As soon as Liara was settled for her nap today, I called the UK Border Agency to discuss her status here in the UK. I needed to figure out what needs to be done to secure her visa and be assured that she would be allowed to remain here with us in the UK. Here's what I found out:
1. She definitely does need a visa to be here legally.
2. It takes anywhere from 4-14 weeks to get said visa (leaning more towards the 14 side, so says Steven, the guy I talked to).
3. If I submit our application by post (it's pretty much a given for the 14 week timeline), it is 475 pounds.
4. We can submit her application in person and the process is much quicker... however, the only office in Scotland is in Glasgow. Oh, and if you do it in person it's 730 pounds (yes... $1,000).
5. If we leave the country and she does not have a visa, she will NOT be allowed back in, even if we say she's just visiting.
So here's my problem: we leave for the US on non-refundable tickets on the 6th of August. That's definitely only 16 days, not 4 weeks. So most likely, Liara won't have her visa ready in time. Even if we pay the extra amount and go to Glasgow (I've made an appointment for the 27th, just in case), there is no guarantee that we'll get her visa in time. So, do I wait and just see if I can get her a visa in the US and reschedule flights, or should I try to get it done before we go... apparently it will be pretty much the same cost to do that.
I'm absolutely furious. We've already paid like 200 pounds for her passport (that she wasn't granted) that we aren't getting refunded... now they want 730 more?! I seriously want to go home and stay there. I don't want to be here anymore. The fact that they have rejected her hurts me more than I care to admit. I have the most amazing little girl in the whole world, and they don't want her here. I just want to go home.