Ball and Chain

Still on the train. Gareth just called me to say a letter from the Home Office arrived. Ooh, my permanent resident visa, yay!


They're saying I did not include enough documentary evidence to indicate we're still living together in the married way. They asked for 10-20 pieces of evidence from at least 5 different sources, I sent 20 from 13 different sources. I spent weeks making sure I had the right blend of documents, checking 1000 times they were all there, even including a cover letter with everything carefully numbered. It is completely baffling.

I have 28 days to resubmit my application with more evidence, otherwise it's ball and chain and PJs with arrows and back to New Holland for me. I honestly have no idea what else I could possibly send! It's all there! They only want sensible documents like bank statements and tax letters, a 10000 word declaration of my undying committment to Dr G and bonny Scotland wouldn't help my case. I'm trying to get through to the HO on the phone to find out exactly where I went wrong but anyone who's ever gone through this process knows that's near impossible.

I know this is all beaurocracy and I'm trying to stay calm and rational, but it makes me feel kind of ill that someone could possibly think we're not the real deal. Why would I shove my fat arse into that wedding dress three times unless I really loved the guy? Why would I endure soggy Scottish chips and soggy Scottish winters IF NOT FOR LOVE?!

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45 thoughts on “Ball and Chain

  1. Oh no! I hope this isn’t something to do with the Home Office restructure. The documentary evidence black hole…

  2. Application denied??? Couldn’t they just look up WNP for documentary, historical evidence of your undying love for Dr G and the Scottish/Scotland in general? This visa travesty must be averted!

  3. I’m sorry to hear that; how awful.

    It may be a good idea to consult with an immigration lawyer. From what I’ve heard, the UK immigration process (and, in particular, what they consider evidence and properly dotted ‘i’s and crossed ‘t’s) is a byzantine minefield which is next to impossible to negotiate without the help of a lawyer.

  4. Heym Chill little Shauna!

    I got my self deported from Australia!

    Yup, arrested, detained and deported, but I still got my permenant residency.

    So it’ll just be them being Knuts about it on the off chance that you’ll give up and pif of back to Oz.

    Just reapply. fuck em they’re idiots.

    And hey if push comes to shove, Dr.G would fit right in down Australia way.

    for the life of me I can not fathom why you want to stay here. You have your lovely hubby and the world is your oyster.

    Chin up buddy it’ll all come good.

  5. Holy crap – how ridiculous. Maybe you can send them photos of the toilet seat being left up, leftover deep-fried pizza in the fridge etc. Hope you get it sorted out xx

  6. Oh man, Shauna, that sucks!! Too bad you can’t just send them a link to your blog. Good luck with all this, I’m sure it will work out, but what a hassle!

  7. So sorry to hear that, Shauna! I’ve had to endure the Home Office office in Glasgow outskirts myself, and was relieved to become a EU citizen few years ago, as this meant I’d never have to go there again.
    Hope you get your papers sorted soon!

  8. I suggest the use of mild to moderate sedatives before dealing with any government beaurocracy. I’ve considered moving to a university in the UK several times, but I’m told the immigration process is a true nightmare. Good luck, Shauna.

  9. That sucks… I had to apply for my leave to remain in 2001 (september 11th actually – was a normal morning waiting at immigration – but for some reason a very memorable day) and they asked for nothing out of the ordinary. Not that i ever want to speak to them again. Do you know anyone who has done it that you can ask? Is there any websites? (I only say that cos there is one called that all the people trying to get to Oz use for info on how to fill in the application).

    My wee scottish laddie came to Oz on a defacto visa and that was a parlava as we didn’t have joint anything as we lived in his house, and he had no stamps in his british passport for all our joint european travel – but piece by piece we had to match evidence to fact and we got there. They did ask us for one form to be filled out differently (cos of course you cannae be right the first time). But it was an experience. Oh and now I respond to government tenders for a living as I seem to have a knack for answering ridiculous questions.

    Stay strong. Soggy chips are worth it (apparently)!

  10. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?! Oh my gosh, that’s fucking REDONKULOUS. Good luck with straightening out the buggers *shakes fist in their general direction*

  11. Hello – don’t think I’ve ever posted a comment to you before! Anyway, my cousin’s partner had the same thing happen, and they appealed and eventually got through. Apparently oneo f their main problems was that they didn’t have evidence of a joint bank account (I KNOW). It helped that my cousin’s dad is a lawyer so he sorted it all out.

    Definitely get professional advice I reckon. Email me if you want and I can hook you up with my cousin, she probably has some useful advice…

    Cat ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I think the lack of Anzac biscuits is evidence enough that you are now in fact Scottishness itself.
    I could write a letter of protest: that would frighten them into submission.

  13. Oh how horrible! I find all this bureaucracy just stomach-churning. Its the worst combination, bureaucracy + your-personal-life.

    We’ve been through it twice, once in the Netherlands and once when moving back to Australia. The netherlands version was an absolute nightmare. After reading all the australian rules and regulations I was prepared for the worst so they went and flabbergasted me by pretty much rubber-stamping our application!

    Good luck and enjoy the massage. You’ll need it!

  14. Immigration Lawyer! It’s the only thing to do. You might be able to find one who will “mentor” you through the paperwork, rather than doing it all for you. Ring around. Good luck!

  15. Jesus. But don’t fret and let it ruin your holiday, even thought it obviously is a very big deal – it will work out! No shackles and seven years Transportation for you!

    Do send them the link to this blog – and BOMBARD them with evidence of your bona fide luuuurve until they’re sorry they asked. Personal emails between you and G where he calls you snooky wooky pooky (hazarding a guess), whatever!

  16. Jeeeeez that sucks. Sounds like an Immigration Lawyer is the way to go. Let someone else handle the bureaucrats for a while. At least get a lawyer to try to find out why you were knocked back.

  17. Ah, they’re all right once you get to know them…..I think you should print off some of your Doctor G and Living in Scotland stories complete with photos of the weddings and send them in as evidence…..or consult the legal eagles…or only as a last result, bring Dr G out to Oz…..

    In the meantime, relax and enjoy your time away.

    Love ya

  18. Ugh… I know how heartbreaking this can feel and how easy it is to lose the plot when you (or your loved one) have this hanging over your head.

    I second the idea of an immigration lawyer. It’s expensive, but so are the flights to and from Australia.

    I’ll have everything crossed for you and your boy and I hope the HO pull their heads out of their arses and realise that you two are destined for each other. That or I’ll come over there and sort them out for you. GRRRR! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Have you gone to the Australian consulate to see if they can help it along or at least offer some suggestions?

    If you were ME, I’d say it was all due to the Mothership’s voodoo… I say that because MY Mothership wants me close and is completely miserable when I move away from the hometown!

    No offense to Shauna’s Mothership… its only MY Mothership who would stick pins in dolls if she thought it would keep me from moving halfway around the globe! ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. I am so sorry Shauny. And I am damn sure it is just a beaurocratic eff-up rather than you not having all the evidence that you need. *puts fingers to temples and sends vibes that, somehow and someway, they at last get something right*.


  21. WTF?!!! That is such bull. I hope you get through to them and sort it out. Unfortunately my HO ‘contact’ has since left otherwise I’d do a bit of kick-assing for you. B8stards. Good luck Shauna!

  22. If all else fails, come and hide under the bed in our spare room (now vacated by Daughter 1). We’ll bring you healthy food on a tray, interspersed with some chips.

    Poor you! Bad Scotland (or, let’s blame Britain). Hope it gets sorted out soon.

  23. If I thought it would help, I have considered marrying an Australian woman before.

    Bigamy would just be the next on the list…!

  24. UGH!!!!!!!!!!!! I soooo know how you feel! I moved to Australia from the Great White North and my spouse PR app was denied too. We just had bad luck and got some total idiot cow as our case officer. She was new on the job, before she just was a paper shuffler there, we were one of her first couples she had as a case manager.

    Hang in there and good luck with your application! We had our day in the end, and I’m still in Australia with my sweet pea ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Oh yeah, we did end up getting a lawyer too. I don’t know if we really needed one, as we got the judgement overturned without the Migration Tribunal people even having to have a hearing (apparently 99% of cases they have to have a hearing), they just overturned it when the lawyer sent in a letter pointing out how crazy it was that they denied our app… But if you can’t appeal if you get denied again then it could be good to get a lawyer just in case. But who knows, maybe you’ll just end up having to go through this one annoyance and the rest will be smooth sailing!!! My fingers are crossed for you!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. What everyone said!


    And yay Mothership.

    I think we all feel like we know her at least a little.

    Howdy Mothership!

    Fret not S&G, as I said, I got deported and still pulled off a PR status for Oz.

    Pol x

  27. Oh my word! After three weddings you are most definitely married!

    I think you’d better find someone to speak with at the Home Office – otherwise you’ll never figure out what has gone wrong. They’ve probably got you mixed up with someone else.

    Best of luck!

  28. Hi dearest

    Can you remind the HO that Oz accepted both your great grandmother and your great grandfather and it’s now time to return the favour?

    Love ya both….remember, true love always has a hiccup or two….this will be sorted

  29. Okay I think it’s time for your readers to start a campaign to allow you to stay in midgeland. If everyone one of us sent you a pound or a dollar you’d have more than enough to pay for a leading QC never mind an immigration solicitor.

  30. I’ll join the campaign! Let us all march on Whitehall bearing “Let Shauny Stay” signs.

    Stupid immigration people. I am sure they have just dropped some of your evidence down the back of the desk. (Similar things happened to me when I tried to get a permit de sejour in France – not nearly so much hanging on that, but it was stressful enough.)

    I’m sure it’ll be OK – mine was, in the end, and French bureaucracy is worse than British. Keep calm and carry on…

  31. i studied immigration law in canada, and there they were particularly keen on wedding photographs, letters from friends and family about how in love u guys are and how rooted u are in the community, emails from when you were dating, phone records, and the like. anyway, don’t worry, there is an appeal process even if it fails again, and then there’s an interview which u will totally pass!

  32. I am also an immigrant who married a US-citizen, and went through all these ridiculous document shenanigans (got my permanent residency in the end), but I just want to say that they won’t deport you, not if Gareth is on the ball. He won’t allow that. In the WORST case scenario you’ll get a lawyer and sort it out. It is a horrible annoyance (and trust me, I know, I was denied the US visa–a STUDENT visa –three times before I got it one year later, and cried my little heart out)–but you’ll get through it. Good luck, Shauna!

  33. Do not expect sense from bureaucracy.

    I had to keep renewing my work permit in Germany (yes, we are EU, but you have to get your wee bit of paper from us…) and it would run out and they’d renew and it’d run out, and they’d renew… and then I was unemployed, OH NO! My renewment came up – ARGH! And I went along to the office fully expecting them to start being weird.
    Soooo, Ms Bint, you are unemployed?
    Um, yeah?
    And collecting unemployment benefit…living from the state, so to say…?
    *whimper* yes.
    Excellent! If you are eligible for unemployment benefit then you can get your permanent work permit, here you go!


    Working before and it was limited. Get unemployed and they handed it to me on a plate.

    Don’t get too worked up by it, it is the whole hoop-jumping nonsense that is always the case. I think part of it really is the hope that some genuine cases will actually think ‘sod it, off home!’ and that’ll be that. Persevere!

    Oh yes, and you are in deepest, darkest Prebyterian Scotland – ‘if it doesn’t hurt you’re not doing it properly’ – wear black and hope that people will kick you in the head and the Scottish Soul will soon cheer up.

    Oh and nip over and read the ‘bloodbus’ blog if you haven’t already: tales from a Scottish Bus Driver – some of it is ace!

  34. The bastards!

    Aside from getting professional help (a lawyer, not a shrink, although, now that I think about it, maybe a shrink would be helpful, too), how about linking to your blog? And I’m only half in jest when I say that…

  35. I can so commiserate, and have no other advice to give you then to not take it personally. Bureaucracy isn’t passing judgment on you and your husband – they’re following some mystical, and arcane set of rules that actually have very little to do with you as a person, and, I suspect, everything to do with lunacy.

  36. Agh, dude, my mum went through the same thing. It sucks but is not insurmountable! She re-applied, went to an interview, looked the immigration dude straight in the eye and said “do you seriously think an Australian would be living *here* willingly, if it was a sham marriage?”… amazingly enough, they gave her residency after that. I wouldn’t really advise that approach (I am sure you aren’t as scary as my mum) but still, don’t give up hope.

    I have no idea what grounds they would deny you on, but find out, and re-apply!! good luck!!!

  37. What awful news to get – I am sure they are just doing it to see if you back down. I’ve been reading this blog for ages – we all know your intentions are pure!! Don’t give up hope, just play their game and send some more stuff in. I think the immigration lawyer idea does sound like a good one though.

  38. Like people say, an immigration lawyer is the way to go. If money is a worry, set up a donation fund on your website. I’ll donate $20 towards keeping you in the cold wet northern land.

  39. I’m SO sorry to hear this. Anyway, it’s all been said before: get legal help, and go again.
    You can do this, Shauny!

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