From bad to worse

I’m so sick of bad things happening to me! The last two months have been so stressful, especially with last week’s exam debacle. And now, just when I thought I could actually relax in the lead-up to Christmas, we find out that both Rob and I have been refused our UK visas.

I almost wish there was a scandalous reason for our rejection. Instead, it was because the visa processing centre sent us a broken link which was supposed to explain what information we needed to include in our application. All our information was correct, except when it came to proving we had sufficient funds available to maintain our stay.

We have more than enough money than what they are asking for, but we assumed we only needed to provide a bank statement as evidence. Unfortunately, we did not know that we also needed an official letter from the bank confirming that we do in fact have the money – which I think is a ridiculous requirement in itself!

Even though the refusal was their fault, appealing the decision does not allow you to submit any new documents, so we have had to reapply. Paying another $300 application fee (as well as the additional posting costs, fingerprinting etc) is the least of our problems: you can only apply until you are 31. As luck would have it (sarcasm!!), Rob’s 31st birthday is exactly one week from today.

Rob’s money is in his Canadian bank account, so the official stamped letter will not arrive before his birthday with all the Christmas mail. He has applied again today but could only submit electronic statements and an emailed letter from the bank – that is, not the originals they are after.

In the new application we included a letter explaining the situation (and their mistake!) and begging them for some sympathy. The original bank letter and statements are on their way – albeit delayed – and they even have the personal contact details of the bank manager who helped us. However, we’re not too hopeful because the staff at the visa centre do not exactly seem to be nice: I included a letter in my original application which asked them to contact me if there was a problem with my funds, but they obviously ignored it.

After you submit your application, there is no way of contacting the visa centre. The phone rings unanswered with no voicemail system and emails are not responded to. So there is nothing we can do now except wait until mid-January when we will find out whether we have been approved or denied again. Christmas sure is going to be fun.

Rob is very pessimistic about the whole thing and is assuming we’re going to be refused again. I’m trying to stay strong and pray that someone at this place will find it in their heart to understand the desperation of our situation. But I have to admit I’m becoming more and more miserable with every hour that passes. My two major experiences with the UK have been disastrous, so maybe it’s just a sign we shouldn’t move. Who knew getting a working holiday visa would be so difficult?!

I’m so angry because we have met all the requirements on paper but there is nothing further we can do. Our fate is entirely in the hands of someone else, and our future comes down to whether that particular person is feeling helpful or not. I feel stupid for not knowing about the bank letter, yet it’s also not our fault because it’s impossible to find any information on their website about it.

We have made so many plans with the move (including a complete career change for me!) and it just feels like they are now slipping away from us. Rob is talking about moving to Germany or France instead (you can get a visa there until you are 35) but I just don’t want to move for the sake of it, especially to a country where we cannot speak the language. How am I supposed to train people when they can’t speak the same language as me, let alone try to get a job writing in a foreign language?!

Rob has also suggested moving to Canada where he can just get me a spouse visa like he has here but I’m really not keen at this stage in my life. So it looks like we might be staying in Australia…

I know this post had absolutely nothing to do with working out but this is my blog and I can vent if I want to! Now I’m waiting to break my leg or something and hopefully all this drama will disappear. In the meantime, give me a glass or three of wine.

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