Posts Tagged ‘bio’

Dual citizenship is fucking cool, though, innit.

June 10, 2009

I was born in Country A. I lived there until I was 22, at which point I moved to Country B. TMD was born in Country B. She came over to A every summer to work at the same place I did, and she absolutely loves that country. Our plan was always to return there.

In 2001 she was studying for a degree, so I came over to study for two years to do my MA while she finished up her studies. As things turned out, we ended up living here for the long term. You see, Country B allows me to live here as TMD’s partner. Country A can bar TMD entry simply because we are a lesbian couple. (This terrifies me in terms of how things are going to work travelling there for Christmas next year, as with two infants we will obviously need to be together. I am okay with keeping my mouth shut, but I am NOT okay with lying about my marriage. That is, perhaps, another topic.)

At any rate, I lived here for two years as a student. Then a little bit as an overstayer – someone who no longer has a legal right to be in the country. This is because we planned to be going back to Country A….and that didn’t work out. Aaaaaaaanyway, we then had to leave and go to Country A to apply for a spousal visa for me, as I was told by our lawyer that I could be deported if I attempted to change my status while still over here as I had no legal rights.

So. A further two years on that visa, and then I applied for indefinite leave to remain. This allows me to live in Country B all the livelong day, but with some essential rights granted to citizens not being given to me. Because we were legally married, I was entitled to apply for citizenship after about a year, but didn’t get around to it until last year. I got my citizenship (while still retaining citizenship of Country A – I feel very strongly I do NOT want to give up that citizenship, despite the terrifying homophobia present in every level of that particular country), and didn’t bother to apply for a passport until very recently.

Until we thought about the babies getting passports and travelling home for Christmas, anyway. So I applied about a month ago for my passport. In this country, anyone over the age of 16 applying for their first passport has to have an interview to prove that they are who they say they are.

We went in for the interview last Friday. And FUCK if I didn’t mess up every question – couldn’t remember any previous flat addresses (but instead of saying, ‘I don’t know,’ I confidently gave the incorrect address over and over again), messed up my dad’s birthday and place of birth, and couldn’t remember when I became a citizen of this country. I came home and the hormones began to pump, and I cried for about three hours about the fact that I had ‘failed the test’ – essentially failed at being me.

Well, today my passport came in the mail. So at least I know I can successfully impersonate myself.

It feels WEIRD to have a different coloured passport. A passport that looks so different to ‘my’ passport, the slightly battered little book that has brought me to and from TMD, my family, my friends for the past nine years. Spooky. I have put it back in its little envelope and left it on the table.

I don’t know the person who owns a new, never-before used passport in that colour. And no, it’s not just the horrific picture of me where I look sort of like that humped over guy from Notre Dame.