After applying for a new birth certificate and spending part of my birthday ordering transcripts at the university, which had one desk open thanks to summer, I assembled every document that the UK government recommends one have should they be applying for a student visa. Despite of the endlessly infuriating instructions that go along the lines of you’re a Canadian so we’ll probably be super chill about processing your application but we might not be so you have to give us these things anyways. They should just say give us all of these things because you have to. None of this wishy washy you probably don’t need it. Just tell me I need stuff. Or that I don’t. None of this maybe.
Another annoying thing was that every website with information on what to provide says something slightly different. So I just made sure to include what each website said even if it only came up once.
So in due diligence and because having my visa rejected would be really expensive I assemble a large mound of pieces of paper and various other official things, which a person at the visa processing centre tried valiantly to fit in one envelope. I hope that I do in fact need all of them. I also hope I get several of them back. Like my degree. And that expensive recently acquired birth certificate. If not I guess I will call the British folks in New York (who process all visa applications for North America) to request that they kindly return my things. If you are going to require original documents and potentially reject my application if I provide copies then you need to give them back to me. Please, please give them back to me.
Generally I feel happy. It was a relief to look down at my mound of papers and think I have everything the list asks for. I was like BOOM I’m ready. I did have to reschedule my appointment but that was easy.
Driving up to Edmonton reminded me of when I applied for my last student visa three years ago (I think). I had to fly to Toronto for my biometrics. My exchange university had forgotten to create my paper work and my home university didn’t notice. It was a gong show and I ended up booking a flight really late — this is not the ideal way to get cheap flights to Toronto. I took the red eye so I’d miss less work. My employer was super understanding about the last minute time off.
I arrived in Toronto tired and nervous. I went straight to where I would be dropping off my documents and getting my biometrics done. I was early so I wandered around. I found a Chapters and waited for it to open. I got a coffee.
Arriving at my appointment there were a couple of guys from Queens there too. I was jealous that it had been so easy for them to get there. They were also going on exchange and I wondered about my future friends. I did this a lot when I first got to Copenhagen. There’s that sense of possibility when you move somewhere. I was sent to the bank to get a new statement because the one I’d been given didn’t have my name on it — make sure it does if you are applying for a visa. Then I scurried back across the street and they said I was good.
I’d wanted to take pictures but was really tired so I mostly wandered around trying to stay awake. I went to the Steam Whistle brewery where they kept giving us beer and I was like I’m barely standing as it was.
I was a little disappointed that after all that process all I got was a letter in the mail. I’d wanted something more substantial for my efforts like a sticker in my passport. This time around I expect that I am going to get a sticker. Just being let in to the country is nice.