UK Border Agency application - sending full passport my post
Thread poster: Mariana Rohlig Sa

Mariana Rohlig Sa  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 09:05
Member (2012)
English to German
+ ...
Feb 6, 2011

Dear all,

I am applying for the UK Border Agency to join their database of freelance interpreters with Portuguese as an A. However, they require you to send in the original of your passport and driving license. I would obviously do that by recorded delivery, but am still concerned that something might go wrong and I end up loosing my passport.
In any case, I find it quite surprising that they ask you to send in the originals of your identification documents which you should always have with you in any case, specially if you are driving every day (which is not my case)

I just wanted to hear your comments and suggestions. Has anyone applied to the UKBA before?

Thank you,
Mariana


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 05:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
Extremely unlikely Feb 6, 2011

Mariana Rohlig Sa wrote:

... the UK Border Agency ... require you to send in the original of your passport and driving license.


I have never had any dealings with the UKBA (except, perhaps, as a legal 'alien' ), but I believe it is extremely unlikely that they can legally require you to submit any original ID documents, and least of all your passport; except, of course, if you attend for interview and they ask you to show them 'face to face' with the interviewers.

Are you sure you are really dealing with the UKBA - and not some ID thief/scammer/common criminal?

Are you sure (well, yes, of course you are!) that you have correctly understood their instructions?

Regardless of all that, I recommend that you do not send anything at all until you have clarified the matter and they have quoted 'chapter and verse' of the rules that allow them to make this extraordinary demand.

MediaMatrix


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cecilea7
United States
Local time: 04:05
Member (2010)
Portuguese to French
+ ...
Do not give in... Feb 7, 2011

I was recently asked to send copy of my passport by an American Cie for some translation work. I told them that I had never heard of such practices and because of high risks of identity theft I was unwilling to do so. Never heard from them again. Although we all need to work, there is no reason to give in to such ackward demands. There are many governmental sites that provide information about work eligibility. One needs to be cautious to defeat con artists and scammers who try all kind of new tricks.

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Holger Laux  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:05
Member (2011)
English to German
+ ...
Happens all the time... Feb 7, 2011

This request is quite common in the UK and people happily stuff their precious documents (passports, marriage and birth certificates, driving licenses) into envelopes and send them off. I would never do that, especially considering the trouble if my German passport got lost.

This is not a big country. Consider going there in person and present your documents.

BTW, you do not have to have your driving license with you at all times, but if you do, you have to keep the card and the counterpart together (which defies the objective of having a card).

Holger

[Edited at 2011-02-07 01:28 GMT]


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Jeanie Eldon  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
German to English
+ ...
one form of I.D. not both. Feb 7, 2011

Hi Mariana, it is correct that when you apply to the UK Border Agency you will need to submit your original EU or British passport (or driving license). One or the other, not both, so that they can verify your identity and I believe they also do a criminal record check on you. There is also a list of other documents you need to submit e.g. qualifications, a recent utility bill, proof of recent employment and P60 or P45. However, they are most efficient in returning your I.D. the very next day also by recorded delivery. Good luck with your application!

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Carole Paquis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:05
Member (2007)
English to French
They do ask Feb 7, 2011

They do ask routinely and they are not the only ones... Over the years I have sent lots of such documents to lots of organisations (CRB checks, for ex.)
There was never a problem...

But, I am always a bit nervous about it.

Carole


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Mariana Rohlig Sa  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 09:05
Member (2012)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Might not be worth sending the application Feb 7, 2011

Dear all,

Thank you for your comments. I called the UKBA today and, if I understood the Liverpool accent on the other line correctly, it is not worthwhile sending in my application form as I haven't taken the MET test nor am I a NRPSI interpreter (although the application form said I would be invited for assessment if I don't hold those qualifications/memberships).

It does bother me as I believe a Masters in Conference Interpreting sponsored and supported by the EU should suffice to interpret for the Public Service. I have considered taking all those different tests, but am always advised not to as my A languages Portuguese and specially German are not high in demand. Should I take those tests anyway?

At least my motivation to pass the EU tests some time this year has increased.

Mariana


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Alice Crisan  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:05
English to Romanian
+ ...
special delivery Feb 7, 2011

You can send the documents in a special delivery envelope and enclose another envelope with your name and address to be delivered back.You can then trace and track with your receipt from the Post Office.

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Jeanie Eldon  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
German to English
+ ...
UK recognized Feb 7, 2011

Hi Mariana,
The point is that currently in the UK all public sectors are facing serious cutbacks (people still haven't realised that this country is bankrupt, there are no funds). There is also a surplus of Interpreters with European Language skills. If you speak Arabic, Urdu or a rare language the Home Office will consider you for a language assessment, otherwise you will need to be able to prove that you are familiar with the UK public services system which means being in posession of a UK recognized qualification e.g. the DPSI or MET. In the past they weren't so strict with this, but as I said, at the moment there are plenty of well-qualified candidates and most public services are not recruiting any more, quite the opposite - if you live in UK, I'm sure that you are aware of this. Having said this, don't give up so easily, why is it not worth the Home Office having a record of your details for the future?


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Ania Heasley  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:05
English to Polish
+ ...
NRPSI entry criteria Feb 8, 2011

Mariana,

If you have a degree in Interpreting, plus minimum 400 hours interpreting experience then perhaps you already qualify to be on the NRPSI register, without needing to take a MET or DPSI exams. It would be worth contacting them and checking whether you qualify.

As for sending original documents in the post it is quite common to do so in the UK. You send them by recorded or registered post.

Alternatively, and this is commonly practised for CRB purposes, the Post Office offers an ID Verify service, where you take your original documents to your post office and they check them, and you send a stamped and signed post office issued document confirming that you showed them the originals and they were genuine.

Best of luck with your application!


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xxxIPtranslate
Brazil
English to Dutch
+ ...
They can and they do Feb 8, 2011

As partner of somebody who now lives in the UK with me and wants to apply for a resident's card (which is supposed to be "automatic" for the spouse of a European citizen, but takes at least six months, or so I have been told on the phone), I can confirm that the UKBA DOES require you to send passports (in our case, BOTH our passports). When I asked them how we were supposed to travel without passports (the procedure taking at least 6 months), they told me that in that case we should file a request to have our passports sent back to us. After that wonderful piece of British logic, I gave up....I will go and see my solicitor next week and see what she can tell me.

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UK Border Agency application - sending full passport my post

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