The immigration process is not an easy one. Particularly if you need to deal with Worldbridge. They are the UK Border Agency’s ‘official partner’. Some say that outsourcing governmental work to private companies is simply a means saving money by hiring poorly paid serfs who lack the competency to the job properly, at a cost of an effective professional service. Worldbridge seem intent on living up to that claim. The names of the innocent in the recently sent email pasted below have been changed. Except for Worldbridge’s name. They are guilty as charged as far as I am concerned, and worthy of all the contempt and scorn that might be heaped upon them.
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing on behalf of my wife, Juanita Banana. I am her sponsor for her settlement visa. Her Application number is ************. On Monday June 13th we received an email, to my wife’s email account (email@example.com) from NEYOZVisaInfo@fco.gov.uk, that stated her UK Visa had been issued, with information about UPS tracking information. I have copied and pasted the email in its entirety below, minus the usual disclaimer at the foot of the page.
Despite stating that delivery would be in 2 to 5 business days and that tracking information on UPS would be available, no UPS tracking number was contained in the email and the visa has not been delivered. Nine days later, and no further information has been received about either the location of the visa or the UPS tracking number.
Worldbridge, the official partner of the Border Agency, would seem to be the obvious place to go for information. However, my wife and I have had four contacts so far with Worldbridge, with a current success rate of 0%.
Our first contact was a phone call by myself, at a cost of US$13, to find out whether the copy of my passport page to be included in Paola’s application pack needed to be signed by a referee. I was told by the Worldbridge adviser that I needed to have it signed at the British Embassy. I told him I was in Britain, and asked, rather incredulously, if I was meant to get it signed at the British Embassy in London. He stated that was so.
So incredulous was I, that I got him to repeat that several times, just to make certain that I wasn’t going mad. In the end, I had to inform him that there is no British Embassy in London. He paused, sought advice from a supervisor, then told me that a copy of my passport was fine and did not need to be signed at all. The adviser is, according to Worldbridge, a fully trained agent.
Juanita then presented her visa application package to Worldbridge at the British Embassy in Mexico, only to be told that she should have included my actual passport. Not a copy, signed or not. My actual passport. Which is ridiculous. She refused to accept the application pack, and we had to send it, at our own cost, to the British consulate in New York. I strongly suspect, although cannot prove, a scam. We did include my original birth certificate, which I had accidentally left in Mexico after living there for nearly six years.
The third encounter with Worldbridge was another paid for phone call, asking about the location of the visa and the tracking number. The adviser took the details of my enquiry and provided me with a case number, but I have thus far not received a reply.The final, most unfortunate, episode was an email sent to Worldbridge last night. I informed them that my wife had received an email from the NY Consulate telling her that her visa has been issued but no UPS tracking had been included, nor had the visa been received.
From previous experience, I had low expectations of a helpful response from Worldbridge, and they did not disappoint. We received a reply from Worldbridge today telling us that when the visa is issued we will receive an email telling us so, with a UPS tracking number. This was a true ‘WTF’ moment.
To be fair to Worldbridge, whilst they do claim that the phone will be answered by a ‘trained agent’, they make no claims as to exactly what they are trained in. It does not seem, however, that basic reading comprehension, common sense and general competency are qualities deemed essential for the role. Our second encounter suggests honesty may also not be a prerequisite requirement.
So you will please forgive me if I appear to lack any faith whatsoever in Worldbridge providing me with relevant information to the questions I answer. I am currently taking up the issues I have had with them with my local Member of Parliament and the Border Agency, to whom I will send copies of this email separately, and will at a later point seek financial redress through the Small Claims courts in the UK.
As making any further progress with Worldbridge seems unlikely, I do therefore ask, nay – beseech, that you help me unravel the mystery surrounding the current location of my wife’s settlement visa, and the UPS tracking number that is associated with it. I will gladly jump through the required hoops and leap over the necessary bars, if only someone would tell me where the hoops and bars are.
I thank you in advance for your help in resolving this matter, and I greatly appreciate your most urgent response.