14 January 2017

0 leave to remain

my visa came through. for one more year, i have been granted leave to remain.

this was augured by a rando UPS notification that arrived on thursday afternoon, to which i wondered, what the hell did i order from UPS?

it was only at 4 pm on friday that it occurred to me that this might be news of my visa transfer, news that could not wait until monday because this was the 13th and the bank statement i had attesting to my funds in america was dated december 16th and what if the home office were writing to request my bank statement, which had to dated within the last 30 days upon receipt?

so i had to go get it. upon which i discovered that UPS had, inexplicably, opted to deliver this package possibly containing my passport and vital immigration documents to a UPS delivery center located in an off-license two miles down the road.

this was not a calming walk. addled by podcasts and music, i was accompanied by the sound of my breathing, my boots, and a tin of altoids rattling in my pocket (an annoyance whose origins i would not pinpoint until the following day).

nor was it a calming package reclaim, as the very nice pakistani owner of the off-license spent thirty minutes sorting through a pile of packages trying to locate my letter from the home office, repeatedly exclaiming they must not be here, they must not be here as, all the while, the blue blinky christmas lights strung over the liquor bottles behind the counter were blinking on and off.

the combo of blue blinky lights (fyi, blue blinky lights = my least favorite thing) and the threatened loss of my passport combined to create an inner storm the emotional equivalent of hyperventilation, belied by repeated exclamations of it's ok, it really must be here in a hitherto-fore unsummoned cheery tone i must've inherited from my mother.

it was there. it was found. we all laughed.

out on the street, one doorway down, i tore open the envelop and, wading through the mystifying text from the home office, determined that brexit had not affected my chances and that i have another year here.

and then, turning to the last page, i very nearly screamed aloud as i confronted the true horror that is my new visa picture, a grim reminder that we none of us can have it all.

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