The Final Phase of the quest to work legally in the UK was completed today. Getting the Work Permit on Friday was only the Second Last Phase.
Today I had the wonderful experience of catching a train to Düsseldorf to visit the UK Consulate there to get a "Leave to Enter" Visa. Which of course entailed another form and another fee. Well at least the visa is quite groovy - they take the photo you provide and scan it into the sticker that is the visa. Although somehow they managed to partially miss the page with the sticker so its kind of hanging over the edge of my passport. Oh well!
I arrived there about 9am after a two hour train journey and S-Bahn across town. It would have been a bit earlier if I hadn't gone to the wrong platform and sat on the wrong train for 15 minutes wondering why it wasn't leaving on time. Then thinking, "this train isn't as flashy as the normal ICE trains". Then thinking, "trains in Germany aren't late very often". Then finally realising I was patiently waiting for the Mannheim train to leave - thankfully BEFORE it left. So shaky start at 6am - but once I got there the process was quite efficient. I didn't have to wait long before my form was checked and visa fee extorted. Then I was told to come back at 14:00 to collect my passport. There was quite a queue that had to wait outside in the freezing cold while people were admitted into the grey building one by one and security checked. Then just a matter of picking up the documents. I watched as everyone signed for their passport and universally paused to admire their new visas. And then hightailed it out of there.