Duel For Citizenship

This is a guest post, of sorts. My wife, Holly, is writing a book on her experiences being an immigrant in the UK. She’s Kickstarting it, and here’s the description, in her own words:

Becoming a citizen of the UK is a legal, financial, mental and emotional challenge. A big part of that challenge is convincing people that it is a challenge at all.

If I had a penny for every time someone’s told me “Aren’t you automatically British because your spouse is?” ….well, that might not be quite enough for the thousands of pounds the process has cost and will cost me, but it’d be a good start!

If I had a penny for every xenophobic headline and soundbite from British media and politicians, leaving me feeling like I’m an object of political posturing rather than the subject of my own story, I wouldn’t have to worry about saving my pennies.

If I had a penny for every tear I’d shed in frustration, fear, anger and anxiety during my experience as an immigrant…well, I could give you all this book for free!

My financial goal here symbolically represents just enough money to pay the fee for my citizenship application. People are really surprised when they learn it’s this expensive just to apply! Many have told me it seems unfair.

But far more important to me than raising money is really raising some awareness of life as an immigrant, especially how different it is from the popular perceptions of us. I’d be thrilled if you wanted to help me spread the word by sharing the book I’m creating here.

The only people who aren’t surprised at my life as an immigrant has been like are other immigrants and those who are personally close to someone who has moved from one country to another. And for all the panic that immigrants are “flooding” or “swarming” the country, there are actually relatively few, so a lot of people don’t know any!

Of course we’re all different and all have our own life experiences to tell stories about. But too few are told; we are more often talked about than listened to. Please help me change that.

The amount being asked for the Kickstarter is symbolic — £1,008 is the fee for UK citizenship *after* you’ve already passed the so-called citizenship test and paid thousands in visas.

The book will be very good — Holly’s a much better writer than I am. And you can back it here if you want.

Proper post from me tomorrow.

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