Wednesday, May 09, 2012

immigration process ordeal

I am sat inside the Home Office in Croydon. Fairly sure that all this hanging around on these cold steel seats - nailed to the floor - is doing my pile my asscrack no favours.

I am also blogging from my phone out of sheer desperation, there are screaming immigrants and childrrn all around me. All waiting. I can't even be bothered to read the Kate Middleton biography.

Dude. This place is like a bureaucrat's wet dream. It's everything you see in the movies (one's which have immigration-infused plot lines). People that sit behind bullet proof glass, in kiosks, stamping and processing paperwork. And have done for 30 years. And will for another.

All bureaucrats are the same. They feel like they need to exercise the word of AUTHORITAH because visa work has stripped them of all their human powers. So they'll bark something random to you which makes no sense at all. Like the woman who runs the 'coffee shop' here. She's a picture.

"Naw! Naw! Naw push chairs are allowed in this aisle!"

She starts screaming at a woman wondering around with her baby's pram, and for no apparent reason at all.

This place is called Lunar House, (Loony House?) and reminds me of Home Affairs at home. Just slightly less disgusting.

Home Affairs: falling apart
Home Office: not falling apart, just maintaining a level of 'same.' The 70s same.

Home Office: people are slow but polite
Home Affairs: people are slow.

Home Affairs: you can buy a passport
Home Office: you can buy a coffee. But only at designated hours. From a woman obsessed with push chairs in certain aisles.

Home Affairs: corrupt
Home Office: bankrupt?

Home Office: Billy Joel's Greatest Hits playing in a corner. (No jokes)
Home Affairs: The smell drowns out any sound.

Almost four hours. And waiting. Tick tock.


Rachel said...

Most of the Home Affairs office have improved a lot over the last year or so. Cleaner, friendly staff and the waiting time at the office and for the documents are better.
Good luck with the immigration process

Anonymous said...

Oh God, I have to go to the one in Glasgow in August (to extend current Tier 2 General Migrant visa for an additional 2 years). Between Croyden and Glasgow I honestly don't know which will be scarier... Wanted to go early, but was told today I have to wait until 28 days before the current visa expires. Any idea if that's true?

Anonymous said...

Home Affairs in SA is actually really great, clean, quick and easy...

Peas on Toast said...

Rachel - that is good to hear. Because the last time I went (2009) it was pretty grotty!

Anon 1: Oh dear, one of my colleagues had to go to Cardiff and the other to Sheffield. From what I hear they are marginally better than Lunar House/Croydon. Smaller, less crowded, provincial etc. So you may even be better off.

I have never heard about the 28 days thing. I applied for my appointment 6 weeks before this has expired. So I'd definitely check on that, although if you have an appointment, you should be fine. Good luck!

Anon 2: That really is great, as I said to Rachel. Am glad to hear it has improved. The last time i went in 2009 I had a mostly dirty time.