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Cliff
7th Sep 2007, 07:35
After many very frustrating weeks of having my emails to the Irish Department of Justice ignored, I phoned the scandalous £1.50 a minute premium-rate visa information line this morning to ask about the current visa application procedure and the cost, etc. (My sister has just given birth to a beautiful baby girl, 9lbs 8oz, so we're keen to visit as soon as possible!)

The person I spoke with took some details and said that she'd arrange for a Visa Issuing Officer to phone me back. I've just received the callback: The Embassy is now recognising UK civil partnerships and is issuing visas free to civil partners of EU nationals.

That said, I was on the phone for fifteen minutes (15 x £1.50 = £22.50) so the visa won't really be free (not until I claim back my money from the Embassy, ha ha ha!)

All Thaiboi needs for the visa is a completed application form, a recent photo, our civil partnership certificate and both passports.

Finally - a great result! :)

Cliff
7th Sep 2007, 07:35
After many very frustrating weeks of having my emails to the Irish Department of Justice ignored, I phoned the scandalous £1.50 a minute premium-rate visa information line this morning to ask about the current visa application procedure and the cost, etc. (My sister has just given birth to a beautiful baby girl, 9lbs 8oz, so we're keen to visit as soon as possible!)

The person I spoke with took some details and said that she'd arrange for a Visa Issuing Officer to phone me back. I've just received the callback: The Embassy is now recognising UK civil partnerships and is issuing visas free to civil partners of EU nationals.

That said, I was on the phone for fifteen minutes (15 x £1.50 = £22.50) so the visa won't really be free (not until I claim back my money from the Embassy, ha ha ha!)

All Thaiboi needs for the visa is a completed application form, a recent photo, our civil partnership certificate and both passports.

Finally - a great result! :)

db1
7th Sep 2007, 08:20
Well done Cliff, your persistance has at last paid off :clap:

Tobias
7th Sep 2007, 09:47
Has there been a change in the law Cliff?

Noi & Nick
7th Sep 2007, 11:12
Good news indeed Cliff.

aidan mcmahon
7th Sep 2007, 12:06
well done cliff dont let the b******s grind you down aidan

Cliff
7th Sep 2007, 13:22
Originally posted by Tobias:
Has there been a change in the law Cliff? No, it's the same law. I didn't question their decision too much, however I did get the impression that it's very much a local one to bring the London Embassy in line with UK law. I suspect there may have already been some complaints, or perhaps my emails didn't fall on blind eyes afterall.

The first person I spoke with (on the scandalous £1.50 a minute premium-rate number) suggested that the fee is not always waived, even for married couples! She said that each application is dealt with on a "case by case basis" and if the Issuing Officer thinks that a fee should be paid, they ask for one. I thought this was quite bizarre, however the call was costing me a scandalous £1.50 a minute so didn't I question what she said.

She went on to say that all the information we need is on the website (it's not). She also said that Thaiboi would need a letter from his employer (he doesn't). I said that we would be applying under the terms of Directive 2004/38/EC under which Ireland must "facilitate the entry" of the partner of an EU national with whom the citizen "has a durable relationship, duly attested". I said that our civil partnership certificate should be more than enough to attest that the relationship is "durable". As soon as I said those magic words she realised that I wasn't going to be fobbed off by her standard response to check the website and fill out the form. I needed specific answers which she clearly couldn't provide (even at a scandalous £1.50 a minute!) so she took my number and said she would arrange for an Issuing Officer to phone me back by Monday at the latest.

The Issuing Officer said that the Embassy had implemented "a Directive" and now recognise UK civil partnerships as equivalent to marriages. Thaiboi would be granted a visa free of charge under the 'Accompanying Partner' category (in principal) because we'd be travelling together. Visas take ten working days to process.

Easy! :thumb: