Moving to the UK for love

In which I convince someone to move from New York for a ring.

Plane flying over the New York skyline

I know the exact distance I would go for love, it’s 3364.9 miles.  This was the gap between me and Mrs G when we first got to know each other. I was living in a flat in Birmingham (UK) and she was sitting in her apartment in Briarwood (NY).  The distance may have been large but all that separated us was one body of water.

Well one significant body of water and the bureaucracy that involves trying to begin a relationship with someone living in a different country. From the rantings of the more right-leaning media you would think the immigration system in the United States or Kingdom was as easy to get into as Republican race for President (*Boom* Satire).

In fact the question isn’t how far I would go for love but how hard will I work for it.

You would have thought that it would have been easy, but from the moment I proposed it became a fight against paperwork and fees of every kind. If we wanted to get married in New York (to make it easier to live there) we would have had to file paperwork (inc. Lawyer’s fees) to register that we wanted to get married, a process that could take up to nine months. As soon as we were granted permission we would have had 90 days in which to have tied the knot.

This seemed an impractical situation so we decided to look to get married in the UK. This was slightly easier as getting the visa to be married was not the issue, it was the staying afterwards. Still just the process of bringing a wedding dress over from America caused an inquisition at the Border for Mrs G, which required finding the invitations in her suitcase to prove that she wasn’t getting married just yet.

After the rings we still needed to decide where to live. To go back to the US I would need to apply for another visa, again with a potential nine month delay. During this time I may have been able to travel to visit my new wife but I could have been refused entry because travelling on a temporary visa while applying for a permanent one is full of potential problems (so said the embassy).

So in the UK we planned to stay, one trip to Glasgow (only 300 miles) to apply for residency was rejected because we didn’t have a letter with both our names on. This resulted in another trip a month later to allow Mrs G to stay in the UK for two years. Unsurprisingly this was also a costly exercise as the government take a hefty administration fee.

The final step, for permanent residency carried another large settlement to Her Majesty’s Border Agency. However this was the easiest step. We had prepared all the documents necessary and more, we had seen enough ‘Form IM 702b’ and the like to last a lifetime. We had funds and agreed she would have no recourse to public funds.

We sat next to each other in a bland waiting room in a non-descript building and waited for the final stamp.

Now I don’t have to travel eight hours for love. She is right next to me, that is as far as I ever want to have to go again.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Take Me to the Moon.”

How far would you go for someone you love? How far would you want someone else to go for you?

Thank you for the prompt suggestion, amommasview!

Author: geekergosum

Ah, so you worked out the riddle. You just needed to use dwarfish and the doors to Geek Ergo Sum opened. Or perhaps you just used Google. Either way you are here, on my little corner of the Internet.

10 thoughts on “Moving to the UK for love”

  1. That is complicated. To get married in Switzerland I had to have an officially translated birth certificate into German (where they spelt my mum’s name as Joy, instead of Ivy (but I didn’t tell them) and I had to swear under oath at the British Embassy/consulate that I was who I am at a cost of 120 Swiss francs (in 1969). Mr. Swiss had to get new divorce papers – another 200 Swiss francs. my birth certificate was too old (like I only had one when I was born) but we could go ahead with the registry office marriage on the condition that I got a new one, so I had to order it from Somerset house. The Swiss then had two certificates and I had none. 20 years later I told them I wanted my original certificate back. They found it and one day later it was in the post (Swiss precision). We are still married after 46 years and I even got swiss citizenship into the bargain. Today you would have to wait a couple of years until you get it. It was interesting to read what you went through with your “mixed” marriage in the States

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    1. Wow that is a bit of a faff as well, although I’m not sure if our documents were stored in the UK for 20 years we would get them back (it is a gamble if they have them for 20 days). I understand the reasoning for making immigration harder across the world, but all it does is make it more attractive to attempt to circumvent the paperwork. I can’t imagine that in the future I will be able to board a steamship and pass through Ellis Island like all the forefathers of those who make the immigration rules today!!

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    1. I did think it was a perfect title, as soon as I saw the prompt I was firing up Google Earth to measure the distance as I knew that was my opening line. Thank you for the congrats… I would say we had a party at the end but it was almost as expensive as our wedding to stay together

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  2. Sometimes you just wonder why there has to be so many complications in life! One thing is for sure…it makes you a stronger person in many ways. And, now you can laugh about it, but it wasn’t so funny back then. I enjoyed reading about your experiences.

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  3. If you were crossing into the states over the body of water known as the Rio Grande River it is much easier to get in and out of here, anything else is nothing but gov’t b.s. and boatload of money. It’s all a giant rat race, glad you have made it work out for the two of you!

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    1. I did think that if I wanted to do it illegally it would be easier, I can understand why people do. It is such a laborious and humiliating experience (as well as expensive) that it puts you off doing it the proper way.

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