I’ve been seeing a lot of Twitter posts and the like from EU nationals who have been struggling with the horrors of navigating the UK immigration system, trying to obtain their permanent residence permits after decades of enjoying (largely) restriction-free stay in this country.

I am sympathetic to their stress and the torment of waiting for months without a passport for a response that may or may not bring relief. But there is another, less magnanimous, part of me that is thinking, “Welcome to the world the rest of us immigrants have been experiencing for years.” The stack of paper I submitted to the UK Border Agency from 2004 to 2013 probably fills an entire filing cabinet drawer, not to mention the ~£6000 they received from me for the pleasure of applying for visas, visa renewals, permanent residency, and naturalisation. Yes, those latter two are separate and have gigantic fees attached. Did you know you have to wait a year after submitting your permanent residency application before you can again have the pleasure of submitting your naturalisation application, which isn’t any shorter and is also even more expensive? Doesn’t that sound like fun?

I suggest*, therefore, the UKBA replace all of this absurd bureaucracy with some simple, realistic questions and a thirty-minute interview with a border agent. And so I give you:

Immigration Tests, The Microlit Version

Refugee/asylum seeker: "Have you suffered enough for us to let you in?"
Entrepreneur/investor: “Are you rich enough for us to let you in?”
Highly-skilled worker: "Has someone else paid for your education so that we can reap the benefits?"
Low-skilled worker: “Sorry, no.”
Spouse: "Can you and/or your partner afford to pay for your love to exist?"
Aged family member of immigrant: “Can you or your children afford to support you? Actually, even if you/they can, the answer’s still no.

* with a heavy dose of sarcasm
hollymath: (Default)

From: [personal profile] hollymath

I empathize because they came here expecting rights and stability, sometimes decades ago, and planned their lived accordingly: bought houses, got tenure, had British families, whatever. And now there being punished for not keeping records or having health insurance they didn't know about years ago.

But I certainly sympathize with you here too: we non-EU migrants were canaries down a coal mine and no one paid any attention to us. We knew Theresa May was an awful home secretary and no one listened until she became an awful prime minister.
qian: Tiny pink head of a Katamari character (Default)

From: [personal profile] qian

LOL. In fairness to UKBA, I suspect the "entrepreneur/investor" test is actually that simple. "Show us the money! OK, you're in."
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)

From: [personal profile] siliconshaman

It's not just the UKBA either.. I've looked at immigration to other countries and in general, the fastest route in is to be rich. They like it when people bring their money with them, and the more money, the more they like it. Enough money and becoming a citizen is simply paying a hefty fee and they rubber-stamp the application.

The same is true of every country I'm looked at, with varying levels of 'rich enough'.
Edited Date: 2017-05-18 11:53 am (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)

From: [personal profile] siliconshaman

Agreed, there is almost certainly a better way of doing it... but human nature is human nature. Unfortunately.
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)

From: [personal profile] redsixwing

Icon = appropriate.

Egads, that system is awful.
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)

From: [personal profile] siliconshaman

Point! After all, most of human progress consists of looking the hairless ape of the limbic system in the metaphorical eye, and saying "not today!".

You know... we could do better. 90% of government work can be done by A.I's after all.. and we can engineer those without all the evolutionary 'legacy software' we have.
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)

From: [personal profile] yvi

Urgh, yes. The EU itself doesn't seem to be better from what husband tells me (he sometimes helps her coworkers with stuff - they are mostly from Iran, China, Russia, and Mexico...)
mysterysquid: (Default)

From: [personal profile] mysterysquid

I hear you. We've been pretty despicable over here too.

Apparently the elderly parents visa in Australia has a THIRTY YEAR processing time.
mysterysquid: (Default)

From: [personal profile] mysterysquid

The worst bit is that it's a visa for elderly parents, and it is automatically denied if they have a serious medical condition. What do you think a wait that long virtually ensures?
cmcmck: (Default)

From: [personal profile] cmcmck

My great grandmother was a Latvian Jew fleeing Czarist pogroms, so yeah............
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)

From: [personal profile] silveradept

How lovely. Even though I'm pretty sure that States immigration is worse by three orders of magnitude.
silveradept: The logo for the Dragon Illuminati from Ozy and Millie, modified to add a second horn on the dragon. (Dragon Bomb)

From: [personal profile] silveradept

Probably lots of engineering by people who wanted to espouse the benefits of marriage and possibly exploit the spouses they were bringing over. (at my most cynical, anyway.)
pbristow: (_XI-sing-(fuzzy))

From: [personal profile] pbristow

I video your tiny impotent fist being shaken, and turn it into a low-res GIF that (hopefully) goes utterly viral, as a symbol of all defiance against, y'know, stuff.