(Photograph: John L. Walters @ Eye magazine)
I’m letting my nerves settle after an anxiety-wracked meeting with our HR staff. It’s that time of history again: visa renewal time! Woohoo!
We love living in Scotland, and I would never say anything negative about the Home Office. All hail our civil servants, and the pains they take to protect us from false brethren who would creep in privily to spy out our freedom! I just get extremely nervous about ambiguous forms when my livelihood (and £2,250 non-refundable) is at stake. One dumb mistake, and deportation and a significant financial loss (right at a time when the cash would be most needed) hang over my head.
At any rate, for the £2250 fee, this pair of mostly harmless lecturers get to apply to be permitted to continue teaching the youth of Scotland about Jesus and Paul and Early Church History and the saints and theology and ethics, then wait months to find out whether our application has been approved (I’m counting on the post-Olympic slump in applications — surely there must be one — to help speed our applications through). There will be feasting and dancing in Glasgow when the news comes out, but for now, fretting and scrimping and saving and after our application is complete and submitted, eager worrying about when we find out.
(Photo Richard Denton at Mobypicture)Margaret reminds me that no one we know has ever been turned down for renewal. This is good and reassuring. I will try to control my tendency to hyperventilate.
Might there not be a way of ascertaining that an applicant has been living productively and peaceably in the UK for three years, has a steady job, and hasn’t given the faintest sign of terroristic inclinations, all for a somewhat lower fee and at a somewhat more rapid turn-around time? Well, presumably, if it were possible to do things faster, at a lower fee, with equal thoroughness, the Home Office would do it. In the meantime, I’ll be trying to relax.