Thursday, 7 May 2009

Dances with Lawyers

The past week has been one where the relationship between my dear lady wife and myself has been strained to the point of creaking. I think it's the insistence of our immigration lawyers that all of our lives must be laid bare for their inspection. Every charitable committee served on, every job, every extended period of economic inactivity, every place you've ever lived in since before you were 18.

For those who have only ever had one job since leaving University / College and never really traveled, this should not really be a headache. For Mrs S and I, who have both spent protracted periods outside the UK working and attended many and varied educational courses, it's been positively migraine inducing. At our lawyers insistence we have had to record every single page of every passport we've ever had, whether there's anything on the pages or not. I must have spent half a working day yesterday just nursing our aging desktop scanner along, and I'm still only half way through. It's really beginning to get in the way of my day job. Fortunately we're in a quiet period at the moment, so I can make the time in among my main duties without straining at the leash of my conscience too much. It's rather like juggling, kick one task off while you're answering the phone or making a call and try to remember what the hell you were going to talk about while scanning, cropping and saving images. After a while you look at your watch and wonder where the bloody hell the day went. Then there's the constant nitpicking at the fine details; French language proficiency, transcripts of post secondary courses undertaken and passed (Which a number of educational establishments like City and Guilds, just won't do) and trying to remember the exact dates of each individual employment start and finish, even if it was thirty years ago. All must be accounted for, no matter how young, drunk and / or stupid (These terms are freely interchangeable in late teens and early twenties) you were at the time.

A number of acquaintances in the sizable British ex-pat community over here have told us that "It's a great place once you've jumped through all the immigration hoops." Which I suppose will make all the migraines worth it. In the meantime pass the Ibuprofen.

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