22:09
Thanks Steve

the way you describe things, getting a NI number seems pretty straightforward, so I'll look into that side of things again.

I'm with Santander Bank and was a bit disappointed with them to be honest. Oh well. If need be, I can look into opening her an account at another bank.

Thanks again.

Frogster1953
20th May 2012, 22:27
Millsey,

I am also with Santander, and they were less than helpful with my wife wanting to open an account also.... We got her one with the RBS in the end, debit card etc.... very helpful (I am told that Santander is taking them over later in the year anyway).

Kev

Millsey
20th May 2012, 22:47
Thanks Kev

I'll check that out. Plenty of other banks out there looking for new customers.

KhunIanB-UK
20th May 2012, 23:21
With the NI number it is a crazy situation they have and so went equally as crazy and we applied for Child and/or Working Tax credits, as an NI number is needed for this they then organised it, even if you don't qualify for the credits, as we didn't, if they give you the run around it's a good option for you. We still get the forms through every year, one each, saying you qualify for £0 though :-S

The Nationwide did a sterling service for us on the Bank side of things.

colin244
20th May 2012, 23:27
We got her one with the RBS in the end, debit card etc.... very helpful (I am told that Santander is taking them over later in the year anyway).



:lol: Very good mate ;)

colin 244

Gary & Nok
28th May 2012, 18:22
I am also with Santander, and they were less than helpful with my wife wanting to open an accountThey have to keep their number 1 status of being the most complained about bank somehow ;)

Don't touch them with a barge pole if you think you might want any sort of customer service.

colin244
29th May 2012, 23:49
Long story but wifey has a Santander account and as she is in LOS I thought a good idea to pay in cash and she can draw at LOS ATM and when paying in the cash asked the counter staff to log on their system it would be withdrawn in LOS as she was there for the forseable future. "All done he said" ok I thought then the crap happened on her second visit to the ATM as the card got blocked, obviously the bank wouldn't talk to me so she called the number on the card as you do ready for all the security questions which would have been fine except she got an Indian in the call centre who could not understand her (wifey's english is very good) and she could not understand him so nothing happened.

Next day after a rather lively call from wife about stupid Indians etc (and my fault BTW :rolleyes:) I went in the local branch who confirmed the note she would withdraw in LOS was on their records so they could not explain this, anyway it went on for a week with wife in LOS having to fax Santander's security team in Milton Keynes a copy of her card (front and back) plus a copy of her Thai ID (front and back) plus her signature on each page to verify the card was in her possesssion. Off she went to the post office to send the fax but as the Santander card is red it comes out on a fax as black so back to the branch (wifey now had zero money and was totally losing it as stranded with her sick mother in BKK where they had visited her sister as a treat for her mum)

It went on and on and eventually the Branch Manager of Santander told the security unit by fax with his personal branch security code " I have seen the faxed card/ID etc and Mr .... has been in here every day for a week so unblock the card" (my copy of the fax had been emailed and was readable BTW)

Card was duly unblocked but what should have been simple to resolve was made a complete pigs ear by Santander who of course say "it's for your protection" but in this case a complete farce.

There is more that went on but I think I will have bored anyone reading this by now so motto don't use this Bank.

colin 244

Millsey
30th May 2012, 07:40
I never realized they had such a bad reputation. I should switch banks but I'm too lazy on that front.

I had problems using my Santander credit card while overseas last year. Before leaving the UK I notified them of my travel plans, even giving them a list of which countries I'd be using the card in, so to avoid getting the card blocked.

Needless to say, on a couple of occasions they blocked my card when I tried to withdraw money from an ATM and I had to call them up to explain the situation.

To top it all, they ended up completely blocking my card for cash withdrawals because I'd exceeded some kind of limit. I don't recall the exact wording or reasoning but I can't understand why they did it. I was religiously paying off the balance every month, on time, never any problems.

At the time I vowed to part company with Santander, maybe I should stick to my guns and look elsewhere. Anyone recommend another bank?

livingwithathaigirl
30th May 2012, 10:47
...The Nationwide did a sterling service for us on the Bank side of things.

Hi, I'm with the Nationwide too. What accounts did they let your wife open and what did she need? Just a passport?

- - - Updated - - -


...We also have a NHS card in her name from having registered with my GP.

Sorry, I should really look this up elsewhere, but how do you do this Millsey? Just toddle along to the GP with wife and passport? I'm not even sure I'm still on the GP's list after all this time out of the country! I'm used to Thai ways now. (Couldn't work out those supermarket trolley things the other day, confused about having to put money in to get a trolley! And stunned by having to pay for plastic bags and having to pack them myself...;))

toddmeister
30th May 2012, 11:21
Sorry, I should really look this up elsewhere, but how do you do this Millsey? Just toddle along to the GP with wife and passport?

In Millsey's absence I'll give my answer, which is pretty much as above. We called into our local GP, given a form to fill in, didn't even have to show the wife's passport. Within a week or two an NHS letter/card was sent to my wife in the post with her NHS number

Steve

KhunIanB-UK
30th May 2012, 12:02
Hi, I'm with the Nationwide too. What accounts did they let your wife open and what did she need? Just a passport?

We opened up a joint "Flexaccount", I already had an individual one and as my wife was not working the joint account was the best option for us, we got a Visa Debit Card each. I would recommend going into a branch and talking to them about your situation as it will be different to ours, take proof of address, any employment details and also both of your passports in case you are able to open one there and then.

Millsey
30th May 2012, 15:19
LWTG

my situation was the same as Steve's. The wife and I popped into my GP and filled in a form and gave a copy of her passport and visa. The NHS card came through the post about 2 weeks later.

I'll check out Nationwide, too, I have an account with them, albeit a dormant one .

9851colle
31st May 2012, 19:39
Millsey, stay away from lloyds tsb, had the same problem as you with credit check and was informed my wife could not have a bank account. I kicked of with the lady at the counter and asked to speak to the manager, she said " i am the manager". So i walked out of the branch spoke to the regional manager on the phone and was informed the branch manager was speaking a load of C*** and took my phone number and said she would ring me back. 20 mins later she did and informed me to go back into the branch and a bank account would be sorted out for my wife. As we got in the bank we were met by the manager who at this stage had a red face and my wife got a bank account with a debit card etc. (The look on the red face manager was priceless as we walked back in the bank).

This is just the start of people putting brick walls in front of you.

Mick

colin244
31st May 2012, 23:07
As with all Banks they should remember customer service which is somewhat lacking at most Banks especially the state owned ones with silly music on their ad's ;)

colin 244

jimmbo60
1st Jun 2012, 06:53
I changed to Lloyds about 15 months ago and the branch I use is fantastic, all the staff know by name (before I have handed a card over) and I may only go in once a month. I know you wouldn't have been treated like that at my branch.

macdaddy2x
1st Jun 2012, 09:02
I never realized they had such a bad reputation. I should switch banks but I'm too lazy on that front.

SNIP



I had the same problem with RBS... told them I would be going to Thailand etc and they still blocked my card. The problem is that suppose you tell them you are going and then someone does actually clone/steal your card while you are in Thailand. It's annoying but I guess I would still rather have to confirm a few transactions than be looking at an empty bank balance.

I feel the same about switching banks, I know they do a lot of it for you these days but my mortgage and everything is all in the same place at the moment so I think it would be a lot of hassle.

I keep hearing good things about First Direct so would probably look at switching to them.

Millsey
1st Jun 2012, 09:35
Yeh, that's the main reason stopping me, the perceived hassle of switching all the direct debits and mortgage.

jimmbo60
1st Jun 2012, 18:28
It is dead easy the switch takes place over a set amount of time. You are told what is going to happen and when.They ask you to stop using cards cheques from a date and start using your new one from. they write to your old bank for the DD's send a copy to you, if you don't reply then thats what they set up Bingo its done

livingwithathaigirl
7th Jun 2012, 18:39
LWTG
my situation was the same as Steve's. The wife and I popped into my GP and filled in a form and gave a copy of her passport and visa. The NHS card came through the post about 2 weeks later.

I popped in today and got trouble even with re-registering myself! I've been away a few years, so was de-registered. They wanted proof that I would be resident, let alone the wife and that I wouldn't go back. And they didn't like bank statements in my case, saying I could bank and still go back.:confused: I pointed out I'd just gone to the trouble and expense of getting a settlement visa! You know, 'settle'! Very strange... I'll try again tomorrow with the manager, not just the receptionists. But it seemed a very perverse public-sector kind of mentality (especially as I've been paying UK taxes continuously while in Thailand).

toddmeister
7th Jun 2012, 18:51
not just the receptionists

That's the problem when you get a stuck-up receptionist who think they have a lot more power than they actually do. We didn't have a problem registering, but when my wife went for her first appointment I couldn't help but feel like the dragon on reception was looking down on us. So much so that I considered moving to another surgery but not worth the hassle

Steve

Millsey
7th Jun 2012, 18:54
Pardon the pun, but I think practices vary from one GP or health centre to the next. Just luck of the draw if you have a trouble free ride or come up against one of those little Hitler receptionists.

The ladies at my GP's were as good as gold with me and the wife, even had a little joke when they tried, unsuccessfully, to pronounce her long winded Thai surname.

KhunIanB-UK
7th Jun 2012, 20:10
The biggest difference I hope you'll never find is similar to this, you're passing a lot of blood when going to the loo, you think it'll clear up, but after a few weeks you know something is wrong and so you visit the GP and meet the receptionist, you explain the situation and how concerned you are, they then click on the computer and inform you that the earliest appointment is in a weeks time, you leave and go back after a week, you arrive on time and then wait over an hour to see the GP who is running late. They then run through things and give a check up, as it's getting close to your 5 minute time slot you're then told that there is a problem, you'll be referred to a specialist and a letter will be sent which you'll get a copy of, over a week (and lots of blood later) still no letter and now massive concern. Would make registration seem a doddle ;-) Good luck with your ventures and welcome back to the great NHS!

jimmbo60
7th Jun 2012, 20:56
Khunianb
That is really bad
The Nhs and doctors must really vary, In contrast last Thursday I had a sore throat and thought a visit to the doctor prior to the long weekend was needed. Phoned at 10:30 am appointment given 11:10am seen 11:15am had prescription 11:35am. If that was for a sore throat what would they do for passing blood. When I was diagnosed with skin cancer I was seen by the specialist the following day and the letter was hand delivered to take with me.

toddmeister
7th Jun 2012, 21:32
Our experience was nowhere near as bas as Ianb's. However, my wife's first impression of the NHS was less than impressive. Her first appointment at the doctors was after we found out she was pregnant. When we went in to see the doctor (who looked about 15 years old) I told her we had come to have a pregnancy confirmed. The doctor then said "oh, I don't think we have pregnancy tests here". I looked confused and she went away to "ask someone" and came back with a cheapy little strip test to take home and said "if its positive just call back and book an appointment with the midwife, we don't confirm pregnancies". We left to go home and do the test...which basically fell apart as soon as we took it out of the wrapper. I went and spent £15 on a decent one and called back as we were advised to do. At that point I was spoken to like I was a naughty little boy by the dragon receptionist who told me we should not have left the surgery without seeing her first for our pregnancy info??
A few weeks later when my wife had her miscarriage things weren't much better. She was sent home from hospital twice with no nothing more than a "what will be will be" and a pat on the shoulder. Fair enough if there's nothing they can do but couldn't help but feel like "is that it?". Then when we went for my wife's scan to confirm the miscarriage, when it came to having her blood taken she had to be sent to another part of the hospital to find a doctor because the nurse couldn't find a vein after several painful attempts.
At the time I used to think, oh well the NHS isn't too bad, at least it was free unlike in Thailand. But now I think well no it's not free at all is it....we pay taxes for a reason :mad:

Steve

KhunIanB-UK
8th Jun 2012, 00:09
Quite a "Postcode lottery" so the real benefit of the NHS a card that helps towards ILR and should be so simple ;-)

P.S. The medical experiences are not mine, but for a Thai that I have been helping through the process (they have been here a number of years and have UK citizenship too). Mine are far worse and include being sent home dieing and getting an experience similar to I have seen in Homeland and being equally as shocked!

livingwithathaigirl
8th Jun 2012, 00:30
I can believe it. I don't think the illusion of having a 'free' health service helps at all, in terms of service and accountability and the way we use it. Hypochondriacs are going to fill up doctors waiting rooms more with pitiful nothing complaints because it's already paid-for, there's no extra penalty. Others will do so to get their money's worth. It gets so huge that doctors will feel unaccountable and disconnected. No one feels responsible for inefficiencies so no one tries hard to fix them. It's someone else's money.

I like the Thai way here, to be honest. Well, the private hospitals where you can see a doctor quickly. I don't like the clinics where my wife comes back with a load of pills with no name on the packet, no name on the pills and the doctor didn't tell her what they were either!

Reading a bit, the GP should take us if we're 'ordinarily resident' in the UK for six months (or are planning to be). The receptionists were talking balls - 3 months seems to be related to visitors, on discretion. A person is 'ordinarily resident' if lawfully living in the UK for a settled purpose as part of the regular order of his or her life for the time being. Anyone coming to live in this country would qualify as ordinarily resident.

KhunIanB-UK
8th Jun 2012, 00:35
Yep, when they understand the off-side rule they'll no doubt know their own too ;-) Living here is going to cost you a fortune in print outs to prove situations ;-(

livingwithathaigirl
8th Jun 2012, 18:11
Tried the GP again today, more resistance but 40 minutes talking later, got somewhere - me reinstated and wife registered as long as she produces proof of address within 3 months.

I hope we don't meet this kind of fuss if we ever have to go to a hospital! Staff not knowing if she's entitled to free treatment, etc.

Nationwide were very good. Popped into my local branch and got a current account within minutes of sitting down. I just had to vouch for her address and it was fine.

toddmeister
8th Jun 2012, 18:15
I just had to vouch for her address and it was fine

Similar to us with Halifax. I just had to sign a form stating that I'd known my wife for 2 years or something along those lines. Other than that no issues at the bank

Steve

bifftastic
8th Jun 2012, 18:19
I was unregistered by my GP. Just because I wasn't ill. I don't have a lot of address proof, but maybe because I hadn't left the country and come back again (for all they knew, I might have I suppose) they were happy with a mobile phone bill and re-registered me quickly.

Now that your wife has been registered, she won't have any problems if she does need to go to hospital. She's in the system now.

Millsey
8th Jun 2012, 19:23
If you ever need hospital treatment you'll probably have to see someone at the hospital for an interview, so they can assess your wife's circumstances and decide if she is exempt from paying for her treatment.

bifftastic
8th Jun 2012, 19:52
Really? When I went to a walk in centre, they looked me up on their computer.

When I was admitted to hospital, on another occasion, I was unconscious for almost two days. They may well have interviewed me, but I don't remember it. There was nothing in my pockets that indicated my nationality either. How did they know not to charge me?

jimmbo60
8th Jun 2012, 20:09
I think emergency/critical treatment happens regardless here. I don't how emergency/critical is defined though.

bifftastic
8th Jun 2012, 20:20
Bleeding a lot and being unconscious seemed to work for me :)

Millsey
8th Jun 2012, 21:02
How did they know not to charge me?

When you woke up and said, "Cor blimey, Guvnor!" :D

Hospitals have something called an Overseas Visitors Team whose job it is to decide if patients are exempt from paying fees. Apparently they have officers who will, amongst other duties, visit the wards to check patients.

Have a look at this link which explains the rules and regulations for charging and exemption, and the responsibilities of hospitals and Overseas Visitors Managers.

It's a bit of a long read but this sort of summarises the role of an Overseas Visitors Officer; "interview possible overseas visitors to establish if they are, in fact, ordinarily resident, or, if not, whether they are exempt from charges or liable for charges – these in-depth interviews need to be handled sensitively and by staff who have received appropriate training by the relevant NHS body."


http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/@dh/@en/documents/digitalasset/dh_134418.pdf (http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/@dh/@en/documents/digitalasset/dh_134418.pdf)

the_link
8th Jun 2012, 21:15
There's two situations that are worth bearing in mind:

1. Wife / girlfriend is here in the UK on family / tourist visa. Decent travel or medical insurance will more than suffice.

2. Wife / girlfriend is here in the UK on fiancee / settlement visa. Entitled to free NHS treatment.

I've no concern with washed up jobsworths who've got nothing better to do. There's more than one way to skin a cat.

Millsey
8th Jun 2012, 21:34
My wife's here on a settlement visa, and entitled to free NHS treatment, but we still got summoned to the hospital recently to see an Overseas Visitors Officer about her treatment.

Apparently, what prompted the interview was because my wife has been in the UK for less than a year.

It was all academic in the end, after answering his questions and showing her visa, both our passports, utility and council tax bills, proof of my employment/bank statement, the officer was satisfied and granted her exemption from paying.

I've got no time for jobsworths either and could have done without the interview. Unfortunately, with so many "visitors" abusing the system, the NHS is chasing millions of pounds in unpaid medical bills and trying to tighten things up.