I’ve been on a really, really long hiatus from posting for the past several months as I moved back home to San Francisco to apply for my UK Spouse Visa. My immigration process was stressful and I had to prioritize what was going to help me return back to my home in London and also keep me busy during this emotionally and mentally draining time. I delved back into my fitness career by acquiring two more fitness certifications (more about my fitness background here) and renewing my NASM CPT, reconnected with my family, worked two jobs whilst training clients after work and most importantly strengthened my mental and emotional well being through workouts and meditation.
I’ve lived in three different countries within the past year.
Since I’ve been back in London, instead of rushing into things, I’ve had to decompress as a result of so much back and forth. Not knowing what lay ahead for me was extremely hard for me as I couldn’t formally accept a permanent job offer in SF or sign a long-term lease agreement. I’m so fortunate to have had the support of such great friends who let me stay with them while I was there and for all the support that my extended family gave me.
Related: What to Expect When Moving to London
It was hard to estimate how long the process would take and there were points in time, despite having quite a strong application that I extremely doubted whether I would be approved or not. It’s a lot of pressure to have placed on you. Basically, Sonny and I were stuck unable to make decisions on our lives until we knew what was going on with the visa decision. I constantly had to explain SO MANY times that I DID NOT KNOW when I would be leaving, as my fate was in the hands of UKVI. Basically you send in your application, and all the information you receive is that your application was received and when they have made a decision. You are specifically instructed not to purchase plane tickets until you have your visa in your hand.
UKVI Received my application on October 9th and I received my ‘decision made’ email on November 28th which was a great post-Thanksgiving present. I don’t think you’ll ever see me jump around that ecstatic with my passport again. I received my passport with my approval letter and vignette attached on November 30th and I flew out on December 6th.
There were loads of late nights where I would just obsess over the timeline, what to include in my application, worried if I missed something or just plain worried. Sometimes like clockwork, I would wake up in the middle of the night on London time as If I knew someone was looking at my application (even though at that point it was too early for it to be processed). The UPS tracker app was refreshed multiple times a day and the day that I knew it was arriving I stalked every UPS truck that drove by.
I can’t really advise on how to stay busy or not to worry but I would honestly do loads of research before applying because it’s a lot of money to apply, lots of paperwork and agg. But if you do it correctly it’s well worth the wait, sleepless nights and to see your love waiting for you at the airport 🙂
I’m looking forward to continuing to share my story here on Flourish-ious.com and for what 2018 and my life in London has in store.
Want to Know What It’s Like to Live Abroad? Check out the following posts:
- What It’s Like to Quit Your Job and Move Abroad
- Reflections on My Year In the Bahamas
- What It’s Like for An American Living In London
- 47 Things to Expect When Moving to London
- Ten Tips For Moving Abroad with Your Significant Other