Just got back from lunch at Fruit Shop with Becca and there’s a letter addressed to Rebecca Billingslea. We both look at each other knowing this is probably from the Home Office as the only mail Becca receives here at the moment is Amazon packages. Becca rips it open and it reads “Investigation”, “Sham marriage” and “VISA application review”, her face drops and she sighs “I knew it… called it”, I take a look, I can’t read the thing due to anxiety but we both read and reread the letter and notice the word not. I’ve never noticed how beautiful the word not is, especially in the context of “we’re not going to investigate your marriage proposal”. The letter was somehow good news! It did a fucking good job of hiding it but it was essentially saying, we have the green light to get married and before you think we’re stupid folk that can’t interpret a simple letter, the letter explains we “…can’t get UK marriage certificate without a VISA…” and “…if you already have a UK marriage certificate before you apply for a VISA…”.

So we ring the number on the letter for clarity, the number doesn’t exist anymore—this letter is from the Home Office and their letter head is out of date. So we ring an associated number that says for application enquires press 2, we get through to someone who says we don’t deal with application enquires you need a lawyer, we hang up, proceed to call 9 lawyers who are listed on The Law Society website that deal with immigration—”Sorry we don’t deal with immigration matters”. Finally we get through to someone who doesn’t deal with immigration but could refer us to someone who does. We call them, get through and the lawyer is on his car phone on the way to the airport and sounds confused, wondering how we got through to him. Becca does a great job of getting some advice, he seems to recognise the letter we received and is “ah yeah it is good news threaded into a bunch of threats”. Seems about right, we ring Belfast City Hall to double check our marriage is due to go ahead, we speak to the fella Michael who helped us submit our paper work last week and he confirms too, that they have the green light to proceed with the marriage. So, 24th October we will be married.


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