On Friday, Berkay’s visa application status changed to ‘decision made’ and the passport was sent back in the post. We had absolutely no idea whether it was a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ and anxiously tracked the UPS parcel on its journey to Fethiye. We had hoped that it would be there on Saturday so that we wouldn’t have to spend the whole weekend not knowing, but it wasn’t to be… so, first thing Monday morning Berkay went and waited outside the UPS office until the delivery truck arrived from Istanbul via Mugla. It was early, around 9.45am their time, 7.45am our time, and my alarm had just gone off to wake me up for another day of work..
As I was walking out the front door, Berkay FaceTime’d me – with the parcel in his hand. He opened the envelope while talking to me and we both had the horrible few seconds of searching through the envelope for either a letter of refusal, or a visa stamp in his passport…
‘They gave it!’ he said – and he was right. There it was – a big, shiny, visa sticker in his passport.
WE DID IT. HE GOT THE VISA!
My family cried, I cried, even strangers I’ve never met but who read my updates on Facebook cried! It was definitely an emotional Monday morning, and I’m so glad that we found out early so that I didn’t have to sit in work and wait all day! It was also well worth paying the £450 extra for priority service, if we hadn’t we probably wouldn’t know until January.
After all the stress, worry and hard work, it finally paid off. The months of gathering paperwork, years of searching for a job earning over the minimum income requirement, months of gathering wage slips and letters, printing photos, Facebook messages, call logs, proving every inch of our relationship and explaining every little detail of our lives over the past 6 years, it was all worth it eventually.
Lots of people were saying they didn’t realise how hard it was so I hope all my annoying visa updates and stress and worry has opened your eyes to just how hard it actually is to get a visa for the UK – it took so much effort, time, money and a lot of hard work! We have to do all this process again in 2.5 years time too, and meet the requirements at every check point, it’s not a permanent visa! Next time you hear someone say “we let everyone in, they all come here for free and get everything” please tell them you know that’s not true and tell them our story, educate them! It’s cost over £2,500, including an NHS fee, and the visa is very clearly stamped “no public funds” which means Berkay is not entitled to any benefits, despite what a lot of people would have you believe!
I still don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet to be honest, and I don’t think it will until he’s here, and even then it will feel like it’s just a holiday for a while! Everything is going to change, not just for us but also for my family since we we will still be living at home with them for a while. I’ve already been flat searching and house hunting but it’s going to be very difficult to find somewhere until Berkay is here and working as we need two people’s wages to be able to afford to move out around here!
Berkay worked his last night shift in the hotel in Calis last night, and it closed for the winter season today. I think it’s bittersweet, because although we really wanted him to get this visa and for us to be able to live in the UK together, until now, it’s always been an uncertainty, and now it’s a reality! He has worked in that hotel for 12+ years, since he was a student doing work experience with his tourism school, and now it’s definitely the end of an era. This morning he packed up his things and got the bus to Denizli, where he currently is staying in the city with his uncle and cousins. Tomorrow, he goes to the village again and will stay there for 3 weeks before going back to Fethiye, saying another goodbye and boarding a plane from Dalaman to London mid-November.
Once he’s here we’ll be very busy, adapting to life here, working, saving, celebrating his birthday and Christmas and very much looking forward to what 2017 holds for us. This time last year he was in Diyarbakir doing his army service in a dangerous place and we were having 30 second phone calls once a day. It felt like the day would never come when I’d be able to post this ‘BERKAY IS MOVING TO ENGLAND’ post, but here it is… and that definitely feels good to type!