The person Ms Featherstone, our MP, addressed at the Home Office got back to her. He said the problem was not so much those doomed three weeks of delay, but that my migratory status was as an artist, and the only condition for being granted that is that we don’t change our migratory status within the country, but from outside.
First news I have of that! The scary letter from last week didn’t mention that either.
My migratory status is that where they put all those people too odd to be classified normally: for instance, I share it with religious ministers. I’m so used to not fitting any normal classification of anything that I accept all sorts of oddities as a matter of fact, but that such oddities seem to deprive me of any rights of whatever kind starts to piss me off.
Anyway, on Tuesday I went to see the lawyer with this new piece of information. Her advice: go. It seems it would be even more expensive to try to fix it from here. She said they would be inflexible and that anyway there was such confusion within the Home Office that I’d be better off leaving in a few days. She also said that my plea for mercy on health grounds was pointless: they expected you to be fatally ill in a hospital or about to give birth in order to consider such pleas. I thought it was quite odd: if I were dying on a hospital bed I wouldn’t be thinking of my visa, as I would be preparing for a much longer trip.
On Wednesday morning a young message boy who had a parcel for my neighbour had the wrong bell and started ringing on mine desperately. I rushed down the stairs. Then he started banging on the door and my heart nearly stopped: it’s the Home Office, I thought, and they will deport me with my slippers on.
That same day, one minute before starting to book my very expensive flight –being so close to Easter holidays–, I thought I should follow my appeal application, even if I had supposedly no right to appeal and even though the lawyer told me there was no point in trying. I called the tribunal and, to my absolute amazement and joy, they told me that there was no problem with my appeal application, that I would receive a letter shortly and we would have a hearing for the 4th of May! That same day we received a letter from the Immigration and Nationality Directorate feeling “very sorry” that we had had reasons to complain, and saying they would look after our case.
I didn’t know any more whether if I should laugh or cry, with my emotions, and my plans, going up and down like that during the whole week. I had already been picturing myself in Mexico giving lots of presents to my godson and eating quesadillas. I had already been through despair because I had so many things to sort out in very few days with lots of physical pain, and had been cursing the fortune this would cost us. Now, it seems we have a whole month to prepare ourselves for the hearing and things don’t look that bad.
Which is all very good. Mark and I are quite relieved and happy and I even bought myself a pair of new beautiful shoes, much cheaper than the flight to Mexico and the new visa application.
The thing is: do the Home Office staff know where do they have their heads? Why one person says I have one problem and then another one says the problem is something entirely different, something I was never informed would be a problem at all? Furthermore, why do they send such threatening letters without any reliable information and with no mention whatsoever of your rights? Even criminals are informed of their rights when arrested. I feel bullied but I don’t even know if there was any bad intent behind that or just gross inefficiency. That letter I received a week ago is full of horrid implications and has not one single line that provides any sort of help, advice or information about your rights.
Anyway, I won’t bother you further. Let’s wait for the hearing in May. Then I will know how good or bad things are. Meanwhile, let’s dance in the sun.