As I mentioned in a previous post, my husband and I are in the process of getting visas for the UK. Because it has been a confusing process at times with several unpleasant surprises, I though I'd put up some info and some links to help other people who are thinking of doing the same thing. Although some of this stuff will apply to people from other countries, this will be mostly relevant to Canadians who want to work in the United Kingdom.
This site is run by the UK boarder Agency. It has info about visas and can help you figure out which visa you need:
The visa we need is called a tier 5 youth mobility scheme. It's for people aged 18 to 30 who want to work in the UK to subsidize their holiday. It's good for 2 years, but you can only work part time.
This is the main site that you'll need and I really wish we had come across it sooner because it was the most helpful:
Until we found this site, we didn't know that we needed to have biometrics done as part of the application process. There are only 4 places in Canada where you can have this done - fortunately one of those places is in Edmonton, which is only about 3 hours away.
I also stumbled onto this site which I think is a really good one. It has information about stuff you need to know about living in the UK, like the cost of food and shelter, how to open a bank account, and so on.
One thing that isn't mentioned anywhere until you're halfway through filling out the on-line application form is that in addition to your current passport number, if you've had a previous passport you also require that number. When I renewed my passport, I checked the box to keep my old one so this wasn't an issue for me. However, my husband didn't have his old passport. You can get old numbers from Access Canada, but it takes time. We waited 3 weeks for it to arrive by courier - not fun when your documents are all time sensitive and the application is supposed to be sent off 3 months before you want to leave.
We're almost finished at this point. I'm just hoping that we filled everything out properly and that our visas will be approved and will arrive before we need to leave. Fingers crossed.