Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.
I understand what Goethe is saying, but I think that repatriation in the 21st century would have flummoxed him.
I committed myself to the idea of moving to London over Christmas. My nightmare, back then, was that I'd make a manic decision, go for it, and then come to regret it, and so I set my departure date for early summer to give myself time to reflect. Now, though, in April, I am just as committed to moving as I was over Christmas, if not more so, and I am even more confident that it's the right decision for me.
However, no matter what Goethe tells us, committing is only the first step. As (my fellow-to-be) expats are well aware, obtaining a visa can be a total debacle. Luckily, I am eligible for a Tier 1 visa, which means that I don't have to be sponsored to move to the UK - I can go without a job offer in hand. I'd obviously rather have a job than not, but, as a UK-based recruitment officer pointed out, with a Tier 1 visa I won't be tied to the UK by a specific job; if I get a job and then lose it or switch to another job I can stay on the same visa that I used to enter the country rather than reapplying for a sponsored visa. (Does that make sense?)
They do make you jump through hoops to get a Tier 1 visa, though. This is what I need:
- application form
- point-based system form
- certificate from University College London, from where I received my MA degree
- letter from University College London stating that it is a "recognized body"
- bank statement testifying to the fact that I have had £2,800 in my account for three months consistently
I have filled out the first two, made an appointment for the third, and am awaiting the fourth and fifth in the post. The bank statement - well, it's hard to save that much money when you're young and just starting out as a professional! I'll hit three months on April 29, so I've begun the countdown. T minus fifteen days until I will have the statement and will be able to send in all of my materials!
The visa website says that 97% of all applicant for a Tier 1 visa have their passports returned to them within 15 days of submission, so it's very likely that I will have my visa in hand by the end of May. (Does anyone know anything to the contrary?) That means that, if all goes well, I will be in London in early June - woohoo!
Wish me luck!
playing tourist outside the British Museum, summer 2009