Last Thursday was an utterly miserable day, we finally met with our immigration lawyer. I'd been trying to get assistance from two lawyers that work with low income households since November, but neither had worked out until now- so off we go to Bristol, looking forward to getting some idea of what we need to do to get Kyle in a position where he can work, as he is our main bread winner and our savings are dwindled and gone. We'd heard that we would probably have an easy case as we've been married for 7 years, together for 10 and oh yes, we have a son together, so we hardly fit the profile of a convenience marriage!
One of the first things we were enlightened to was that the government expects us to live elsewhere unless I can fulfil a high wage job to support us both, that just because I'm British it doesn't mean I can live here with my family and that if we CAN live in America then we should return there, as "you don't get to choose where you live". I wish I could say it was a complete shock, but after dealing with the wrong side of immigration for the majority of my life, its really not. I guess I just expected more common sense from the government...OK you can laugh now, that was my first mistake. My second was thinking that our case would be considered on a compassionate grounds, as we don't want to abuse any systems or government funds, we simply want to work and live in a country where 2 of us have citizenship, and the other is a spouse and father to two British Citizens.
Our lawyer, who was very nice, went on to tell us there was hope and we could accomplish our goal, but it would take lots of money, lots of time, lots of British Bureaucracy and most likely a few years or more of not living as a family, but rather being separated by 1000's of miles and 1000's of pounds/dollars.
This isn't the kind of thing where you say "oh, my bad, we'll just forget that idea". I mean I'm not being funny when I say I might be physically allergic to America, I break out in hives just thinking about moving back there. I realize that may be slightly offensive to some people, but my American experience is likely not the same as yours. Mine involved being dragged there at 13 years old and having my mother join a cult pretty much the week we landed, we left behind a lovely house in Shrewsbury, England, and I was 17 before I ever lived in an American house- the 5 years between we were homeless, roaming 22 states in all, with crazy religious people.
Now back to last Thursday, where was I?
Oh yeah, the lawyer pretty much dashed our hopes and dreams and then told us what would become our ray of hope. She told us that as I'm European, I can go live and work in any other European country with my family, and that as long as I work, so can Kyle. Brilliant! What a concept, that people should be able to bring their family, work, live, pay taxes and contribute to a society they believe in! Of course this news was great, BUT I really wish we'd have heard it before we spent all our savings moving to England, talk about a royal F*** Up.
So now we have to move to Europe (in the next 8 weeks, before Kyle's visa runs out) and as neither of us speak much in the way of a foreign language, our thoughts are either Ireland (English speaking) or the Netherlands (Lots of English Speaking). Apparently after we've lived in another European country for 12 months we can move back to England and Kyle can work the next day...it's some kind of ridiculous loophole. But to be honest as much as I love England, it can shove off with it's unrequited love, we'd much rather live in the Netherlands or Ireland...or France...or Spain...or wherever opportunity and a hope of stability take us. We're willing to work hard for what we want in life, we always have done, but it's going to take a bloody miracle this time.
I spent 2 days being heartbroken and today being pissed off. Tomorrow I start trying to make magic happen. We have one more asset to sell, it's a green Boda Boda. Then we have to find some work and a temporary place to live in any European country, then we have to get there and in the mean time we have to survive. I just passed 40,000 views on this blog and a lot of them happen in Europe, so if you know of anyone looking for one or two people to do some work for them let us know! If you can think of someone who might have a temporary roof they can place over our heads let us know! We're pretty talented if I do say so myself, here's a list of what we've done with some success in the past:
Personal Banker / Loan Officer
Sandwich Shop Manager
Pizza Delivery Person
Cook and Cleaner
Dressage Horse Trainer & Stable Worker
Guitar player and singer
Medical Herb Distributor
Can you guess which jobs were mine and which were Kyles?
Got any great ideas to share, a little advice, an option we might not have thought of?
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading! L