For once, the immigration rules have not turned against me.  Or rather, they have, but I have slipped under the wire.

I am in the last phases before (hopefully) getting indefinite leave to remain.  So, once I pass the ‘Life in the UK’ test and pay the government another £1000, I should be safe.

But, if I had been ordained just a few months later, I would be embroiled in endless forms that require not only me, but the province and diocese/ church to register with Immigrations, and to pay application fee after application fee,  in order to assign me a number which would then allow me to pay application fees.

Britain can say all it likes about America being its closest ally, but it has become an increasingly difficult (and expensive) place to remain if one has an American passport.

17 thoughts on “immigrations”

  1. Dear Kimberly,
    Nice writing and prose. If you think you need some help with the test, you are welcome to try my Life in the UK Test website, it is all free and has free sample questions about the test.
    God bless,

    Sorry the link is:

  2. I was always under the impression that it was impossible to stay in the US without a huge palaver. Nowadays it seems difficult even to enter the country – I’m thinking of the shouts and dogs and general unpleasantness at Newark Airport on a snowy January afternoon.

  3. The US has for many years been somewhat over protective of itself.

    The UK used to have a more positive attitude. Although I remember the very highly qualified Aussie husband of a friend having a huge struggle convincing the officers that his was not a marriage of convenience – first born child not withstanding.

    I can think of nothing less British that a ‘Life in the UK’ test – I can imagine the cruel fun Kipling would have poked at it. I am ashamed that we have sunk to such depths.

  4. I think generally it is harder to be allowed to get into the States, but once you are there you are fairly well treated. Here, it’s fairly easy to get in but the closer you get to ‘permanent’ the more hostile it becomes.

    Rosemary, I was wondering if the opposite were true. The test offers 24 chances to give the right answer to obscure details about British life that most locals would only have a vague sense of. Is that not very British? (think pub quiz, Anne Robinson, the bad-old-days of ‘memorize the correct answer’ schooling…).

  5. Tell me more about this test! Is there a website? How on earth would one study? Or is the idea that if you have to study, you aren’t enough a part of things to be allowed to remain (e.g. no students who have not left a library basement in decades)?

  6. Actually, I don’t know that the U.S. is all that friendly anymore. I’ve heard stories of people who came as small children being deported much later in life when they didn’t even speak the language of the country they were being sent back to.

    And the amount of money we’ve spent on immigration lawyers for the Haitian sisters… not to mention the time and the forms and the fact that you can leave for a wedding in December, come back in January, and get detained because the law has changed (yes, she got out eventually after the shift changed)…

    It used to be much better.

    But maybe there are fewer forms here and simply more legal complication beyond them.

  7. This would be a great party game (if it wasn’t so serious) Devise your own ‘Life in the UK’ test
    Q1 Milk in first or after you pour the tea?
    Q2 Straight or dimpled glass for your pint in the pub?
    Q3 What was the point of Margaret Thatcher?
    Q4 Why did the British Empire span the globe? (I know the answer to this one………….’cos God didn’t trust an Englishman in the dark!)
    Q5 Spell colour/color and tyre/tire

    Etc Etc…….

  8. This will fit the ‘obscure details of British life that most locals have only a vague sense of’ criteria perfectly.

    Have a working knowledge of the rules of Mornington Crescent! The ‘grey suits’ in the Foreign Office will swoon at your feet. 10/10 and Gold stars all round

  9. And Kimberly can add a special ritual of thanksgiving for Americans resident in the UK. Now, what form would that take?

    Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

  10. Happy Thanksgiving Kimberly.

    Also, Mornington Crescent, I’m in! Friends and I used to play that on a forum a few years back!

    I also passed the actual Tube station at the start of September.

  11. Graham, I think knowing the rules of Mornington Crescent is a requirement for standing for public office rather than simply residing in Britain.

    For the Life in the UK test (episcopal version), it’s about knowing when to laugh at the right moments.

    Thanks for all the holiday wishes.

  12. If you’ve never looked at the real test, see if you can answer the questions here:

    … but you will only pass if you know that the government considers Valentine’s day an important British holiday, and that even if you live in Scotland, you must know when English school children are tested. Do you suppose the test will or will not expect the answer ‘at age eleven’ given that the book was published in 2007 and the law has just changed?

  13. Sarah, the US can’t be any more unfriendly to immigrants or even transit passengers than the UK, where incidents such as those you describe are frequent, to our shame. We have even franchised private security firms to remove, often with unnecessary violence, people who have lived here many years, and whom the Home Office, for reasons best known to the officials, have decided are not eligible to stay.

  14. Life in the UK Test Question 234:

    When someone stands on your foot, do you

    (a) yell
    (b) clout them
    (c) deliver a finely-chiselled and unforgettable rebuke
    (d) Say ‘Sorry!’?

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