Thursday, September 16, 2010

International Paperwork

I have started to get a taste of the problems of dealing with international issues. The problem started with the need to prove that I had around $10,000 for my visa. After all the issues with L. last year we no longer had it in the bank. So I applied for a school loan so that I could have a little piece of paper that says "I'm good for it" on my visa application.
One of the little known facts is that the way that student loans are handed out was changed as a rider on the health care bill this year. The way student loans were changed was a good thing but it makes schools need to use a different system. Of course going to an international school means it is not a high priority to learn a new system for just a few students. I became the "go-between" for the school financial office and Direct Loans. When there is a 5 hour time difference I had to make sure to make all my calls in the morning to get anyone in London. As time passed I was worried that I would not get the paperwork in time to turn in and get my visa before the start of school. (Of course I had already bought my plane ticket before reading the visa application that says: Do not buy the plane ticket until you have your visa.)
Anyway I mailed in all my visa paperwork with what I did have (around 30 pages) and then received the final approval for the school loan (Since this is my first time through the system I was not sure what paperwork I would get that was needed for the visa.) The British Consolate called me while I was up near my work for a dentist appointment so I was able to fax them the extra documents. I received my visa with two weeks until I fly out. If I had waited for the final document before mailing in my visa then I would have not got it in time for the flight and would have started school late. In this case ignorance helped the situation.

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