Monday, July 30, 2012

Passport Received

Hurrah! Just got a message from UK visa office, informing me that my passport has been received and is ready for collection.
I had submitted my application on 16th July, 2012 at the Karachi center. Visa application fee was PKR 44,250 (the application fee was PKR 43,950 and PKR 300 was fee for getting the receipt of payment of application fee). 
My TB x-ray was conducted on 9 July in Islamabad, and it cost PKR 4250. 
All this expense is covered by the scholars themselves. Visas of scholars have gotten delayed in the past due to confusion over this point.

Points of interest:
  • The photo that needs to be submitted with the visa application has to follow the strict guidelines given on the UKBA website. A friend had snapped my photo that followed the guidelines to the T, but I forgot that the pictures need to be printed on matte, not glossy paper. Thankfully I had the soft copy of the photo in my email and got it printed on matte paper from a shop near the Gerry's office.
  • The TB certificate has to be collected by the candidate themselves. The Islamabad office of IOM is better and the staff was very nice. 
  • Don't bother with the premium lounge facility offered by the visa center, it costs 3000 and you can do without it. 
  • Keep some spare cash on you at all times. I needed 100 to get the matte photos printed, 10 for getting my NIC photocopied, 200 to pay the visa application lady for the optional SMS notification service (take this service, helps keep you updated about your application status).
  • Fill the online visa application form and take its printout with you to avoid unnecessary hassle.
  • Call the Gerry's office via landline. The call costs PKR 10 per minute, and eats mobile balance fast.

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