A New Hampshire bride was two weeks away from her overseas wedding, but she couldn’t get there, because she never received her fiancée visa or passport. It was down to the wire.
With a lot of money on the line and emotions running high, her mother reached out to the NBC10 Boston Responds team for help.
“We didn’t know what to do, we were just beside ourselves,” said Jennifer Lamie, the mother of the bride. “My daughter is quietly panicking, trying not to cry every day, but it was stressful.”
Stressful is an understatement. Lamie, who is from Hampton, New Hampshire, emailed NBC10 Boston consumer investigative reporter Leslie Gaydos in late April, two weeks before her daughter Sarah’s May 8 wedding in England.
The bride had not received the fiancée visa she needed to get married in the United Kingdom, and she had also handed over her passport with her application.
“She started the visa process, and online, it tells you 90 days is the typical turnaround. Guaranteed within 90 days,” Lamie said. “So, she did her application in December, she had to go get fingerprinted the beginning of January, the end of February, we got the notification that we were waiting for final approval for the visa and to just stand by.”
But it never arrived, and the family couldn’t get anywhere with their calls and emails to the UK visa center.
Lamie said they got no responses to their calls and emails.
“They charge you to send an email to ask about your case. They charge you to make a phone call, but you don’t talk to a person. So every time I called, I’d get a recording and try to hit zero, try to get a person. And there was just nobody, nobody picked up the phone ever.”
Lamie called two New Hampshire lawmakers to ask for help and eventually contacted NBC10 Boston Responds. We got to work immediately, contacting the UK Home Office and the British Consulate in Boston.
“We were, you know, desperate,” said Lamie. “We were trying to find anybody that could help us. And you were the only one who stepped up. You were it,” she told Leslie Gaydos.
Within days, Leslie had confirmation from a UK Home Office spokesperson that Sarah’s visa had been issued.
Regarding the delay, the spokesperson told us :
“We are prioritising Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine applications in response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the Putin’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine, so applications for study, work and family visas have taken longer to process. Ms. Lamie’s visa has now been issued and arrangements will be made for returning her travel documents and visa.”
Sarah had her visa in hand Tuesday May 3 and flew to England Thursday, May 5 — just in time for her weekend wedding!
“Couldn’t be more grateful to you,” Lamie said. “Really there are no words, like this wouldn’t have happened had you not intervened and helped us out. And I’m so happy. She’s happy.”
Sarah said she had an amazing day and her wedding was exactly everything that she dreamed of.
“I can’t even put into words how grateful I am,” she said. “It was a saving grace. I really don’t think I would have made it to my wedding if it weren’t for you guys!”
NBC10 Boston Responds is here to help with your consumer problems, from refunds, to broken appliances, to travel visas. And we are the only local station committed to answering all of your calls and emails regarding your consumer issues, whatever they are.
Reach out to us at NBC10Boston.com/contactresponds, or give us a call at 1-888-521-NEWS.