Today is a very exciting day for me. Why? I’m officially British! I just got word that my application for British citizenship—which I submitted way back in November and have been waiting very (im)patiently to hear back on ever since—has been approved. I’m Britain’s newest citizen, and I couldn’t be happier!
I have some exciting news: I have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK! After five years of living and working in Britain, I am officially a permanent resident. Take that, Blighty, you’re stuck with me!
One of my least favorite parts of living in London is the UK Home Office’s penchant for changing the rules of my visa. First they changed the name from HSMP (Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) to the yawn-inducing Tier 1. Then they decided that instead of having just an undergraduate degree, you have to have a Masters. Then, after the uproar that ensued following that change, they decided that if you already had the visa, you didn’t have to have a Masters but if you were a first time applicant, you did. It gets even more confusing, but I’ll spare you the details. Suffice it to say that I don’t wish the UK Tier 1 visa application process on anyone.
I got my Entry Clearance for London yesterday! My passport arrived in the mail with a fancy full-page sticker that makes me an official UK visa holder. I’m so excited!
My HSMP approval letter arrived today! I am so excited! Now I have to fill out the Entry Clearance application to get the actual visa in my passport and I’ll be set to head to London.
It’s supposed to only take a day or two to turn around the Entry Clearance, which is good because I already booked a flight to Paris next Sunday. I’m going to visit a friend there for a few days and then finally head to London. I can’t wait!
I got an email today from the HSMP people. They said that a decision has been made on my application and that they posted it in the mail last week. It should arrive any day.
They couldn’t tell me whether or not I had been approved, but I’m cautiously optimistic that everything is going to turn out for the best. I can’t believe it only took a week for them to turn it around!
Today I finally got to send in my HSMP application for my UK visa! I’m so glad to finally have it out of my hands and in the mail.
I was held up for a few extra days when the awful translation company I was working with (see earlier post) sent me a finalized copy of my diploma translation in the mail and there were STILL grammatical errors (who knew that the “year of our Lord” could double as the “year or our Lord”?). I was pretty upset.
This week I became a Latin scholar. This was not by choice, but by necessity. The story starts with the tedious application process for the HSMP UK visa I’m applying for.
The rules state that I have to send in my original university diploma. Easy enough. However, they also state that if any of my application materials are in a language other than English I have to get them translated by a certified, professional translation service.