Thursday, 15 May 2014

a little visa update (and some thoughts)

I have to confess that I feel a little betrayed.

In all the books and movies about falling in love internationally, they never seem to mention visas or immigration. There are just a lot of Vespas and beautiful montages of couples vrooming around and being all lovey-dovey. You know what I'm talking about. Suddenly, someone decides to up and move to another country and lah-dee-dah, there they go! It's a magical land of borderless countries where an American girl can settle, fall in love, and change her life.

In other words, Lizzie McGuire LIED to us all.

you heard me. she LIED to us. LIED!

Our visa process is still underway. The application arrived in Sheffield last week--all three pounds of documents--and since we're on such a tight schedule, we paid extra to have the application put under "priority service." I received an email last Thursday telling me that the application had made it to Sheffield and was being processed. And that I'd receive another email when they'd made a decision.

Despite the frantic refreshing of my inbox, we haven't had any word yet. The time difference means that if I haven't received an email by noon, I'm not getting one that day. So far, it's been a week of terrible sleep, little appetite, and yelling at my phone every time someone who isn't the UKBA emails me (I'm looking at you, RueLaLa).

The waiting is really hard. We put everything together as best as we could, we saw an immigration lawyer, we followed all the instructions that we could find. And now we just have to wait. Our future is in the hands of an agent in Sheffield, England, and it's more than a little terrifying. I wanted to write a note that said, "WE JUST REALLY LOVE EACH OTHER, PLEASE LET ME IN" and tape it to the front.

This whole process has opened my eyes to the confusing, frustrating nightmare that is immigration. The scariest part is that we have it easy. Yup. You heard me. We have it easy. My other half has a good job, we have the support of our families, we have uncomplicated immigration histories and no legal troubles. We're both educated. We have the money to cover our expenses and I'm a suburban white girl from the US. We couldn't have paid for better circumstances. And I could still get denied entry clearance.

When I think about what that means for other people who aren't as lucky as we are, people who are trying to immigrate to countries all over the world, it makes me a bit sick to my stomach. And when someone tells me that they can't believe it's this hard for someone like me, I'm downright nauseated. Because what they mean by "someone like me" is "You don't look like what I think an immigrant looks like, and this process should be easier for you because of that." So let me make this 100% clear: Immigration is easier for me in a lot of frustrating, complicated ways. And I really don't like it.

I wish I were some sort of legal genius who could think up a better way to deal with immigration than the system we have. My big takeaway from the visa process is that we can do better. Nobody should have to go through this to be with the ones they love. This might be hard for us, but it's infinitely more difficult for so many other people.

I don't really know how to end this other than to say that like a lot of people, we're still waiting. And hoping for tomorrow. Maybe soon we'll be together, living the life Lizzie McGuire said we could have.



  1. I feel your pain with the "waiting" process. I wish you loads of luck and hope that you are cleared.

  2. Yep. Yep. Yep. I know how you feel and it sucks! I hope it all gets sorted for you very soon :)

  3. Been thinking of you regarding all this! Xoxo!

  4. Thank you so much! The waiting is always the hardest part.

  5. Thanks! :) Just crossing my fingers and hoping for the best!

  6. Thanks, Jess! I know you must be itching/stressing yourself about y'all's move. Hope you're surviving alright!


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