Archive for the 'British Citizenship' Category

01
Jun
11

That time I improved my citizenship collection by 1.5

After waiting for over two months, I received the brown envelope containing my citizenship invitation in May. I called the council whose NCS (Nationality Check Service) we used booked an appointment for the following week. Easy-peasy…sort of.

My stress didn’t end there. I’ve spent nearly a decade stressing about immigration. One sheet of paper wasn’t going to magically switch off that part of my brain. It felt unreal even as I waited to be called into the council chamber where about thirty of us were waiting to swear our oath to our new country. I was, instead, struck by the nonchalance that most people waiting to become new Brits seemed to display. And, when they announced that we were officially British, I couldn’t help crying as relief and emotions overwhelmed me. Oh, and because I had tears in my eyes, I nearly fell over as I was going up to accept my ceremonial certificate. Pure grace, I tell you.

I do have to say that the ceremony did help to make it feel more real in a way. Maybe that is the point of our ceremonies. To make the abstract seem real.

The next morning I nearly went back to sleep because we were out a bit late, but I couldn’t. Remembering that I was now British made me too happy to sleep. Now I practice my new status, somewhat half jokingly, “As a British citizen I think…” Oh, and I pay more attention to EU stuff as well. Things like the possible future collapse of the Euro is more relevant to my interests now that I am an EU citizen as well (despite not living in a Eurozone country). Not that I shouldn’t have just been concerned living here with ILR, but it seems like I should pay attention to these things more. Sort of like politics when I became old enough to vote in the States.

We’ve applied for my passport, and I am hoping I will get it before my birthday. I am hoping for a trip somewhere in Europe as a part of the celebrations.

We’ve also decided against moving to North America, despite the Duke probably being able to pull enough points and being qualified for a shortage occupation in Canada. We don’t want to go through this again. We may consider moving into Europe.

Now, I am not sure of where to go from here with this blog. I guess I am still an American in the UK, but I also identify as British. I know that countless people obtain a second citizenship for practical reasons and don’t see that as much of a change, but for me, I do. I know that a lot of British people would always see me as just American and a lot of Americans would never put another nationality as equal to the States in their hearts, but I guess I am not of the same opinion in either case. Naturalising meant a lot to me. Not in the least that I can stay with my husband without immigration issues, but it was a lot more than that as well.

I will probably continue on. For now, I will just say that I am the most grateful Britican in the world. Or is that Ameriton?

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04
May
11

Waiting…

Every time I’ve submitted an application for a visa or extension of stay, it seems to cue a longer wait time for everyone. Or maybe it’s that I am a part of some huge immigrant hive-mind, and we all decide to submit applications at once, clogging the system up.

Every day for weeks I wait for the postie to drop an invitation to book a citizenship ceremony, and every day I am disappointed. Two weeks ago, we even broke down and called the Home Office. I never called about applications before. It’s not like they can actually tell you anything of meaning about your application. I guess I was just hoping for them to tell me that I had been approved, and that I hadn’t heard yet because they send the approvals through second class post (what the heck is up with that).

I can’t do anything that doesn’t involve waiting in some way. Last week at the royal wedding parties we attended, I was also waiting to hear about my citizenship application. When I found out that the US had killed Osama Bin Laden, I was also waiting for my application to be approved. It’s always in the back of my mind, and while I am trying to be patient (and appreciate how privileged I am to even get the chance to wait for my BC application to go through), it’s hard.

I shouldn’t have told anyone that I applied. Now, everyone asks if there is any news, which is sweet and shows concern, but it’s hard to read the response. Most Brits think it’s a fairly quick process (and compared to some countries, it is), that it’s free (or close enough to free), and that it’s just a matter of asking. Of course, it’s not, but I guess it’s not up to me to constantly show it’s not.

So I am going to go back to drinking coffee (and waiting). Later, I am going to mow our lawn (and wait). When I hear something, you will be among the first to know.




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