Friday, 9 October 2009

UK bound

After months of planning, our trip to the UK was confirmed this week. Just in time, this coming weekend has been the estimated arrival date the folks at home have used to book various time off work and other activities.

Why the hold up?

The Missus, being the only member of our merry-3-man-band without a UK passport, requires a visa to return to the UK. We left it late but the process was almost single handily responsible for us booking the flights less than a week before we fly -- not to mention my nails are a little shorter than usual.

To explain why I feel like we pulled off a major coup in getting a visa, despite the fact our trip is 100% legit, here is an example.

I met the wonderful Missus whilst she was studying in the UK.

In order of action her processes were: arranging university course, booking halls and, last of all, applying for visa. With all the studying arrangements confirmed, getting a visa would be a doddle, right?


The visa was rejected in one day (back when the process was a day rather than this "up to a month" malarkey we have now) yet when she reapplied, as a family friend in the immigration service advised, using the same docs it was approved.

Right, ok...any logic there?

Well, bizarrely yes there is. A visa application boils down to the person who is processing it.

How do they feel?

Are they having a good day?

Is your name too long?

Did they have an argument with the other half over breakfast this morning?

Office vending machine run out of Kit-Kats?

Wrong type of leaves on the tracks delay their train and get them a bollocking for being late to work?

You'd better hope the answers to these questions, and more, is no or you could have a problem... and an accompanying rejection stamp.

Absurd? Yes, but I can vouch for the authenticity of this astonishing dynamic, I've seen with my own eyes. The braincells left discarded in the Home Office from my post-uni stint data-entering are my proof.

I digress, back to the trip... we fly off in the early hours of Saturday morning, not returning for more than two weeks. During that period expect my updates to be less regular than usual.

La gone na, Thailand, catch you later.


Anonymous said...

I remember very well that when I applied for a student visa to come to study in the UK, I had to have two interviews. In the first interview they asked me some basic background questions; the second took place a few weeks later and was a full interview in which another interviewer interrogated me thoroughly. I think it is just a fact that the process needs to be carried out thoroughly according to set immigration protocols.

Have a great trip. It is a bit chilly here; at least for a Thai person like me!

Mike said...

Jon-bring back the Tories I say-keep all the Johnny foreigners out of our green and pleasant land- sorry only joking (but not about the Tories).

The FCO are a law unto themselves as are many other UK government agencies who no doubt will be sending me my winter fuel payment again in a months time-despite me telling them I don't qualify anymore!! Mind you I can use it on jet fuel!

Have a great time and pack the thermals (for the wife)!!

Jon said...

Hi Oneditorial.

I absolutely understand the need to be thorough but, when a person can get two different outcomes from the same submission you have to wonder what is going on?

Thankfully, sense has triumphed and we have a visa. Might be a tad more difficult when we want to move back to UK.

Incidentally, how long have you been in the UK for?

Mike, ha ha, funnily enough the Tories are making a strong comeback - who'd have thought it?

Do you still government payments? I'm looking into registering for child support - exchange rate makes it worthwhile. Beats sending him down the pit at this early age.

Thermals have been packed - regular Thai uniform of shorts & flip-flops will be alone at home after failing to make the cut.

Anonymous said...

I have been living here nearly a decade ago. I love almost every minute of it.

Hoo Don said...

Jon and family have a good trip and I hope you all enjoy yourselves back in the UK. Two weeks should be long enough to convince you that Thailand might have its troubles but it sure as hell is a lot better than old Blighty. Best wishes.

Bangkok Blogger said...

Have a great trip ! You got the visa eventually, but I agree two different outcomes from the same submission is crazy. Bring it to the attention of the UKIP or a Tory MP.