|The view from my office - not bad at all!|
I have been fighting paperwork, long overdue and not much loved.
I decided to have a go my residency application. I am very cross about this all but I have no choice but to comply. It is in principle straight forward because I have been in employment at the same University since 1998 and have P60s to evidence this. Unfortunately, I have been unemployed for 10 months after being made redundant in 2014, which complicates things slightly. Unbeknownst to me (and no doubt the majority of EU citizens living here), I was required to have comprehensive health insurance for this period despite more than 14 years of previous NI other tax contributions etc. I am not sure when this requirement was brought in but a recent commentary I read somewhere I can't remember now suggests that it was after I was actually unemployed and applied retrospectively. I am not surprised.
Anyway, mustn't rant. Not having comprehensive health cover means that essentially I have not exercised my treaty rights during these 10 months. I am so glad I spoke to an immigration lawyer (courtesy of work). For the application I need to prove that I have exercised treaty rights for a consecutive five years. Naturally, I would have chosen the past five years as my qualifying period, not knowing that the 10 months gap essentially obliterated my right to permanent residency. I would have failed to qualify and ending up another victim of the hostile environment. My qualifying period now has to be prior to 2014, which is fine in principle but of course I can't locate some key documents relating to child tax credit payments for this prehistoric time. I can't blame the government for that but it is surely tempting. I think I am anxious because there have been so many news items about people like me being rejected as a result of inaccuracies in the form, or mistakes. Each question seems to be loaded with the potential to fail. Richard tells me not to be silly but he is not the one having to complete the form! I got stuck on the first page, where I had to indicate when I first came to Britain. I can't remember the date, just the month but I can't leave the day blank and I don't want to lie. I am also not sure if this date relates to the beginning of my chosen qualifying period, or if it is the actual date of entry. I have not come across a question that would let me indicate my chosen qualifying period, the only date to add is that of first entry into the country and I have gone through the entire online form. How will they know what period I choose to evidence? Finally, my passport is about to expire and I worry that I will be rejected on the basis of this alone. As you are reading this, you are probably thinking that I am pure pathetic. You are now doubt correct. I have decided to leave it for now, against the advice of the immigration lawyer who said that it would be best to do it now, then convert to the new settled status free of charge an on fast track. Maybe I'll pay someone to help me complete the form with confidence, maybe I'll wait. I'll have until 2021 to apply for settled status.
I know it is silly but I feel totally victimised and have the great urge to punch someone in the Home Office, or any loudmouthed conservative politician really. Preferably one of those fanatic Brexiteers that is now applying for citizenship in other European countries but I am open to suggestions. I think if I was a little younger, I would seriously consider leaving Britain and make home elsewhere, where I am more welcome. I do actually feel very welcome here in Scotland. The people of Scotland have voted agains Brexit by a high margin but unfortunately, this doesn't help, the paperwork is the same.
With this in mind, I am making sure my two youngest two are also registered with the Italian authorities, just like the older two. I think I have all the evidence of my lawful motherhood in hand, just need to get these translated and verified. There may be a slight hiccup because under Scottish law, the adoption sentence/order is sealed for 100 years and no copies are issued for adoptive parents and in principle I need to have this for their registration. Working with the General Register and Italian Consulate. All very helpful and there are no endless forms with trick questions to complete.
We'll be ready when the shit hits the fan.
Cheerio for now. I'll be back to being jolly later this week.