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Are you waiting for a Visa to visit such and such a country?

If you are like me with family abroad you might have experienced the frustration, that I feel currently in getting my niece into the UK on a student visa from the Philippines. She has worked as a volunteer for the past year with homeless people in London, UK, but to be a student she had to return home to change her visa (I am her sponsor).

No one informed us of the wait involved, especially since the rules have changed.

In good faith I bought an educational place in a Higher English College in London recognised by the Home Office - it is not possible to book without paying in full. My niece arrived in the Philippines on January 15th. The course was due to start on February 8th, but I managed to obtain extension letters to March 9, otherwise she has to wait till June 2 to start, but that carries another set of problems, because it clashes with another course she will study at Regents College School of Psychotherapy and Counseling.

I am now frustrated at the red tape involved.

In London you can fast track a visa interview by paying £600, but at UK visa offices there appears no such procedure.

So how do you get leverage?

Or is it a bureaucratic nightmare?

Grateful for some comments...