Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hill Street Blues...

So, the last 10 days have been both very busy and incredibly stressful. As I mentioned in my last post, I found out 14 days before our US departure that my UK ancestry visa had been delayed. Unfortunately the reasons given in the email I received were incredibly vague. Actually, there weren't any reasons given - just, 'your visa has failed the first review'. I was left wondering - is there a second/third/fourth review or is this it? Is my trip over before it has even begun?

On Monday last week I got my butt down to the visa office on Hill street to find out why it had failed...and of course they couldn't tell me.

I headed home suitably disheartened and on the way received a call with the reason - it appears one of the documents I supplied lacked certain information and could I please bring more documentation.

The next day I returned with more documentation and was told that wasn't enough. I was advised to request even more documentation from NZ Births, Deaths and Marriages and duly did so. This arrived on Friday (one week until departure) but when it arrived, I knew that it wouldn't help. In a fit of panic, I called the visa office and asked if there was any other documentation that would help and, yes, there was one further piece of documentation that might just do the trick. I ordered this via BDM at midday on Friday and unbelievably it arrived on Saturday afternoon (I had been told there could be up to an eight day wait)!

Moment of truth came early Monday morning - I handed in the further documentation and waited...of course, they couldn't tell me anything. Two hours later I got the call - YES! ~ they would be able to issue my UK ancestry visa AND do it before my departure on Friday. I got my final confirmation call this afternoon and was told I can pick up my passport and visa as of tomorrow. I'll be there at 9am!

A huge thank you to NZ Births, Deaths and Marriages - you are all truly amazing! :-)


Dylan Packman said...

BDM really do a fantastic job. When my mum lost passports the day before leaving the country they opened the office early just for her!

Anna said...

Glad they got it sorted - nothing quite like an adrenalin rush before departure to ensure that you arrive in the Promised Land wrung-out and completely devoid of bureaucratic tolerance! Sorry can't come to drinks so will have to send a virtual hug and the very best of wishes to both of you. Bon voyage! Anna & Mike :)

ElBandito said...

Woohoo, now we can be rid of you! :D