Thursday, 3 November 2011

Great News!

Some of you may know all about my long relationship with the Home Office. It's been frustrating and expensive....and it's just come to an end!!!!! 
It's so totally YOU, Home Office! Not me

The Last Chapter:

In August I had to scramble to find a lawyer who could take me on at the last minute to assist me with making my application for Indefinite Leave to Remain. My Spouse Visa was set to expire and my final step to permanent settlement in the UK was Indefinite Leave to Remain
The non-profit organisation that had helped me with my Spouse Visa application lost their funding in the gov't cuts and closed doors. I was made aware of the loss of the organisation 2 weeks before my Spouse Visa expired.
PANIC does not begin to explain what I experienced.

I spent the following week searching for another firm or organisation that 1. offered legal aid 2. could take me on in such short notice. 
There was NO where in Chester. 

Liverpool was my next hope. By a miracle there was one law firm who had an immigration department who offered legal aid. Without legal aid it would have cost £500 to have a lawyer help with the application, then the application fee is currently £972 on top of that (in 2002 it was free to apply btw).
So I needed the legal aid. 

Get this. I had to race to Liverpool the morning after finding the firm to get there in time for the immigration drop in to find out if I would be able to be taken on. 
Mr Woo's brother took me in for 8:30 am. We stood outside waiting for the law firm to open up along with nearly a dozen other people who were hoping to be first to be seen. As soon as the doors were opened it was a mad rush! Everyone headed for the what did I do? 
Fat, out of shape and 5 months pregnant? 

I ran up the stairs. 

I beat Mr Woo's brother. He's 25 and trained for the RAF. I ran like the wind. 
I could not breathe when I reached the 3rd floor office. I thought I might throw up. But I was #3! 
It is a drop in, so you basically spend hours waiting. The room was unbelievably hot too. I should have brought a book. 

2 hours or so later I got to be seen. Let's just say I wasn't filled with confidence after the meeting as I seemed to know more about the process and law than the person from the law firm. I was worried. I was also worried about being able to collect all of the evidence in time and I didn't have the money together either. I had just over a week. The good news was they were helping me. I have learned in dealing with the Home Office, they like an application that comes with an opening letter on legal letterhead. 

It was hard. I had to travel back and forth to Liverpool a few times. I had to chase bank statements for Mr Woo and myself. Hunt his wage slips. Wait on letters from my mother and Mr Woo's dad. It was a crazy, crazy time. My hormones were raging. I was feeling very overwhelmed & sorry for myself. 

At the end of the day it was done. The application went in on time. Some of the evidence had to follow later, but it all got there in the end. 
Then the wait. 

When I received the call today we had entered the 3rd month with no news. It's not one of those things you consciously worry about every day, it's one of those back of the mind niggles. 

I must wait no more to find out. I WAS APPROVED!!! 
MY APPLICATION WAS SUCCESSFUL in the words of the Home Office!!!!!!!! 

Some tension left my body and some tears filled my eyes. 

My little family will get to stay together! We'll have our passports back! 
Mr Woo & I are planning going on a Babymoon....perhaps Paris at Christmas?

So I'm officially an ex-pat. I've crossed the immigration finish line. No more steps unless I want to become a citizen.  No more hoops to jump through. Stick a fork in me, I'm done!!!! 

I go next week to pick up all of my paperwork and dance around Liverpool as someone with Indefinite Leave to Remain. Well by dance I actually mean waddle. My bump is pretty big now. 

Mr Woo is taking me out to The Royal Oak tonight to celebrate so I need to do my hair and get on some stretchy glad rags! 

I am so happy x


  1. Fantastic news! I'm so happy you've made it through to the other side. Yay for Family Woo! :)

  2. good news honey pie! what a palava! xxxx

  3. Wow!!! I am stressed just reading this! I am sooo happy for you and you've done so much! Truly a miracle it all fell into place! Congrats!!!

  4. Thanks everyone! It was cray-zay!!! I am always really prepared with my immigration stuff, organised months in advance. But this time it snuck up on me, all I was thinking about was the growing Baby Woo in my belly.
    He never said anything but Mr Woo has been worrying a lot over the past few weeks. He only said once it was all over.
    I can hardly wait for Thursday! My passport is brand new, it's just been renewed. It is supposed to have a big ole stamp in it to say I have ILR! What a great start!


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