We had about 4 visits to Vienna all fairly straightforward with the Austrian Embassy visa processing services, in fact the Austrian embassy were extremely helpful and helped us to choose the correct path. We really felt that they wanted us to belong and be together.  The EU gave my wife her tourist and temporary visas for no cost,  just because she is my wife.

The UK however refused to acknowledge anything, ignored our marriage backed by a very respectable Catholic church, refused to accept my wife’s degrees from Manilla, and then ignored her distinction in English test apart from monetary value. The reason for each refusal: I run a small business and pay tax in the UK and therefore refused on those grounds, technicality after technicality.

CP143 Becoming Citizens

The photo depicts how free and happy we are because of the EU rules, open air, fresh fields and together.  Normal processing for visas with the Austrian embassy was 4 days maximum and they would call us when they wanted to clarify something, it felt like a completely different world, clear requirements, no appeals necessary, just give us the correct information and they then re-processed the visa.  UK £18k in costs and no visa all because we first applied for a Fiancee visa and refused and then we got married in Madre De Dios church in Highlands Tagaytay, Philippines. In comparison, Vienna visa’s cost us 500 euros in total for four visits and a permanent visa which again was processed and delivered inside 7 days.

The UK has left a very bitter taste in our mouth they are very unhelpful to honest hard working people, sad to say they come across as racist and prehistoric, the embassy staff and third parties are horrible unfriendly and tell you upfront that you probably have no chance to gain a permanent visa, no checking no added value just a lottery.

Jim is just one of the volunteers to our Citizens’ Panel. To read about the experiences of other Britons living in the EU27 visit our Meet the #britsinEurope feature.

Disclaimer: As with all of the information supplied through the citizens’ panel and presented in our Conversations with the #britishinEurope feature, the views, information, or opinions of individual study participants presented above are solely those of the individual author. They do not necessarily represent those of the project team, Goldsmiths or our funders.