Indefinite leave to remain

After almost six years of marriage, three expensive and stressful visas, and much quiet worry, we finally have confirmation that Geri can stay as long as she wants.

A letter from the Home Office approving indefinite leave to remain
A letter from the Home Office approving Geri’s indefinite leave to remain.

Early this year, we prepared the usual pile of financial evidence and supporting material, and submitted our application for indefinite leave to remain in late March as required. Almost immediately, immigration services were suspended, a three-month interruption in response to Covid-19. Geri was finally allowed to complete the biometrics requirement last week in Sheffield, and with everything finally finished, we prepared to wait up to six months for a decision.

And then, early this morning, Geri woke me with “You’re not gonna believe this...”

And I didn’t.

“Your application for indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom has been approved.”

I’m a born worrier, and I deeply mistrust the authorities. The media’s calculated stirring of anti-immigrant sentiment and the government’s disgusting ‘hostile environment’ roadmap eats me up. Without certainty, the weight of concern is always present; not a constant worry, but the thought of rejection is quietly terrifying. So much anxiety, and yet Geri is white and a native English speaker, so of course, we have a significant advantage. In March, I wrote:

“I could list so many aspects of [the application process] that feel ‘hostile’ in some way. It’s awful for English speakers like us; I dread to think how someone with poor English manages to get through this.”

Anyway, we can breathe, and shed happy tears. Geri is the best thing that will ever happen to me, and we’re so happy together. At last, I can relax, safe in the knowledge that they can’t take that happiness away from us.