web analytics

I’m onna be a Limey!

Today is the third anniversary of the day I arrived in the UK, making me eligible to ask for citizenship (as a spouse; it’s five years if you’re here on a work visa). It doesn’t have any effect on my American citizenship and if I’m going to live here for the rest of my life, I demand the right to vote for a whole ‘nother bunch of useless lying politicians who won’t do a thing I agree with.

So that’ll be the end of my immigration adventures. My, how time flies when you’re drinking warm beer and eating jellied lamb’s knuckles.

Actually…it’s not quite time. I have to have sponsors attest my good character (hee hee!) and they have to swear they’ve known me for three years. The vicar for one, and we didn’t meet until December ’08 (for pre-marriage counseling. Brrrrrr).

Also, I need time to pull money over from the States to pay for this shindig. But they say you get a New Citizen Welcome Pack after you pinkie swear.

The picture? I ran across it on the Web today and thought it was funny. No idea where it comes from originally, but it was obviously done as a joke from the beginning.

Can you imagine the casting call on this one? “Ladies! Ladies! We need ten ugly ass-faced old cows who look like they’ve never been kissed in their lives…!”

Good weekend, everyone!

p.s. The cat got up on the counter and ate the turkey while we slept last night, so poor Uncle B didn’t get his turkey sangwich. Me, I trimmed off the gnawed bits, fed them to the outside cat and had myself some fine eating.

November 25, 2011 — 10:38 pm
Comments: 64

Th-th-th-the-th-the-THAT’S ALL, FOLKS!

There it is — ain’t it a beaut? — the stamp in my passport that means I don’t have fuck around with the UK Border Agency any more. This thing cost more than my last car.

In theory, that’s it. That’s all. No more. Done being a immigrant.

In practice, I’m going for citizenship as soon as I’m eligible, which is late November. It doesn’t mess with my American citizenship and it makes life easier here. I mean, I can’t just let these limeys choose between a giant douche and a turd sandwich without my input, can I?

I have to do it quick, though. I’m happy to pledge loyalty to Her Maj, but I’m damned if I swear fealty to that jug-eared Algore-wannabe useless son of hers.

September 13, 2011 — 8:09 pm
Comments: 45

One last time, with feeling

You’ll have to excuse me for tonight, folks. This fascinating pile of wombat shit is the makings of my third and final visa application, form SET(M). AKA the Indefinite Leave to Remain.

It wasn’t actually due for another couple of weeks, but the civil service has scheduled a strike for June 30, which includes the UK Border Agency. Judging by past strikes, the UKBA won’t cut me any slack if my visa runs out while they’re on strike. Because everyone knows there’s a strike and should plan around it. Also because fuck you, American Weasel.

Thing I do not want to be when I grow up: illegal alien.

So here I am filling out forms and writing a check for £972 (that’s $1,555.20 in people money). Actually, poor old Uncle B had to write the check as I can’t move that much moola that fast.

In theory — assuming I haven’t filled out something in blue ink instead of black — this is it for me. When this comes back, I’m done. Finito. Fully paid up.

But when I’m eligible for citizenship in November, I’m going to go for it. What the hell — my people are from just up the road, originally, until my umpty great grandfather got a hankering to trade in tobacco. Or became a Quaker. Or poached a deer. We’re unclear on the point.

And if I take the oath I can vote.

Also commit felonies and not get deported.

June 22, 2011 — 10:13 pm
Comments: 28

Tick another box, pls

Please pardon my ruinous neglect of the blog in the past few days; I’ve been cramming for an exam.

At my age. The shame.

Before I get my next (and final) visa, I had to pass a thing called the Life in the UK Test — a Brit trivia test that (by common consent) most Brits couldn’t pass.

It’s only 24 questions (and you only have to get 18 right), but it’s pulled (randomly, by computer, when you sit down to take the exam) from a pool of a thousand possible questions. I had to Hoover up a lot of material in a short time (because if I tried it over a longer time, I’d just freaking forget everything. I remember that much from school). Given that the test was invented under a Labour government, it’s a lot of women’s rights and ethnic issues and how to apply for benefits and what to do with all the reliably Labour-voting babies you’ll be popping out as a new citizen.

So I took the train to Maidstone all by myself today and sat for my exam. I got 24 ones I knew, blew through them in 4 minutes and got 100%. I think. They don’t actually give you a score, just pass/fail.

Anyhoo, now I drink! I’ve got a hell of a lot of statistics to forget…

You can take a sample test here or here. I just pulled those links randomly off a search. I can’t vouch for the sites. You’ll probably get a virus, but you won’t have to emigrate to the UK!

May 10, 2011 — 9:47 pm
Comments: 37

Cram school! Yay!

My books arrived today! And no, they weren’t free!

I’m coming up on two years in the UK — time to prepare for the next (and final) visa. To clear that hurdle, I’ll have to pass an exam called the Life in the UK Test. This delicious morsel was whipped up by Labour in 2007 in the hope it would convince the wider British public that honest to god we haven’t just thrown open the doors and walked away.

Didn’t they, fuck.

Anyhow, the joke is, most Brits would have a hard time passing this thing. Free sample:

True or false: you should not ask questions in an interview.


True or false: half of all young people in the UK have taken part in fundraising or collecting money for charity.


Since 1979 the number of refugees from South East Asia who have been allowed to settle in the UK is: a) less than 2,500 b) between 2,501 and 10,000 c) between 10,001 and 25,000 or d) more than 25,000

And on and on. There are a stupidly large number of questions about Scotland (the last government had an inordinate number of Scots) and about school (honestly, I am never going to need to know at what age to take which exams) and about how to apply for various kinds of benefits (what every new citizen needs to know). Still, I suppose I’m learning stuff.

Did you know the head of the Church of Scotland is called the Moderator? Makes the church sound like a gameshow or an online discussion forum.

¡Noticia! tonight is the peak of the Perseid meteor showers. Look to the Northeast between midnight and dawn.

August 12, 2010 — 11:07 pm
Comments: 19

Weezl is leegl!!!

weasellicense

Got confirmation of my second visa today. Actually, “confirmation” is a bit of an overstatement — I got a package with all my stuff in it and a cover letter that said, “here’s your stuff; you’ll get your ID next week.” So I guess that’s a yes.

The first visa was the fiancée visa — required biometric data, good for six months, entitled me to enter the country and get married. I’ve been here longer than six months, but I was covered by that visa for the fourteen weeks they considered my second application. That’s standard turnaround for this one, but I was starting to sweat a little.

This visa is the Further Leave to Remain — biometrics again, and then I’ve got two years less a month from the date I entered the country to apply for the next one. During which time I have to take the Life in the UK Test, a multiple choice exam in which your humble weasel regurgitates facts such as the year Her Maj was crowned and the percentage of the population that is Hindu. No shit. Really looking forward to it.

Ordinarily, the next visa along would be the Indefinite Leave to Remain, and soon after I’d be eligible for citizenship. But they’re in the process of rolling those two things together into a Provisional Citizenship, with community service and some shit to be determined later. The almost certain change in governments we’ll have in the next year may not change that — sometimes the civil services rocks on regardless.

Anyhow, the important thing is — I can get a job now!

Oh.

Shit.

July 10, 2009 — 6:18 pm
Comments: 44

International incident, narrowly averted

knife

Keys in the right pocket, knife in the left. I’ve done it that was since I were a wee slip of a lass of a weasel. It’s the things you don’t even know to worry about that get you when you’re a ferriner.

There was an airport-style security screening going into the building. The look on dude’s face when my NRA Commemorative Charlton Heston Three-Bladed Case Knife tumbled out told me “I’m going to have to talk to my supervisor” wasn’t a good thing. They huddled over my knife and hooted, like those monkeys in 2001.

It’s a perfectly ordinary American-street-legal pocket knife, but Supervisor told me if I were stopped for some reason by the police, I would automatically be arrested. It’s a knife. And it’s sharp — something a knife in London is not allowed to be. (I bit my tongue before I blurted, “my daddy always told me it’s the dull knife that’s dangerous”).

As it was under three inches and it wasn’t a locking blade (“my daddy always told me that a locking blade is a safety feature”), he wasn’t obliged to call the cops on me himself. But he did give me a talking-to and confiscated my deadly weapon while I was in the building.

It’s no joke. Under new rules, an arrest — even a small and stupid one — could get me kicked out of the country and barred from coming back.

Yes, today’s the day we had to drive up to sunny Croydon (think Queens) to the UK Border Agency in the aptly named Lunar House, so’s I could be biometrificated for my next round of alien papers. I left Uncle B outside. His tolerance for bullshit is extremely low. After I was disarmed, I went to the third floor to a great long room full of hundreds of green plastic chairs bolted to the floor and took a number. My number was 523.

The interview and biometrics were pretty prompt, but I waited for an hour and half while my fingerprints were checked against the ones I gave in November for my fiancée visa. They checked. I’m not approved for visa #2 yet, but it’s one more step in that direction.

I found Uncle B outside, looking splotchy and apoplectic after two hours of standing on a street corner in Croydon. Poor bastard. I didn’t have the heart to tell him beforehand he’d be the only white man in all of South London.

And my fingerprints? “In the permanent database” the helpful brochure informs me. Isn’t that swell?

May 19, 2009 — 6:56 pm
Comments: 25

Cheap at twice the price

flrm

Shhhh…I’m trying not to annoy Uncle B tonight. He’s working. (Hey, one of us has to!)

Today I mailed off my FLR(M) application. It’s the second visa I need. The first one let me enter for the purpose of marriage, and it’s good for six months (I’m legal on that one until the end of May). The second one lets me work and be a sort of semi-person, and it’s good for two years.

It’s taking an average of 14 weeks to process those ones at the moment, so (assuming all is well) I expect to remain blissfully employment-free until July, mayhap.

Mayhap longer. The visa fees go up (again!) on Wednesday, April 1, so I imagine the Home Office will be buried in applications tomorrow. Heh heh heh.

The picture? That there’s a Thermionics Vacuum Products FLRM Series Push-Pull Linear-Rotary Feedthrough. It’s a linear-rotary feedthrough based on the FLM series push-pull linear feedthrough mounted on a standard 2.75″ O.D. flange. Strokes of up to 36″ are feasible, dependent upon payload, orientation and acceptable deflection. All metal construction for bakeability. It costs about three grand. It turned up on a Google Images search of “FLR(M)”.

I have no fucking idea what that sonofabitch does.

March 30, 2009 — 8:40 pm
Comments: 23

Beer. Sale. Two great words that go great together.

badgerbeer

w00t! Our local market had a beer sale today — three bottles for…shit, I don’t know. It’s not like I pay for anything. I’m a foreigner; when I want something, I point and grunt.

Poor Uncle B hates beer, but it was a sale on brew exclusively from the Badger Brewery, so he was cool with it. (You’ll notice there are seven. Spot the one that isn’t Badger).

Tonight, we’re putting together the paperwork for my next visa, the FLR(M). It’s my Married Lady License (though it will cover civil unions and homosexualists, also). I intended to do this the day after we were wed, but I didn’t on account of I’m a lazy sack of shit. Also, it’s taking 14 weeks on average to turn this one around, and I can’t work until it comes through. So you can see why I’m in such a hurry.

Asking Uncle B to interface with government in any way involves a good deal of throwing things and saying the f-word. So I’d better go.

And drink some fucking beer.

March 25, 2009 — 9:43 pm
Comments: 16

I has a visa!

shiny

It is very shiny. They apparently have some kind of weird-ass color bubblejet, because it’s printed right on the first blank page of my passport. How you print a hologram dealie, I do not know.

So! I totally finished packing last night. I mean, everything but the plate I eat on and the cat’s bowl, the things I’ll throw in a FedEx on my way out of town. Would you believe, I don’t have a mover yet? Last one coming to quote today.

Whee!

November 19, 2008 — 8:50 am
Comments: 53