My husband is not one for surprise gifts, unexpected bouquets of flowers, diamond earrings, or chocolate; he is a practical man who would one day like to have a savings account again (as would I). Imagine my delight when he came home from work yesterday and presented me with these lovely books (there’s one more I didn’t snap a photo of) as a token of his great love. Or something.
Yes, that’s right: I get to take a test–for which I have to actually study–in the next few months to maintain my current residency in this fine nation. I also get to have a personal interview with a representative of Her Majesty’s Government, prove that I am married to a Brit, have given birth to children who are half & half, have a bank account, a rental agreement, pay bills and don’t rely on public assistance in any way. I also get to pay exorbitant amounts of money for the privilege of staying here. (As if this nation weren’t expensive enough already.)
Yippee, that’s all I can say. Once upon a time, when we were first married and living west of London, I had permanent residency (and there were a good few hoops to jump through, and money changed hands, but no studying required). When we moved to Ohio I lost my permanent status. And then 9/11 happened, rules changed, and now there are 800 additional hoops to jump through.
Right now I wish that I could use my British driver’s license and my children’s British birth certificates (yes, they have American ones too…and American & UK passports) to prove my worthiness. I mean, really: I’ve given birth for the Queen, isn’t that enough?