20 October 2010

The process has officially begun...

I just officially submitted my application for my UK Settlement visa. I think I still have around 6 hairs left on my head, the rest are in random piles covering the floor, the laptop, and unfortunately my Diet Hansen’s Black Cherry soda can – gross. Last night was when I did the majority of the work. Because I live in the US, I had to fill out my application online at Visa4UK website (more formally known as the Home Office – UK Border Agency). I’d like to note that Andy made me check no less than 5 times that Visa4UK was in fact the correct website to fill out the application because any web address that is too lazy to spell out ‘for’ and uses ‘4’ instead looks really fucking dodgy. I assure you all that Visa4UK is in fact the correct site though I cannot vouch for IHazAUKVisa.com or UKVisaRFun4UandSoRBoobies.com.

You run my life now, don't look so smug about it.  Oh wait, you're British, you can't help it.

The application itself was relatively standard – had to give my passport information, my citizenship status, work status, who my parents are, when I married Andy, how and when we met, if Andy and I live together, what does Andy do, and where we planned on staying once we got to the UK. Like I said, fairly easy to fill out though having Andy perched at my shoulder the entire time making sure I didn’t make a mistake was a bit unnerving. It doesn’t help that Andy is a keyboard user and I’m a mouse user so every time I used the drop-down with my mouse to select ‘United States’ or ‘United Kingdom’ a little bit of Andy died inside – especially since I refused to type in ‘U’ thus getting us to the selections a bit quicker (actually, I did that on purpose to annoy Andy – I know to press ‘U’ – isn’t just more fun to scroll through all the selections?). All in all it took about an hour to fill out. It probably would have been quicker if we didn’t have to keep getting up to find all the random passports that we have thrown about the house.

United Kingdom: Upsetting people looking for 'England' in a drop down list since 1707.

When I was finally finished with the application, I transferred the funds over to the correct account and went to submit my payment of $1043.00. My payment was denied. Andy of course didn’t believe I typed in the credit card information correctly and tried it himself but it was denied again. We called our bank only to learn that the transfer of funds wouldn’t be available until tomorrow morning but that everything else was fine. I tried again this morning. Still denied. Fed up, I called the number Visa4UK told me to call if there was a problem. Here’s a bit of information for you all:

1) If you call the number Visa4UK tells you to call, you will be informed to call another number (because it would be too damn hard to put THAT number on the website in the first place). And if you call that number, no matter what reason and for however long the call might take, it will cost $12. If you care to talk to a nice Indian lady about the weather instead of having lunch today, feel free to call that number.

2) The rest of the world works on the A for Alpha spelling out system. Nice Indian ladies in Britain have no idea what you mean by A is for Apple, C is for, um, um…Cat, R is for uuuuuuuh Robert?

3) If your payment does not go through online, then you are truly fucked as it is the ONLY way to submit payment for this application. Seriously. It was confirmed by the nice S is for Sierra Indian lady.

4) Sending an email to your husband in a panic about the whole payment thing will only result in the bank calling you as soon as you press ‘Send’ to ask if you want to allow payment of these strange charges. After you tell the bank, “Yes fuckers, which is what I verified with you LAST NIGHT” you will able to go back online and submit the payment successfully.

Next on the expat process is my biometrics appointment November 2nd where I get my fingerprints taken and a scan is done of my irises and earlobes in an effort to determine if I am, in fact, a pregnant terrorist. In case the UK Border Agency is reading, I can save you the effort and tell you that I’m not, but yo, I’m cool with your checks or whatever.

I can’t believe I just said, ‘yo’.


  1. We are in the same boat, but going the other way, from Ireland to the US. It's a bear. A big, disgusting grizzly bear. Simon has to get a police background check, have a complete physical, get immunizations, and we have to have my Dad fill out a form saying he'll support Simon even if we get a divorce. It's awesome.

    So, at this point, when are you going to be in the UK?

  2. Ugh! I actually heard that trying to get into the US is much worse than trying to get into the UK. New Zealand is pretty bad too - they don't let in fat people (I'd be screwed).

    Best of luck to Simon! Tell him to eat some change or a fork so he comes back with a really mysterious chest scan.

    We'll be in Liverpool (if all goes to plan) at the end of January. When do you all plan to be back in the States?

  3. End of January - that's so soon! I'll tell Simon about the fork. But I bet they won't let him in if they think he's bionic.
    We COULD have moved over in January/Feb had all gone to plan, but a monkey wrench has been thrown into that plan so we're looking at July/August. (Yeah, just count the months to figure out what that monkey wrench is.)

  4. I was going to say you should have Simon eat the monkey wrench but then I realized what you were saying (at least I THINK I know what you are saying)(Congrats!)(I think)(what are you saying exactly?).

    Don't have Simon eat the monkey wrench. Bad, bad idea.

  5. "find all the random passports that we have thrown about the house"?? Who are you - Jason Bourne??
    Can't wait til you get over here! The process sucks (I got stuck in it for 8 years) but it's worth it.
    I think I know what she's saying, but don't want to type it out in case it's not true. If it is, congrats!

  6. There's about 6 (or so) different passports - some expired, some with the new married name, Andy with both UK and US...so yeah, it's a bit like Jason Bourne, but with a lot less blood.

  7. Are the fight scenes any good though?

  8. They're mostly pie fights, so it really depends on your level of humor.