The costs and process of moving to the UK

Tier 2 (General) visa application timeline

In this chapter I’ll detail:

Note that the information here is:

  • Specific to our unique circumstances
  • Reflective of the rules, policies, and requirements, as of the time of our original application for a Tier 2 (General) visa back in 2015; if we are aware of any changes since, it will be called out

If you are planning to apply for, or currently are in the process of applying for a Tier 2 (General) visa then you must refer to the official guidance released by the UK Government at the page for Tier (2) General visas. If you are considering other immigration routes (such as coming to visit as a tourist, or to study, etc) then you can find the official guidance of the UK Government at this visas and immigrations page for all the routes.

Getting the results

We received an email from the Home Office in the afternoon of 25 May 2015 (the same day of our second appointment) that a decision has been made on our application, and that our passports are on the way back to the visa application centre. Given that we were running against the clock, we did not pay the extra fees to have the passports mailed back to us (which would have introduced additional delays of one to two days), rather we told VFS during our appointment that we will be collecting the passports from the application centre.

The passports arrived from the British Embassy in Manila to the visa application centre at around 7:00 pm, where we and a number of other applicants were already waiting. Opening the envelopes, our passports were enclosed which now contained entry clearance vignettes valid for five years:

  • For me Tier 2 (General) Entry Clearance Vignette, main applicant
  • and my spouse Tier 2 (General) Entry Clearance Vignette, dependant

Note that we were one of final few under the old process of issuing full-length entry clearances.

On 31 May 2015, the Home Office have rolled-out Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) for applicants from the Philippines. All non-EEA nationals applying to stay in the UK for more than six months will receive a time-limited 30-day sticker on the passport, instead of a vignette having the full grant of leave1 (as we have above). They will then have to enter the UK within this 30-day window, and collect their BRP cards within ten days of entering the UK.

Full timeline

  • August 2014
    • August 19: started the job application process
  • January 2015
    • January 27: received the job offer
  • February 2015
    • February 2: accepted the job offer
    • February 27: started the visa application process
  • April 2015
    • April 13: booked the (incorrect, non-UKVI) IELTS English Language test (due to an unclear booking process at the test centre website, see details at the IELTS chapter)
    • April 13: booked the (correct, UKVI) IELTS English Language test
    • April 17: received the refund for the incorrect (non-UKVI) IELTS test
    • April 20: booked the tuberculosis screening test
    • April 23: took the tuberculosis screening test
    • April 23: received the tuberculosis screening test results certificate
    • April 29: took the IELTS English Language test (Speaking)
    • April 30: took the IELTS English Language test (Listening, Reading, and Writing)
  • May 2015
    • May 13: received the IELTS English Language test results certificate
    • May 15: sponsor assigned the Certificate of Sponsorship to us
    • May 16: paid the Immigration Health Surcharge
    • May 16: submitted and paid for the visa application
    • May 18: attended the visa application appointment
    • May 22: submitted and paid for the visa application again (due to a misprocessing of the first application by the centre, see details at the Tier 2 Appointment chapter)
    • May 25: attended the second visa application appointment
    • May 25: received a notification that a decision has been made
    • May 25: collected passport; application was successful
    • May 28: received the refund for the misprocessed application
  1. “Leave” here means “permission”; thus “leave to remain” is your “permission to remain” in the UK 

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