AFF’s F&C team and the Home Office have worked together to resolve an issue which has been particularly affecting spouses of Gurkha soldiers who enlist on a 12-year contract.

Spouses who are applying to enter the UK to join their soldier are currently only granted visas up to the end of the initial contract date, even though the majority of soldiers’ contracts are subsequently extended. If the soldier has less than five years left to serve at the point of application then the spouse is not granted the full five years on pay to extend it once in the UK.

The Home Office agreed that this was not the intention of the regulations and has submitted a change to the armed forces immigration rules.

We hope to bring you more news in the spring but for now, we’ve established a process by which these visas are being corrected to the full five years, free of charge. In the meantime, contact us if you’re having issues via aff.org.uk

Expiry enigma

Another recent correction case has highlighted the importance of ensuring that you and your family members have all been granted visas for the right length of time. Thandsing Rai (main picture with his family) applied for visas to enter the UK from Brunei; his wife was granted the correct visa for five years, but his daughter was only granted two and a half.

Mr Rai didn’t notice this difference in the expiry dates until his daughter had to be admitted to hospital earlier this year. He was sent an invoice from the NHS for £832 because his daughter no longer had a valid visa.

Luckily, he contacted AFF’s F&C team who organised for his daughter to be issued a corrected visa and the NHS trust has agreed to dismiss the charge.

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