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Think of my FedEx bill, and weep!

the application

Here’s where my years as a cubiclemonkey finally pay off. Those document holders are holding sheaves of papers, of course, not individual ones…grouped topically and described in an inventory. The two stacks in the back are the photocopies. And that thing on top is my check to the expediter. I have never been so glad I chose the Scooby Doo personalized checks.

Okay, so, biometrics tomorrow, off to the nearest FedEx/Kinko’s, make copies of the biometrics, FedEx the lot to the expediter, drink until I hear something. Then I’ll pick myself up and dust myself off and start all over again.

Let us review. The visas in order are:

Marriage visa: good for six months, during which time we must wed. That’s this one. I can see a doctor, but I’m otherwise pretty much a non-person on this visa. No work, not even volunteer work. Before the six months is up, I have to go for

Further Leave to Remain: this one allows me to get a National Insurance Number and work and stuff. Essentially the same paperwork as this visa, plus marriage certificate. This makes me a sort of probationary person. Currently, it’s taking two months to process these, so I shall be a Stoat of Leisure — or, at any rate, a houseweasel — for some time. Before two years is up, I have to go for

Indefinite Leave to Remain: this one is good forever, unless I do something bad and get caught. Then they can still deport me. Before I get this one, I have to take something called the Life in the UK test, which is kind of like Limey Trivial Pursuit. I’ve taken a couple of mock versions online. I passed one, but not the other. Dates. I cannot remember them. Finally, there’s

Citizenship and passport. I wouldn’t do this if it at all endangered my US citizenship. But it don’t. So I shall. Under current rules, I’m eligible for this three years after I set foot in the UK with that first visa, so I’ll probably go for it shortly after I get my ILR. I have to be sponsored by a couple of responsible professional people, like a vicar and a doctor. So ixnay on the ussingcay.

You’d think government would prefer people stay on an ILR, because it’s easier to control them, but they are currently talking about making citizenship semi-mandatory. That is, you become a citizen, you explain why you can’t (religious reasons, or losing citizenship in your native country, for example) or you leave. So. Um. Okay.

Each one of these is a thousand bucks a throw, not counting shipping costs and document gathering and so on. The Immigration Service is entirely self-supporting, and it’s not hard to see how they manage it.

So think of me at noon tomorrow, in Hartford, having unspeakable things done to me in the name of homeland security. They won’t even let you bring a cellphone in the building, so I’m pretty sure there’s at least an anal probe. Yay!

November 11, 2008 — 4:44 pm
Comments: 38