Pretty much everyone that we tell or finds out we are moving to London says “wow that is so cool”. The main exception is for immediate family who will miss us, and are not so pleased. They say they are “happy for us”. On top of that anyone I know who has been an Expat in London has said we will love it and its going to be a great experience. I believe those who have done it. I am super excited for this move. I have been passively and actively trying to make this happen for a while, so yes we are all excited including the kids.
With all of that out of the way this post is about the monumental amount of effort that is required to make a move like this happen. Some things you think about and others you just can’t imagine. I am writing this before half of the actually moving happens and it is extremely stressful and mind bending what you have to do. I want to write this post or what is ending up being a series of posts to outline the effort and stress involved. This move is not something we decided to do on a whim. It is not without its risks, challenges or stress. So here goes.
So you want to relocate to another country. That’s great. It is easier said than done. We knew that MC was eligible for citizenship in an EU country for years. It was something we talked about even before we were married however didn’t really do much with it. After our girls were born MC mentioned that if she had gotten her citizenship before they were born they too would’ve gotten it. We were lazy about it however not the end of the world. What must’ve been about a year and 1/2 ago we were talking to a friend who had gotten the documents to get her Irish citizenship. To sum it up I think she said something like it’s simple but not easy.
Somewhere around the summer time of 2016 MC and I started talking about it more. I had always been interested in an overseas assignment. Up until that time nothing seemed to have presented itself. I am not sure what was the motivator however I realized life is too short to wait for something to drop in your lap. So the more MC & I talked about it the more I decided I wanted to see what opportunities there were and seek them out. At the same time MC was going to gather all the documents she needed to finally get the citizenship done. MC’s parents were great help with this. They had either originals or photocopies of original documents that we would need. Some stuff going back over 100 years ago. It was her parents that had enabled MC to have the claim.
It wasn’t until the fall of 2016 that we really started getting the paperwork together to submit an application. Around the same time there was rumblings about whether or not my office in New York would remain or if other locations would become more prominent.
The friend we spoke to previously was right about the application process. What you needed was very straightforward. Getting it and having it certified in the right way to be used was time-consuming and in some cases costly. The fact that we lived in New York City and enabled MC to go to the courthouse was very helpful. It took almost 3 months of part-time document gathering before we had a bundle ready to submit to the Irish government.
We sent our application out in mid-January 2017. They said it could take up to six months to give us a reply. We were pleasantly surprised four months later to get MC’s foreign birth registry document. Then we used that document along with a lot of the other ones we had gathered to apply for MC’s passport. We had that done sometime around late June or early July 2017.
This long drawn out timeline of what we had to do to get MC her Irish passport is important. Without that our family had much more limited options. With a passport from an EU country any opportunity within any EU country was open to both of us. Since as a spouse of an EU national I have the right to work also. Without that it’s not impossible however significantly more difficult to be able to do what where undertaking now.
In Part 2 I will talk more about the opportunity that made use of all this work.