The Next Stage

I thought that, with this newest update, I would change the theme along with it. Before this, the theme for Transplant Monologues was “Ever After.” This one is (unimaginatively) “Girl in Green.”

We’ve set the date to have a PEO (Public Enquiry Office) appointment for the next VISA. In the UK, after the Fiancé VISA, we then have to apply for an FLR(M) VISA – one of the “Leave to Remain” VISAs that the UK has; specifically, this one deals with married/civil/long-term partners.

It will be valid for two years. If I wish to remain in the UK after that, I will either have to reapply for the same VISA and get another two-year extension, or I will have to complete a test (to show my competency and knowledge of life in the UK) and apply for the SET(M) VISA which would grant me perminant leave to remain here.

We have all of the paperwork for the FLR(M) now aside from a couple of minor items (See: Passport quality photos, two for me and one for my husband). With the appointment is booked for the 12th of June and the form filled out and ready, between now and then we need only to pop in quickly to see our attorney so he can review the documents, give us any additional feedback and follow up on those recommendations (if any).

We’ll be submitting the form and documentation all at the same time at the appointment. It was the more expensive option (as of today’s date, the cost to have an PEO VISA Appointment is just under £1,000), but when 90% of all those interviewed have a decision made the same day (translation: little to no waiting) vs. submitting them by mail which can have queue-time waits up to three or more months…

It just made more sense for us that we go the expedited route and pay for premium service, especially given the straight-forwardness of our application. Once we have approval, with the FLR(M) VISA, I will be able to start looking for work in the UK. Once I am gainfully employed (which I always hold is a matter of time, not a question of if, but I’m stubborn like that) we will be more than stable and able to move out on our own.

Which would take us to the next phase in our lives, if we haven’t done so already by that point – moving into our own place. Chinese Take-out on the living-room floor, here I come! We’re already looking at potential places – I’m trying to find places for no more than £500 a month.

While I’m talking about it, let me touch on some points that I’ve learned while poking around here that need to be kept in mind; chief among them is terminology. When you see a sign outside a building for rent, it doesn’t say “For Rent” it says “To Let,” first off. Do not be fooled by numbers – read the fine print, even if the pictures look good; they often hide the key terms in the description:

Bedsit = basically you’re renting an already furnished bedroom.

Room/Flat/Apartment share = See Bedsit, though sometimes it is unfurnished (worse, this is usually hard to spot because it isn’t consistent).

PW or PCM = Per Week or Per Calendar Month. A lot of furnished properties use these terms, I’ve noticed – probably for people who are on long-term vacations and need a place that’s cheaper than hotel.

Furnished/Unfurnished = Make no mistake; when they say furnished, they mean they have basic furniture (bed, sofa, table and chairs)

White Goods = Basic kitchen appliances – the hob/cooktop, fridge and maybe a freezer and/or washing machine if you’re lucky. As strange as it may seem, ovens are sometimes not part of the deal due to space limitations.

Side note: When looking at unfurnished places, when they say unfurnished, sometimes they really mean it  – no appliances are included in the deal and you will have to buy your own.

Obviously, as I find more to complain/whine about, I will in future posts.

I really need to go back through the archive and categorise everything I’ve posted so far while I’m thinking about it. I never really got into the habit of using tags and such, but as time passes, I’m sure that it will come in handy on the off chance I need to go back and look at my progress. You just never know when it may come in handy.

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