Monday, 4 June 2018

brief interlude

Life is good just now, with a few clouds but no major storms ahead.

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.

22 comments:

  1. Bureaucracy can be such a pain.

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  2. Hi there, I know it's of little consolation, but quite frankly seeing you being made to jump through these ridiculous hoops makes me ashamed. Why should someone like you who has lived and worked here for years, be treated as if the assumption is that you should be denied residency unless you can prove otherwise? I am so sorry and I wish you all the strength you need to get through the process. (I have been reading your blog for years, and usually just lurk, but this has made my blood boil!)

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  3. I’m feeling your pain. How ridiculous the country is. And how time consuming and time wasting for you. Hope all comes good in the end. I have been hearing tales recently in Jersey about incomers that have not enough paperwork to prove their residency and when a spouse dies they have had no rights. I’ve only lived here forty two years but I’m hoping I’ve got enough proof if push comes to shove.. I’ll just have to live with one of my sons if the worst happens lol. Good luck. B xx

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  4. Horrible. bureaucracy at its worse. Whenever I need an answer to something I Google it, knowing full well someone else has already asked this question. Usually works.

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  5. Hey Christina,
    Reading this has made me angry with the ridiculous Brexit outcome all over again. I do hope that all goes smoothly for you, my friend. Like you, I would have put it to one side for a while. Sending you all my love,
    Leanne xx

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  6. Oh goodness, what a complete nightmare. I am furious on your behalf. And so sad that it makes you feel unwelcome. I remember a Scottish MEP speaking in the European Parliament after the Brexit vote and asking that Scotland not be abandoned by Europe. It was a moving speech. Filling in those sorts of forms is absolutely impossible, it makes me so angry. They are never clear and unambiguous and just seemed designed to get people in a state. I do hope it is all sorted out satisfactorily for you. SO ridiculous that you have to apply for residency status to stay in your home. Sending you a supportive hug and reminding you that the UK is lucky to have you. CJ xx

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  7. I have to agree with the above comments that all this bureaucracy does sound like a royal pain in the you know where, Christina. Thankfully, I have not dealt with much red tape but can understand how it can certainly put those who have in a less-than-happy mood. As I am a relative newcomer to your blog, I assume the part about your sons being registered with the Italian authorities relates to their birthplace. My 2 nieces are adopted from Guatemala and Columbia.

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  8. I can't say anything other than what other commenters have said already. The whole Brexit thing is just so ridiculous and I can't believe the sensible people haven't managed to stop it after the farce it was and all the lies told to those who believed in it and voted for it. I do hope you are able to get everything sorted.

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  9. Oh Christina, I am more sorry than I can say, this is obviously a complete nightmare and wholly unjustified. Big hug, stay strong xx

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  10. Hello, I'm also a lurker. I didn't realise you were not Scottish! As the above comments, I too feel angry on your behalf. I think your thought of getting a 'professional' to fill in the form might be a good idea. My son moved to Australia a couple of years ago and the immigration forms there were also a nightmare. His first representative let him down badly though and he nearly had to come home however he got another just in time and she was able to get him his permanent resident visa. I think what I'm saying is, a good representative is worth it, keep your eye on the ball though and don't assume they are doing their best for you! Good luck, Scotland is lucky to have you. x

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  11. Mercy! So sorry for the frustrating fuss you are going through. I just filled out a security clearance form that expected me to know dates for events in my 67 years that happened long ago, so I inserted words like "about" and "approximately" just to help me feel more honest. That was several weeks ago and I have not been cleared yet, so it perhaps is not wise to follow my example :-) xx

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  12. 'The Powers that Be' gone mad!! So sorry you have to go through all this bureaucracy madness. The Brexit ramifications seem to be a nightmare. I hope you get all that needs to be done sorted. Perhaps it would be a good idea to get someone 'in the know' to complete the forms. By the way, a completely justifiable rant!

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  13. It makes me so ashamed of the country that you feel like this. We should be welcoming talented people like you with open arms, not making them fell unwelcome. I have a good friend from Menorca who has lived here for 20 years and is now divorced - she is very anxious about her status post-Brexit. Having been born in the island of Ireland, I can get an Irish passport and so can Kate. We have the forms - just need to fill them in!

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  14. Oh my.. that sounds so complicated and awful. I'm glad I don't have to worry about something like that. I wish it was easier for you. But hang in there, I hope you get it filled out accurately. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  15. Ugh - bureaucracy is such a pain in the arse. I almost punched my laptop earlier today just filling in forms to buy two train tickets, so I can imagine the enormous frustration filling in Home Office forms! Government forms are always unfriendly and difficult... I hope you're feeling much better after getting it all off your chest and into your blog. Hang in there, Christina - the UK is lucky to have you. S x

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  16. Another person feeling ashamed of what is going on. We have left for a few years while we take stock and work out if we want to return or settle somewhere else. I certainly wasn't staying and paying for it out of my taxes! Good luck with the forms !

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  17. Just to wish you luck with all the forms. It must be maddening to have jump through hoops like this. Hopefully the advice from the immigration lawyer will help. How do people without the knowledge or resources cope? I suppose the answer is they don’t.

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  18. Oh, I really feel for you. Having had some experience of government forms, even reading about it makes my blood pressure rise. I hope you find someone to help you and it is all sorted out as quickly as possible.

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  19. Also extremely ashamed of the UK and sorry you have to go through this. I hope it goes smoothly for you - I am so incredibly angry about the whole thing I can't imagine having to jump through such ludicrous hoops, I'm still kinda hoping that the whole thing just goes away...

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  20. Oh how horrible. I am truly sorry and feel I want to apologise on behalf of all us non brexit voters. The whole situation is ludicrous and I can't imagine the wholly avoidable stress it's causing so many people. I do hope everything goes smoothly for you.

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  21. I can't imagine how awful it must feel for you Christina and you are not being pathetic at all. It makes me ashamed to be British when I see what is happening here under this shitty government. I just hope somehow it all works out xxx

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  22. Gah! Paperwork is so exhausting and so completely technical that no one can get it right. As for immigration, our country is the worst, separating parents and children and losing track of those children. How will they ever have a shot at frowing up normally after what they have been through. As for paperwork here it isn't any better. Three years ago my Dad passed away and I had his taxes done, they asked me for the same form 5 times, and I sent it each time. I still do not have the money he was getting, which is only minor but it was the principle of it, the $142 should have gone to his estate. I have finally washed my hands of it. Think of the people they have had to pay not to distribute that $142! I think they are in the hole on that one.

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx