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I arrived in England just over a week ago with my Tier 2 work visa and it only took me a year to get here! I’m also happy to report that I had absolutely no hassle from Immigrations at the airport. I sent off my HCPC application in October 2012 and arrived in the UK with my work visa in October 2013. Now, that’s not to say that it will take everyone a year for the process because it may happen quicker for others. Maybe you are on the Tier 5, or you were able to do a job interview via Skype from your home country, or maybe the council you interview with is on the ball and very efficient, or maybe you had a smooth application with HCPC.

In the last week or so I have opened up a bank account, sent off my Canadian driver’s license (eek!) and passport off to the DVLA in exchange for a UK provisional driver’s license, requested application for a National Insurance Number (NI Number) and registered with a physician. I am still using a pay as you go SIM card, but will apply for a more financially feasible phone plan once my bank account details are in place.I won’t get my Canadian driver’s license back, but my passport will be returned. I have to wait until I get my passport back before I can post my NI Number application because although I took photocopies of the ID page and visa of my passport, it also asks for a copy of the entry stamps I have had to previously enter the UK.

So, slowly but surely, everything is coming together. I start work pretty soon and am really looking forward to it. The past year has been such a roller coaster of emotions, because on top of getting a work visa, I was trying to work on my long distance relationship with my SO where we went from being 5000 miles away to all of a sudden living together!! Definitely some growing pains happening there!! But I’m beginning to feel more settled and attempting to establish my identity here. I have joined a few social groups on www.meetup.com which is such a great way to meet people. As I’ve moved around, this site has always helped me in creating a social circle.

I’m excited about Halloween and have already carved my pumpkin. I’ve heard that trick or treating is growing in popularity here so it’ll be fun to experience this in the UK. Also, I’ve been hearing a lot about Guy Fawkes Day where people light fireworks and gather around bonfires which celebrates the fact that King James I in 1605 survived the attempt on his life…and that attempt was made by Guy Fawkes. So this day celebrates that plots failure. Apparently, people in Britain burn effigies of Guy Fawkes. Should be an interesting night!

And as usual…I will continue with posts about my experience of living life as a Canadian and a Social Worker in the UK!

Happy Halloween!!