Thursday, May 7, 2009

more confusion in our quest for UK visas

My husband and I just returned from a quick trip to the city of Edmonton to have biometrics done as part of the UK visa application process. We thought we finally had everything figured out and under control, but we had a few more surprises in store for us...

#1 - Be warned, the address for the Edmonton VAC (Visa Application Center) that is provided on their website is wrong. That address belongs to a Sub-Way restaurant that is being remodeled. The VAC is actually around the corner from where it says it is, hidden inside the Central High building.

#2 - The application form asks for one visa photo. You actually need 2 photos.

#3 - Although there is absolutely no mention is this anywhere, if you are traveling with your spouse, you must include your marriage certificate with your application.

#4 - There is also no mention of this, but if you have had a previous passport and it is still in your possession, you must also include it.

Our application is now on it's way to the British High Commission in Ottawa. There's nothing left to do but wait.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Question re: Edmonton VAC. I live in Calgary and I have a job opportunity in the UK but need to apply myself for a Tier 1 General visa.

The Worldbridge Biometric link doesn't work so I am wondering -- from the time you submitted your online application to your appointment at the Edmonton VAC, how long? I am trying to give my prospective employer a time as they hope I can be in London by June (as in less than a month!).

Thank you for your comments re: Edmonton VAC address and documents...good to know.

Any help you can give with your own experience is most appreciated.

Stephanie

Jacqueline Hudon-Verrelli said...

Hi Stephanie,

I'm happy to help out a fellow Calgarian en route to the UK:) You're applying for a different visa than us so it could be a slightly different process, but I can tell you how it was for us.

I filled out my online application and paid my fee at the very beginning of April, but my husband needed to get his expired passport number from Ottawa before he could do his. That was a 3 week wait. As soon as he was able to finish filling out his application and had paid his fee, we made our appointments at the VAC in Edmonton right away. For me, there was 3 weeks between when I filled out my application and when I made my appointment. For my husband it was all in the same day.

We made our appointments for 2 weeks later (May 6th) because we couldn't get to Edmonton any sooner. But the option was there to go the very next day if we'd wanted to.

The Worldbridge Biometric link worked for us. You can't make the appointment until you've paid your fee so if you haven't done that yet, that could explain why it's not working for you.

As soon as we got back to Calgary on Wednesday, I sent our package to Ottawa via Express Post and they got it today. Apparently, we'll know in a couple weeks if our applications are accepted.

Assuming that we get our visas in 2 weeks, the whole process from start to finish for me will have been just under 2 months. For my husband, about 1 month.

I hope that answered your question. Feel free to e-mail me if you need anything else.

Good luck,
Jacqueline

Stephanie said...

Jacqueline,

THANK YOU! Your information has been more helpful than the nightmare of tracking down knowledgeable immigration consultants...

Good luck with everything in London! What a great idea.

Stephanie

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this! I'm currently in the middle of this process with my boyfriend and we're about to make the trek up North!

Just a question, when I apply online, it doesn't allow me to pay online but then says the Edmonton office cannot accept payment on site.

Have either of you run into this?

Cheers!

Jacqueline Hudon-Verrelli said...

No, I didn't run into that. After I filled out my on-line application I paid for it on-line right away, using my credit card. If you've filled out the on-line application it should prompt you to pay right away...

I'm pretty sure I read that you need to have paid before you go to the VAC. Infact, when we went, I thought I needed to show proof of payment along with the other required documents so I printed out the e-mail confirmation/receipt. I don't think the ladies at the VAC cared about seeing proof of payment - I think their computer told them we had paid anyway. But at least I had proof if there was some sort of error. After all the discrepancies and hold ups we encountered, I brought every conceivable document and paper and all my research notes with us to Edmonton just in case.

Jacqueline Hudon-Verrelli said...

Also, just to clarify a bit more about where you need to go in Edmonton (since to VAC address on the website is wrong and there are people reading this blog who are going):

• this is the address we got off the website (just in case they have changed it since we went last week):

Revillon Boardwalk
10310-102 Ave, Suite 412
Edmonton

• go around the corner from that address. Go into the doors for Central High.

• once inside, there's a hallway to your right where you'll find an elevator.

• take the elevator to the 4th floor and the VAC is on your right.

Kayley said...

Awesome! Thanks for your help!

One final question: did they send ALL your original documents to Ottawa or just your passport? I am considered about the traveling condition of my grandparents' passport.

Jacqueline Hudon-Verrelli said...

They sent all of our original documents. The people at the VAC look over everything and then seal it in an envelope that you need to send to Ottawa. The VAC people don't make any decisions about whether or not your visa gets accepted - the people in Ottawa decide that so they need to see everything. I would think that if your grandparents' passport is part of the package, it needs to go. Maybe put it in its own envelope within the one the VAC provides for some extra protection.

Hope that helps.

Feel free to write back if there's anything else I can help you with.

J.

Kayley said...

Awesome!

Thanks so much for your help. I really appreciate it (and probably will be writing back again soon)!

Cheers,

Kayley

Anonymous said...

EDMONTON UK VISA OFFICE CONTACT DETAILS??

HI. DOES ANYONE HAVE THE PHONE NO? TO THE UK VISA OFFICE? I NEED AS THERE IS A BIG PROBLEM WITH THE WEBSITE, "WORLDBRIDGSERVICES.COM" AS I JUST CHECKED IT AND IT HAD MANY SPACES AVAILABLE FOR TOMMORO(JUNE 3) FOR ONE TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT. SO AFTER GETTING APPROVED TO TAKE A DAY OFF WORK, I WENT BACK TO THE SITE IN JUST 5-15 MINUTES AND GUESS WHAT THERE IS NO TIME ALLOTMENTS UNDER THAT DATE NOW! I CONTACT THE UK CONSULATE IN OTTAWA AND REQUESTED TO GET EDMONTON'S CONTACT DETAILS, AND SHE SIMPLY KEPT ON SAYING THAT YOU HAVBE TO BOOK AGAIN FOR ANOTHER DATE TAHT SHOWS AVAILABILITY. HELLO, THERE WAS INDEED AVAILABILITY FIR THAT DATE AND NOW IT VANISHED IN JUST FEW MINUTES?? PLZ HELP ME BY GIVING ME THE PHONE NUMBER ASAP, SO I CAN CONTACT THEM DIRECTLY N COMPALIN AND SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT FOR TOMMOROW OVER THE PHONE.

THANKS

Jacqueline Hudon-Verrelli said...

I don't think there is a number to reach them - at least not one that we found.

The VAC is run by a 3rd party and has nothing to do with the visa itself - they only provide a service for them. The people who work at the VAC don't really seem to care much about customer complaints - I know ours fell on deaf ears.

Good luck.

§arah said...

This post has been enormously helpful in trying to prepare for my own trek to the Edmonton VAC. I'm applying for a tier 4 student visa, and what a headache it's been!

I'm especially glad to hear that your visa was approved and processed so quickly. There really isn't a lot of information out there on what to expect.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Hello, I'm also applying for a visa at the edmonton centre. Mine is a youth mobility visa. I know you are supposed to photocopy your supporting documents, does this include your passport and/or expired passport? Every single page? or just the main picture page?

thank you!

Jacqueline Hudon-Verrelli said...

The visa that we applied for was also the youth mobility one. It's been a long time since we applied for ours so I don't remember exactly, but I think we just photocopied the page spread with the photo from our current passports. I don't remember photocopying my old passport, but it was sent along as part of the package. I do remember finding some conflicting information about what to photocopy and what to include, so we had brought everything and had copies of everything. A lot of what we brought wasn't needed and didn't end up being included in the application package, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

Good luck :)

Hilary said...

Hi there,

Thank you so very much for posting your visa application experience. It is very helpful. I am about to apply for a Tier 2 visa but with my new job I need to head to Egypt for a month before I will actually be living and working in the UK. I know that I will have to send my passport in with my application, and I was just wondering how long they have your passport for? I really don't get a clear sense of how long the application processing will take from that website.

Any info/advice you could offer would be much appreciated!

Thank you!
Hilary

Jacqueline Hudon-Verrelli said...

Although I think it varies depending on how busy they are, it took exactly 7 business days from the day we sent off the package until the day we got our passports back - much quicker than we had been expecting. We had applied for our visas at the end of April.

Julie said...

HI there,

I have a question, I am a south african citizen currently residing in edmonton, studying here on a student visa.

I am going on a trip to south africa at the end of april and im travelling via london england. I know I need a transit visa in order to be in the UK for this trip, but here's my dilemma...

I am travelling again to london england in july this year to spend time with my family for a week and I know I need to apply for a visitor's visa for this specific trip…

But in the case of me travelling twice to england, do I need to apply for both a transit visa and then again a visitors visa? or could I just apply for a visitor's visa for both my May & July trips in hopes that my visitor's visa will be valid for my May trip?

Any advice that you could give me will help me to plan my trip.

Thank you,

Julie

Jacqueline Hudon-Verrelli said...

I've never been in that situation so I'm not sure what to tell you. Because you're in Edmonton it might be worth your while to go to the VAC office and talk to them about what you need to do. Sorry I can't be more helpful.

liz said...

Hello Jacqueline;
We are traveling to Edmonton for fingerprinting at WorkBridge. Thanks to your posting concerning the address, I checked on Google Maps and found that Revillon Boardwalk 10310-102 Ave. NW comes up. Without the "NW" nothing resembling WorldBridge shows up.
IT seems they have left off a very important piece of the address. No wonder people are confused!

Jacqueline Hudon-Verrelli said...

I'm glad to have helped. Good luck with your visa :)

Anonymous said...

Just another thank-you for sharing your experiences. After 12 hours of preparation, we thought we finally had it all covered, but now see that there are still a few more "gotchas" in store...

Anonymous said...

Leaving for Edmonton VAC tomorrow morning... thought I'd do a Google map... ended up on your blog to find out why I couldn't see it anywhere on the street view. More than 3 years after you posted. Still helpful. : )

Jacqueline Hudon-Verrelli said...

Glad to help :) After 3 years, I hope they're still in the same location.

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Anonymous said...

Hi Jacqueline,

Glad I found your post! I was wondering what the hours of operation are for the Edmonton VAC?

Also, will they get your passports after the application or do you have to send it along with your other documents to their New York office? Do you have to send right away?

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Global Migrate said...

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Keywords-
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Contact us:
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39 Great Windmill Street
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W1D7LX
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imperial said...

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Tier 2 Visa - The Tier 2 visa (work permit) is the most common visa for foreign nationals in order to live and work in the UK. In 2008, all work permit applications were classed under Tier 2
Keywords: -
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Contact Us:-
Location: 2nd Floor Cygnet House,
12-14 Sydenham Road Croydon
Surrey CR0 2EE
Telephone: +44 0203 627 4777
Email: info@imperialvisas.com
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imperial said...

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Tier 2 Visa - The Tier 2 visa (work permit) is the most common visa for foreign nationals in order to live and work in the UK. In 2008, all work permit applications were classed under Tier 2
Keywords: -
Tier 2 Visa
Contact Us:-
Location: 2nd Floor Cygnet House,
12-14 Sydenham Road Croydon
Surrey CR0 2EE
Telephone: +44 0203 627 4777
Email: info@imperialvisas.com
http://imperialvisas.com/tier-2-visa.html

imperial said...

Tier 2 Visa - Imperial Visas
Tier 2 Visa - The Tier 2 visa (work permit) is the most common visa for foreign nationals in order to live and work in the UK. In 2008, all work permit applications were classed under Tier 2
Keywords: -
Tier 2 Visa
Contact Us:-
Location: 2nd Floor Cygnet House,
12-14 Sydenham Road Croydon
Surrey CR0 2EE
Telephone: +44 0203 627 4777
Email: info@imperialvisas.com
http://imperialvisas.com/tier-2-visa.html

imperial said...

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Tier 2 Visa Work Permit and Visa category is an employer-led process with the sponsoring company applying on behalf of the candidate Imperial Visa help you to get this.
Keywords: -
Tier 2 visa, Tier 2 Visas, Tier 2 work Permit
Contact Us:-
Location: 2nd Floor Cygnet House,
12-14 Sydenham Road Croydon
Surrey CR0 2EE
Telephone: +44 0203 627 4777
Email: info@imperialvisas.com
http://www.imperialvisas.com/tier-2-visas-tier-2-visas.html

DeeptiandPrajay Parmar said...

Thanks for this thread! My husband and I are headed to Edmonton tomorrow for my appointment. Your points have been a great help!

Cheers

Imperialvisas singh said...

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Tier 2 Visa - The Tier 2 visa (work permit) is the most common visa for foreign nationals in order to live and work in the UK. In 2008, all work permit applications were classed under Tier 2
Keywords: -
Tier 2 Visa
Contact Us:-
Location: 2nd Floor Cygnet House,
12-14 Sydenham Road Croydon
Surrey CR0 2EE
Telephone: +44 0203 627 4777
Email: info@imperialvisas.com
http://imperialvisas.com/tier-2-visa.html

Global Migrate said...

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Contact Us
Head Office (pre booked appointments only)
International House,
39 Great Windmill Street, Piccadilly
London, W1D 7LX
Tel: +44 (0)207 993 4762
Fax: +44 (0)207 691 7969
Email: headoffice@global-migrate.com
http://global-migrate.com/tier-2-work-permit.html

Imperialvisas singh said...

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Tier 2 Visa Work Permit and Visa category is an employer-led process with the sponsoring company applying on behalf of the candidate Imperial Visa help you to get this.
Keywords: -
Tier 2 work Permit, Tier 2 visa, Tier 2 Visas,
Contact Us:-
Location: 2nd Floor Cygnet House,
12-14 Sydenham Road Croydon
Surrey CR0 2EE
Telephone: +44 0203 627 4777
Email: info@imperialvisas.com
http://www.imperialvisas.com/tier-2-visas-tier-2-visas.html

Global Migrate said...

Tier 2 Work Permit - Global Migrate
Tier 2 Work Permit the Points Based System has replaced the Previous Employer-Sponsored Work Permit System, including intra-Company Transfers, Sportspersons and Ministers of Religion Categories.

Keyword
Tier 2 Work Permit

Contact Us
Head Office (pre booked appointments only)
International House,
39 Great Windmill Street, Piccadilly
London, W1D 7LX
Tel:
+44 (0)207 993 4762
Fax: +44 (0)207 691 7969
Email: headoffice@global-migrate.com
http://www.global-migrate.com/tier-2-work-permit.html

Global said...

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pollaries said...

Hi, I'm Nigerian headed to England on a tier 4 general student visa. I have the CAS Statement and also provided the bank account, proof that tuition has been paid, and going to Edmonton for the print. So I have the following:

-old and new passport-nigerian
-Confirmation of Acceptance Statement (CAS)
Post grad Work permit-from Canada,
-Bank statement to prove I have 7200 Pounds
-I'll photocopy my credentials and send as well.

My questions are:
-How long does it take for the Visa to be processed? sch starts 23 sept (postgrad)
-photo passport
-Do I need any other thing to add to my application? Should these be photocopies or originals?

Thanks. This Blog has been so helpful

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