Q: A Journalist Travelling to the UK Should Use Which Visa?

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Leah McGrath Goodman

Spivs Comment

This is quite interesting, in so much as Jersey doesn’t appear to want investigative journalists on their patch at the moment… Now why would that be? 

 

A: In my case, the answer is one of these. Can you guess which?

Overseas domestic worker – private household £270
UK ancestry £270
Fisherman operating inside UK waters (dependent on contract of employment) £270
Off-shore workers £270
Sole representatives £270
Van der Elst Free
Swiss posted worker Free
Turkish national to establish in business Free
Fishy is a relative term

DECEMBER 8, 2012 AT 1:50 PM

PH SAYS:

How are things progressing? It appears to be taking an exceptional amount of time to complete some simple form filling !!

LEAH MCGRATH GOODMAN SAYS:

To PH – and everyone else who has followed my misadventures:

If only it were that simple! Because of the bizarre way in which I was given the heave-ho, my return has been anything but a straightforward process. Those involved in my case have had different goals and — from what I can glean — not all of them aligned with my wish to return to Jersey.

The main problem: Jersey objected last year to my entering the UK on a Business Visitor’s visa. This is why I was thrown out.

Unfortunately, this visa is what journalists typically use for trips of 6 months or less. (For the record, I have only used this visa for trips of approximately 5 weeks or less.)

Once Jersey forbade me to enter the island on the Business Visitor’s visa (initially, it approved it, but then changed its mind a few times) my list of options for entering the country narrowed — greatly.

The UK has heavily restricted writers from entering the country in recent years (to be fair, this seems to be in response to the U.S. doing the same to Britons). This means I have been forced to comb through a netherworld of obscure visas that may or may not allow for my return. Remember, other journalists may travel to the UK on the Business Visitor’s visa, but I was denied the ability to do this.

And, yes, I feel I was targeted. Finding another way to the goal of visiting the UK has been a yearlong process.

Now for the good news…On 30 November, I applied for one of these more obscure UK visas at the instruction of Jersey Immigration and submitted my biometrics to the British Consulate General in New York. (Biometrics = a photo and fingerprints.)

Jersey’s authorities have been working with the UK — and the MPs who have backed me — to retrofit a generic ‘Offshore Worker’ visa. They are overlaying it with some additional specifications for a writer. This ‘Writer’s’ visa has, to my knowledge, never been issued to anyone before on the island. (If someone discovers differently, please let me know.)

As far as I’m concerned, however, if it makes all those involved happy, I’ll take it. For the record, I have filed for one other visa this past year to return to the UK, but it was denied and I was denied my right to an appeal.

It is my sincere hope this newer application will be met with superior results.

In the coming days, I will need your support the most. This will be a very delicate time for me and the research I am hoping to complete. At present, the UK authorities are weighing whether I will be allowed to return or not.  In other words, this one’s for all the marbles.

As always, thank you for the comments and feedback. I read everything each one of you send me.