I’ve been too busy kicking myself in my own ass to sit down and write of late. Usually, I’m a pretty well-organized individual with a slight flaw.
I don’t take everything very seriously.
I tend to think that there is always a way to talk yourself out of something. Or reason with someone. Or find a loop hole. Remember that bit in Clueless when Cher (Alicia Silverstone’s character) discovers that she’s failed her driving test and whiny crys out that her driving instructor couldn’t be have the final say on drivers licenses because she’d be so use to talking her way out of trouble. That’s me, right there.
I’m going to blame busyness of course, I’ve loads on my plate: I finished a short film, am rewriting one that I already have, writing another feature script, sussing out two ideas for other feature scripts, playing around with an idea for a graphic novel, thinking about the changes that need to be made to my first feature script, planning a wedding and looking for a new apartment. My plate over flows. And yet, I goofed on something incredibly important to keeping me in the UK – my visa.
The thing is, I knew I had to stay on the ball about it. Visas are incredibly important. When I was applying to come to school in the UK, I read everything I could get my hands on about acquiring my student visa. And was thrilled when I discovered, I’d get to stay in the UK longer on a PSW (post study work) visa. It’s what really sealed the deal for me. The problem was, that I took the idea that I’d get it for granted. Figured it in like an automatic give. Fill out some paperwork and ta da! There it would be.
I. Was. Wrong. If you think the US is causing lots of grief trying to reign in its border patrol – you haven’t yet dealt with the UK.
The UK is in an incredibly similar boat to the US, in trying to keep people out of the country except that, being part of the EU, they’re already in a contract to allow a large portion of europeans in. And in they do. (My love of the great wide open immigrant lifestyle the UK has, is just because of that.) Which is why they are working so hard to keep people from other countries out. Even, smug first world citizens, like myself.
It was that smugness, that made me think I could get away with not really hitting on criteria necessary on my application for my PSW. After all, to get my visa is based on a points system. A system I figured you had to get close to – not hit all of. I was declined because I missed five points. FIVE F-ING POINTS!
I called Border patrol and tried to talk my way out of this. What else can I do? Who else can I talk to? Can I make an appointment and speak to someone? No. No. And No. What?!? Ok, then what do I do next? Reapply. Ok. Will do. But then I read further down the page – I had to leave the country IMMEDIATELY!
This is where panic struck. Leave…but, but, I live here now. Oh, I fucked up royally.
In my panicked google search, I came across lawyers who help with immigration and off I went dialing for information. I was told that in the last six months, the UK has been cracking down; laws have been made tougher. There is no longer any leeway. In the past, I would have been able to appeal the ruling and in three months when I had a hearing, bring in new documents that showed all the information needed – no longer. Now if you appeal, all the documents have to speak to the time frame when you applied.
So now, lawyers are my communicating force. And I’m staying in the country. yea! While I keep a close eye and follow the rules – exactly. as. they’re. written. First world smugness – gone!