Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Still Waiting

I'm into week 12 of my long, lonely wait for UKBA to tell me...anything. Anything at all. A uni friend came over yesterday to use the phone (certain numbers can only be called from a landline in this country--it's weird) and discovered that she'll probably have a faster and easier time of getting the visa we both need if she goes back to New York and applies to the embassy. The New York UK Embassy is notorious for its impenetrability--you have to pay $12 to call a private company which will speak to you on their behalf, they don't allow in-person applications, you can't ask questions, and they don't answer emails. I had to send them my student visa application registered mail--from less than 12 blocks away. That said, they did turn the visa around in under a week, so maybe they know what they're doing.

Ben has contacted our MP to ask if she can shed any light on what the problem is. With all their recent and upcoming changes and the current downsizing kerfuffle I'm convinced my application has been misplaced, as surely after 3 months, when they claim their wait time is 3 weeks, I would have heard Something. By this point I should have either gotten a decisive No or a request for more information, or a request for me to go register biometrics or information on how I can go fuck myself. I imagine that when I call them in two weeks to ask what's going on the very curt receptionist will confirm that they received my application 29 November and I'll just have to be patient because frankly all hell has broken loose behind her and a pack of velociraptors has just eaten the mail clerk. Except she'll pronounce it clark.

Erm. Yes, MP. I sent her assistant information regarding my application--what it was, when I sent it, the weird bits that didn't make sense (it asking for a card I was forbidden from having) their stated wait times versus how long I've been waiting, the fact that all of my information is clearly valid and uncomplicated, and the recent announced changes. Hopefully she can ask someone if anything weird is going on, like how come all the biometric appointments are booked until the end of April, when the Tier 1 post-study work visa ceases to exist.

My American friends and I feel...hmm, what would be the most appropriate term? Fucked with. Yes, I think that sums it up nicely.

What it works out to is this. The UK is tired of non-English speaking foreign nationals coming in under student visas for dodgy or non-existent schools so they can get unskilled jobs that pay more than they would earn in their home country. I don't know if they're sending money back, as people claim Hispanic foreign nationals do re: the US, but they are seen as a problem. But rather than tackle the problem head-on and say "we've been having trouble with This country, This country, and This impoverished region and people are going to This fake school and This fake school and This school which turned out to be a Nike sweatshop," in all their well-meaning egalitarianism they've decided to turn out Everyone, including highly-educated English-speaking Americans.

Whenever America is included in the "other" category I get this sort of swell of imperialist outrage. How Dare you include me with those ruffians?! I'm not Foreign, I'm AMERICAN. *begin frothing at the mouth like the Gungan king in The Phantom Menace* I don't actually believe in American Exceptionalism at an intellectual level, but the US school systems do a pretty good job of ingraining the sentiment into one's very core. But I mean c'mon, if you have to call us Foreigners, at least make an exception for the Good foreigners... Who am I kidding. I don't care how they change their minds in the future just so long as they keep their word regarding what they said in the past. I paid a lot of money--more than I'm inclined to argue it's worth at this stage--for UKBA to do what they said they were going to do. And they haven't. At this point I'm beginning to want a visa And a refund, or a settlement for wages lost due to their negligence. I could be employed by now. Paying taxes. Paying off loans. Not just waiting to hear that my passport was accidentally shredded by Jeff the Neanderthal while he was wetting the plug to create sparks so he could burn my degree confirmation letter to stay warm.

Yes, I assume UKBA only hires extinct personnel. It's either that or believe members of my own species can be this incompetent, and I just can't bring myself to do so.

1 comment:

Kim said...

I got lost just reading this. Can't imagine being IN it. Just come back to Amerrrrricuh already.