J and I have decided to apply for a marriage-based visa to make my stay in the UK a bit more assured and less dependent on my employer, who currently sponsors me. I’ve been in the UK on a 3-year work visa, which has allowed me to get quite settled here – including meeting J and getting married, and starting to build a good life in London. But I work for a tiny company, which could go under, especially as we’re navigating the uncertainty of Brexit. I’m also completely tied to my employer and have pretty limited rights in what I can do – I can’t take on additional employment, I can’t switch jobs, I can’t start a business or be a freelancer – and this makes me feel a bit like a prisoner.
So after a lot of pro- and conning, and changing my mind, and wondering whether the huge fee is worth it – we finally decided that bad decision is better than indecision, and that freedom (or at least the illusion of it) is worth the money.
We plan to apply in about a month (yes…we are still gathering paperwork..!), but I am already pretty nervous with the anticipation.
Normally I wouldn’t have been this nervous. But that would’ve been the me living in a more stable world. All the anti-immigrant sentiment is not reassuring, and although we are the perfect case of being able to tick all the boxes and cross all the t’s of the application – you just can’t count on any certainty these days.
The big take-away from this whole process is – wow – I’ve never considered the bureaucratic hassle, cost, and worry that comes with marrying across national boundaries! And we’re only a few years in… 😉