Step 4 – Submitting Your Documents & Biometrics
On the day of your appointment, reach the VFS office a little ahead of your schedule and come in with a good meal in your stomach. The actual process takes only 15-20 minutes combined, but the waiting period could stretch on till up to 5-6 hours, depending upon the time of the year. You can’t use a cell-phone in there or a laptop or any other kind of electronic device – so carry a book or something or be prepared to die off boredom! Sign-up for the courier service if you don’t want to come to the center and collect your documents, but remember to sign-up for the SMS service, so you will remain updated of your application status.
Step 5 – Wait, pray and then wait some more
Once you’ve done everything in your human capacity to ensure your application has a reasonable shout for approval, sit back and wait. The website claims first-time applications are usually processed within a time-frame of 8-10 working days, but that timeline fluctuates harder than SENSEX. All you can do once you’ve submitted your moolah, is wait back, relax and pray a lot – if things have gone well so far, chances are you will soon be on your way to an exciting trip to the land that has dramatically influenced your past, present and future!
Free Tip – If like me, you’d like to take advantage of the relationships between the United Kingdom and the neighboring state of Ireland, I’d recommend you make full use of the Short Stay Visa Waiver Program offered by Irish Immigration and give the Emerald Isle a happy little visit too. (well, now you see how them Irish are always such friendly, hospitable folk, don’t you?). The waiver program, allows travelers of several nationalities (including Indian), to visit the Republic of Ireland on a UK General Category C visa – or a short stay Tourist UK Visa; you’re required to clear immigration in the UK though, so people planning on using UK just as a transit point will still require an Irish visa.
I’m determined to bring back some great stories from my travel, so DO keep an eye out for them. Also, if you have anything to add to this post in terms of suggestions/corrections, please feel free to use the comment box below.