”Those who already have permanent residence will have to reapply although the process will be as “streamlined” as possible.”- This is the statement that propels me to put down some more musings. Musing is possibly not the right word- because I am not in a state of contemplation or reflection or deliberation or rarely in celebration. I am bloody angry. I wish somebody would be brave enough to say: Let’s stop cutting our nose to spite our face.
After passing the language test I went to Dunfermline and lodged my citizenship application, paid my fee of £1282 and was told the process takes 4-6 months. Three weeks later I received a letter sending me to a specialist post office- this time in Dundee to have my biometrics taken- finger prints that is. Imagine my relief when the person behind the counter told me the machine had just got fixed 10 minutes ago. £19.95 later and I was wondering what if I had gotten somehow on the Interpol wanted list? This was followed by quiet hope when the passport office sent me a text the next day telling me by 24th June I would know if they either wanted more information or required me to come for interview or I would get my passport be then. I could not decide if the date had been chosen as commemoration of the Brexit vote date the year before or tied in somehow with my birthday. But surely the Home Office would not be that considerate to me personally- and it was not. Each day I drove home in quiet anticipation- Would my shiny British passport be waiting for me? (That is assuming I am allowed to join the nation and am not on the Interpol wanted list or not working hard enough in the NHS). But it was not. Imagine when the bell rang on my birthday and I lept to the door expecting the postie in his red polo shirt- and it was a friend- bringing me FLOWERS!
It is Monday today, the anticipated date passed and now I have read: ”Those who already have permanent residence will have to reapply although the process will be as “streamlined” as possible.”
Am I really back to the beginning? I feel my blood pressure going the same way as my stress level. I must admit I did look at at job adverts in Germany last week and am starting to wonder when this home will start to feel not like home anymore.
Only some people know today what they will be doing on Saturday. I am one of them. I will be sitting an English language test. I am angry and frustrated – not only there was no plan for Brexit- there is also no empathy or consideration for European citizens who have found themselves to be in the position to apply for citizenship. Note my use of English after almost 25 years in Britain, working in the NHS in a very language based job is excellent. Yet I will have to sit a GCSE type exam to prove I can speak the lingo. I have sat extensive exams and have supportive statements from the GMC and the Royal College of Psychiatrists- which count for nothing. I am very frustrated and disheartened by the process.
I might submit my blog to the Home Office with my application- but unfortunately I do not think anybody will care.
Whilst the outcome of the Brexit refendum left me paralysed for 7 months the announcement of a snap election on 8th June makes me feel like a coiled up spring. Since I made the decision to apply for British citizenship to be able to have a vote I have been on quite a roller-coaster ride; feeling positive with a hope of empowerment, then frustrated about having to provide evidence of my knowledge of this country- a knowledge that often is not present in people who have lived here all their life and are British citizens by birth. I have filled in forms and passed the ‘Life in the UK test’ and have just started to feel slightly calmer again because I have been able to make an appointment with the Nationality checking service. These appointments are quite rare to come by and the appointment i was given was three weeks hence. I am unsure whether only very few appointments are given out or if there is a big rush on them. Anyway there I was feeling quite calm as surely the next election was about two years or so away ans surely by then my quest would be resolved. Imagine how I felt when the snap election was announced- in seven weeks. I will not be able to vote. I do not think this will put me into paralysis again- but how will I be able to uncoil that wound up spring inside me? I am wondering how many European citizens who could not vote in the Brexit referendum will be able to vote in this general election. I regret a bit that I did not start my journey to citizenship sooner- but maybe thinking that my vote would make a difference is wishful thinking? I do hope there will be a big turn out and not voting malaise.
For all who ask
Am I British at last
I have to declare
I’m not yet there
The next challenge is
What gets me in a tizz
I have to wait
To get phoned with a date
My application for citizenship
The test is passed
It was a blast
What makes me feel bleak
Is how to prove that I can speak
Without having to sit another test-
I think my English is the best
Or maybe just quite good
Anyway I am not in the mood
It is the language I dream
And the one I use to scream
When I shed a tear
Or contemplate in fear
If I could
To the Home Office speak I would
To make them confess
They need people like me in the NHS
When things were rough
And there were not enough
Doctors and nurses around
From Europe they were found
Please let me stay
My English is okay
I have done as you asked
And seriously completed the task
I would like this process to be completed
At the citizenship ceremony be seated
Until I know if I have been successful
My life will continue to be quite stressful