Getting through the UK border

Took off from Chicago airport, took a sleep aid and snoozed through the 8 hour flight to Dublin. Got the the passport control and started getting my passport checked when the officer started giving me a hard time. He told me my UK visa from my last trip did not roll over onto my next trip. When I tried to explain that I wanted a new one he started telling me it was not allowed. I tried to explain that I had the UK border control laws in my bag explaining that my returning on a visitor visa was perfectly legal…”I don’t care about the laws”…were his exact words in my attempt to defend myself. He raised his voice and said…”do you know that I have the power to put you on a plane and send you back right now!?”…”I know that, please don’t”…”even if you make it to the UK they will just throw you out as soon as you get there!”…yeah…I was pretty heartbroken at this point and couldn’t stop the tears from pouring out πŸ˜₯ After over 20 minutes of this torment not to mention that everybody else getting their passports checked nice and easy were allllll staring…urg…he finally sent me to another part of the airport where I chose passport-check line with a lady who looked much much nicer than the big scary Irishman with the large white beard. She didn’t give me as hard of a time but instead gave me a week-long tourist visa to Ireland and told me to get my passport stamped by the UK border control or else I would be breaking the law by being here.

I sat in the Dublin airport bathroom for 2 hours crying my eyes out just trying to become stable enough to tackle the next flight. I tried using my phone but it wasn’t working (hadn’t topped it up for Janurary), tried using the internet as a desperate plea for help and prayer but it cost loads of money and kept freezing up. So irritating! So I decided to distract myself with some gilmore girls while I waited out the next 3 hours. I think most people who saw me watching a film on my computer with tears streaming down my face were bewildered but decided not to ask any questions…not sure if I liked that or not :S

Finally got on the plane and sat next to a really lovely family with two small children who I was able to tell my sob story to. It was nice to talk to some friendly faces. I was the first passenger off the plane in Edinburg and started walking through the checkpoints you would regularly see getting off of a flight but…there was nobody attending the desks…thought that was weird…went through the stiles where you get your passport stamped…still not a soul…k…really weird…finally went through a few hallways, some metal tables, filing cabinets, and sliding doors and I was standing by baggage claim and there was Andy and Linda sitting on a bench waiting for me…ummm…no passport control?

So I was quite confused. No visa means no staying in the UK right? Long story short, we found some policemen who were hanging out with border security and told them our whole story, back to back tourist visa and all. They were so friendly and welcoming and very happy we were trying not to break the laws πŸ˜› After some phone calls we went backwards through passport control (apparently this is not really allowed but cuz of the situation we were made an exception), met up with a UK border control guy who explained that I cannot get a stamp because I was already in the country but I was welcome to stay stamp-free for 3 months at that point “you should get your husband to take you on a romantic trip to Pairs” then upon return I will get another tourist visa which will enable me to stay through to June when we will return to Alaska and begin my application for a spousal visa.

So that is my story…lets just say it took 2 days to get over the extreme anxiety that we experienced during my entrance back into the UK, still not over jet lag so waking up at 10am is a major chore and I dont’ get tired until after midnight.

It’s good to be back in the UK especially knowing that Andy and I will not need to spend any length of time apart again πŸ™‚ Crazy busy coming back but nice to be in our own flat finally πŸ™‚

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