1 February 2023


 A selfie.

Today we made the trip to Salford for our visas.
Two hours there.
Waited in the Matchstick Man pub car park for half an hour.
Queued outside the visa centre for half an hour in the rain until they allowed the dozens of people, mostly young Chinese on UK passports, all with the same appointment time as us, into the building, half an hour late.
Queued inside for two hours as each one took ages to compile the right information and get the right kind of photos.  The toilets were closed.
It took ten minutes to process our two applications.
Then another wait for the biometrics to be taken again.
Back home after an eight hour day.
All for a ten minute process.


  1. We were at TLS (Manchester) on Friday morning (3rd) for a 9.30am appointment - in the hope that a relatively early morning appointment wouldn't have many delays, yet the waiting area was full (there were only 8 non-Chinese people). At 9.45am we were 'seen' and 'dealt' with, eventually leaving the building at 10.30am. Like yourself, we were very surprised to see the number of young Chinese people wanting a visa for France. They certainly held up the process by not having the correct photographs and sometimes paperwork. I couldn't get cross because I imagined what a state I would have been in if I'd have been in France and trying to get a visa for China!! As we left the building there was a very, very long queue of young Chinese people. Now have to wait for the Courier and hopefully some good news. It is hassle (especially travelling over M62 in fog and rain in the dark), but the reward is that we can spend a long summer in France.

    1. The long summers in France were our right until Brexit robbed us of it and now we have to go through all this palaver - every year! I'm sure there were many people who didn't realise that the end of freedom of movement would work both ways!
      Friends of ours had told us there were a lot of young Chinese applying for French visas when they went the week before. The centre is clearly processing large numbers of them and I noticed that all of the forms we were given to sign there were written in English and Chinese, which was not the case last year. I wonder why!