A Canadian gal living in Britain with 3 men and a dog. Wine helps.

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Cost of International Marriage

It's hard to believe that June 12th marks the anniversary of my Leave To Remain Visa and I will have to apply for the time limit to be removed, thus allowing me to remain in the UK indefinitely.

The cost to apply will be £335 if I apply by post, and £500 if I apply in person to the Liverpool office (not counting the expense of travelling across the country). The only reason I believe anyone would chose to apply in person would be that you don't have the 4-14 week processing time. Now when I applied for my Limited Leave To Remain Visa I was told that the wait would be the same, but fortunately I was returned my approved visa within 3 weeks. I thought we could do it the same way this time around, saving ourselves £165, however with the trip home to Nova Scotia in July, added to the fact that the IND Office has been experiencing some difficulty, it would probably be safer if we applied in person.

Now we need to come up with yet another £500 to add to the big pile o'money that we have already spent in getting me into, and keeping me, in this country. When compared to all the great experiences that come with being an international couple, this is only small potatoes. And although we were expecting a fee of some sort, we weren't really expecting it to be so high. It doesn't alter the fact that we find it daunting, especially when we have so many other monetary issues at present: Legal fees for getting a court order to take the kids home in July as well as to adjust the contact order allowing them to stay overnight on Wednesdays, saving for a house, saving for our weekend getaways this spring, and paying for our trip to Canada (and these on top of all the regular payments).

However we are both gainfully employed and of course we could have passed on the few trips we have planned this year but you've gotta get some rewards out of life and you just have to prioritize in order of importance. Often our priorities tie in with the International factor: This year it is a priority to bring the children to Canada to meet my family, as well as enjoy our first family holiday together.

I know that Andy and I aren't the only ones who have faced these issues, and of course I have a few close friends who have experienced the same on varying levels.

Of course we only have to turn around and face this again when we return to Canada to live. Owell at least we have the knowledge that the cost of living in Nova Scotia isn't as high as it is in England. Not yet anyway!

Only if you have a moment...

Here's your chance to do a little something that would put a smile on this bloggers face. I have a very good idea of who visits my blog via comments left on my blog, or sent to me via email, however if you are taking the time to visit my site on a semi-regular basis, could you do me the honour of putting your mark in my Guest Book or Map located on the sidebar? I realize I get a lot of hits by the site tracker, however it would be a nice thing to find out just who comes to visit.

Thanks to those of you who find my (often daft) ramblings to be of some interest and keep coming back for more. Your support makes blogging worthwhile.

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