Wednesday, 15 October 2014

UK Visa Facts!

I applied for UK Visa and there were so many things which I could find on net very easily and there were few other things which I didn't find any mention off even after rigorous searching. 
                                              
In this era of 'Right to Information' I think we need to know the lesser known facts too, of any process. So here I am, with some known and some lesser known facts.

UK Visa applying location :: Pune (India)
UK Visa Processing office:: Mumbai (India)

Known Facts::

Documents

As I applied for the tourist visa, here are the list of documents which were required: 

1)     Original passport (06 Months valid from the date of travel) + previous passport         if any.
2)     2 Colour photograph with white background, matt finish size 35 mm X 45 mm         80% face Size   
3)     Covering letter mentioning your travel details.
4)     Original Bank statement for last 6 months updated.
5)     Salary slips for last 6 months.
6)     Personal Income Tax copies for last 3 years
7)     Leave Letter from company.
8)     Other financial papers NSC, PPF, Bonds, FD, shares property papers, etc.
9)     Original Leave letter.
10)    Appointment letter from company.
11)     Pension passbook / slips.
12)    School / College ID card copy.
13)    Hotel Bookings

Documents from UK

     1.      Passport & Visa copies.
     2.     Invitation letter.
     3.     1 accommodation proof.

Documents if someone is sponsoring.

    4.      Passport copies or any ID card copy in which name and signature seen.
    5.      Sponsorship letter.
    6.      Company registration copy.
    7.      IT returns for last 03 years
    8.      Bank Statements for last 6 months.
    9.      Salary slips for last 03 months( if employed)
    10.     FD’s, Property papers, Shares, etc


E-Mails:

After you apply for UK Visa, you generally receive three mails from the UK Visa office.

   1. When your application is received in the head office. (In my case, when my                   application reached Mumbai office, I received my first mail.)  

   2. When your application is processed, you will be intimated that the Visa has been            processed and will be ready for dispatch. (There is no mention of whether it is              approved/rejected.)

   3. When your Visa reaches the office where you applied and is ready for dispatch from        there too, you receive the third mail.

Days taken in processing:

If you are applying for first time/ normal time frame, it generally takes 10-15 working days. Or, once you get the second mail, you can expect it any time.

But in every case, the time frame is respected and you receive the passport for sure within these 10-15 working days.

Courier:

You receive your UK Visa from the Blue Dart courier.


Lesser Known Facts::

Document:

Talking about the marriage certificate: If you don't have a marriage certificate, an affidavit will work as good. (My visa was done on an affidavit.)

E-Mail:
In general cases, you get all the three mails which I mentioned above. 

But in some cases, like mine,
Ø  I got the first mail of acknowledgment that my visa has been received at the UK Visa processing centre.
Ø  I got the second mail that it has been processed and is ready for dispatch.
Ø  I didn't receive the third mail. In some cases this mail is not received. (My husband got this mail, I didn't receive it.)

Days:

Like I said before, the time frame is strictly adhered too. You can check the list of holidays from the UK Visa office site. Exclude those holidays and count the number of working days from the day you received your first mail.

Within these 15 working days, you can expect your passport to arrive. (My husband passport reached in 6 working days and mine took 12 working days.)

Courier:

After you receive your second mail, you can actually track your passport location. We looked for this information and finally we sorted out this process. 

1.      Got to this site - http://www.bluedart.com/

2.     Click on the reference number button:


3. You get a acknowledgement sheet from the UK Visa office when you apply. In that   sheet, there is a reference number mentioned. 

     You need to enter that reference number here in this location:

Then enter go.

If your passport is in transit, the entire location details and the expected timing will be mentioned in detail. 

This tracking is very helpful as you know exactly what time you can expect the passport to arrive. In some cases, like mine, I got my second mail on Thursday, no mails further and the passport reached me on Tuesday. (http://swarnpriya.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/visa-fever_1.html - The detail description of my dramatic event of receiving my passport.)

Well, we had a nail-biting time and figured all these tracking process on the day we received my passport. But information is out there, we just need to know how to get it on time. Here you are!

Do leave your valuable comments. Makes me happy :)

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Visa Fever!

Well, just a few days back my husband and I got this - visa fever. 

My husband was to go to United Kingdom for six months. So, our plan was that my daughter and I will tag along with him. All said and fixed, we started the process. 

Collecting all the documents, searching/reading/surfing net vigorously to find out if we missed anything or anything else is required, visiting the visa agent and getting the documents list verified. It was some days.

Usually the visa application process for UK is such that you don't get to know if your visa is approved or rejected till the time your passport is in your hand and you actually check it. But before you get your passport, GENERALLY you get two mails.

What happened with me::

I got a mail on Thursday before noon that my passport has been couriered from Bombay(That's how I like to call Bombay). So, both of us were eagerly waiting for the visa to arrive on Friday(you know, blue dart is fast and Bombay-Pune is not much of distance and in normal cases it takes that much time or less.) I religiously sat at home for the whole day, not stepping my foot out even for a short while. Friday just passed.
We were not expecting the visa to arrive on Saturday and Sunday. So somehow we killed time, kept on checking the increasing fare rates.
So, the Monday arrived. We geared up to receive our passport that day. For sure. Again, I stayed at home, not stepping a foot out, paying full attention to the bell. My craziness had increased so much that even a small knocks, even if it was at the neighbour's door, I checked. Just to be sure.

Nothing. No mails. No courier. And it was 6 'o' clock in the evening. The Monday passed by.

It was time for us to be worried/anxious/sad/disheartened. We assumed that our visa has been rejected and hence it is taking so much time to reach us. Well, we didn't say these things to each other. We tossed and turned on bed. Not talking. May be, slowly preparing ourselves for the worst. To stay away from each other for six months.

Although, I am a overly optimistic person but somehow the new dawn didn't bring the hope. I was just preparing myself to face people and tell them that I am NOT going to UK. Well, my husband went and came back from office in an hour, to wait with me for the courier or may be to just be with us for some time. You know, we might just be away for a long time.

Noon passed. We checked my mail like every second to receive the second mail, which I didn't receive till now. Then we checked the Blue dart site. We found out that it has started from Bombay on Monday evening. So, we analysed that we will receive the passport by Tuesday, that was this day.

In our heart, we became sure that after receiving first mail on Thursday before noon, courier was done on Monday evening. It can't be normal process of visa being approved. Still, we waited.

Ironically, there were two big blue dart trucks entered in our society. We were sure that it will carry out small passport in those big trucks. Well, they just delivered small packets to people and went back. Aaaagraahh!

It was almost 4 pm. We finally decided to have our lunch. We ate quietly. We were midway our lunch, engrossed in Tom & Jerry, the bell finally rang. Before we could answer the door, our eyes met. We knew this was it. My husband hurriedly opened the door.

Finally! The passport was there in our hands! While he signed, I just tore apart the packet and flipped through the page to find out.

OH MY GOD! Oh my god! It was done. I got my visa. I got my daughter's visa. Oh my God. Oh my God. We hugged each other like we won some strange battle with the stars. Well, it was some time.


Posting from Leicestershire !