Today I sent off my application for 'an extension of stay in the UK as the partner of a person present and settled in the UK and for a biometric immigration document'. Otherwise known as England you're stuck with me for another two years. That is if the UK Border Agency allows it!
The forty-six page application took me about five hours in total to complete. Including the time it took for a trip to the bank to collect bank statements (we're eco-friendly in our house, we do paperless billing) and queuing at the post office for twenty-minutes trying to send the damn thing off! I wish I could say the whole thing is an easy process, but I would be lying. It's a ball-ache (UK Border Agency - if you're reading this I'm sorry, please let me stay I love your country!)
It is forty-six pages of having to repeatedly fill in your name, passport details, contact details, and details about your relationship. I wouldn't mind so much, except I filled in a massive visa application back in 2011 when I first applied to live permanently in the UK. I shouldn't have to fill my details in again. Come on, I'm the blonde American girl who was introduced to her husband in France by her host-mom, it's a really cute story! Surely the UK Border Agency remember mes? Since the number of people who applied for permission to stay permanently in the UK was 126,891* in 2012 alone, I'm thinking maybe not.
The hubby and I often joke that it would be so much easier if we had fallen in love with people from our own countries, but where would the fun in that be? Everyone needs a challenge in life, and managing a cross-cultural relationship is one of ours. I think that's part of the reason why the UK Border Agency made the application so mind-numbingly long, to test if your relationship is real or not. No one in their right mind would take the time to fill in that thing unless they were in love!
So for all of my complaining about this document, I'm glad I completed it. It means I get to stay in a country I love but more importantly I get to stay with the man I love!
*According to Home Office's Immigration Statistics: October to Decemember