Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Birthday Month

watching The Good Wife in my birthday cinema
April is our birthday month.  It used to be just my birthday month but in recent years I've started ceding the latter half to Mike.  For my celebrations this year Mike surprised me by creating a cinema in our flat with rented equipment from the university (projector and DVD player).  He also made me a lovely home movie/slideshow celebrating our years together.  It was very sweet and thoughtful and I enjoyed it immensely.

Since I possess no real creativity but am aces at planning holidays, I splurged on a weekend away for Mike's birthday.  We spent this last weekend in England's Lake District where we enjoyed Muncaster Castle, lambing season, and local real ales.  We had a great time!

Ravenglass, Lake District
There is no real news yet on the visa situation.  Mike's appointment with his adviser is next Tuesday after which we hope to begin working with some real options.  Until then, we're making peace with the possibility that the next few years may be different than originally planned and resolving to enjoy whatever time we may have left in the UK.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Visa Chaos

On Thursday morning at 8am our flat was raided by the UK Border Agency.  They had a warrant to search the premises and to arrest the former tenant.  Happily, they realised almost immediately that we were neither that person nor colluding with her and the whole episode lasted less than 5 minutes.  Still, it was traumatising.

This run-in with the law caused me to begin researching our post-study visa options, wanting to prevent any similar episode from happening again.  Unfortunately, what was supposed to be a simple transition now appears rather complicated.

Since arriving in 2010 we have been assaulted by the British government's anti-immigration rhetoric.  We've mostly ignored it though, since our visas were sorted until Oct 2014 (Mike's original graduation date).  However, now that Mike is graduating in June, our visas are no longer sorted and we are elbow deep in this anti-immigration tsunami.  In an attempt to prevent immigrants from stealing all the jobs, the Government has revamped the visa schemes, including those targeting international students.  The Post-Study Work visa, which we were relying on in order to stay in the UK after Mike's graduation, has been eliminated effective 5 April (yes, just a few short days ago), leaving us with few options to extend our stay past Mike's graduation.

We have sacrificed so much (houses, possessions, credit ratings, savings, etc.) in order to live abroad and for Mike's career and it was all going to pay off once we got down to London.  Now, we're faced with the reality that all that sacrifice may have been a bad investment.  Sure, Mike will now have a Bachelor's degree and we've gotten to travel a bit but that's it.  Was it worth it?

Mike will hopefully speak with the international student adviser at his university on Monday.  Hopefully, he'll get some concrete options from that discussion.  Based on the UK Border Agency website, if we want to stay in the UK Mike will either have to remain a student or receive a Graduate Entrepreneur visa, only 1000 of which are available this year.  Needless to say, Relocation 2012 is shaping up to be much more chaotic than its predecessor.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...