So, after waiting for about 4 MONTHS for a Certificate of Sponsorship from the UK, I then went on to acquire a visa in about 4 DAYS. For anyone else looking to get a work visa from the UK, make sure you have that sponsorship NAILED DOWN. It’s the first part of the process, and it’s almost completely out of the applicant’s hands. But once you have that Certificate–smooth sailing (at least out of the US).
Here is a list of everything I sent to the British Consulate in New York:
- Printed online application
- Online application submission receipt
- Email confirming application payment
- Stamped biometric appointment confirmation
- Priority service receipt of confirmation
- Completed Appendix 6: Tier 5 with sponsorship certificate number
- Letter of maintenance from Fr. John
- Letter of sponsorship support from Fr. Pat
- Printed self-assessment summary
- Two passport size photos
- Original Passport
- Copy of all of the above
All pretty straight forward. The trickiest thing was scheduling my biometrics, and on the day I got it done I overnighted my entire packet:
- Monday: Biometrics, copies, post office
- Tuesday: Application arrived at consulate in New York
- Wednesday: Visa issued in NY
- Thursday: Visa returned to my house
Other things that needed to be taken care of:
- Loans: called and forbearance no problem
- Bank: opened another checking account via bro’s rec for best exchange rates and free atm fees
- Flights: I’m ready to buy RIGHT NOW. Just waiting for the go ahead. I’ll be off on Monday, Nov. 28th.
You’d think after being at home in Indiana for 3 months, I would be SUPER prepared to go, buuuuut I’m not exactly. I suppose on a emotional/spiritual level, I’m more ready to go than I was 3 months ago. But on a logistical/”is this real life?” level–not at all. Even though I’m pretty well traveled, I feel like I have no way to adequately prepare for all this except by just going. I don’t know what to bring, what I might forget, what I’m doing once I’m there, I don’t know how to drive a stick (let alone on the opposite side of the road), I don’t have my renewed license or new check card, I don’t know if I’ll have a bank there, I don’t know if I’ll have a cell or internet where I live in N. Ireland, I don’t know when I will be returning (I’m not coming home for Christmas) or when/if someone may visit… It’s just nine months of unknown. How can I prepare? At least I’m not pregnant, nor have I ever been… And now I’m thinking of a birth metaphor for all this, because at the end of 9 months, I have no idea what to expect , and I don’t even know when I might get clearer picture.
Wow. All the unknown that tends to haunt non-married 20/30-somethings is right here with me, and I usually HATE it. But right now, it feels so good! After waiting for so long, I was worried I wouldn’t have the same gusto as when this whole process started–but it’s back!