Saturday, 10 October 2009

Back safe and sound, and with a new status

Olga arrived back this morning, it was all very smooth. I know people like to bash British Airways and Terminal 5 at Heathrow, but in our experience it's always been very good, and this morning was no different. Olga texted me when she got off the plane, and that was our cue to set off from home. It's a 20 minute drive to the airport, and we entered the Arrivals Hall at exactly the same moment as Olga, and she'd come through the Non-EU passengers queue at immigration. Sometimes she'll go through immigration via the UK/EU queue, if the other queue is huge and she's travellng with me or Lara, or another British colleague, seeing as she now has indefinite leave to remain.
Well, all that will become ancient history soon enough, as yesterday she received a letter from the Home Office confirming that her application for British citizenship has been granted (Olga let me open it when I told her over on the phone that there was a letter from the HO here).  So, after her Citizenship Ceremony in High Wycombe on November 25th, she'll officially be British (and still Russian, too!) and we'll post her application for a British passport that afternoon.  What tickled me was that the letter giving the details of the ceremony had been posted 1st Class, and this was the letter I opened, but the actually letter confirming the success of her application had been posted 2nd Class, with no franking to suggest who the sender was. Thinking more about it, I guess this would be a prize document for someone to intercept and sell to a wannabe immigrant, who might be able to alter it, so perhaps there was a good reason to make it look like regular junk mail. I wish they had couriered it, though, given the obscene amount of money the HO has charged for this application!
Anyway, now's the time for both of us to learn the second verse of the National Anthem... anyone else know it?! And to know if we're flying the Union Flag upside down or not.....

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