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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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It's good catch, that Catch-22 [20091102|11:20]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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There have been developments in the ongoing saga of my quest to renew my visa. No wait, don't scroll to the next entry on your friends page! This is worth reading, if only for the element of schadenfreude.

Due to various bits of administrative faffing, I had to delay submission of my renewal forms. This means that it is getting rather uncomfortably close to the date of my visa's expiry. So I sought to make an in-person application. It's more expensive, but you get the visa that day and so it is guaranteed to happen before your current visa expires.

That is, assuming you can get an appointment.

I tried every office (Croydon/London, Sheffield, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Cardiff) through the online booking system, repeatedly. None of them have appointments available. Please note also that some of these places are a good five-hour journey from both my place of residence and my work. I phoned UKBA, who informed me that every appointment at every office is booked through 31 December.

The really beautiful thing about this is that you are not allowed to renew your visa until within 5 weeks of its expiry date. Hence, by the time you're ready to submit your application, it is impossible to get an appointment.

The icing on the cake was finding out that since I filled out my form, it's changed. So I have to print out the whole 75 page application and fill it out again.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: chickenfeet2003
2009-11-02 12:22 (UTC)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that anything pertaining to the Home Office is a right royal fuck up.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-11-03 10:56 (UTC)
It's all in their hands now. Which is a terrifying thought.
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[User Picture]From: chickenfeet2003
2009-11-03 10:57 (UTC)
Have you seen s03e02 of "The Thick of It" which, I think, aired last week? The department loses six months worth of immigration records!

Edited at 2009-11-03 10:58 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-11-03 11:01 (UTC)
Yup. I had to stop watching it, because it hit a little too close to home for comfort at the time!
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[User Picture]From: lesyeuxouverts
2009-11-02 13:59 (UTC)
Geeeeeeeez. Good luck with that, courier sounds like a safe bet.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-11-03 10:56 (UTC)
Yup. Thanks. It's been sent off now. Meep.
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[User Picture]From: lesyeuxouverts
2009-11-03 22:46 (UTC)
Fingers crossed for you, though it's not like you need it !
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[User Picture]From: slutbunwalla
2009-11-02 15:42 (UTC)
Wait...who's with the schadenfreude? I'm not, certainly. That sounds super crappy.

I hope it all gets figured out soon!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-11-03 10:57 (UTC)
Maybe I'm too cynical, but I always figure there has to be at least one person reading my journal who secretly wishes something terrible would happen to me.

Thanks. It's been sent, so there's nothing else I can do for now.
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[User Picture]From: sneakypeteiii
2009-11-02 15:57 (UTC)
Have you seen the most recent Ph.D. comics? Cham talks about his "experience" at Heathrow detention.
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[User Picture]From: anthrokeight
2009-11-02 17:21 (UTC)
I was thinking of that myself!

This sucks. This sucks, and if it sucks like this for people with advanced degrees and skills much needed by high-end employers, I can't see how anyone seeking asylum makes it through without their heads exploding in despair.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-11-03 11:02 (UTC)
Yes. I'd like to meet some of these immigrants who are supposedly getting free houses and cars off the UK government. I do not think they exist.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-11-03 11:02 (UTC)
Yes! I remember thinking that it was a bit too applicable to my current situation for my liking.
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[User Picture]From: chibaraki
2009-11-02 19:08 (UTC)
Holy shit they REALLY want to make sure anyone who renews their visa is EXTREMELY DEDICATED.

Also possibly that all residents have superhuman powers of paperwork.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-11-03 11:04 (UTC)
After filling out that form four times (two drafts, two "final" versions), my ability to write in PERFECTLY EVEN BLOCK CAPITALS is beginning to scare me.
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From: pbristow
2009-11-04 12:32 (UTC)
See, they're just addressing a national skills shortage! Very sensible. I mean, it's not like we manage to teach many of the *natives* how to read and write... =:o\

[HUGS]
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[User Picture]From: danaid_luv
2009-11-04 03:12 (UTC)
Seventy-five page application? Is that code for...something severely less than seventy-five bloo*dy pages? *mind is blown*

And you're one of a small handful of folks on the journal that I have a hard time believing someone would think, 'haha, now she's had it'. You're far too self-honest & not prone to obnoxiousness--it's a respect thing. *shrugs*

But again, seventy-five pages? To be turned into an office that can't manage to slide you an appointment. *blink* Fabulous.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-11-04 13:50 (UTC)
No, no it wasn't code, sadly. Not every page had to have much more than a couple of ticky boxes checked, mind you. I did have to make double super safety sure that I ticked the correct boxes and not, for instance, the ones that said why yes, I have been accused of genocide.

It just seems a bit mad to me, telling someone who is willing to pay you an extra £200 pounds that she's not allowed to do it. I'm still boggling a bit.

The other thing that boggles me is how easy it was to get appointments at the British embassy in LA, where I got my first two visas. Seriously, I got appointments within a day of phoning them up, and the appointments took about two hours. Fifteen minutes to hand over the forms, one hour to go and wait in a coffee shop nearby while they processed the forms, fifteen minutes to wait in the office for them to return my passport with the visa inside. WHAT.

Edited at 2009-11-04 01:50 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: repoman
2009-11-05 05:28 (UTC)
It's kinda comforting to know all immigration offices completely suck. At least you know if you did meet with somebody there they would be a lot more polite than what you'd find here.

Good luck!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-11-06 20:14 (UTC)
Oh, I'm not so sure about that. The last time I went through immigration at Heathrow, I thought the dude was about to die of ennui.
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