I think I probably started researching visas sometime around the middle of April. This turned out to be a difficult and confusing endeavor, there is so much outdated and incorrect information online and even going to the government website isn’t much help in terms of the actual process. So Dan and I researched and eventually came up with a pretty good idea of what we would need to do and when we would need to do it.
The plan was that I would apply for my visa once I had about $5,000 saved up, we were going to use an expediter service (this is the difference between one week turn around time to 2-3 months turn around time). So a few days into June, an announcement is made on the immigration forum I had started frequenting (www.uk-yankee.com, excellent resource for actual experiences in obtaining a visa). UK Immigration was no longer using allowing expediters to be used for settlement visas. This meant that our carefully crafted plan for me to obtain a visa and get over to England by the end of July was more than likely not possible. I was hoping to be there by August 11th, the day of Dan’s mom’s wedding, but that was more than likely not feasible if I would have to wait for 2 months for visa approval.
So we sucked it up (for the most part) and proceeded with the process anyway. Dan sent over the documents I needed from them, I filled out my online application on Monday and made my biometrics appointment. I have that scheduled for next Monday and after that is completed I can mail in my application and documents to the Chicago consulate. And then after that just hope I get approval before September…
Then tonight I find out that another announcement has been made, UK Immigration is setting up an priority service for settlement visas. And while I am slightly annoyed that this was taken as an opportunity for Immigration to squeeze even more money out of me for something that I could have gotten for much cheaper before all this, I don’t really care at this point. When I go to send out my application after my biometrics on Monday, I will be able to purchase the priority service and get visa approval in 15 days instead of 2-3 months! So I’m hoping this means the universe has not laughed in the face of my plans 🙂