Arcadian Functor

occasional meanderings in physics' brave new world

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Marni D. Sheppeard

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Still Down South III

According to a local newspaper, from February 20 all UK visas for New Zealand citizens will be processed in Australia. When I phoned Wellington this morning, I was quite amazed by the incredible transformation in their helpfulness. I sent an email requesting a progress report on my visa application (this was certainly not possible previously) and received a friendly, automated reply! Unfortunately, tomorrow is a public holiday and one suspects that nothing more will happen until next week. I wonder what the record time is for visa processing?

11 Comments:

Blogger nige said...

It's at least a month! My swim coach's passport had to be sent to have a work visa renewed, and they lost the passport for a month. After unhelpful phone calls, she only got it back a couple of days before she was flying for a Christmas holiday in December.

I hope the British Embassy in Australia is more efficient than those London visa offices.

February 06, 2009 2:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a lot more than a month, I'm afraid. They really are going for a record.

Remote Kea

February 06, 2009 8:37 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

As always, best wishes. PONe wonders how science occurss at all in that country. (It is easier if someone promotes terrorism or "dark energy.")The UK has been very cold of late--have they had enough yet?

February 06, 2009 11:52 AM  
Blogger nige said...

Hi Louise,

About the weather in England. Here in Colchester there was snow on Sunday afternoon and most of Monday, getting up to at least a couple of inches depth. Much more than that fell in London.

All the buses were cancelled in London on Monday and only the Central Line tube was working efficiently. It's a novelty here because the last time there was snow like this was 18 years ago, or something.

It was actually a helpful thing for me because I was able to drive safely to the nearly empty leisure centre and swim with a lane by myself on Monday evening, and the pool heating was turned well up.

Most of the snow here melted on Tuesday, but it has continued snowing in other areas around the country. More snow is expected to fall in London tomorrow (Friday), but here in Colchester, 55 miles north-east of London, the forecast is sleet (freezing rain) for the next few days, then sunshine.

I'm afraid that it will have all melted even in Oxford by the time Kea gets there, but I think this country is best in warm weather.

February 06, 2009 1:17 PM  
Anonymous chimpanzee said...

I did a Google search, & found a US case which sounds similar to yours:

Waiting for my UK Visa

DCprisoner wrote:
"Today, July 10th (14 days since the phone call, 16 days since I sent the application) - no word from anyone at all. No email confirming payment, no email confirming shipping. Nothing.

...

So I guess the question is, to anyone who has been through similar circumstances, especially any Americans who have used the New York consulate before, should I be concerned? Or just frustrated? How much longer should I expect to wait? Should I be concerned that I haven't heard anything, even though I was promised two confirmation emails?

And.... IF I should be concerned, what should I do, who should I contact?"

panmatix wrote:

"and no information on receipt of our passports from the Consulate, let alone any information about the Visa!!!!!

It is quite stressful to have send our passports by mail and receive no intimidation. Also we are leaving on the end of Dec to UK. I want to know how long it takes to get the visa?

Please anyone who is facing/faced similar problems please reply as to how long it takes to get a UK visa or to get any kind of email from them."

Voyager_2002 wrote:

"The politician [ Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs ] who is responsible for foreign affairs, including this shambles of a visa "service", is David Miliband

[ educated at Haverstock Comprehensive School in North London, where he obtained a Grade 'D' in Physics A-level, and 3 Grade 'B's.[6] He was admitted to Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he achieved first class honours in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. From 1988 to 1989 he took an S.M. degree in Political Science at MIT, where he was a Kennedy Scholar. ]

His email address is: milibandd@parliament.uk

If any of you have friends or contacts in the UK, ask them to write to their constituency MPs about these visa issues and forward their concerns to the Foreign Secretary. That is the way in which issues like this are supposed to be addressed."


Bob Coecke said he is applying pressure via Oxford U. Maybe that is caught in the web-of-bureacracy (like your visa app is), & an email to the above UK would do the trick.

"Dear Tommaso, you start to behave like a complete crackpot that makes Kea a supergenius in comparison."
-- L. Motl on Quantum Diaires

The email could be phrased as:

"As an Oxford alumni & recipient of Grade 'D' Physics-A (@Haverstock), please rush the Tier 1 visa

[ In this 1st tier visa, highly skilled individuals who manage to score 75 points or higher can migrate to the UK without getting any sponsorship from potential employers. These highly skilled individuals include doctors, scientists, engineers, MBA’s and other educated workers.
The visa aims at attracting the best, brightest and most talented migrants who would prove to be economically beneficial to the UK. ]

approval of Kea the Supergenius (mathematical physicist) so she can increase brainpower of UK/Oxford."


Here are some other websites about UK Visa: 1, 2, 3

February 06, 2009 9:30 PM  
Anonymous chimpanzee said...

Here's another angle:

1 of my former high-school classmates is a commander at SAC (Strategic Air Command) who runs NAOC (National Airborne Operations Center).

"The E-4B serves as the National Airborne Operations Center for the President, Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In case of national emergency or destruction of ground command control centers, the aircraft provides a highly survivable, command, control and communications center to direct U.S. forces, execute emergency war orders and coordinate actions by civil authorities."

He used to run Air Force One.

Top-Down Approach:

A priority message could be forwarded to USA President, to have its UK ally to rush "Kea the Supergenius" (as per reference by Harvard physics alumni L. Motl; note that B. Obama is a Harvard alumni) to Oxford:

"We will restore science to its rightful place.”

"My administration will increase funding for basic research in physical and life sciences, mathematics, and engineering at a rate that would double basic research budgets over the next decade. We will increase research grants for early-career researchers to keep young scientists entering these fields."
-- Barack Obama

February 06, 2009 9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Chimpanzee, that's interesting. But regarding tier 1 - the only way to go on tier 1 is with lots of money - you know, the stuff I don't have. My application is on tier 2 - and I assure you that I scored well over 75 points.

Anyway, it is almost 2 months now, and I was told at the end of December that my application is 'non standard'. Does that mean it takes 3 months? 5 or 6 months? Of course, I have never received an email from them either, other than the new automated reply which I just mentioned.

Remote Kea

February 07, 2009 8:44 AM  
Blogger nige said...

The official page http://ukinnewzealand.fco.gov.uk/en/visas/important-information/

states:

Processing time

The amount of time it takes to issue a visa varies with demand and our resouces. Whilst we aim to return visas within twenty working days our current processing times are from 5 to 12 weeks depending upon the type of visa and complexity of the application. We cannot guarantee visas will be processed within any set time and you should not commit to travel plans until your visa has been issued. We can only issue visas within three months of when you intend to travel, so although you should submit your application as soon as possible this should not be more than three months plus some allowance for processing time before your intended travel.

Evidence of funds

Almost all visa applications require evidence of sufficient funds to maintain and accommodate yourself in the UK.


This is pretty amazing stuff!

At present the UK is being flooded by illegal immigrants and also legal immigrants from Eastern European countries which have recently joined the European Union. E.g., lots of Polish and other workers are coming here without needing any visas and it's not helping the employment market for British born workers with the recession at the current time (according to the news).

So it's amazing that New Zealanders or Australians like yourself and Americans like my swim coach have problems having to get work visas! Youir countries are former British colonies, so really you shouldn't need visas.

The whole situation makes me really sick, and more keen than ever to leave this country with its mad policies!

February 07, 2009 9:28 AM  
Blogger Kea said...

I can only assume that they are determined to make me miss the opera in London in March, as well as the conference that was in early January.

February 07, 2009 10:51 AM  
Blogger nige said...

Can't you just come here just with your passport, without a visa, as a tourist would do, and then sort it out with the nutters in London once you're actually in the country?

How long can you stay as a tourist I wonder?

February 07, 2009 11:08 AM  
Blogger nige said...

On second thoughts, there is probably some law prohibiting working here as a postdoc without the correct visa, but the whole thing is just crazy.

February 07, 2009 11:15 AM  

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