Another Two Years

Thursday, 4 April 2013
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!

Erin x


  1. Bonnie Rose said...:

    I have found any paperwork I have had to fill out to be the same here. :/ My husband's marriage visa expires this Autumn and he then has to apply for his intent to remain. It's a rather costly process that I'm not altogether looking forward too. My boys and I can stay as we are UK citizens...but my husband of ten years, different story. You definitely have to work hard for the visas here. Worth it though.

    Bonnie Rose | A Compass Rose

  1. Belinda said...:

    I am dreading when I have to apply for my settlement visa. I have until Sept 2014 until I have to submit the paperwork. I would be curious the length to process the visa is. I love following other expats, especially those here in the UK!



  1. Russell Ward said...:

    That. Is. Crazy.

    You have to fill that out more than once in your lifetime? Hmmmm. I think it's time to grab that dual citizenship by the horns (if you can). We'll have to do the same for my 'better' half one day. REALLY looking forward to that!

    (great wedding photos by the way - I've been trawling through the blog!)

  1. Erin Moran said...:

    Honestly, the settlement visa was a lot easier than the marriage visa, although expensive (£561 for me). Still that's cheaper than what I paid for the original marriage visa. I can't apply for dual citzenship for another two years, at least I think that's the next step, but I could be wrong!

    You're all going to have so much fun with visas!

    Erin x

  1. Mary McAndrew said...:

    Erin I'm so glad I found your blog! I've been wanting to find other's out there who have gone through this process more recently. I'm in the States waiting to get back to England where my English Fiance lives. I've been over for visits for the past few years, now it's been 1 year and 3 months since we've seen each other!! It's a money thing and I'm trying to sell all my stuff in the house.

    I'd love to write to you more about our situation and keep in touch?

  1. Erin Moran said...:

    I'm glad you found it too! It's a long process but worth it in the end. I understand what it's like to have a long-distance relationship as well. We had to do the whole back and forth thing after we left France.

    Any questions you have, feel free to email me at

    Erin x

  1. Sine said...:

    I always thought a suffocating bureaucracy when it comes to visas and such was a South African specialty, but perhaps it is a British thing after all, imposed on the South Africans by colonialism? The more I find out about other countries, the more I think Americans have nearly nothing to complain about when it comes to bureaucracy... Loved your expat blogs writing contest entry!

  1. Erin Moran said...:

    Hi Sine,

    Thanks for your comment! I'm glad you liked my writing contest entry.

    Unfortunately like you said I think there is bureaucracy in every country! I can't believe how many hoops we have to jump through. I briefly looked at bringing my husband to America and oh my! That is not going to be fun when we decide to make that move.

    One of the reasons I like the EU is because it takes away some of those issues, anyone from any EU country can move to another! Lucky! If only I were French.

    Erin x

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