Thursday, 7 April 2011

Visa extension

This morning we had the pleasure of applying to extend our visa at the Home Office in Croydon. We should not have been surprised that the process was slow moving and full of red tape. After a visit to Australia I can again appreciate the British quirks.

The first step was to fill in the 50-60 page application forms the night before. Arriving in Croydon at 9:45, we were assessed at the front door of the building and directed to a seated queue. Next came a security screen with x-ray bags after which we were in a queue to be
asked our purpose and directed to another queue. Next it was checked we had our booking reference number and we were directed to another queue.

Application stamped and signed, cost determined, upstairs, greeted, payment pages separated from pack, queue, pay, queue, passport details entered, queue, fingerprints and photo taken, queue... By this point it's now midday and they haven't looked at any of the detail in the
application forms.

Our outcome that day was not successful as a previous step of registering the business as a sponsor was not yet set up.

Most businesses have an appropriate by-line: Nike - Just do it; HP - Innovate; Tesco - Every little helps / Safeway - The fresh food people.
Here at the Home Office, UK Border Security, it's Thankyou for waiting.

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