Visa application

I am starting to regret this resolution of writing a blog post every day for thirty days. I’ve already missed a few days so the thirty will no longer be consecutive and perhaps my days are not as interesting as I anticipated. I suppose that’s mainly because this week has been a week of admin tasks and no research. Next week I’m attending Britgrav in the afternoons, and the mornings will be filled with preparation for a journal club presentation on Wednesday and my talk at Britgrav on Friday. Then, on the Monday and Tuesday of the following week I’ll be preparing for my seminar at Aberystwyth — and perhaps after that I’ll be back on to research.

It’s possible, however, that I could be moving to Spain sooner than expected. Today I went to the Spanish consulate in London to submit my visa application, which felt like a bit of a momentous journey having been stuck in the same place in lockdown since Christmas (barring a couple of weeks in February when I went back to Portsmouth to move out of my flat there).

The appointment was at 9am at the consulate in Chelsea, which meant getting the earliest train possible from where I am (near Oxford) to London, at 6:08am. That meant I arrived a full hour early, but I didn’t want to risk getting the later train and missing my appointment.

London was fairly quiet, especially on the Tube. I found the consulate staff to be very friendly and the process was very smooth. I submitted my application documents, paid the fee (£305) and should get a response within ten days. After that, I have to take my passport back to the consulate to get it stamped and I will be free to enter, live and work in Spain.

Once I actually make it to Spain I intend to write a detailed post about the type of visa needed for a British researcher going to work in Spain, how to apply, the documents needed and the estimated costs, as all of this was very unclear to me at the start of the process. So far, this has cost me just shy of £500, resulted in at least two months unemployment while waiting for documents to be processed and been altogether rather stressful. I want to make clear that if the UK had not left the European Union, I would not have faced any of these problems.

In more positive news, my thesis has been added to the University of Portsmouth online repository and you can read it here: Beyond ΛCDM: current and future constraints on alternative cosmological models. I intend to post it on arXiv too in the coming weeks. If you find any typos, I don’t want to hear about it!

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