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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Allow me to summarize my day. [20091016|13:14]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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[the weather today is |ffs]

I have PhD in chemical physics, a job that pays well and is reasonably secure, a British boyfriend, and I now own a house in the UK.

There is no earthly reason for my visa renewal forms to be this complicated. The form itself is 75 pages long. The accompanying instructions are over 50. I have to be parted from my passport and the last twelve months of payslips and bank statements. Being without a passport is incredibly stressful. It is the one document containing my right to be here and to travel out of the country. Being without payslips is mildly annoying, and twelve months of bank statements with detailed transactions constitutes a massive invasion of privacy.

Some people ask, why not get married? It's cheaper and easier. Well, that's a very cute idea, if you happen to want to get married already. Does no one else find using it solely as a means to get a visa kind of repellent? Excuse me for having principles.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: leidan
2009-10-16 13:06 (UTC)
I feel your pain all too keenly.

May flights of speedy paperwork fairies bring all your documents back.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-10-18 19:47 (UTC)
Thank you. I hope they do too.
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[User Picture]From: bellelaqueen
2009-10-16 13:32 (UTC)
I was without my passport for 6 1/2 months while I waited for my permanent residency.

I only got it back that soon because UKBA had broken the law by not issuing me with my visa within 6 months (for applications via EEA family) and I started to mention SOLVIT
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-10-18 19:47 (UTC)
SIX AND A HALF MONTHS?!

YE GODS.

You have your visa now, yes? YES?
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[User Picture]From: cataragon
2009-10-16 14:54 (UTC)
We kind of got married for legal convenience reasons. And to pacify family, who just couldn't get the idea of people being committed and not married.

But I understand the reluctance. And the document stress.

Look at it this way, though: if your situation was reversed,if you were a British PhD wanting to live in the US, it would be Way Way Worse.
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[User Picture]From: chibaraki
2009-10-16 21:25 (UTC)
Ugh, US immigration is kind of a clusterfuck, I'm so glad my boyfriend's company has people who do a lot of the heavy lifting for him. He started on the application for his green card basically the month after he moved here on a work visa because it can take FIVE FUCKING YEARS for the application to go through.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-10-18 19:48 (UTC)
Yeah, see, this is why I feel bad about complaining. Because immigrating to America, if you don't marry an American or aren't the offspring of a diplomat? HA. HA. HA.
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[User Picture]From: chibaraki
2009-10-18 19:57 (UTC)
I dunno, I think "Someone else's clusterfuck is bigger than my clusterfuck" is not a valid reason to not complain. If it was I wouldn't be able to whine about my IRB paperwork (WHAT? SERIOUSLY? VOLUMES OF BLOOD? I AM A LINGUIST! THERE IS NO BLOOD IN LINGUISTICS!) because children are starving in Africa.

Also tbh if we're still together when his H1B runs out in however many years -- you can kind of renew for ages if you're applying for a green card -- and they're still giving him shit I'll marry his ass (whether he likes it or not). So I figure we're covered.
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[User Picture]From: cataragon
2009-10-17 01:58 (UTC)
I should clarify a little: marriage was, in theory, easier than fussing about with all the other legal details required to become next-of-kin, heir, etc. A nice little legal bow.
With the added bonus that if D needed to be overseas for work again, it's easier for us to stay together.
But not so much for the 'going to the next level', be together forever stupid romantic stuff. Because we already knew that.

So I guess I view marriage a bit, as a practical legal choice. Getting married just for immigration would be ick, and illegal. But it's a legal contract, not necessarily a grand romantic thing, in my head at least.


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[User Picture]From: sekl
2009-10-16 19:48 (UTC)
Marriage, cheaper and easier? Huh. And these statements are by married people, then?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-10-18 19:49 (UTC)
Curiously enough, no.
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[User Picture]From: chibaraki
2009-10-16 21:28 (UTC)
If you wanted to get married anyway and you were just pushing up the timeline a little, yes, getting married would be easier. However, I think the government actually frowns upon getting married for immigration purposes.

Also, yeah, it's kind of gross.

It always blows my mind that they take your passport away. When my boyfriend got his visa his passport was the only valid government-recognized photo ID he had -- the only other thing he had was an expired Washington learner's permit, which he actually managed to buy beer with a few times. God forbid we get pulled over or something in that couple of weeks. "Yes officer, I'd love to show you my ID, but we have to go to the embassy and make them cough it up."
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-10-18 19:56 (UTC)
It's so scary, giving up your passport to the vagaries of the postal system. Not only that, but if you have to request it back in an emergency, you have to resubmit your application. So, say your parents die, you not only have to rush to request your passport, rush home and oh yeah, cope with grief, you have to resubmit your application from outside the country before your visa runs out. AWESOME.
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[User Picture]From: nimoloth
2009-10-17 14:37 (UTC)
I'm sorry our bureaucracy is so convoluted and obtuse. I have secondary displaced guilt...

Edited at 2009-10-17 02:38 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-10-18 19:50 (UTC)
You shouldn't. Imagine trying to immigrate to America...
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-10-18 19:52 (UTC)
I hope so too. This is scary stuff.

Beehive London is pretty cool. Thanks!
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