We’re in limbo! We’re currently in the odd stage of the process where we don’t have our visa approvals but we have to keep moving forward as if we do. I’ll explain.
When you apply for a visa you have to provide an anticipated move date; however, you shouldn’t book any flights or make any reservations (if, like us, you have nowhere to stay on the other end) because you might not get that move date, or even worse something could delay your visa approval or maybe the visas are denied. In theory, you should have the requested move date on your visa approval but apparently it’s not unheard of for you to end up with your move date being the same as the approval date in which case you only have 30 days to move from that date. All that said, that is why we’re in limbo. We have to proceed in emptying our home, preparing the paperwork for the dogs, preparing friends and family for out move, etc. when we don’t even have the visas. I can’t book our flight or book lodging when I don’t know for sure what will happen with the visas but I do need to pack everything we’re keeping into boxes, sell or give away the rest of the stuff in case the visas come back and we only have 30 days to move from the approval. It’s quite nuts.
The dogs! Oh my. The UK has very specific requirements for bringing dogs in if you want to avoid quarantine. I am so glad we’ve hired pet travel peeps to help us navigate this. There were some issues with Chewbacca’s rabies paperwork and even though he has two years left until his next rabies vaccination is due I still had to get him yet another shot to meet the UK requirements. Luckily I didn’t wait until the last minute to hire the pet travel specialists because the shot has to be given at minimum 21 days before entry into the UK. I also took them to the vet just to ensure their microchips show up when scanned, we’re good there. There’s so much more to do to get them ready for travel, this is just the beginning. I’ll do a separate post on this at some point after all is said and done and the dogs are with us in Scotland.
I will mention that one thing that has become a bit of a pet peeve with all of this is people asking me “aren’t you worried about your dogs?” or giving me concerned looks when I mention they are flying as live animal cargo (we have no choice there). I know they are well intentioned but anyone who knows me knows I am a bit obsessed with my dogs and always have their best welfare in mind so WHY would I make this move if I wasn’t confident that my dogs will get to us safely? I have spent well over a year researching transporting animals into the UK and I’ve reached the conclusion that our animals are likely much more comfortable down there in their nice large crates, with no one kicking their seat, no babies crying, no one leaning over into their space, and the list goes on. The concern lies with our pug. This is why we’ve hired people to help out. Our pug is one of the most resilient little critters I’ve ever come across. He loves uncomfortably hot temperatures, sleeps with his face buried and somehow manages to not suffocate, and nothing rattles him. Though there are concerns with flying flat faced dogs, so we’re taking precautions. All that said, NO I am not worried about it. I have complete peace about them getting to us safely. Of course I’ll have a breakdown when I drop them at the airport but that’s beside the point.
Back to non-dog stuff. I have found that I have been too busy with the visa paperwork (you wouldn’t believe the paperwork!), sorting belongings, getting rid of belongings, vet visits, and so on, to even stress much about the move, or to be super excited about the move. I’m on autopilot. My body is telling me I’m incredibly stressed and my mind seems to have long since vacated the premise but really in general I’m feeling good. We have a biometrics appointment on Monday and after that I will run home, add the remaining items to our physical visa app and overnight it to the British Consulate in NYC (the app was submitted online but now we have to mail a copy of it and five tons of paper work in) . Then we wait. If everything goes perfectly we’ll know if we’ve been approved around May 23rd.
K, more later. Let’s hope my next entry is “Yay we gots us some visas!”