Moving to England!!!! Part 1- Application process

Moving to England!!!!  Part 1- Application process


Moving on your own to a different country is challenging though firstly of course it is a great achievement I would consider.

I have my own reasons why I have always wanted to live far from my usual place and from my family. One great factor was my father’s influence; he didn’t in any way told me to do so but his life was an inspiration to travel and be unbounded. Growing up I dearly love and I’ve kept a close bond with my family and friends, I was dedicated to my work place, and mostly my religion kept me going – with much fulfilling activities I have shared with others in the church community. While doing all of these never did I stop from making my way little by little to where I am now.

Enough of the drama! I will talk about my own journey of how I got in here and share how life is living in a new country.

How I ended up in England was not my personal choice. There’s Australia, Canada, or USA. I had the option to work in USA because I have my American Professional Registry which is also accepted in Canada or I can apply for immigration and there is Australia or New Zealand who are in need of professionals.
Why not USA? Frankly speaking work application wise was never easy for me. I have friends who are now in US working as Medical Technologists and some hotel receptionists so I do think it is not impossible to land a job specially that there are a lot of recruitment agencies now in the Philippines and the ease of taking international exams because of the existence of Personvue and of the availability of the exams one can take to obtain the required license. However because my job is not specifically on their list of course there is no job to be offered.
Why not Australia? The easiest route to get in is via student visa; unless you have a great amount of money then this is least of your priority.
Lastly, why not Canada? If I wasn’t offered such opportunity I could have pursued Canada as an immigrant. I would also like to make a separate topic about my Canadian application experience. Yes! I did couple of steps.

To cut the long story short I was offered an employment in a government funded hospital in England. My job position is yet considered within the country’s shortage list. Now, in entering United Kingdom there are different pathways and application varies on the type of visa. I do not have any experience with other visas so I will just mention of how I applied for mine. Because I wanted to make sure I don’t miss anything with my application I asked assistance from a consultancy. I made inquiries from the agencies linked to 9.0 niner; I was a student therefore I’ve attended their free seminars but unfortunately they don’t assist with this visa application yet. Then just as what I would normally do I tried browsing the internet for any companies which could potentially help me then after meticulous selection and numerous telephone conversations I made a decision to give Global Visa Support a try. Please note there are some companies with almost similar name. I particularly went to Gloal visa support located in Unit 6 C-1, Trans-Phil House, 1177 Chino Roces Ave., Brgy San Antonio, Makati, Philippines.

They have offices in Cebu and Davao. What I particularly like about this company is their truthful service, they will tell you no lies and won’t be making false promises about your application just so you would invest your money to them. I even hired them again to assist my husband’s application coming to UK as my dependant- I hope to discuss this on a different post.
Going back, the very first step to getting a work visa is of course to obtain a secured employment. There are job posts you can search online for which the employer can also set to do everything up online for you. I’ll just list down the process I’ve went through with the list of requirements.
1. Certificate of sponsorship from the employer
2. IELTS score certificate
3. Proof of funds (varies on the type of visa): Bank statement showing at least £945 in savings continuously over the last 90 days
4. UK certified Tuberculosis test Results
5. Other necessary documents that will be essential for your application e.g. for work visa certificate of previous employment and work related certificates.
6. Completely filled (online and printed) visa application form
7. Photo that meets the rules set by the ukba
8. Valid passport
* You would need separate documentations if you intend to bring a dependant with you.Now for the fee, I am sure this changes a lot for a period of time and this also vary depending on different visas applied for. Remember that there are different tier 2 visas. For my case specifically:
1. Tier 2 General for at least 3 years and is within the shortage list visa fee cost £437.
2. Heath surcharge, yes you need to pay this! There is a page in the uk goverment website where you can estimate how much you need to pay. If I remember it clearly I think I paid more or less £600.
3. You will need to pay extra if you want to expedite your visa application process and/or if you avail for other services such as text message to receive updates of the process, mailing of documents and passport back after process etc. Specific fees can be checked on the vfs website.
4. You need to prepare for other expenses of your medical and OFW OEC clearance certificate. This is by far the most difficult part of the entire process. Knowing that you have everything prepared and you have a visa at hand this process takes most of your time and would really stress you out in terms of bringing to them the specific agreement form they wanted; note that they are only concern on seeing that the employer aggrees with repatriation clause.
I however finds essence to this process. Although it may seem basic to many it reminds you of your own rights even when you’re at a different country and lets you know of how you can deal with certain issues like seeking help or when claiming benefits.I felt the excitement only when I had everything sorted.
I will continue to share on my next blog about how I prepared myself to move.


Wedding daze- Preparations when you’re in another country


Prenup photo Jan. ‘16

Yet a wedding ceremony may only last for 3-4 hours, but do remember that memories lasts a lifetime. It is every girls dream and most people look forward to. There are of course differences with everyone’s preference of how they wanted to go about by this. Some stay practical with less to almost none preparation while there are those who regard this to be the highlight of their life thus it deserves a detailed planning.

What I can only suggest is based on what I have gone through.

Living in a far country from your better half is difficult in terms of preparing and more so when as a bride you can’t literally be ‘hands on’. Although there is nothing to really worry about as technology serves right for what you need. 😉

Firstly, I googled blogs about weddings From my country to get ideas on suppliers. Most suppliers have Facebook pages which was helpful to see their previous and current projects and also to read on reviews from clients. Suppliers should be able to meet your plans; it is but necessary for them to cater exactly on what you want and not you adjusting to what spare materials they have to settle for what they can just offer.

At first I thought I have found an easy way to planning by nearly agreeing to hire this wedding coordinator/planner however as I continue to chat with them instead of easing my worries it had further gone into confusion as how most of what I wanted wasn’t possible. They claim to be great yet I’ve asked for just few sample photos and yet either a photo looks too grand to be true or too pixelated to have been copied. They even claim to have partnership with weddding suppliers, like when I was recommended to a couturier who can’t show a single photo of dresses they make claiming that their clients buy all suits and gowns after their wedding. It certainly just doesn’t seem and feel right. I ended our fb conversation and have confirmed later that what they post as grand events are not theirs! So rule number 1. Don’t be too trusty, this is your big day and whilst you’ll be spending your hard earned money might as well be sure it’ll be well spent.

So we again started from scratch, my fiance that time made our own list and did an excel format intended for our wedding planning which was very helpful! It was a list of everything we need to accomplish and everything that is recquired on a wedding along one column organized according to priority and another column intended for expenses; it also had a space to make notes. He did a great job on that!

From not being able to secure a wedding planner I have asked my sister-in law to be our non-experienced planner; to be honest after few research and ordeals with the supposed professional event planners we thought we wouldn’t need one anyway. As long as you have the time to research that’ll help which at the same time it can save you money from hiring somebody to do the planning for you. I am not generalising, there are truthful event organisers out there, I wasn’t lucky enough to find one at that time but I do think there is still an advantage for having them such as I’ve heard from people that they can get you discounts from their partnered suppliers and can easily secure the arrangements and dates for you.

Moving on to our wedding plans with my sister in law being the mediator-organiser..

a) Firstly, I made a partial plan of our number of guests and entourage list.

b) We asked for the available dates and times of wedding from the parish church, we had a date in mind and we wanted an afternoon one.

c) Our next top priority is to have the best photographer and videographer. This is a momentous event we woul definitely invest on. Now, there are too many available professional photographers out there but we went for the one who we felt was very accommodating and responsive as we feel much at ease with someone who values our opinion as their client.

We were happy to have secured a date with the bujayphotgraphy team, we even changed the date of our reservation in the church (not that the date means anything specifically important anyway) just so we can have them to cover our wedding day. They weren’t very popular at the time in terms of marketing in social media and to be honest how we found them was purely from recommendations of previous clients. Bujay Sangalang is the owner and head photographer of the team. He usually have promo and discount to offer. Bujay responded to all my fb chats and if he can’t reply thoroughly he make sure to still let me know he’s busy. We booked a full package photo and video coverage of our prenup and wedding day.

d) Florist was a suggestion from Bujay; in getting a florist makes sure they are registered with the parish church, they do this registration I think to lessen the disappointments as there are some even legit florists out there who can’t deliver their services right. We went for ate Estella’s flower shop which is in front of St. John School (Dagupan City). The flowers used to design the church were rearranged to design our reception place; ate Estella’s team took care of the arrangements and transporting everything after the wedding ceremony; this is another great way to save money.

e) Make up artist; Well, to be honest we were lucky that my brother knew Cj Cuison (Cjcuisonglamteam in facebook) the make up artist we hired. She and my brother were former colleagues when Cj was still practicing her nursing career. Cj at that time was already starting to make a name in the make up industry of Pangasinan. She is one of the best and one of her make up artists was someone I know from previous church activities.

f) Gowns and suits; Ate Bing is known to my sister in law’s family. She designs and constructs clothing for many different events even pageants. She is very responsive and receptive of all my ideas which was very important to me. I looked for images and inspirations in the internet and I had them as idea to complete the whole entourage gowns and suits.

Perfect Bride by Marcie Aquino Sabado

g) Reception place; Jech’s restaurant located in Calasiao, Pangasinan has their own grand pavilion and they cater for different events. We made a reservation for our wedding reception and we were just required to pay a certain amount per head/guest count. They set up and design the reception area as desired.

Now don’t forget before organizing everything that you have secured a marriage application.

Since I live outside Philippines, I had to do the legal works by last minute although preferrably it needs to be done prior to making arrangements. I went back to Philippines in December with enough time to process the marriage license.

A) Church requirements:

a.1) Some priest/Church would ask to see the marriage license prior to booking your wedding day or aggreeing to officiate the ceremony; luckily the parish understands our situation.

a.2) For a Church wedding of course you need to be a baptised member and for Catholics in particular couples should have been confirmed before the matrimony. For confirmation, just book a date with the Parish and attend the catechism prior to the ceremony.

a.3) Attend the seminar set by the church

a.4) For catholics, make sure your reservation for the ceremony with your names is published 3x consecutively on the sunday mass.

B) Government requirements:

b.1) Completely filled Marriage license application form: Needs personal appearance along with government issued birth certificates of couple.

b.2)Obtain CENOMAR (certificate of No marriage)

b.3) Attend pre-marriage counselling

b.4) CEDULA (Community tax certificate)

b.5) Valid ID

b.6) 2 piece s recent ID photo with white background

The processing wasn’t easy, it involved the typical long queue, waiting and patience; we just got our marriage license at the very last minute, really, on the day of our wedding day!

It was all worth it.


Wedding – Jan. ‘16

Do what your heart tells you, it is your day!

Good luck and best wishes!

Moving to England. Part 2. What to prepare on your move.


As mentioned from my previous post this part 2 section will all be about the preparations I did prior to moving country.

After the hurdles of going through the long visa and exit clearance processes I then booked for my plane ticket to UK; that’s when it sinked in to me that it was really happening! But I’d definitely say this move requires a lot of courage.

I booked Philippine Airlines which offers direct flight from Philippines to UK. I have been to some Asian flights of which the longest was 4hours. So I had my few worries back then traveling alone internationally. Such a long thrilling hours to wait, I didn’t get to sleep and it wasn’t the most comfortable ride but hey, it’s cheaper and above all it’s less hassle worrying about transfers.

Organize your documents. Make sure you know pretty much all about your job details to include anything about the company and the place you’re bound to in order to pass immigration boarder without further unnecessary questions.

Organize your suitcase. Firstly, make sure to read carefully on do’s and dont’ s. You should know the weight and size restrictions of your luggage as some airlines might allow you to carry one single large suitcase or two luggage but must not exceed a certain width and height. As when packing, anything you think you won’t need as much just leave it behind, if there’s anything that would leak secure it up and most of all be safe, always secure your luggage.

So yes you have to get yourself ready for the coming change. Weather is one main difference; apart from a new wardrobe of proper clothing it is also essential to bring in basic medicines for cough, cold or flu. Coming from a tropical country layers of clothing and thick coat and fleece didn’t really helped; besides my body is still adopting to the cold temp anyway. I got ill for a few days but I managed to prevent it from worsening. Yes you can bring your own medicines but just secure prescriptions just in case you get asked.

Invest in atleast a coat and boots to warm you up (Obviously never owned any of this when I was in the Philippines! Although it is best advised to check what’ss weather like when you arrive because if it’s summer then you don’t have to bother with thick clothings as it can take so much of your luggage space and to be honest it is better to shop once you get there. There are plenty of shops, even country side would atleast have some affordable stores and even high end shops. So save your space for those essential things you might never find in UK, like filipino brands specially groceries. You’ll find filipino stores in UK but surely they’re UK priced and they won’t have everything.

Make sure you have an open line phone. You’ll for sure need means to communicate to your family back home. Many accommodations provide wifi access but there’s nothing more convenient than having your own phone with a proper line and the WiFi access as in case of emergency (in my case homesickness was my emergency) you can be reached and you too can easily reach out. And the other good thing is with internet you’ll never gonna get lost!

Have some cash (converted) ready. To start with, you might want to purchase things once you land in the country. There are some money changers in airport but it’s better to always be prepared right? Besides many would agree that rates are better outside airports.

Above all, prepare yourself psychologically. It requires much strength hence your mind needs to be set for the great move.


P.s. Long gap between part 1 to finally publishing part 2 is because of everything that happened (mainly settling, adjustments and more stuff to do) which kept me busy since then. I have had more experiences that I would love to share. Something just inspired me to write it and be able to share as soon as I finish.

’Til next time..