Becoming Professional: A Blog

Visa Process 2: Filling out Forms

Posted on: September 7, 2010

getting a visa

By kalleboo (Karl Baron)

If you’re new to this blog, you might now know that I am moving to the UK in about a week for a Masters in Digital Marketing from the Hult International Business School. I’ll be there for a full year(12 months). There is only one way to do that legally: Get a Visa. This is the second post in the Getting a Visa blog series where we explore the insanity of legal immigration. Today’s contribution is about paper work.

I got my UK Student Visa a little bit ago. My estimation of the process? My God, how many trees must I kill? You guessed it, it is amazingly bureaucratic.

Of course, the Visa process will be different depending on the Visa you are after and the country. The UK has at least 4 different types of student Visas alone. Just figuring out which type of papers to fill out was something of a head ache. When you start reading the appendices you start wishing you were staying at home. Still, in comparison to getting a French Visa, it wasn’t so bad.

I had to take a day-trip to L.A. for my French Visa, and just a drive downtown for fingerprinting to get the UK Visa. In the “going inordinately out of my way” category, the UK Visa was nothing. Perhaps that’s why in the “read that form over 50 times and still be worried you miss-understood a crazily detailed question that will derail your entire application” category, it was off the charts. I can’t tell you how often I reread the same two forms. They asked for everything, including the details from all old, legally destroyed passports. Luckily my father never throws any important document away and I had my childhood passport on hand. Doubly lucky since they wanted me to include it with the application I mailed to LA.

UK Visa Process

Old photo of the Tower of London

This seems to be a standard with the UK, at least. As Johnny Smith’s account illustrates, they do ask for a lot of details in their paperwork. But other than that, the UK Visa application is smooth sailing. Now, just imagine what this would be like if it was highly rated on the “going inordinately out of your way” category as well. Yeah, makes it seem less rosy, doesn’t it?

The key with paperwork seems to be that you have to have all your information on hand, and to give yourself lots of time to fill it out, in case you accidentally are missing something. It helps to have someone you can ask questions, of, too. While filling out my UK paperwork, I constantly got confused about what a word meant, or if I was affected by some passage or other. This is why I love my school. Hult helped me out a ton by designating a gentleman to answer all my questions about the visa process and by providing a step by step guide to filling out the forms. With all the things they’ve done for me, please don’t get annoyed if I keep singing the praises of my school!

As always, what are your thoughts or experiences in getting a Visa? Any particularly easy experiences? And if something was hard, what made it difficult?

Also, please spend less than 5 minutes of your time taking this survey: Avatar – Identity vs. Perception. John Antonios and I are studying whether or not avatars show what we want them to show about ourselves. We’re hoping for 500 respondents, so please help us get there!


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Who Am I?

I am a Digital Native who is trying to puzzle out what exactly that means. I share my thoughts on social media, digital business models, and PR here on this blog.

I am currently getting my Masters in Digital Marketing from Hult International Business School, having gotten my B.S. in Marketing from Arizona State University. Everything is on track and I am making headway towards my dream: World Domination... or being a productive, helpful citizen and marketer. Whichever comes first.

Don't hesitate to get in touch. I Tweet daily at @KateDavids and also have a science fiction and fantasy blog ( and Twitter (@Masked_Geek).

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