It’s not easy to be an American Girl in Wales. In just three days I am flying from London to Detroit, then Detroit to London. It is 7,524 air miles in only 15.5 hours and it’s all just to renew my Visa and return to the UK. And it’s another 3 hours on the train to Swansea Wales just to get back to you.
So I went to Sri Lanka for the holidays with my mate. His Dad lives there. We had fun. We fed wild elephants, watched the blue whales out at sea, visiting a real Buddha Temple and prayed. Then we went swimming in the Indian Ocean on New Year’s Eve. It’s an exotic place, it’s overcrowded, dogs run loose in the streets, and it’s a place where cows have the right-of-way on the roads; but it’s lovely and I would go back in heartbeat.
However upon my arrival back into the UK, I declared request permanent visitor to the UK but discovered my VISA had expired in December.
Obviously it was the wrong type of request. The Welsh patrol were there waiting for me as if I were some kind of thug trying to enter illegally.
I was held at border control, finger printed, frisked and patted down three times, they examined the contents of all my pockets, my purse, and carry on bag, recording all the contents. They even confiscated my passport and then my photo was taken and had three multiple interviews with the home office.
They sent my mate on his way, saying there was no need for him to stay. I had told him to stay strong and I would call him just in case I was deported. But they would not let me use my cell phone and then tagged and confiscated all my bags. However the agents called him at the hotel to tell him why I was being held. Poor thing, I know he was just as sick about this as I was, but what choice does one have except to comply.
I didn’t cry, I was just too numb and exhausted from the 11 hour flight from Sri Lanka that turned out to be 18 hour Flight due to a 5 hour delayed late departure and plus another 3 hours sitting on the Tarmac for refuelling.
All the fight in me had left. It had been about 36 hours since the last time I laid my body down to rest. We were literally fried. They made him take the all the luggage , but then finally released me upon my promise to return to America on Monday so I can renew my Visa. They would keep my passport until I made it through the checkin to the gate. I had to report to the VAT desk to retrieve the passport; satisfied that I had met all there requirements to leave the UK and return to America.
Detroit is the closest gateway for a turn around. So it seems to be a 7000 mile journey within three days.
They recognised my proper intention and honesty releasing me upon my own recognises for 5 days if they booked my ticket on Delta for me to Detroit, being the nearest gateway. So I had to purchase a ticket, to America to renew my Visa before I can return to the UK.
UK Customs and Immigrations is holding my Passport and will return it to me upon boarding and escort me to board the plane.
I have a booked a return flight for Tuesday January 13th just in case it takes a week to get a six month renewable Visa. I can’t get a job in the UK or a mortgage without it or even marry without a Visa. So if it takes 3 days, then so be it.
Please pick me up at the train station Dear on Wednesday. Thank you and much love…see you soon.
~ American Girl in Wales