Thursday, 22 September 2011

Getting my Visa

The process:
Having decided the end of May I was moving to Germany, I made it a little more official the middle of June. I filled out my registration form and took my reference letter and $480 registration fee to the closest travel cuts, as outlined on the SWAP website. I was a little nervous but I sat down with the first available travel agent and told him I wanted to register for SWAP. This agent became my “travel counsellor”. Due to the nature of the program, I spent very little time with my travel counsellor. I handed him my forms and I paid my registration fee and that was it.

My mom couldn’t believe it when I told her how much I had just paid for the registration, “WHAT DOES THAT GET YOU?!” She was right, I didn’t really know what that got me and $480 was starting to sound like more and more money. Within the next week as outlined on the site, I received my Welcome Package (EXCITING!). At the second step of the process, was it worth the money?? ...YES, YES, and YES! The Visa application form was in 4 different languages, the printing was small and I didn’t even know what some of the questions were referring to. Luckily it came with a sample form where someone had demonstrated all of the necessary information I should be including. The package also included a very detailed list of everything I would need to submit to my travel counsellor in order to get a visa. Anything else? Yep, it included a handbook specifically
y geared to working and living in Germany, where to look, and a sample Resume and Cover Letter template (because they are very different from those in Canada).

I took my time throughout the rest of June and July and didn’t submit my forms until Mid August. The package itself didn’t take too long to compose, I just couldn’t decide on when I wanted to leave! In order for your visa to be processed, you had to book a flight and purchase medical insurance. I was also saving up my work money for the support funds suggested as necessary for the trip as I would have to submit a letter from the bank with my visa application.

I submitted my application to my travel counselor and within 3 weeks, had reached part three. I received my visa, my boarding pass, and a package full of maps and Germany guide books.

As mentioned in my last post, I am moving with Matt. His job is pre-arranged and his orientation is set so my leave date revolved around that and whether we would travel or not first. The verdict: Were meeting in Paris, France a week before his orientation and spending a few days in Paris and a few days in Düsseldorf, Germany before moving into our apartment. And so September 26, 2011 (just 4 days now) is the big day when I depart from Montreal and head out on this journey!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! That was pretty simple and straightforward! Good thing you’d done the research on the visa process beforehand. It’s really important to know every step, as one mistake can get a person’s visa application denied.