Man, I can’t believe I haven’t touched this since shortly before I left overseas. I flew out of NZ on May 26th, traveled for almost 3 months, and now have been living in London for two months. Looking for work has been lengthy and almost torturous at times, but these are all stories for later entries. For now I will just leave this as it is.
It’s been a few weeks since I last made a post on here, and most of that has to do with the requirements of working towards getting my UK Ancestry visa… which is almost over, as far as me sending the application. I’ll then have to wait up to 12 weeks for it to be returned to me which at this point, if it’s that long or longer might be cutting it a bit close to our travel time.
The system that allows you to get the visa is very obtuse, partly one assumes to make sure it’s kinda idiot proof and they don’t just allow anyone in, but sometimes it’s just generally vague and occasionally back to front and I don’t know if that’s intentional or not. For example the Ancestry visa information on the UK Border site doesn’t tell you any specifics on what you may need for your application. However once you’ve filled out your form details via the online application site, paid your application fee, and set an appointment for Biometrics (where they scan you finger prints and take your photo)… when you turn up to the Biometrics appointment they give you a sheet which has more information on it about what they specifically want from you as visa application evidence. At that point it’s like “Gee, that might be more helpful at the start before I filled out the forms.”
I also found the forms I printed for the biometrics were missing information the website gives you while filling out the forms, and silly me forgot to take along my passport (obvious I know) like it said in small print on one particular page but not on any of the print outs I was supposed to take. So I’ve had to rebook.
That also was difficult. Or not. In the end I could change/cancel my original appointment online and rebook it for another time. But the person at the biometrics didn’t tell me this. And I otherwise had to call an 0900 paid toll phoneline and then also pay $12NZD on top via credit card to get them to try to rebook it for the next day, which they didn’t. Nor did they tell me I could just do it myself on the online application. And this was after ringing and ringing and ringing just to get someone. And the first time I called, their line – which was terrible quality – dropped out. So I had to start all over again.
In a slight panic the following day trying to find out if I was re-booked, tried calling them again only to never get through. A call to the local Immigration office where the biometrics are held didn’t help that much (they tried, but the system doesn’t give names for the biometric interviews until the time comes) and a suggestion to try the British High Commission only resulted in the same websites and numbers I knew because they are apparently completely separate. In the end I just re-booked online as I mentioned.
The internet is mostly, thankfully, helpful for the problems you’ll face as far as people telling you what they sent…. but it’s even unclear as to what you need to send so much. Things like birth certificates and name changes files are obvious, and while you need to show you have money to live in the UK while you look for work… how much they consider correct is up in the air. Some people have reported to have as little as 3000NZD (or about 1500 UK pounds) and still got through, but then again no one is that sure about it.
None of this also deals with me having to get all the birth certificates, and the problems with errors on those I had to deal with… or the overall costs for all this ($570 for the visa application, probably like $30 in phone calls, more again in petrol, parking, etc. and then the certificates which must have been between $150-200 in total).
In any case this is what I’ve put in my package for evidence, and I’ll write another post later letting you know if I got the visa or if there was problems. Which I hope not as that might cause later issues.
1 x Visa Application Printout – signed at Biometric Appointment
1 x Booking Form for Biometric Appointment – signed at Appointment
1 x New Zealand Passport & Photocopy of ID Page
2 x Passport Style Photographs – Meeting required UK format standard
1 x Grandfather’s Birth Certificate & Photocopy
1 x Grandparent’s Marriage Certificate & Photocopy
1 x Father’s Birth Certificate & Photocopy
1 x Parent’s Marriage Certificate & Photocopy
1 x Personal Birth Certificate & Photocopy
1 x Proof of Current Employment and Remuneration Letter from Employer
8 x Most Recent Payslips from Current Employment
1 x Certified Bank Statement showing current funds for UK Travel
1 x Letter confirming certification of Bank Statement and Account
1 x Recent Curriculum Vitae
6 x Job seeker website confirmation e-mail printouts
1 x Pre-addressed returned Signature Courier bag for my materials to be returned to me
Wish me luck…