Knowledge is Power. Or at least less fear.

I was home sick today. I’ve had a stomach bug since Saturday. I am trying very hard not to link this to the salad I had, with raw cucumbers on it, when I was having a nice pub lunch outside in the gorgeous sunshine on Friday, with my very good friend and her darling little six month old baby. And yes, it was a Friday, and I was playing a bit of hooky. My job is flexible like that. When you work late into the night many days and all day on the weekend, sometimes you can then have a nice pub lunch on a sunny Friday afternoon when your friend with the baby just happens to have the car. But I digress. So I was not feeling very well this morning, and I knew that this was probably not just the stomach bug, but a combination of the bug and that of the stress I’ve been feeling for the last few weeks over the fact that my visa expires in the second week of October and I have to apply for permanent residency.

The story actually goes back even a little further. A week ago Friday I had dinner with one of my fellow Americans, and she had just received her passport back in the mail with her permanent residence visa. She made a point of ceremoniously handing over her Life in the UK study manual for me to use for my own application process. She also made a point of heckling me for being ridiculous about how big and scary this thing had become in my own head. Sometimes good friends do things like that. They heckle you when you need it.

So I took advantage of being sick in bed this morning with my laptop and my orange juice and I bit the bullet on that thing I’ve been needing to deal with. And I downloaded the forms and the information for this application for residency. And I read them through. And I started making lists (mostly mental at the moment, but I’ll make a check-list soon) of the things I need to gather in support of my application. It’s all fairly benign, as several people have told me (but I refused to listen), and of course I now have information and know what I need to do. It’s slightly logistically complicated, because my US passport also needs to be renewed, and I have to squeeze all sorts of things in this summer where I’ll need my passport. Like taking the Life in the UK test. So it’s not over yet, but at least I know more about what I have to do. I might wake up tomorrow and, for the first time in a while, not feel sick.

10 responses to “Knowledge is Power. Or at least less fear.

  1. I completely understand where you’re coming from about the test. I took mine last year and as long as you read the book you’ll be fine šŸ™‚

  2. 3theperfectnumber

    Goodmorning, is this test for all imigrants of different nationalities?

  3. I agree — you’ll be fine. But I studied HARD for the test, and John and I made a set of flash-card sort of things to help me study. In my case, I’d studied loads of things about Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales; but only “English” things were on the test. Perhaps that doesn’t always happen, though. You have a great brain and will pass with flying coloUrs, I know!


  4. Wow, a Life In The Uk test? That’s insane! Good luck.

  5. Yes, it’s good to have friends to put things in perspective and kick you into action, but I also do think that this kind of decision is big and scary. The process may not be as bad as you think, but what it represents is. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

  6. When I used to have to deal with the authorities in this capactiy, my stomach used to knot up just thinking about it. Now, all I have to worry about is the fact that my son’s UK and US passports are both somewhere in the renewal process and we are traveling in a few weeks! Argh!

  7. Good luck with the test! I went through the whole thing the other way, as a Brit applying for citizenship in the US and it was no fun navigating all those US government offices. I bet I now know more about America than most Americans! (Quick, how many members of congress and Senators are there?)

    But just study the book a little and you’ll be fine.

  8. I forgot to say – I tried taking the Life in the UK test and failed miserably even though I’m English. So don’t feel bad when you don’t know the answers at first!

  9. So you’re going through with it! My turn next I suppose…

    Hope you feel better soon. I am certain a burrito is what you need to regain your strength!

  10. Good for you for tackling it…I’m with you though — forms and paperwork make me avoid it like the plague!! Can’t wait to hear more about this residency process!

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