And be prepared for nitpicking bureaucratese from here on in (when H applied to emigrate to NZ, it took a couple of months longer than we'd been told to expect, because the immigration people couldn't take anything on face value - we were trying to get him in under the "family" category, because NZ counts a de facto couple as family if you've been together more than 2 years, and we'd been together for 3 at that stage. Of course, the problem was proving
that - we didn't have joint bank accounts (because getting a new bank account in the UK is such a pain that it seemed easier to just keep our old ones), we'd spent a lot of time travelling, so our rentbook for our flat only went back a year, and other than that all we could do was get everyone we knew to write a letter saying they'd known us for x years, and could confirm that we'd been together for 3 years. Trouble was, we didn't know many people who'd known us for that long, and they wouldn't accept letters from family members!!! The ideal person to get a letter from would have been our boss at the place we were working (and living) when we met, but of course he'd left the job, left the country, and nobody could track him down! In the end we managed somehow to convince them that the fact that our passports showed identical entry and exit stamps for a 5 month period probably meant we'd been travelling together for that time (we tried showing them our photo album (a la "Green Card") but they weren't interested
), and that combined with letters from almost every one of our relatives (plus I think the fact that I think NZ House were going to have to invest in a new filing cabinet just to hold all the bits of paper we'd sent them each time we hit another hitch!), was finally enough to get him the entry permit.)
Anyway, now that I've totally terrified you
- don't worry! I'm sure your application process won't be that traumatic, but it is best to go into these things knowing that they will pry into every part of your life, and want proof of everything, (probably including what you had for breakfast on the 12th of June 1991!), but if you keep at it, you'll get there!