Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Europe > U.K. and Ireland
Reload this Page >

IRIS thoughts and opinions?

IRIS thoughts and opinions?

Reply

Old May 21, 11, 1:52 am
  #91  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: UK
Programs: BA EC Gold
Posts: 9,234
Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
Five years, plus a year with permanent residency. The 3 years plus no need for the year with permanent residency or indefinite leave to remain applies only if the spouse or partner is a British citizen.
Ah! Thanks, I didn't know that the three-year rule only applied to spouses of British nationals - I thought it was all EEA nationals.

The UKBA page (in its typical maddening vagueness) seems to imply that you do not need a year of ILR as well before applying for naturalisation on the basis of being the spouse of a non-British EEA national - rather, that you only need five years' worth of residency:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/br...tnerofcitizen/

The following excerpt does not specify nationality of the sponsoring spouse/CP:

Immigration time restrictions

You must be free from immigration time restrictions on the day you make your application.
ajax is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 21, 11, 1:53 am
  #92  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: SUX
Programs: BA Silver; HHonors Gold; SPG Gold; Points but dirt with everyone else
Posts: 8,049
Originally Posted by ajax View Post
But in all seriousness, what could you expect your MP to do? Give you a VIP pass to let you jump the queue? Surely if they had those, they'd already be in use by others already. The only thing hat can practically be done would be to add more staff - and as you know, we aren't exactly flush with funding at the moment.
A VIP pass for queue jumping? That'd certainly not be very British! I think the thing I'd ask for my MP to address more relates to inquiring about inefficiencies in scheduling that creates severe backlogs at certain times of day and the problem of IRIS registration only being available at T5. Perhaps suggest that there be a system by which one can make an appointment if holding a BP for another terminal to gain access beyond security at T5, if UKBA cannot staff enrolment at the other terminals. (US CBP issues gate passes for those applying for Global Entry, a similar but not identical, queue-bypassing method. Of course, they also charge $100 per five years for it.) It'd be great to see a path for UK visa holders to enter (for second and subsequent entries) using the EU queue or some other queue, but as was mentioned above, I think it would likely only work with e-passports.

As to staffing levels, I'm wondering if UKBA passport control agents are cross-trained to do other UKBA tasks. Perhaps when there are queues, they could be at passport control, and when there's lower demand, they could be in some back office at LHR processing paperwork and the like. (Most likely, at present this would really involve taking some staff that handle such things and training them to also work at the border, perhaps moving them to LHR for work.)

Originally Posted by ajax View Post
I'm sad to say (as I have been in this position many times myself) that queues at immigration are simply one of life's annoyances that we simply have to live with. There is no way round them.
Oh, certainly one cannot expect to breeze across the border in 10 seconds. Even a 20-minute queue can be expected. However, if one and two hour waits are becoming routine, this is bad for the UK in terms of time efficiency for business travellers (many of whose companies won't pay for F/J, so they can't use FastTrack) and the impression made on tourists on their first arrival.

Originally Posted by ajax View Post
Oh - and bear in mind that even if you do marry an EEA national And use their nationality tomsponsor your residence in the UK you are not permitted to go through the EU queue unless the two of you are together until your application for naturalisation is approved (the eligibility period is three years).
Aw, you mean I'd have to take my fake wife everywhere with me? That seems incredibly expensive Even if I tried such a thing, I think I'd be on the fast track to deportation, since it wouldn't take much investigation for the UKBA to figure out I'd suddenly gone straight after meeting this nice Eastern European lady. (Now if the UK does actually get marriage equality... Oh, wait, who am I kidding? I'm too much of a rule follower to even contemplate something like that.)
mtkeller is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 21, 11, 2:16 am
  #93  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,443
Originally Posted by ajax View Post
Ah! Thanks, I didn't know that the three-year rule only applied to spouses of British nationals - I thought it was all EEA nationals.

The UKBA page (in its typical maddening vagueness) seems to imply that you do not need a year of ILR as well before applying for naturalisation on the basis of being the spouse of a non-British EEA national - rather, that you only need five years' worth of residency:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/br...tnerofcitizen/

The following excerpt does not specify nationality of the sponsoring spouse/CP:
As I understand it (and I agree that the UKBA page is in places quite delightful in its vagueness), if you are the spouse of civil partner of a British citizen, the qualifying period of residence is 3 years and you must be settled (i.e., in this case, with indefinite leave to remain) in the UK on the date that you make your application for naturalisation.

For all others, the qualifying period is 5 years to gain settled status (indefinite leave to remain, or permanent residence if EU/EEA) and you must have held that status for 1 year before applying, making 6 years in total. (The exception to this 6 years would be people who are not British citizens but who have the right of abode in the UK, since they are deemed settled from the moment they arrive in the UK. They therefore do not need to wait the extra year.)

The reason for this apparent mismatch and the extra year is that the previous government, in its wisdom, altered the legislation in such a way that the requirements for settled status and the requirements for naturalisation became "uncoupled" from each other. Whether the intention was in fact to extend the period needed to be eligible for naturalisation to 6 years or whether that was just an unintended consequence of the tinkering with the legislation is a good question.

The previous government had lots of complicated plans for naturalisation, such as "earned citizenship" and "provisional citizenship", all of which now seem to have been consigned to the dustbin of history — at least, we can hope so.

Last edited by Christopher; May 21, 11 at 2:21 am
Christopher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 21, 11, 2:19 am
  #94  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,443
Originally Posted by mtkeller View Post
Oh, certainly one cannot expect to breeze across the border in 10 seconds. Even a 20-minute queue can be expected. However, if one and two hour waits are becoming routine, this is bad for the UK in terms of time efficiency for business travellers (many of whose companies won't pay for F/J, so they can't use FastTrack) and the impression made on tourists on their first arrival.
These (my emboldening of the text) are, I think, strong arguments to put to an MP.
Christopher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 21, 11, 7:28 am
  #95  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: UK
Programs: BA EC Gold
Posts: 9,234
Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
As I understand it (and I agree that the UKBA page is in places quite delightful in its vagueness), if you are the spouse of civil partner of a British citizen, the qualifying period of residence is 3 years and you must be settled (i.e., in this case, with indefinite leave to remain) in the UK on the date that you make your application for naturalisation.

For all others, the qualifying period is 5 years to gain settled status (indefinite leave to remain, or permanent residence if EU/EEA) and you must have held that status for 1 year before applying, making 6 years in total. (The exception to this 6 years would be people who are not British citizens but who have the right of abode in the UK, since they are deemed settled from the moment they arrive in the UK. They therefore do not need to wait the extra year.)
This would make sense, but of course the wording is very un-specific. I would not be surprised at all - in fact I would think it quite appropriate - if the government showed preference to the spouses of UK nationals over other EEA nationals. I cannot imagine any country could expect any less.

Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
The reason for this apparent mismatch and the extra year is that the previous government, in its wisdom, altered the legislation in such a way that the requirements for settled status and the requirements for naturalisation became "uncoupled" from each other. Whether the intention was in fact to extend the period needed to be eligible for naturalisation to 6 years or whether that was just an unintended consequence of the tinkering with the legislation is a good question.
Yes - I have become very aware of the uncoupling of granting of settled status and approval of naturalisation applications. The thresholds to meet either are in some cases very different, so that one can be entirely qualified for one and not the other, for no apparently good reason.


Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
The previous government had lots of complicated plans for naturalisation, such as "earned citizenship" and "provisional citizenship", all of which now seem to have been consigned to the dustbin of history — at least, we can hope so.
ISTR that one of the first things done by Teresa May was to announce the scrapping of Labour's plans for earned and provisional citizenship - like many things that the Labour government did in this area, it was well intentioned but impractical, unworkable and complicated, and would have required sizeable and expensive bureaucracy to adminster for arguably marginal benefit. Kind of symbolic for the whole Labour government, now that I think about it.
ajax is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 22, 11, 3:08 am
  #96  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: London, UK
Programs: BA Gold, FB Plat
Posts: 396
T4 IRIS - Broken or just shutdown?

The last three weeks for me has seen IRIS at LHR T4 out of action. I can't imagine with the e-passport coming on-line that it's got much more life left in it. Not sure if it's on the way out or just plain broken.

Regarding the e-passport, the amount of failures I see when I'm queuing up and the fact someone has to steward the users seems a bit of a failure to me.

Any thoughts anyone?
mattk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 22, 11, 3:49 am
  #97  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: SUX
Programs: BA Silver; HHonors Gold; SPG Gold; Points but dirt with everyone else
Posts: 8,049
Originally Posted by mattk View Post
The last three weeks for me has seen IRIS at LHR T4 out of action. I can't imagine with the e-passport coming on-line that it's got much more life left in it. Not sure if it's on the way out or just plain broken.

Regarding the e-passport, the amount of failures I see when I'm queuing up and the fact someone has to steward the users seems a bit of a failure to me.

Any thoughts anyone?
I was through T4 on Thursday morning and all the IRIS gates were working, as they were on 8 May in the evening. Sadly, I just got to sit there and stare longingly at the IRIS gates.
mtkeller is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 22, 11, 4:01 am
  #98  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: London, UK
Programs: BA Gold, FB Plat
Posts: 396
Originally Posted by mtkeller View Post
I was through T4 on Thursday morning and all the IRIS gates were working, as they were on 8 May in the evening. Sadly, I just got to sit there and stare longingly at the IRIS gates.
Are you sure you mean IRIS? There's only one IRIS machine at T4, the others next to it, and there are 3, are the e-passport gates. For those you need an EU passport with a chip in it.
mattk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 22, 11, 5:14 am
  #99  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: SUX
Programs: BA Silver; HHonors Gold; SPG Gold; Points but dirt with everyone else
Posts: 8,049
Originally Posted by mattk View Post
Are you sure you mean IRIS? There's only one IRIS machine at T4, the others next to it, and there are 3, are the e-passport gates. For those you need an EU passport with a chip in it.
Hmm, then I'm not sure. I blew past the signs since the non-EU queue was massive, so I didn't notice if there was signage about IRIS being down. I probably was looking at the e-passport gates.
mtkeller is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 22, 11, 7:14 am
  #100  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: London, UK
Programs: BA Gold, FB Plat
Posts: 396
Originally Posted by mtkeller View Post
Hmm, then I'm not sure. I blew past the signs since the non-EU queue was massive, so I didn't notice if there was signage about IRIS being down. I probably was looking at the e-passport gates.
There is never any signage to say IRIS is down, they stick sometimes a notice on the entry doors or put a barrier across the entrance.

If the machines you were looking at were large frames with big displays and lots of colours then those are the new e-passport machines.
mattk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 22, 11, 2:31 pm
  #101  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: LHR
Programs: DL DM 1MM, AA Plat
Posts: 10,157
I have not had a problem with the T4 IRIS gates working - they are just blocked off occasionally...usually in slow times.
rwoman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 23, 11, 2:26 am
  #102  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: UK
Programs: BA EC Gold
Posts: 9,234
Originally Posted by rwoman View Post
I have not had a problem with the T4 IRIS gates working - they are just blocked off occasionally...usually in slow times.
And even when they're blocked off it does not mean that they are not functional. On more than one occasion, I have seen passengers simply move the little cordon out of the way and walk right into the machine - which has been working just fine - much to the futile annoyance of the queue attendant.
ajax is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 23, 11, 3:57 am
  #103  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: LHR
Programs: DL DM 1MM, AA Plat
Posts: 10,157
Originally Posted by ajax View Post
And even when they're blocked off it does not mean that they are not functional. On more than one occasion, I have seen passengers simply move the little cordon out of the way and walk right into the machine - which has been working just fine - much to the futile annoyance of the queue attendant.
True - I may have done that once...
rwoman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 30, 11, 3:48 am
  #104  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: LHR
Programs: DL DM 1MM, AA Plat
Posts: 10,157
All,

I flew BHX-DXB-KBL-DXB-BHX this past week. After clearing security on the outbound, I noticed a sign on the IRIS registration door stating the office was closed due to review of the program.

When I returned, the IRIS lane @ BHX was open and I cleared with no problem.

robin
rwoman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 25, 11, 8:49 am
  #105  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Programs: CO Platinum
Posts: 1
Apologies in advance - I didn't read all 104 posts on the previous 7 pages of the thread

Have IRIS renewals been discontinued? I've been a happy user of the system for 4-5 years now and wish to renew, but have not been able to find an IRIS office open whenever I pass through T4 or T5 at LHR.
cribbj is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread