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Exiled In France... no really...
What below is the bare facts of what happened last night/early this morning
My student visa expired at the end of August, so I did the right thing and went out of the country for a few days, popping around Belgium for a weekend. Coming back, I intended to just come back as a visitor and settle up my things in London and in essence putz around until December when I’d head home for around a month or two. What I didn’t expect was getting to the border in Calais and being questioned about my finances and if I had a return ticket. No, I didn’t buy a ticket home yet, mostly because I didn’t know when exactly I would be going home. I wasn’t able to show my agent anything, but outlined exactly how much money I had in each of my accounts, my plans, etc. I was taken off the bus and put in a holding room for further questioning.
My agent, who is for all intents and purposes a very sweet woman, asked me about what i had been doing in the UK, what I planned to do. I told her about King’s, why I had two student visas, etc etc. I told her my plans for Goldsmiths. In the short of it, it came down to the same facts and she tried very hard to get me in. She talked with her manager, for a brief moment she thought about letting me through if I bought a return ticket right then, but she had to stick to her guns, and rightly so. I honestly didn’t think it’d be a problem getting back in. I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong coming back as a visitor and didn’t know I had to prove my finances as such. I imagine the border at the channel is a bit stricter than Heathrow or other things. Jo also says that with recent changes in the government, a lot of people with expires student visas are having a very rough time staying or entering the UK again. It may have very well been me being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
I was at the border for around 6 hours in total. During my time there I was mostly in a holding room, and I suppose it’s the closest to prison I’ll (HOPEFULLY!) ever get. The attendants were very kind though and gave me tea and kept offering me food and tissues and everything. When my agent came in again after having talked with her manager for around 45minutes, she was actually crying because she felt so bad. I couldn’t be angry at her because she did try very hard on her behalf, but she had to do her job. I messed up or the situation was wrong, I don’t know, but she was very sweet and she said that I would get back.
From what I understand of what she told me and looking at the paper work I have. I cannot, currently, enter the UK as a visitor. I HAVE to have a visa, whether it be student or work, etc. I just need to have a visa. I don’t know how long this is for, and I suppose that’s something I can ask at the embassy/consulate/etc. I do have the option to appeal, but it seems to go that route is a bit convoluted and I think it’s a bit smarter to just talk to someone and understand what my options are fully. She said it wouldn’t go on my record and shouldn’t impact my future applications for visas, it’s just I can’t get I without one.
So after sitting at the Calais ferry port for like four hours a bit in shock, I finally made my way into town to catch a stupidly expensive train to Paris.
btw Calais is a shit hole.
And after getting a bit lost and sweet talking a waitress into charging my phone in a cafe, I finally made my way to Jo’s flat here in Paris wherein I immediately faceplanted, as I had been up for over 30 hours.
I suppose of all the places to be exiled to, I could have done worse than Paris.
If it turns out that I am actually barred from the UK until I get a new visa, I’ve debated just popping around Europe, taking my friends up on their offers of housing me. I’ll be applying for more jobs and I suppose this is the part where I ask any of you in the UK or with UK contacts. If you know ANYONE who knows of a job or can offer me a job in London that is over £20,000 a year, PLEASE let me know. Spread the word, share this story, please please help me get back home.
I'm going to change my queue tag
Buuuuut, I can’t decide:
- He never raised his posts; that was the worst thing… The Queue of the Time Lords
- If you’re a blog how come you sound like you have a queue
- Who looks at a post and thinks ‘oh this could be a little more queued’
- You’re not queueing with me sunshine!
- I have to blog on. Alone. That’s the Queue of the Time Lords.
- I’d go so far as to say that what this blog really needs right now… is a Queue.
- I’m still just a queue. No touch.
- Darlig. It’s Norwegian for queue.
- There’s still a blog on this planet, it’s open for business. I think I know a thing or two about queues
- Oh I’ve got the blog. Same old life. Queue of the Time Lords.
Which one do you guys like best? I think I prefer 3, 6, 7, and 8, so try to choose between those but idk I’m putting the rest of them up just in case you guys want to take those. Soooo, any preference?