Lisa is making preparations to come to Scotland.
Of course she and I have been making preparations for six months now by selling our belongings and making piles of stuff to be shipped. But, until now we were both under the impression that, by virtue of my citizenship, she and the children could come to Scotland without a visa.
We have been wrong in this assumption and we have lately been gathering documents to prove our marriage, our residency, my employment, etc., etc. This past Tuesday she was in Dallas to have her “biometrics” gathered by the drones at work in the hive of bureaucracy that is the US immigration office in Dallas. Here she surrendered copies of her fingerprints, retinal scans, and three hair follicles for DNA mapping and recording. She has been determined, as have all Americans and suspicious immigrants, guilty until proven innocent.
We anticipated a cost for this application and analysis but were surprised when they told us it would be $1040. I suppose the DNA testing has ratcheted the cost a bit higher than it was pre-9/11. Disgusting.
The latest blow came yesterday when Lisa made the mistake of asking about our children and whether they too would need to make application.
“All children aged 5 and up are required to have a visa.” Over and over this mantra was repeated by a woman for whom English was perhaps a second or even third language and whose accent was so thick as to prove almost incomprehensible.
To talk to the British Consulate it costs $12 up front and an additional $2.50 per minute.
So, you do the math. $1040 for Lisa and an additional $1040 for each of our children over 5 (that’s five!). And all this abuse for a citizen of the country to which desire to move to.
It is not our intention to move to the UK for its free health care or generous child support funding. We have no particular animosity towards the US and are not fleeing any sort of prosecution. We are coming because I have a job over here and hope to work here for the foreseeable future.
On the application there is a separate category for those seeking political asylum; those seeking protection from their home government.
I’m beginning to wonder if we ought to be filling out that section?