British Expats

British Expats (https://britishexpats.com/forum/)
-   Citizenship/Passports and Spouse/Family Visas (UK) (https://britishexpats.com/forum/citizenship-passports-spouse-family-visas-uk-196/)
-   -   Spouse visa application from Toronto - my experience (https://britishexpats.com/forum/citizenship-passports-spouse-family-visas-uk-196/spouse-visa-application-toronto-my-experience-923516/)

Johanna4 Mar 24th 2019 7:46 pm

Spouse visa application from Toronto - my experience
 
I wanted to write down my experience applying for a spouse visa from Canada, as I found this type of post helpful when I was trying to figure it out. I only submitted my application a few days ago, so I don’t yet know if I’ll be successful!

Initially, I applied for a “Settlement-Marriage” visa on the Visa4UK website. I was then asked to make an appointment to submit my physical application at a VFS Global location. I travelled to Toronto for mine. I’d compiled a package that contained my application, appendix 2, and printed scans of supporting documents, as well as my passport. I also brought original documents where they were available, but the Toronto office wasn’t interested in them at all. It seemed I’d organized to have all of those for no reason.

When I got to the appointment, they gave me stack of coloured paper with bar codes on them and asked me to separate my application into the sections that they indicated. They were things like “financial requirement - bank statements” and “accommodation details.” I can’t remember exactly, but there were quite a few sections (not all of them applied to me). After I’d done that, they got me to go through everything in the application to make sure it was all in the right order, and then they fed it through a machine to scan everything. After checking everything was correct, he put the whole physical application and my passport in an envelope and said it was going to be mailed to the UK, I think. I got my picture and fingerprints taken and I was done.

I printed everything on letter size paper. Apart from my main application which I printed from Visa4UK, I included:
  • appendix 2: printed and filled out by hand
  • SU07 sponsorship form: filled out by fiance, scanned and printed
  • scan of fiance’s passport (main page)
  • fiance’s payslips for a little over a year (but only require 6 months)
  • fiance’s bank statements for a year
  • P60 tax form
  • fiance’s job offer letter/employment contract
  • letter from fiance describing our situation (we want to get married this year, he will act as sponsor, I will stay at his house, etc.)
  • land registry for fiance’s house
  • a few utility bills from where we will stay
  • photographs of us together (compiled digital photos with descriptions in a document and printed)
  • screenshots of my skype log showing communication
  • emails between us
  • receipts for flights we took between Canada and UK for meetings
  • a few scanned cards/letters showing we have a relationship
  • enquiry emails about wedding venue

jennamariespence Mar 26th 2019 6:52 pm

Re: Spouse visa application from Toronto - my experience
 
How long did you have to wait to be able to make your appointment in Toronto? I'm working on my application now but it seems like there aren't any appointments available in Toronto now.

Thanks and good luck with your application!

Originally Posted by Johanna4 (Post 12659575)
I wanted to write down my experience applying for a spouse visa from Canada, as I found this type of post helpful when I was trying to figure it out. I only submitted my application a few days ago, so I don’t yet know if I’ll be successful!

Initially, I applied for a “Settlement-Marriage” visa on the Visa4UK website. I was then asked to make an appointment to submit my physical application at a VFS Global location. I travelled to Toronto for mine. I’d compiled a package that contained my application, appendix 2, and printed scans of supporting documents, as well as my passport. I also brought original documents where they were available, but the Toronto office wasn’t interested in them at all. It seemed I’d organized to have all of those for no reason.

When I got to the appointment, they gave me stack of coloured paper with bar codes on them and asked me to separate my application into the sections that they indicated. They were things like “financial requirement - bank statements” and “accommodation details.” I can’t remember exactly, but there were quite a few sections (not all of them applied to me). After I’d done that, they got me to go through everything in the application to make sure it was all in the right order, and then they fed it through a machine to scan everything. After checking everything was correct, he put the whole physical application and my passport in an envelope and said it was going to be mailed to the UK, I think. I got my picture and fingerprints taken and I was done.

I printed everything on letter size paper. Apart from my main application which I printed from Visa4UK, I included:
  • appendix 2: printed and filled out by hand
  • SU07 sponsorship form: filled out by fiance, scanned and printed
  • scan of fiance’s passport (main page)
  • fiance’s payslips for a little over a year (but only require 6 months)
  • fiance’s bank statements for a year
  • P60 tax form
  • fiance’s job offer letter/employment contract
  • letter from fiance describing our situation (we want to get married this year, he will act as sponsor, I will stay at his house, etc.)
  • land registry for fiance’s house
  • a few utility bills from where we will stay
  • photographs of us together (compiled digital photos with descriptions in a document and printed)
  • screenshots of my skype log showing communication
  • emails between us
  • receipts for flights we took between Canada and UK for meetings
  • a few scanned cards/letters showing we have a relationship
  • enquiry emails about wedding venue


chasingsun Mar 27th 2019 12:29 pm

Re: Spouse visa application from Toronto - my experience
 
How do.you know theres no appointments, were submitting on the weekend for Toronto office. But will do a overnight trip to Ottawa if theres no.appointmrnts.

jennamariespence Mar 27th 2019 1:17 pm

Re: Spouse visa application from Toronto - my experience
 
When you submit your application online, one of the next steps is to book an appointment. I go through the process of booking the appointment and it says, 'currently no appointments available.'

chasingsun Mar 27th 2019 1:18 pm

Re: Spouse visa application from Toronto - my experience
 
Oh, that's not good. Bit worrying.

jennamariespence Mar 27th 2019 1:21 pm

Re: Spouse visa application from Toronto - my experience
 
It seems like they open the appointment book only a few days at a time. I have been trying with no luck since yesterday. I'm going to keep trying and will give them a call when they open at 9. I'll keep you posted.

You can also do walk in service for an extra USD65. I'd rather not pay extra since I can't book an appointment, and worry I dont get seen in one day. I live in Kitchener-Waterloo so Toronto is already a little out of the way.

chasingsun Mar 27th 2019 1:43 pm

Re: Spouse visa application from Toronto - my experience
 
We are in owen sound si bit of a trek for us.

smineke Mar 28th 2019 1:52 am

Re: Spouse visa application from Toronto - my experience
 
This is great - Thanks Johanna4! I just joined and was thinking to start a thread to ask for peoples' experiences at the Toronto office with settlement visas. It is helpful to hear what others have done. Like you, I thought I had to go the route of having all of my originals and then a stack of copies of everything. We've been working on all this for a while and so, actually over the course of gathering all the required documents (similar to what you've listed) I started to read on the vfs website about scanning everything instead.. and it went from being an option to it seems that if I don't scan everything myself, I need to pay for Document Scanning Assistance at the VAC. Is that the case? When they gave you all of the coloured forms (I think these were called "barcode separators" when I first read about them on the vfs website, but now I can't find mention of them!) did you have to pay for them as well as paying an additional fee for the scanning?

And a few more questions please..
i) is letter the same as A4? were they not strict about this? I bought a thing of A4, but I'm actually running out (500 pages!?!! how??) and don't want to bother buying more. Do you think I can just use some 8.5x11? I think if you did all of yours on 8.5x11, you're pretty lucky.. or maybe they don't actually care that much, but say they do!
ii) because they do your fingerprints and photo there (the biometrics) did you need to also bring in a passport-sized photograph of yourself?? I'm thinking no, but if so, do you need two? or just one? and does it need to be countersigned?

thanks so much! sorry for all the questions.. and anyone reading this who can weigh in, thanks - really appreciate all the help!

smineke Mar 28th 2019 2:01 am

Re: Spouse visa application from Toronto - my experience
 
hi chasingsun and jennamariespence,
this isn't really going to help, but just thought I'd share that when I submitted my application on march 7th, I was really surprised because I guessed there would be a whole bunch of appointment slots to choose from...
there was ONE. in all of March and April, it seemed. Like all the days were greyed out, except one and it was a lot later than I expected, more than three weeks from the submission date.

anyway, good luck and hope you get an appointment. and I guess I should count myself lucky that I got the appt at least.

I just replied to the first post in the thread.. if you guys have any answers, please let me know! I got everything together (originals, etc.) and copied everything and considered scanning, too, but the vfs website was not behaving reliably, and now I'm not even sure it'll be worth the effort. Should I keep trying to scan everything and get them uploaded to avoid spending hours in the office and paying more?!! Does anyone know..??

Thanks!

jennamariespence Mar 28th 2019 3:01 am

Re: Spouse visa application from Toronto - my experience
 
Hi smineke,

Thanks for sharing your appointment experience. I couldnt get an appointment booked. I tried calling multiple times but nobody answers the phone. The whole visa4uk website and vsf website is honestly a joke. I was forced to pay extra for copying, primetime appointment when booking walk in service and priority since I couldn't get an appointment booked in Toronto and I'm on a time crunch; the vsf website simply wouldn't allow me to remove those services from the shopping cart. I guess I ended up just paying for it as part of the expense of the visa. Oh well.

I am going to the walk in appointment on Monday so I"m not sure yet about the paper size, I thought A4 is the same size as letter 8.5 x 11. I wasn't advised to upload documents in advance, I am planning on just going to scan everything there. I think the barcode seperators are supplied when you get there, I think just try to keep the documents organized so it's easier, at least that's my plan. Please let me know if you hear anything different or better tips.

For the passport photo, I haven"t seen anywhere that it is required. I know some European countries have a different size passport photo than the USA (I'm American residing in Canada). I guess I was under the assumption you get your photo taken there?!

Good luck to you!!

chasingsun Mar 28th 2019 3:52 am

Re: Spouse visa application from Toronto - my experience
 

Originally Posted by jennamariespence (Post 12662017)
Hi smineke,

Thanks for sharing your appointment experience. I couldnt get an appointment booked. I tried calling multiple times but nobody answers the phone. The whole visa4uk website and vsf website is honestly a joke. I was forced to pay extra for copying, primetime appointment when booking walk in service and priority since I couldn't get an appointment booked in Toronto and I'm on a time crunch; the vsf website simply wouldn't allow me to remove those services from the shopping cart. I guess I ended up just paying for it as part of the expense of the visa. Oh well.

I am going to the walk in appointment on Monday so I"m not sure yet about the paper size, I thought A4 is the same size as letter 8.5 x 11. I wasn't advised to upload documents in advance, I am planning on just going to scan everything there. I think the barcode seperators are supplied when you get there, I think just try to keep the documents organized so it's easier, at least that's my plan. Please let me know if you hear anything different or better tips.

For the passport photo, I haven"t seen anywhere that it is required. I know some European countries have a different size passport photo than the USA (I'm American residing in Canada). I guess I was under the assumption you get your photo taken there?!

Good luck to you!!

let me know how walk.in goes. If we submit Saturday, well.probably do.walk.in as well. Time crunch here, shipping stuff over soon and me and the kids are going beginning of May, so partner wants it started before I leave .

smineke Mar 28th 2019 3:43 pm

Re: Spouse visa application from Toronto - my experience
 
Thanks so much!! Good luck to you, too..! Sorry you had so much trouble with the appointment booking, and extra services to pay for.. No fun.

A4 paper technically is different than letter (I looked online, but it's not different by much..), so maybe if it is all in one size, that is all that matters. I really don't know... I just came back from the UK where I got a bunch of the documents from my husband and printed stuff there, so half of it was all in the A4 size already. I bought a ream of it from Staples, but it wasn't in the store -- online, and it came to the store the next day. I've been using that for all of my printouts here and copies, etc.

Yeah, I'm not sure about the passport-sized photos.. there is an old document that does say that one is required, and it's still up on the gov.uk website (you can see it in the thread before this one). I also just figured that you're getting your photo taken there, so no need. I mean, the biometrics - fingerprints and photo - means they are already taking your photo! But anyway.. maybe they do want one, as well. Or they just haven't updated the process for those who are doing biometrics. At this point, if I don't hear in the next couple hours from someone who has done this recently in Toronto, I guess I'll just nip down to the local mall where there is a place that does them same day. And yeah, they'll have to be according to the UK requirements...

Thanks for the tips on organizing.. yeah, so I wrote out the various barcode separators when I was in the UK and am keeping them in mind (Consent Letter & Proof of Relationship, Employment Evidence, Appendix II, Financial Evidence, Additional Documents/Other, Educational Evidence, Accommodation - permanent/temporary, Sponsor Evidence) and as of last night, was still trying to upload things on the vfs website, but now I think I might be locked out!

I'm going in tomorrow, so I can post again after how it goes.. and hopefully, pass on any tips!

Anyone else out there reading this -- can you confirm if you still need a photo if you did the biometrics in Toronto (preferably, for a settlement/spouse/fiance visa)??

smineke Mar 28th 2019 3:48 pm

Re: Spouse visa application from Toronto - my experience
 
Sorry jennamariespence, I meant that as a reply to your message to me above, but I think maybe I'm still new to the ins and outs of posting to these threads! I guess I'm supposed to include yours in there...
Anyway, happy Thursday everyone!

jennamariespence Mar 28th 2019 7:30 pm

Re: Spouse visa application from Toronto - my experience
 
I hope it went OK!

I ended up getting everything printed today on A4 from a printer here in Kitchener just to be safe. I have over 400 papers though, how long does it take to scan everything?! I feel like I could be there for hours, unless they have some sort of super scanning machine. Can you let me know please what that part is like?!

Thanks so much, good luck smineke

jennamariespence Mar 29th 2019 2:39 pm

Re: Spouse visa application from Toronto - my experience
 
chasingsun the website added appointments yesterday for April. They must only open select appointments at a time. Good luck!


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