Thursday, 13 August 2015

Becoming British

I’ve finally managed to book an appointment with my local council to go over with them my application form to get British nationality! I say ‘finally’ because it took me a while to pass the ‘Life in the UK’ test, gather all paperwork needed, find proper references and actually fill the form!  

Studying for the test wasn’t that bad and I can say I quite enjoyed it. United Kingdom has quite a fascinating history. The book starts from the prehistoric times going through all the way to the previous coalition government. It includes many different chapters including some regarding Magna Carta, the Elizabethan times, the Civil war, Victorian times, world wars and facts regarding social life. Parts of it are really interesting like learning about Henry VIII, Cromwell or how the Black Death of the 13th century affected the socioeconomic state of the country. However, there are things that I’m pretty sure not many British people know like the year that Sake Dean Mahomet opened his first curry house, how many people form a jury in Scotland or who was voted the greatest Briton in 2002! Just to let you know the answers are 1810 in George Street, 15 and Churchill. The book itself is quite small but dense with events, people and dates. What I personally found difficult to remember were all the names I didn’t know of British actors, artists, athletes and scientists mentioned with their accomplishments. However, I managed to pass the exam on my first attempt. 

Since then I’ve been trying to fill in my application form, which hasn’t been an easy feat. The form itself is 32 pages long and requires information regarding where you’ve been working the last years, where you’ve lived the past years and even where you’ve been on holidays for the last 5 years! The latter has been quite difficult since I had been having long weekends away here and there and that information is buried deep inside old emails. Not to mention the bookings that JJ had done that I couldn’t easily confirm. What I assume they want is to check whether I’ve been on a terrorist summer camp or if I’ve left the country for more than 270 days in the last 5 years! I did manage to gather as much information as possible. I’ve also got copies of my degree, P60s, ID cards, contracts for houses and jobs etc.  

After that meeting with the council, I’ll have to go for an official interview with the ‘Home Office’ and after that (hopefully) I’ll be all cleared for the ceremony and the naturalisation. Cross your fingers and wish me luck.