Hello lovelies. Happy Wednesday to you, wherever you are in the world. Today is a big day concerning my UK immigration paperwork that Jon and I have been steadily working on since March. I had my biometrics appointment in Toronto this afternoon, and here’s how it went.
I hope this helps potential immigrants who are sending their applications through the Toronto VFS Global office. I was nervous because I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, so I hope this can ease your mind 🙂
Firstly, check out the complete application package. It’s quite formidable, isn’t it?
Just glorious. And it was hella tedious to gather it all.
VFS Global is located on the sixth floor of a medical building on Bloor West. It’s an official partner of UKVI (United Kingdom Visas & Immigration), so everything just outside the office and inside has official UKVI labeling and UK flags. I arrived pretty early, and they don’t let you in until 15 minutes before your appointment, so I stood in the corridor by the elevators with several other patient folks who had appointments.
I was finally allowed into the main entrance of the office, which has a desk and several lockers. For security reasons, I had to stow my belongings in a locker, and I got a quick body scan from the guard there. Then I was let into the main office.
After an officer helped a couple people ahead of me, she sat down with me and helped me go through the paperwork and organize it in the order the ECO (entry clearance officer) handling my case will prefer. She looked over my original documents, then submitted their photocopies with the application and stamped each one with “ORIGINAL SEEN”. In front of me and on her left side, metro Toronto filled the window and the CN Tower pierced the sky. I would have taken a picture if I’d been allowed my phone.
After everything was organized, the officer informed me that I needed a photocopy of my Canadian permanent residence card. So I paid $1 to get that done, and I had a laugh with the male officer who did the payment because it was debit/credit only and I thought it would be the BEST CHARGE EVAR on my next bank statement.
I was having a conversation with another applicant about immigration and about how nervous we both were, and it turned out he needed to get a photocopy of something as well but didn’t have debit/credit on him, only cash. So I paid for his photocopy and he gave me the cash 🙂 He was endlessly thankful, and we wished each other luck as he was leaving and I told him to keep himself busy so he doesn’t go insane waiting!
I returned to my officer, who was neatly fitting all the paperwork into a bright-yellow DHL envelope marked “PRIORITY” in red. Then it was my turn for biometrics. I entered a small room (another one that you can’t enter yourself; only a guard or officer can open the door) and sat down, handing the man within my application in its envelope. He took a photo of my face, then took my fingerprints. I had to put my finger pads on the clear screen of a box-shaped machine on the desk in front of me, and that’s how that was done. I found that to be really cool, because when I had to get fingerprints done in the US for Canadian immigration, they were done with the ink-and-paper route. And then he gave me a receipt, and that was the last I saw of my dear application package.
After all these months of research and hard work on this thing, I almost felt like it was my little masterpiece that I was releasing into the world. I wanted to hold it to me closely and whisper prayers of confidence over it. It felt really scary to let it go.
This entire immigration process has been scary. And stressful, tedious, and frankly quite maddening. Getting this application out of my hands feels like such a huge relief now that I’ve let it go and am home again, and what I’ll need to do now is keep myself super busy and try not to be too scared of the potential outcome.
Jon and I have done our best with this application, and that’s certainly something to be proud of.
My future is finally on its way to being shaped, whether that will be in England or here in Canada.
If you lovely readers don’t mind, please keep your fingers crossed for us. If you can, light up yellow, orange, or purple candles while this application is being processed <3 These all correspond to goverment/legal matters, and yellow and orange are also all about joy and purple is about influence.
Key notes for people applying through Toronto:
– Bring your debit or credit card.
– Be prepared to wait if you haven’t paid extra for an early morning Primetime appointment.
– If you’re not a Canadian citizen, make sure to bring your photo ID that allows you to live here.
– Make sure you have a full set of photocopies of all originals you want to keep.
Love and light,