Brown should come here if he wants to see how a government dept should be run  

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

After my previous post (see below) I wanted to contrast my experience with the Japanese authorities while applying for residence, and that of Big M’s in the UK. Basically, there is no comparison whatsoever. In the UK, we were treated like criminals – forced to cough up thousands of pounds, forced to enrol in English classes we didn’t need and finally subjected to the totally demeaning and utterly pointless New Labour Propaganda Life in the UK test. The total cost of all this, just for my wife and stepdaughter to stay in the country, was in excess of £2,500. We had to travel twice to the disgusting Home Office Immigration facility in Croydon, carrying a truly ridiculous amount of supporting paperwork that required an entire archive box. We were forced to wait in the cold and rain with no toilet facilities; when we were eventually allowed in the building we were searched like thieves and treated like absolute shit.

Contrast this with Japan. The application for a marriage visa took one visit to the very pleasant Japanese embassy in London. Even though there was an irregularity with our paperwork, the staff were unfailing helpful and polite and the problem was sorted out easily. Total cost: £5

In Japan, the application for residence took just one visit to city hall and about a 20 minute wait while they processed the application. Cost: £0

I returned one week later to collect my card and register my stamp (see below) Cost: About 25p

Just a little bit different to rip-off Britain!

If there is any UK resident reading this that is contemplating settling in the UK with their Japanese spouse (or any other non-EU passport holder for that matter), my advice simply is – don’t even think about it. I would say that trying to start our family life in England was one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made.  

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