Normally, Fridays are glorious days. The weekend is practically here and people are drooling at the thought of the after work (or after class) cocktail/beer/giant glass of wine. The promise of the alarm clock remaining silent the next two mornings is almost too good to be true. Fridays are great days.
This Friday sucks.
I long ago realized that I will never EVER, get the chance to study abroad. Because of my ridiculous credit situation next year, which is my final year, there is no possible way to ever study abroad. A student isn’t allowed to study abroad their final semester, and I’m NOT going tack on an extra semester of tuition for four months of unnecessary credit. As much as I want to live across the pond, I don’t want to pay 22,000 dollars to do so. And so, if I ever want to reside in a foreign country (which I do, a lot), there is now a process to go through that is bigger than Iceland.
A friend and I recently decided that we seriously wanted to investigate the possibility of moving to England after I graduate college. We know exactly what we want out of our journey and exactly what we want to do when we get there.
Our plan is simple: move into a quaint little flat in a quiet village within an hour of bustling London town, find jobs at pubs or restaurants. Small potatoes. We want a cat. Just one cat. We decided to stay for a year: enough time to settle in and really get the opportunity to find ourselves.
We want a break from our lives here. We want to go somewhere different (but not so different we cry at the grocery store) and have a chance to really figure out what we want out of life. What better place to do that than England? The English speak, well, English, and their culture is appealing. I mean, who doesn’t love tea and biscuits? Who doesn’t love pubs?
Who doesn’t love Prince William?! Hey, Kate Middleton, you can take your fancy little (big) hats and your silly wrap dresses and SCOOT! Or you can shove Prince Harry my way. Actually, I’ll take Prince Harry. Since he’ll never get the throne unless his big brother kicks the proverbial bucket, we’ll have way more fun. And I’ll have to wear way less Queen appropriate shoes. I like my flip flops, y’all.
I spent some time last night looking around websites devoted to the American Moving to the UK Cause. As it turns out, the process is long, hard, and way more expensive than I ever dreamed. The cost of a working visa application is around $800 and that’s just the application. So if I’m not granted the visa, I just lost $800. There are a couple different types of working visas, but the three big ones are as follows. One options is that you already have a job lined up with a UK company before you move. Oh, and the UK company might have to prove that your job couldn’t be filled by a UK or EU citizen. Tough. The second option is to be transferred from a stateside branch of a US company to a UK branch. That last visa is the easiest visa- assuming one has a job in a US company that has a UK branch where a spot is available to transfer to. Most companies with international branches have an internal department office to handle branch transfers and work visas for their employees. The third option, and the most tricky, is something called the High Skill Visa, or something like that. It’s a visa designed for people seeking to move into the country without a job lined up or a transfer. The rule here is that the person applying for the visa must have a certain level of higher education and be able to prove that his/her field of work would benefit from the move. So, the UK’s gotta get something out of the move, or no deal. Simply having a college degree won’t do much. Unless that college degree is a PhD in Bad Assery.
Technically, we could travel there on a tourist visa, which allows a stay in the country for six months, but a tourist visa does not include a work permit. So if we wanted to find a job (which would definitely be necessary), we’d have to find an employer willing to pay us under the table. Read: illegally. The only shred of hope left now is that we travel on a tourist visa and actually find the under-the-table job, which is generally at a pub or restaurant (the goal job to begin with).
But the hope is quickly dashed because- oh wait for it- it’s a six month visa. That’s half the time we wanted. So now the question of “Do we want to use a tourist visa, save money and visa headaches, but only be able to stay for six months… OR do we want to try and apply for the longer stay visas?” Although, I suppose if we’re denied the longer visa we’ll take the tourist visa and just deal.
That’s the sitch, everyone. Little Miss Moon is terribly depressed and just wants to go to England with her best friend.