I first arrived in England in 1994. Back then the cordless kettle was a new invention and Doritos were first being exported from the US. It was before Tony Blair, Brit Pop, Blur, Oasis and the Spice Girls. I had my first curry here.
Once I married and got through the initial two years – when my homesickness was the worst – I wanted to become British. My ex husband, Ramman, was adamant that I should not do anything that would count against him if we ever wanted to go to live and work in the US. Nevertheless, I regularly looked into the process of becoming British and as the years passed I wanted to be British in order to feel more settled. This is my adopted home and I wanted to make it official. While Ramman’s views were practical, neither he nor I really wanted to go to live in the US and, as the years progressed, it became less and less likely that I should deny myself the protection of adopting the British Nationality. Of course Ramman never let me.
As I left Ramman, I had a number of plans – to find a nice place to live, to ask Helios to move in with me, to take the Life in the UK test in order to become British, to marry the love of my life, and to become British. It’s taken years to get to the point where I had sorted out my life enough to where I can become British as I didn’t want to do it in my former name. I sorted out the paperwork and submitted my application (along with a significant £655 cheque!) back in September. More recently, I rang the Home Office to find out where things had got to and I was horrified to discover a recording saying that they have such a backlog that they wouldn’t recommend chasing applications for as long as 7 months! Now, I know that the rules regularly change and that everyone sane must want to become British but I can’t help but think 7 months is a joke.
I am delighted now to say that I’ve finally received my documents back from the Home Office today! My application is successful! What happens next? I will receive another letter inviting me to a ceremony where I’ll swear allegiance to the Queen and receive a certificate.