I took an extra few months to finish my thesis because of my work with Wright over the past year and a half, so I had to renew my student visa. We weren’t fingerprinted with our original visa 3+ year ago, so our process is a little longer than it should be for those that have already done this. In all, it took right at 2 months from turning in the paper work to receiving the okay.
- Late October-November – Went to a visa renewal seminar and got visa letter from the Department of Theology and Religion. I’ve since learned that they aren’t using visa letters any more, but I’m not sure how the process works now.
- ~December 20 – Sent off the paper work for a Tier 4 Student Visa. There was no online option (as of then), so we had 4 40+ page applications plus all the relevant supporting documents. The renewal application is the same form as the initial application. It is interesting to note that the form was clearly wrong in the section for the proof of financial resources required for continuing (i.e., already living in the country) dependants. It didn’t tell you to just use 2 months as the multiplier instead of 9. The international office said to go by the rules not the form, and we had no trouble.
- December 24 – Got a letter that they had received all our paperwork, and they bank showed that they took our £507 (£357 + £50*3)
- ~January 13 – Got a letter saying we had 15 working days to get our biometric information taken. There are about 8 places in the UK to get this done, and Sheffield at about 2 hrs is the closest.
- ~January 17 – Booked appointments to go to Sheffield. Mondays seem to be the only days that Sheffield takes appointments. We’ll be going on Feb 1.
- February 1 – Biometric info taken. We were in and out of the Sheffield office in about an hour. We got there early and they didn’t make us wait until our scheduled time, which was nice.
- February 22 – Got a package returning all of our passports and other stuff saying that we were approved. It said the identity cards (they no longer use a stamp in the passport) should be coming soon.
- February 26 – Got ID cards in the post.
Once I pass my viva, God willing, and get all the paperwork for the thesis finalised, we’ll apply for a post study work visa.