Immigration Status = Frozen

PassportSo. Everybody have a nice summer? I had a lovely sunny break and am once again wondering where the sunshine has gone. (Don’t get me started on the drizzle. It’s not proper rain, it’s just drizzle, and it can go away.)

In one of my previous posts I mentioned studying for the “Life in the UK” residency exam. (* True or False: Catherine Howard was Henry VIII’s 6th wife. * Which two of the following issues can the Northern Ireland Assembly make decisions on? A) Defence; B) Agriculture; C) Foreign Affairs; D) Social services. * What was the Beveridge Report of 1942 about? A) How to end the war in Europe; B) How to treat the Germans and Japanese after the war; C) Establishing a welfare state; D) Overseas aid.)

You get the idea. My British-born, raised, and educated husband couldn’t have passed this test.

Happily, I did pass, and last week we had an appointment to submit my multi-page application for permanent residency, complete with photographs, proof of income, our wedding certificate, and multiple letters in our names to prove we actually live together. And, oh yes, a check for the monetary equivalent of 1.5 round trip flights back to the US. But wait, there’s more! I get to be fingerprinted next to the tune of £50. This immigration thing is pricey.

In about six months, maybe less, I should be a permanent resident. For now, however, even though they only photocopied my passport and didn’t keep it, I’m not allowed to leave the country, hence my “status” as an immigrant is “frozen.” While I can’t leave, the government also can’t kick me out while I’m in this residential limbo. So no holidays in sunny Spain for me for a while.

*Answers to questions above: False. Catherine Howard was Henry’s 5th wife. The Northern Ireland Assembly can make decisions about B) agriculture and D) social services. The Beveridge Report helped to establish C) a welfare state.

Aren’t you glad you know?

Photo courtesy of

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