I say dreaded, but it doesn’t have to be. It scares the life out of me because last year I had so many problems and worries. My friend Leigh on the other hand thinks it’s a breeze! I reckon you’re either one or the other. I find it quite intimidating on the website when you’re applying. On every other page there’s a big notice in red basically saying…WARNING: DO THIS WRONG AND YOU ARE SCREWED’, so yes, it is my least favourite part of the CA process.
So once you have sent for your DBS (police check, formally CRB) and you have received your part back (CA see it on their computer, no need to send anything to them), your visa papers at the head office will start being printed out then sent to you. This visa pack contains everything you will need to book your all important visa appointment .Just a warning too, don’t put off applying if you’re papers come through! You only have 10 days from when you receive them to do it.
There’s a document from CA in the Visa pack, its 2 sheets stapled and it’s basically an idiot’s guide to getting a VISA appointment. Even I figured out the labyrinth that is the US Embassy website with this handy number! It’s really good, so get that by your side before you start. Oh, and a working printer because there’s quite a few things to print off. To save time, and stress, it’s best to print them whilst they’re in front of you. I would also suggest getting some passport photos done before too. You need some to take to the embassy, and if you have a scanner/printer thing, you can use that photo (because you know it’s approved) when you need to upload one to the Embassy website.
The first part of it is you submit all your details (and I mean all – it’ll include past holidays to America, past jobs, parent’s information, THE LOT!). Make sure you give yourself a few hours to do it – and do it right. You don’t want to be making silly mistakes like spelling your name wrong because you’re in a rush! Then once you’ve done that – you can then actually book appointment for a J day at the Embassy. CA applicants can only go to Visa appointments on J days (from 8:30am-12:30am), and there’s only so many of them. That’s why they tell you not to be a lazy bum and leave it! Also, don’t forget you need to pay for your Visa (yep, they don’t give them out for free unfortunately for us…) so make sure you got some monies. £108.00 of it.
There’s quite a few things you need to print off, but the guide from CA should tell you what to print out, and when you should be seeing these all important documents. Don’t panic like I did, it only makes things worse! If you need help, ring CA. If you do it on a weekend and they’re not available, tweet them. Or leave it until they’re available, they know what they’re doing and can most likely sort you out on the phone.
It’s just another step to your adventure, get this done and you’re so very nearly there…