Well, don’t worry, United Kingdom, you’ve got me for another 2 and a half years.
I found out last week that I was approved for my second leave to remain as a spouse – hooray! Having been approved once before in this same visa category, I wanted to believe that I would definitely be approved this time as I am even more settled now with Richard and our daughter. However, as I sent off that 2-inch thick envelope containing
every detail of our life my application, I still left the post office feeling a bit anxious.
This time, I received my letter requesting me to submit my biometrics just over a week from posting my application. This is compared to when I applied in 2013 using the FLR(M) application and it took close to a month to receive that letter. Receipt of that letter left me feeling hopeful that things were moving quickly and I might receive word soon. I actually went to the post office the day after receiving the letter and had my digital fingerprints, photograph, and signature captured. I wanted to be on top of it, especially as we have flights booked to the US for late November.
After submitting my biometrics, it was once again a waiting game. I knew I should receive a reply from the Home Office within 8 weeks of submitting my application, so I marked each week on the calendar and silently wished for super smooth sailing.
It was a surprise when last Friday there was a knock on our front door, and it was a courier with a small envelope addressed to me. This envelope carried my Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), which resembles a driver’s license and which I must have with me when traveling abroad. The rest of my documents were sent under separate cover and arrived via Royal Mail that afternoon with a signature required upon delivery. What a relief!
When my BRP arrived, it was just me and my girl at home, and I showed the card to her and kept saying, “Yay! Mommy can stay!” She thought this was hilarious and would hold up the BRP then say, “Mummy! Yay!” It was so sweet. (Yes, I say ‘mommy’ and she totally says ‘mummy.’ I’m holding onto my little American-isms as long as I can yet it is adorable to hear her say ‘mummy’!)
So, what does all of this mean? It means that in 2018, we have to reapply again, but for indefinite leave to remain. That will be a huge deal for us!