Ticking all the boxes

As you’ll have gathered from my last post, The Special One and I are currently filing various papers to prove that our marriage is bona fide, and not an ill-disguised sham in which I’m using her to gain access to a country with no universal healthcare and no ready access to HP Sauce. I feel like writing on the forms “do you really think I would be associated with such a lifelong duvet hog if it wasn’t for the fact that I love her” but somehow my better instincts kick in, and I dot i’s and cross t’s appropriately.

What I object to is not necessarily the amount of information that the immigration authorities want, or even the pictures, bank statements and lease agreements. It’s the fact that they want to charge me more than $1000 just for the privilege of putting my metaphorical hand in the air and asking “please Miss, can I stay here a bit longer?” And that’s not even taking into account various other forms that have to be filed, or attorney bills that have to be paid.

Bear in mind that this is a process that can take anything from 4-12 months to be completed. And that’s if you’re lucky. While falling in love may have been a whirlwind affair that involved all the speed of Usain Bolt, visas through marriage are very much handled by asthmatic marathon runners with a penchant for chipsfrench fries.

See, if I’m paying a four figure sum for anything, I kind of expect a certain level of service. For $1300, that should include having your tears wiped away by a nubile model, and your forms collected by the sports or musical hero of your choice.

When I am running my own republic, I’ll be offering drive-‘thru’ immigration services, and naturalization tests that include pop quizzes. You won’t necessarily get a higher class of citizen, but anyone who can name three members of New Order is fine by me.

5 thoughts on “Ticking all the boxes

  1. LB

    Let me know if you have any tips once you get through the marathon… I’m gathering the lucozade stores to do it myself – and (probably foolishly) trying to avoid using the lawyers. I suspect this will mark me for instant ejection from the country, but we’ll see….

    Anyway, good luck! You know it’s worth it really. I mean, think of all the tax returns you’ll get to do if you leave to live in another country. Who wouldn’t want a green card?

  2. Sarah Playle

    Bernard Sumner, Phil Cunningham, Stephen Morris – although what about “Hookie” and Gillian?

    Good luck – although remember the quote about “would you want to be a member of any club that would have you as a member??” I am sure the paperwork is just the same were you to be applying for UK residency. It will be worth it in the end.

  3. Almost American

    Apparently I’m glad I did this ten years ago when it was a lot cheaper. I have friends who’d like to become citizens now but can’t afford it! Yet another element of discrimination in the system – have enough cash to buy an education and you can get a visa to stay, have enough cash once you have a green card and you can eventually become a citizen.

    Have they made the process difficult enough that you need to hire a lawyer? (Adding yet more expense!) The final step to citizenship was easy enough to do without a lawyer 10 years ago. (Well, kind of, but I’ve blogged about that already.)

  4. Expat Mum

    Well you see, it’s simple. They have what you want/need; nobody else can supply it to you, so they can piss you around all they want. And they do. I remember two years after coming here, my temporary green card was up for renewal and we had to do the same “is your marriage for real?” dance. We arrived with envelopes full of joint mortgage paperwork etc., stressed out in case we’d forgotten something. Two minutes of chatting to a very nice man, I have to say, and he waved away the envelopes saying “Oh, don’t worry about that, I’m sure you’re fine.”
    Wouldn’t happen today though. I’m just glad I did the citizenship thing, but that’s a whole nuther story.

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