I felt good having made the decision to apply for citizenship. That was 9 days ago. it has been a roller coaster ride for me since then.
Before citizenship comes residency. That application means I have to specify each absence from the UK I have taken in the past 22 years. Holidays to see my parents, the funerals of my grand parents, a couple of conferences, ski weeks, trips to Egypt and Turkey- those might backfire on me -you never know. After I managed to figure out the times I have left the UK then came the proof that I have really lived here in the past 5 years. I have to show letters from banks or official government departments. Where was I in 2013? I could only find one letter. Anyway who keeps all these things? I was impressed I found our TV licence from 2012- unopened in a folder. Then I needed letter from my employer, P 60s or pay slips. The whole week was completely taken up with finding all these things and filling in the form. It only came to 11 pages- probably I have not supplied all the evidence? The thing that I find most ironic about the process is I am asked to give up my passport whilst the application is being considered. This can take up to 6 months- probably longer as there is a rush on right now. So I am being interned in a country that wants me to leave?!
However there is the possibility that I can get my passport verified by Home Office officials and then do not need to give it up. There is a slight feeling of discomfort- may this count against me? But I have booked a week away skiing and you never know if one has to go and see family should they fall ill. Off off I go to Glasgow tomorrow. I almost got carried away and booked a language test-but as I will not need that until I actually apply for citizenship I leave that and only do a practice test online – and score 100%. I do feel proud. The other important test is the life in the UK test. I have started to quiz my friends and colleagues on important British facts. Do you know when the war of the roses was and how many people lived in Britain in 1901? And what sums can be settled in the small claims court? That question will not come up as the amount has recently been changed the practice test site informs me. Hurray- however I now know it anyway. My stress levels are very high and I am wondering have I made the right decision?