This is Christina "the curse" Finn here and I’m cringing right now saying this but - I need your help. In 5 days , i’m gonna get kicked out the UK unless i get this together.
As most of you probably know by now, i’m an Australian who’s been living in Scotland with Chris my husband for 7 years. I know that a lot of people think “But you’re married to a British person, and you work, so you can just stay here.” Unfortunately that’s not really how the world works anymore.
My first 2 years in the UK i was on a youth working visa. That ended and now i’m on a spouse visa. Every 2.5 years i have to reapply for this visa and basically prove we’re still married and making enough $$$$ to be considered useful to the UK.
The process is expensive, invasive and emotionally draining. BUT there’s a silver lining. After 5 years of being on my marriage visa, the visa i apply for is called “indefinite leave to remain” which would allow me to stay in the UK on a permanent basis. I would be a resident.
5 months ago i put in my application for this visa. The final hurdle. This involves sending them stacks and stacks of documents proving every part of our lives to them. Bank statements, payslips, letters to each other, mortgage repayments, marriage certificates, birthday cards, anniversary cards, photos. You name it they want to see it. It takes a bunch of time and costs around £3k to even apply. They also take your passport while they make the decision meaning i can't leave and they can hold onto it for a year or more.
Cue 5 agonising months of constantly checking my emails and post, hoping to hear back. My brother’s getting married on the 3rd of November in Australia and i desperately wanted to get my visa and passport back in time so i could attend the wedding.
A few days ago, the letter came through door, i didn't think much of it as i thought we would definitely get the visa but once i opened it, it broke my heart.
“We have considered your application and have refused it.”
I’ve been given 14 days to leave the country, but since they sent the letter 2nd class it took 5 days to get here...
That means as of today i have 5 days left in the UK.
I saw a lawyer yesterday and she says they probably refused it because my bank statements weren’t stamped on every page. We tried to get the bank to do this when we applied but they said they “don’t do it anymore” and they will talk with the home office if there’s any problem with my financial proof. Obviously this didn’t happen.
But all hope is not lost.
We can apply all over again within the 5 days.I’ll miss my brother’s wedding because the whole process starts from the beginning and they hold on to my passport for an unknown time again.
But on the plus side it means i don’t have to pack up my whole life, sell my flat, quit my job, give away my puppy and move myself, my collection of dying house plants and Chris to my parents farm in the country Victoria. In 5 days time.
Our new lawyer promises she can get my visa approved, but it’s gonna cost us.
The visa application alone is £3k a pop.
And her fees are another £3k. We have to do it with a lawyer this time because now i’ve had a visa refused i’m a marked woman which affects my future visa applications forever.
And this is where i need your help. We have to get the cash together to apply by Tuesday or i’ll get kicked out.
We’re really short on cash because the first application was already crazy expensive and although it was refused, they keep the 3k. We’ve paid around 10k total in visa applications over the years.
If you’ve messaged to ask how you can help, this is how.
Don’t buy me a drink to commiserate - donate.
This is like the largest round of drinks ever. I need about 600 people to buy me a large glass of wine.
If you donate you can benefit from the following rewards:
You can come round, i'll cook you homemade pasta and you can play with my puppy, he will probably bite but he's cute.
We can have a night out, Tina style.
You'll know that you've helped someone stay in the country where she's lived, worked, paid tax and sustained a married for the best part of a decade.
You will keep me here, and happy! And i will continue to document my fucked up life on insta for you all
Oh and i promise the next time i see you, the round is on me.
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