Every time my husband, a law-abiding class A Kuwaiti married to a Brit, wants to apply for a UK visa (yes he needs a visa) we end up frustrated and infuriated at the ridiculousness of it all. I'm really going out on a limb here but I'm hoping it will lift the lid off this quagmire of confusion, extortionately priced lack of reciprocity and an online website that will give you a migraine.
Why do Kuwaitis even need a visa to the UK? Why is the website so incredibly annoying? Why does the visa process take so long? Why is it so expensive? Last year it took one month - from applying to receiving his visa - which led to him missing his flight and losing a week's holiday in the UK. This year we have been locked out of the account at the Sign Declaration part when the end was almost in sight. Having to apply year after year completing a lengthy, very personal detailed form, sweating that you perfectly dot all your i's and cross all your t's is pedantic and unnecessary. Considering how many refugees are crossing into the UK without having to go through the visa nightmare - it's laughable bordering ludicrous.
There is no helpline at the British Embassy one has to spend on making an international call to the UK and be then be charged 1.57 GBP per minute for any advice you may need on filling the baffling questionnaire and contending with the irritating website.
Why, in this day and age, don't my husband's details pop up immediately for him to amend if necessary and submit with the click of a mouse? If anyone is out there trying to apply you have my deepest sympathy.
My husband has gone down to the visa handling office to pay an extortionate fee to have Priority Visa Service (KD 130 for 6 month visa so about KD 90 extra) because we can't be sure if we will ever be able to do it online (I've been at it the best part of the day), and he only has 7 days before travelling. On the upside of PVS a divorce has been averted.
To all my dear friends at the Embassy please don't take this personally and you might find it hard to understand what I'm getting at if you have never had to apply for a UK visa before. Although there is one lady who did and managed to get the visa trouble-free but she has had the proper training, regardless of that I'm convinced it was a momentary glitch on the website.
Seriously?...Give all the dates and name all the countries that you've travelled to in the last 10 years, mention all previous passport numbers and expiry dates, give dependant child's details when they are not travelling with you.