In January I started the process of applying for an Ancestry Visa through my deceased grandfather who was born in the UK. It took me two months to fill out the online forms just because I didn’t have all the information I need and then I booked an appointment for the 3rd of March.
Going into the appointment I needed
- my birth certificate
- my grandfathers birth certificate
- my fathers (grandfathers son) birth certificate
- my grandfathers and grandmothers marriage certificate
- my parents marriage certificate
- bank statements showing that I had over $3,000 in my account
The only original copies of these that I had were my bank statements and my grandfather’s birth certificate. All the others were copies signed by a Justice of the Peace.
As I mentioned my appointment took place at the Visa Processing Centre in Spring Hill, Brisbane. I arrived at my appointment at midday with all my supporting documents and was swiftly moved into the “interview” room after filling out some documentation. The “interview” wasn’t an interview at all and all I did was basically hand over my information and ask a few questions. At first I was nervous because I had transaction records rather than bank statements but the Visa Man said it was fine. After handing over my documents (including passport) and opting for the courier service to deliver my mail I headed into the room off to the side to get my Bio-metric data taken.
The lady took my fingerprints, photograph and (I could be wrong, it’s a bit of a blur…) a voice recording of me saying my name. After that was all done I headed off feeling slightly empty-handed (and a bit wary about being separated from my passport).
I got a message on March, 12 stating;
“A decision has been made on your application and your documents are being returned to the Visa Application Centre (VAC). You will be contacted again by the VAC once these documents have been received and they are ready for you to collect. If you have chosen to have your documents couriered to you, these will be despatched by the VAC once they have been received.”
This sent me into a bit of a freak out because they didn’t give me an answer and my mind automatically went to “Fuck, I’ve been rejected…” and after paying $696 that’s not a nice place for your mind to go…
I didn’t hear anything until March, 16 when an email arrived saying;
“The processed visa application for GWF reference number – XXXXXXXXXX
was received at the UK Visa Application Centre on 3/16/2015 .
If a courier service was purchased from VFS Global, your processed application will be delivered to the chosen address.”
Again no clear answer on whether I had my Visa or not so I started looking online and found all these forums saying that you would be rejected if you handed in copied documents with a JP mark on them, or if you didn’t have enough money in you bank account and then I kept thinking if I had stuffed up the Pound to AUD conversion on my application.
So, being the paranoid person I am I sent the visa office a message asking 1 million and one questions and the said simply that a decision had been made (WHAT DECISION!!!) and that not to book any flights to the UK until I had my visa. Which made me stress. A lot. I’m not calm. Ever. And there are lots of other things going on in my little life. But I stressed.
Any way, fast forward probably 16 hours and there is a parcel in my letter box (which is 200 away from my house in a row of other letter boxes) with my passport and all my supporting documents in it. AND MY VISA! Hallelujah!
It was super stressful, but if you are worrying about it and have done all the right things, don’t.
Also, I found the way they just left my passport out for anyone to grab a bit frightening so if you can skip the courier service I would suggest. Below is my timeline…
Application Sent – Friday, 27 Feb
Appointment at Brisbane – Tuesday, 3 March
First Email sent confirming decision made – Thursday, 12 March
Second Email confirming delivery to Brisbane (From Manila) – Monday, 16 March
Passport and Visa received – Tuesday, 17 March