A Week Today
A week today, at this very moment, we should be taking off from Helsinki Airport for Malaga in southern Spain. However, as a Thai, despite having been my wife for eight years, she needs a visa and the Spanish Embassy in Bangkok hasn’t issued it yet.
This is not all their fault, but they did refuse my request for a family visa last week on the grounds that it was the Spanish Ambassador’s interpretation of a British ruling that all Brits married in foreign lands need to have their marriage verified by a British court.
However, I was not invited to have a philosophical debate with him on the issue. Quite the contrary, I was repeatedly told that ‘these are the ambassador’s rulings’ but not given the chance to talk with anyone but flunkies.
This is ridiculous, because they just wouldn’t have the time and the British Embassy website says that only British courts can verify a foreign marriage, the corollary of which is that no-one else has the right to say that they are invalid! The British Embassy website goes on to say that they recognise all foreign weddings except where coercion has been used or consent withheld by one of the parties.
This is clearly not the case with us, so refusing a family visa is just an act of obstruction. However, why would they be so mean?
Perhaps, to appease Cameron, keep the UK immigration figures down and help him win his referendum to stay in the EU?
Does that make sense?
It does to me. My right to take my wife of long-standing to Europe without let or hindrance is being quashed to keep us in The Club.
You may be thinking that six days is plenty of time, and it would be if I were alone, but my wife has to get back to the village, transfer the services accounts into our tenant’s name and take leave of her friends and family.
Not only that, but we have to get up to the village (600 km) and back down here to the airport.
We have also had to change here visa application to one of tourist, not wife, which we both resent deeply.
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All the best,
Podcast: A Week Today