I created and left a lot of questions unanswered (like my wild maths skills – to name one) with my last post which I hope to put to rest with this follow up.
On Monday I received the BRP, meaning that – for the next 30 months (see: 2.5 years) at least – my personal fight with the UK Home Office is over. This does not mean that I will be getting off of my favourite soap-box topic any time soon; in fact, without the fear of potential retaliation, I fully intend to become a more physically visible advocate for the return of dignity, respect and overall positive change in Immigration in the UK and around the world.
Plus other topics – i.e. whatever bothers me about society. I recognise what I could consider to be my own good fortune (you can just pick any example of privilege and insert it here – they all apply), should never be something that is granted by way of luck.
Beyond that, I have a long list of first-things-first, if you will. A preverbal bucket load of stuff that should be done sooner rather than later. In the coming weeks, I will cover in more detail the ins and outs of things like: the types of benefits those with limited leave to remain in the UK are entitled to claim and what they cannot claim specifically; volunteering and employment in the UK; more on my experiences with the NHS; Learning to drive in the UK; Getting a bank account in the UK; Renting in the UK (worth revisiting, depending on if/when they roll out nationally the requirement that Migrants prove their right to stay in the UK); the upcoming UK election… you get the idea.
But before all of that, let me answer some of the questions I left unanswered in my last update:
“6 months + 4 months = 10 months, smartypants.” 😛 funny enough, that was intentional, though perhaps poorly thought out. See, I should have explained right there in the same post, but obviously, I didn’t so here we are. To make a long story short: I am giving us an extra month of time to get ourselves completely sorted out. Ideally, in a couple of months from now we will start the hair-pulling challenge of trying to find a place large enough for two adults and a baby while still being within our price range (HA!).
Since a large portion of our belongings were preemptively donated to charity, it will take time to get everything we need for the ol’ homestead. I reasonably believe that, because of this fact, there will be a delay in item procurement. Ergo: one extra month to get our schite into one sock.
“Weren’t your comments about being mad and pregnant sexist?” In a word: Yes. And very good of you to notice; I was highlighting the point of how all too easily people disregard the feelings of women. I did not do a good job of expressing how I do not believe these statements to be accurate, for which I rightfully deserved to be raked across the coals – metaphorically speaking.
I fully intend to take this as a learning experience and do my utmost to see that it does not happen again. No one is born a perfect defender of equality in this current age; while my mother will hold that my generation is better at it than hers is/was, it isn’t something that we were born with – we are taught what is acceptable and what isn’t and my schooling of the matter has been far from perfect. I am and always will be an active learner in this respect.
Translation: I am an idiot and I’m sorry; I’ll do better next time.
“What about the BRP?” You mean, what do I do with it? A good question. Supposedly, I will not need to carry it with me at all times, but given how hostile certain portions of society are towards migrants these days (not least of all, the UK Government itself), I am debating strongly with myself the pros and cons of clinging to it as if it was a my favourite blanket and I am Linus from the Peanuts.
Those thoughts/feelings aside, the very first thing a person should do when they get their Biometric Residence Permit is to get photo copies of both the front and back of it. Keep these copies in a safe location as you will need them if ever the card is lost/stolen and you need a replacement. So says the leaflet that comes with the card, and frankly just makes good sense. Also, don’t go throwing out any of those letters that the Home Office sent you – they also can help if the card goes AWOL (Absent WithOut Leave – acronyms for the win).