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    I've just come back from our local college where my wife is studying esol level 1.My wife's settlement visa will expire at the end of november and all the documents have to be in one month before expiry.The requirement that's asked for on the flr is a covering letter to varify her position at the stage of where she's up to in learning. As i understud it the college should be responsible for that letter, but i've been told they've stopped giving these letters out since june.Do i have to write my own letter explaining the fact?. Has anybody had the same problem?. Is our local college just being funny?

  • #2
    We haven’t had the same problem as you but we have had problems getting our college to use the right wording in the covering letter to go with the ESOL qualification. It does seem strange that your College are refusing to give you a letter and unusual.

    Can we suggest you put your request in writing to your college. Write a letter to them. Keep a copy so you have something to show the BIA Border and Immigration Agency. In the letter spell out the urgency of the situation and that it is the BIA who have asked you to get a letter from them. Deliver it in person. Politely insist that you have a written reply so that you something to show the BIA. Getting things in writing generally makes everyone treat the issue more seriously, and gives you evidence to prove you done what you can to meet the visa requirements.

    Best of luck.


    • #3
      Two points :-
      • As regards the course, was there any Citizenship content?
      • You mention "esol level 1". If that is indeed the case, why doesn't she study for and hopefully pass the Life in the UK Citizenship test? That is set at the lower ESOL Entry level 3. Or do you mean she is studying for ESOL Entry level 1?


      • #4
        Hello Macduff

        Before Wan started her course of Esol pre-entry level a Mancehester college,I asked the college specifically if the course contained some element of the Citizens content and this was confirmed.

        I also asked if when Wan moved up a level at the end of this school year We could have a letter confirming Wan had progressed one level,thus conforming with part of the requirements for the issue of ILR visa. They confirmed that they would supply that letter!

        If there had been a change of policy we would be interested in knowing why.

        Regards Harvey & Wan


        • #5
          Hi and thank you everyone for your reply's.It does appear that our local college are not up to speed on the requirements of a ILR and FLR I am one of a number of people that have been asking the same question. What i'm prepared to do is write a letter to the college as saiyon has pointed out and go down that route.As far as the citizenship content is concerned on her entry level esol level 1 they cannot confirm this.We are hoping she reaches level 3 so she can apply for ILR.If we can't get a clear picture on the points i've mentioned i will take my wife out of that college and find a more suitable one.I'm hoping she can scrape through this first part of the nightmare and get her a further two years.I'll keep you informed of the events as they happen.


          • #6
            Hi McD

            We had a similar problem with a large FE college in north London.
            If you have the original receipt, this may show the initial assessment.
            In our case we used this, along with the pass certificate from the exam board to show progress from one level to another: had to highlight it in the ILR application.
            The first two letters from the college were plainly inadequate - did not mention progress from one level to another or citzenship content.
            The problem seems to be that the lecturers have very limited decision making powers or experience: I ended up writing a pro-forma letter for them and they used this to write a still rather weak letter, not mentioning progress but mentioning citizenship content.
            Hunt out the initial assessment form - probably on the receipt of payment/enrolment and get on the case of the lecturer and their line manager.
            Good luck.


            • #7
              MacDuff posted :-

              We are hoping she reaches level 3 so she can apply for ILR.
              That is not quite how it works. She either has to supply a completion certificate from a combined ESOL/Citizenship course, or a pass certificate from the Life in the UK Citizenship test.

              Merely reaching a certain grade of English, by itself, is never going to be enough.

              Also, ESOL Level 3 is a very high standard. Do you mean ESOL Entry level 3?


              • #8
                Macduff, If the college does not include citizenship materials in the course and you have no proof of progression then you will have a problem.

                If your wife moves to another facility make sure that they understand the progression rule exactly, my wife's ILR application turned out ok in the end but it was a very close call as the education centre did not understand the rules or want to play their part. I have included the link to the thread so you get the gist. Also dont forget if you apply for FLR then you still need to provide a letter of explanation as to why you are applying for FLR and not ILR, page six I think on the application but I think this can be written by you.

                ILR Progression confusion

                Good luck


                • #9
                  Hi everyone.My wife has been assessed at esol level 1 after her interview. She was recommended to do 2 weeks at summer school prior to her enrolement to which she recieved a certificate. I know this does'nt do her justice for the FLR but at least it's something better than nothing.I now know after reading your reply's get the jist of the procedure,and the progression from one level to the next and then show certificates.The problem we have is she's just enroled in september and there's no way she can show any progression hence the covering letter from the college. I still hav'nt been in touch with the college or spoke with anybody since the negative feedback from monday's episode in the staff room due to my work commitment's.I will make time tomorrow to get to the bottom of it. I'm thinking the citizenship materials come in to the esol at higher levels after her basic introduction to esol. Whatever the case maybe i'll have more details later. Thank's again for all your reply's


                  • #10

                    I'm no expert, but I don't think you have quite understood the above? And you need to.

                    There is a difference between level this and the other and ENTRY level this that and the other. The citizenship doesn't just appear at the higher level - it's at the entry level

                    Please re-read the above and take note.

                    Apologies if I have this wrong?
                    'Tis me


                    • #11
                      Hi everyone.I spoke with the language dept regarding the ESOL course. This time i got through to someone who knew exactly what i wanted. She told me there is citizenship content throughout the course and that owing to the time factor of her need for this letter,they will be posting it out to me.I have stressed the wording of this letter has to conform to the requirements of the bia.My wife was assessed at ESOL entry level 1 so she will have progressed to level 2 when her exams come up in december.She will not have a certificate when she apply's for FLR.She will only have a letter from the college.After speaking with the help desk at the visa centre she informed me that would be sufficient. We are applying for FLR because she has not been in the uk for a full 2 years. We are nearly 3 months shy. I will state that on a seperate letter.Even if we had come back in the country on or near the date of her visa entry in the uk we would still be struggling for her ILR due to her start at the college and the legal requirement's.I've also been told that if her visa extention is granted it would run from her expiry date on the passport and not on her arrival in the uk. We would not have to re apply in feb. Oh and it's entry level 1 she's at at the moment with citizenship content.


                      • #12
                        Slap me if I'm wrong, but I thought you didn't need any of the above for an FLR application, only for ILR.
                        If you're offended by any assistance I give, it says far more about you than it does me.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by -Keith-:
                          Slap me if I'm wrong, but I thought you didn't need any of the above for an FLR application, only for ILR.
                          The infomation will help me get the ILR in the future. You can never have too much info when dealing with these people.


                          • #14
                            You can never have too much info when dealing with these people
                            Very true, you could also add "or money" to the above.

                            She will only have a letter from the college.After speaking with the help desk at the visa centre she informed me that would be sufficient
                            That's correct, the letter is retained by the BIA and the BIA will also contact the "college" to check that the letter is not a fake. Let's hope that when the BIA make that call they get through to the correct person who knows the letter and system (is this the reason for the applications taking months ).


                            • #15
                              Well i finally got the covering letter i needed which mentions everything that you need.Now i,ve sent everything off,it's just a matter of waiting and fingers crossed she'll get her FLR.