Ok, I’m not so much screaming inside my mind, but since last week there has been a little voice in the back of my head. It sounds something like this:
On the surface, I feel like we fit the picture of good, upstanding citizens and assets to English society. Employed, educated, english-speaking, with a total lack of involvement in any acts of terrorism or genocide.
But I still feel a bit like I’ve had my brain turned inside-out by the process.
Believe it or not, the questions about terrorism and genocide were the clearest and easiest to answer (have you? no. will you? no. would you, could you, in a box? with a fox? in a house? with a mouse? I do not like the systemic extermination of a population based on nationality or ethnic group. I do not like it, Sam I am.)
The questions about our family life were a lot harder to answer. Not because our family life is particularly complicated, but because it isn’t.
The application process is quite obviously designed for British Citizens who are settled in the UK to fill out to bring their family to live in the UK with them. Also, for people who come from a culture of arranged marriage and leaving home to earn a living and send the bulk of that back to a family who lives elsewhere.
The questions get really hard to answer when none of that is the case.
Have you met your sponsor?
How often do you meet?
How do you communicate?
Where do you see each other?
At home. The place we live. Together.
Please provide evidence that supports the answers above, showing you live in a marriage or marriage-like relationship and have regular contact with your sponsor (eg. phone records, email, photos of time together).
How much money do you earn?
How much do you spend on living expenses?
How much do you spend supporting other members of your family?
???? (do they mean like our kid? Each other? Someone else?)
We answered the questions as best as we could, and sent a ream-worth of paper with bank statements, every passport Isaac and I have ever held, evidence of Neil’s job there, copies of his passports, the rental flat we’re staying in, birth and marriage certificates and various and sundry other bits we hope will help make a case that we are suitable inhabitants of the UK.
But we won’t know whether our bid is successful for another 3-to-30 days, when a magical courier package will land unannounced, on our doorstep, containing either passports with visas attached, or a note saying “too bad, so sad, thanks for the $3000 – please try again.”
In the meantime, I’ll be here, in a corner, rocking and hoping.