So what was the actual visa process like once I’d figured out which visa I’d be applying for and who’d help me with it you ask?
Well, before even taking my ‘case’, I talked to an American from Global Visas in their Minnesota who asked me a bunch of questions about my situation and what I intended to do. They told me they do not take cases they don’t think they can win and want to make sure I have a solid chance which, once approved, was reassuring to know.
Next, another phone consultation was scheduled, this time with my British advisor. She was nice enough, answered my questions about time frames (I officially started the visa process in May, and am hoping to be out of the country by the beginning of September) and gave me a checklist of documents I needed to procure to complete my application.
Most of it was pretty basic stuff that I had expected ie birth certificate, proof of relationship, housing, etc. In fact, I was extremely lucky to have found out about needing to have proof of the relationship very early because I had spent at least a year keeping every single useful bit of memorabilia from our travels and time together in a shoebox. The thing that threw me off was the proof of intent to marry. Our wedding was just under a year away at this point and we’d planned on getting the visa stuff out of the way before doing too much wedding organization. However, this proof of intent to marry stuff meant we had to get invitations printed, the wedding location booked and have an officiant for the ceremony lined up asap. All while I was in the US and the boy was trying to do finals and end of term projects. Eeek.
We were both pretty stressed out about having to get pretty much the three most important aspects of a wedding sorted on such a deadline but I have to admit, I was more than a little glad to have a valid excuse to make the boy focus on wedding planning.
I’m a little evil, I know.