The day has finally come… The postman woke me up to the best surprise ever – an envelope with our passports back and a letter to say that I’m allowed to stay in the U.K. indefinitely! *cue trumpets*
I’m not kidding, this has been the longest process. And with no help other than confusing paragraphs on border websites that we had to decipher and hope we understood, I’m surprised it all went through.
First off, let me tell you I came to the U.K. on a partner visa. Also, not easily obtained. You have to live with your partner and show proof for two years before you can apply. Two years you say? That’s easy we lurrrvvveee each other! Yes, but, when the boyfriend is from England and the Girlfriend is from America, not a task for the faint hearted. So firstly, you are allowed what is it, like 90 days a year in each others countries? That’s not gonna fly.
Right out of University (where we met) I applied through a company called BUNAC for a 6 month work permit for the U.K. for recent graduates. I don’t actually think they even do these anymore. The immigration officer didn’t even understand it when I first came over. Either way, long story short, it worked. 6 Months down.
Then, my lovely boyfriend finished University and used to the same company to move to America for 6 months. 1 year down. (I should note theres always a few months in-between as well while we are sorting things out)
So 1 Year down, and we can’t live in each others countries anymore. What’s a couple in love to do?!
Research countries you ARE both allowed to live and work in for a year- End up in New Zealand. Normal right? More on that later, but I will just say, New Zealand is the most beautiful country I’ve ever been to, the people are outstanding, and it was the best year of my life. *Le sigh*
So now we’ve got 2 years saved up, and we send off a giant folder full of letters, bills, and bank statements and pay the huge fee to get a partner visa. I get this of course or I wouldn’t be here. Easy peasy.
Might I also mention the week I got everything together to send off, my dog Jack ate my passport. And I’m not talking about chewed the corners, that stinkin’ dog ATE the whole damn passport and left me with two half pages. That didn’t even have any stamps on them. COME ON!!! So I had to get a new one and pushed moving to England back a few months, no big deal.
My days of obsessively saving documents weren’t over yet though! Now to wait the requisite two years of living in England to apply for my residency. That’s twice the price of applying for a partner visa – awesome. So my two years were up in November and we sent off our passports and again a folder full of documents and paid the huge fee. Then we read that alot of these type of requests had gotten lost in a warehouse and were taking much longer than the 6 month cut off. QUIT SMITING ME!!
All ends well though, three months later and a missed trip to Ireland for New Years, and I’m allowed to stay. I guess now I really live here. Perfect time to start a blog I say!