As of tomorrow it will have been 5 months ago since I left my home state, Minnesota, behind. I flew 4,000+ miles to England, landed in Heathrow airport, took a two hour drive to his hometown where we got married on the 30th of April. After all this excitement, we prepared and submitted the FLR(M) VISA application in person at a Public Enquiry Office (PEO), but had rush around like mad dogs to get additional documents and changes done in ten (see: TEN) days, which we accomplished in seven and have been waiting ever since.
My original VISA was issued in January, but I was not able to tie up loose ends and leave until February, this however does not change the fact that it is only good for 6 months and it expires in, well, JULY.
Thankfully, according to the UKBA (United Kingdom Boarder Agency) website, “If you make an application before your authorised stay ends, your existing immigration status will continue until your application is decided, even if the decision is not made until after the end of your permitted stay. You can continue to work until your case is decided if the conditions of your existing leave allows you to do so.” (http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/settlement/)
I find that I need to remind myself of this regularly to maintain my calm. At this point, it is an actual challenge, because we’ve been waiting so long now that it’s progressing into, literally, insomnia and nightmares.
But it is what it is, and there is nothing we can do about it – on the website, it also states clearly that we can’t contact them for status updates, instead they will contact us – the only thing we can do is wait.
I remember the last time I spent the 4th of July in the UK – I was most perplexed by the sounds of fireworks going off, despite it not being the US. My actual thoughts at that time were: “Why are you celebrating? You guys LOST!”
Growing up, family tradition was that we would celebrate my birthday on the 4th, since that was the easiest time for everyone to get together during the summer months. There is a very true story out there about how I, as a small child, chased one of my uncles around the yard and house in August because he showed up to my brother’s birthday, but completely forgot my own. Poor guy. He showed up with a teddy bear as a peace offering that next year, and he never forgot again