Thursday, March 26, 2009

A long awaited piece of paper

Good news, finally, in the grind of bureaucracy, eight weeks after the application was submitted, the Gnomadette finally received her UK settlement visa. WOOOHOOO!

Much delight and rejoicing!

The story so far: the Gnomadette was obliged to return to the Island Republic to process a settlement visa having been in the Mundane Kingdom on a visit visa. Despite the misinformation the Gnomads were given about being able to change visa status whilst in the UK (we were informed that you could, it even says so on the UKvisas website) in actual fact one cannot, except in very limited circumstance. As a result the Gnomad has been liiving in inglorious isolation whilst the Gnomadette has been pursuing the bureaucracy in the Island Republic.

Having go the visa there is still a little more paperwork to do, but this is a just formality, Insh'Allah.

The true rejoicing will occur, of course, once the Gnomadette is actually on British soil again. The fly in the ointment being the cost of flights. The original plan was to use the Gnomads' reserve of air-miles to get award flights at (comparatively) little cost but with the approach of Easter there are, of course, no such award flights to be had. Never mind, the Gnomad was prepared for this eventuality and funds are available. What it does mean, however, is that the part of the plan for the Gnomad to fly from the Mundane Kingdom to meet the Gnomadette in the Peninsular Gulf State (this being the halfway point and where planes would be changed anyway) so that the Gnomads could enter the Mundane Kingdom together has had to be shelved on the grounds of expense, easter being one fo the most costly times to fly. Oh well one can't have everything.

One contingency plan can now be discarded entirely. The Gnomad is no longer looking at overseas postings. Had the Gnomadette's visa been declined, the Gnomad's stay in the UK would have been summarily curtailed and a post sought where visas could be obtained for both. Two months of separation has been hard enough. How the ex-pat workers from developing nations who are working in the Arabian Gulf cope with years of separation from their families is incomprehensible to the Gnomad. Many of these workers accept twenty or more years of living away from their loved ones with trips home limited to a brief, unpaid visit every second or third year if they are lucky.

Watch this space for news that the Gnomadette has landed, there will truly be much rejoicing then.