UK Visa-nization & Random Ramblings

19 11 2008

photo-11Its official. I have my UK Visa! WOOP!  See (really bad) picture to the left.  I also took the liberty of covering up my important information.  I know there are creepers out there! I’m watching you!

I was also given a guide to the UK.  It’s thick.  You can hurt someone with it.  For real.  It goes into setting up your National Insurance number, getting set up with a bank account, which hostels are good, etc.  It also mentions that non of these things are easily done.  And I quote: “…the NI offices are often very busy with not very pleasant waiting areas.  Take a good book!” *Sigh*  I have a feeling my first couple of weeks are going to be hectic just trying to settle in.  Not to mention there are still so many things to organize on this end.  Like reference letters, resumes, travelers cheques, bank statements.  All the small things that you don’t really think about or remember about until they all pile up and you have no time left to complete them.

Also, I am trying to find a Credit Card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.  Nomadic Matt recommended the Capital One MC.  Which is great, except that it doesn’t apply to Canada.  Boo.  I think my best bet will be to just set one up upon arrival.  Thoughts?

So, my Visa only allows me to work for 12 months out of the 24.  However, I’ve never been one to conform, so I’m just going to keep working until they tell me to stop. *Smirk*

Another thing that really freaks me out is finding my way around London.  I’ve never been too great with directions and have relied heavily on others for this sort of thing.  I see a lot of random alleyways and sketchy buildings in my near future. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for the best here.

Lastly, I want to extend a huge thanks to Geoff from Itinerant Londoner who has been sending oodles of helpful emails to guide me along my way! Thanks! 🙂

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8 responses

19 11 2008
Gillian

You’re getting a little closer everyday! I’m interested to hear what the outcome is of your foriegn transaction fee free credit card – we’re from Canada also and have not yet managed to find one yet either. It seems criminal the amount of money banks and credit card companies want to charge just to let us use our money!!

20 11 2008
Anna

@Gillian: Fellow Canadian 🙂 I will let you know for sure – so far the outcome is grim unfortunately.

20 11 2008
nomadicmatt

travelers checks? waste of time!!! no need.

lovely photo. smile a bit huh? lol

are you going to meet geoff when u go to london?

20 11 2008
Matt

Setting up a bank account was BY FAR the biggest pain in the a$$ when i moved to the UK… hopefully for your sake times have changed in that regard!
Tip: Call a few banks in the UK (Natwest, Lloyds TSB, HSBC) to see what you can bring from home to help speed up the process.
Tip 2: Think about setting up an HSBC account here… i think since they are linked up internationally it would make for easier cash transfers from here to there. Also, having an HSBC account here should only aid in the process of getting an account there.

20 11 2008
Anna

@nomadic matt: why are travelers cheques a waste of time? do tell. Yes, they told me smiling was strictly prohibited as it accounts for a more “realistic” picture of you when traveling through airports and such. So apparently, ppl are miserable when they travel. Too bad, eh?

@Matt: You’re not the first to tell me this. Although the program I’m with has a deal with NatWest there, so hopefully that will work out. However, maybe HSBC doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees since its an “international” bank – definitely worth looking into. Thanks!

@Gillian: I looked into it, and apparently it’s a “Canadian” credit card thing in which ALL will charge you that extra 2.5% foreign fee – so basically, we got the short end of the stick there. However, apparently Scotia Bank has some partners overseas and doesn’t charge as much if wanna investigate that route. 🙂 AND – HSBC is worth looking into as mentioned above since its an “international” bank – I’ll let you know my findings.

15 07 2010
San

Hello mate,
do you know where is the visa number or immigration number on visa page is the one in the top right handside with red ink let me know mate
thanks

5 12 2010
Josh

loved the way you said it, keep it coming! קידום אתרים

5 12 2010
Josh

like X3 :] great posting. קידום אתרים

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