ladyariande (ladyariande) wrote in americanintheuk,

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I may as well be applying for a flying pony...

So I got my loans to go to U of Edinburgh. Yay! I'm slowly acquiring awesome accoutrements such as brilliant rainboots and a nice camera and luggage.

And now I have to get my visa application in. I did my due diligence and studied up on what I'm supposed to do, filled out Appendix 8 with all the correct info and acquired all the different paperwork needed (though apparently, I don't need it anymore due to new updates in the process for "low risk nationalities" but oh well).

And then there's this whole biometrics thing. It seems like it should be simple, but I'm hopelessly confused. I figured out that I could go to a police station to get it done, but they say I need a special form provided by whatever company/school is requiring the biometrics (which I don't know where to find and have never heard of before to begin with) and then I keep seeing websites saying I need to go submit these biometrics at some office somewhere and get a receipt? Could they make it more complicated?

And finally, I really am not certain on the order of things in the application. Do I do the online application first and then send in the hard copy? Where do the biometrics fit in? Do I have to wait for a response from one part before sending in the other?


I'm fairly sure that it would be easier to acquire a flying pony than to get this dratted visa.
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Talk to the people at the international office in Edinburgh. I got completely screwed over by the UKBA last year (my situation was different from yours though... applying for a student visa from within the UK while on a non-student visa), and the international office at my uni were brilliant. They should be able to answer all your questions as well as let you know what the UKBA's being picky about this time around.
When I did my EEA Family Permit application three years ago, I did the online application and then sent in the documents the same day. When I did the online application, it had me make an appointment for the biometrics and told me where to go. I don't know if it's different now, but that was the process when I did it.
This has been my experience with all of my visas (visit and marriage) done from the US. Finish the online application, immediately directed to set up the biometric appointment. They'll give you a page to print out to take with you to the appointment.

I figured out that I could go to a police station to get it done, but they say I need a special form provided by whatever company/school is requiring the biometrics

When I went through the process to become a substitute teacher (in the US), this was the case: the school or agency gave me a fingerprint card, which I took to a police station, who did my fingerprints, and then one of us sent the card off to whomever wanted it. With immigration it's different. When you complete the application it'll tell you where your closest places are to go get the biometrics done, and as far as I know, UKBA is only using USCIS Application Support Centers to take the information (scroll to the bottom). You'll make an appointment then for the biometric center you choose. You go to the office, usually leaving your cell phone outside, hand them your passport and the printout, take a number, are called, they take your fingerprints and a photo of you, stamp your form, and you're on your way. It usually doesn't take more than ten minutes plus waiting time. They send the fingerprints & photo to the UKBA for you, and you include the stamped paper with your hardcopy of your application & supporting documents, which you mail anytime after they stamp your form, up to a specified number of weeks later (it's on the form).

The receipt will be the stamp they put on the form you've taken with you.

Hope that helps, good luck.
When you do your visa application you set up your biometric appt at the same time.
yep. it's the simplest part of the application process, imo.
Thanks, all. I finally got it done and my visa is being processed and sent back to me. I have a place to live, a visa, and soon a plane ticket. Almost there!

Thanks again for your help, everyone.