I was asked on a forum about what my fiance visa process was like, and thought ‘oh! thats why I started my blog! to explain the process! i’ll just point her to a post to read..’ and went diggin. But as I was looking, I realized that my posts were more story than information. Whoops. So, this post aims to remedy that! (Hopefully I can remember all the steps, it was a few months ago..)
Murphy’s Law September 12, 2009
Seeing as there are only 2 business days left with still no word from the consulate about my visa, it’s looking like I will miss yet another departure date. And I soooo thought it was going to come this time…
Now the boy is moving into our apartment without me, buying housewares without me, and spending the first night in our new place alone.
I also may end up staying on this side of the pond until October now as well (until the maximum amount of time a visa can take to process–according to the Brit consulate, is up). This would leave me not only pissed off and without my boy for far too long, but also only give me 2 months to finish planning and orchestrating the wedding since I’ve done all I can do from afar….grrrrr
Plus my employer hired my replacement since I thought I was leaving and he is just about all trained so, I’m not sure what will happen there if I end up staying longer again..
That is all. Just needed to rant and vent some frustration with ALL THE RED FUCKING TAPE keeping me stuck here, on the wrong continent.
The boy says wel’l laugh about this when it’s over but I dunno, I may take this bitterness to the grave. Ya hear me British Consulate! Watch yer back aight!
*takes a few deep breaths and goes back to feverishly checking her email*
NH yeS or No? September 11, 2009
Today I got a root canal for $25.
The same procedure my mother had a few years ago at a private dentists’ office and paid $750 because she didn’t have insurance.
So how did I get mine for so cheap? Thanks to a government program at a dental clinic that bases your fees on your salary, I was assesed to be poor enough to only pay a small percentage of the fees. Whoohoo!
I’ve been to a few of these clinics that offer health services on a sliding scale now since I have no health insurance, and always found them perfectly pleasant and efficient, suggesting (in my eyes) that America may in fact be capable of decent socialized healthcare.
Now, I’m not saying that Americas health services are perfect, or suggesting that occasional clinic visits are a replacement for having a regular GP or dentist. I’m just wondering how pleasant I’ll find the UK’s NHS in comparison.
I know there’s been a big uproar of Brits standing up to defend their precious NHS against American criticism, but I have to admit I am concerned about the quality of care I will eventually recieve when more dental work is required. I’ve read tons of other expat bloggers tell unsettling stories and outright refusals to partake in the system. With so many people complaining, there’s gotta be something to it right?
Only time will tell, and I’ll be sure to report my experiences.
only for those with True Grit August 26, 2009
Well folks, it’s been a stressful couple of weeks but despite some costly (both financial and emotional) setbacks, I think we’re just about back on track.
The scoop: my visa did not come in time for our September 2nd departure date (and as of now, has still yet to arrive) so the boy is now on the other side of the pond without me which sucks big time. I missed out on spending time with his family, going to London and finally meeting his best man.
But alas, the new plan is for me to fly out on September 16th, provided the British Consulate sees fit to give me my passport back by then with the necessary paperwork. In short, we’re hoping, praying, meditating, crossing our fingers toes and eyes that it comes this week so we don’t have to drop another $400 on changing my flight.
I NEED TO GET OUT OF THIS SMALL CONSERVATIVE TOWN, out of my parents house, out of a temporary living situation and start my new life with the boy already!! This living in limbo is driving me absolutely bonkers if you haven’t noticed.
The things keeping me from going totally whacko taco off the deep end? Books mostly. Thank god for the trip to Barnes and Nobles we made a few days before the boy left. I picked up a buy two get one free Hunter S. Thompson deal and the OffBeat Bride book. (Side note, has anyone else had a ‘dirty chai’ aka chai tea with a shot of espresso? i had my first at B&N–my oh my was it delicious!)
Speaking of things I’ve newly become a fan of, I made my first purchases at Sephora yesterday. My maid of honor and i spent quit a bit of time in there, testing things out and looking for the perfect shades of this or that and it was totally worth it. I tested out my new goodies as soon as I came home and I do believe i’ve got my wedding look down! Hooray, another thing checked off the list. So psyched about having found a red lipstick i can wear that matches the tones of my face. Now how to keep it off the boys face when we say I do..hmmm…
Change is not a process for the impatient August 2, 2009
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.
Update: visa status July 11, 2009
Earlier I was whining about not being able to check the status of my application but today I recieved an email with an update,whoorah!
Although the info in said email is a bit confusing… first it says I’m likely to get a decision and response on my application within 24hrs. AWESOME! or it may be 5-10 days. still pretty sweet. or it could take up to 12 weeks with the offices average process time at 40-45 days….not as great.
crossin my fingers for option A..