I've just received some news which, for me, is incredibly depressing.
Dunno how many of you know this, but I'm an American living in the UK. I've been here as a student for the last five years, and until a few minutes ago, I thought I would be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after the 27th of September (my 5-year anniversary).
What ILR means is, essentially, I'd get all the rights of a citizen to come and go as I willed from the UK, for the rest of my life.
Great thing, right? Unfortunately, I don't qualify for this.
See, I've been living here as a student, in the interests of finally obtaining qualifications of some sort which will allow me to actually get a job. In all the time I've been here, I've never been accepted even for the piddly part-time summer cafe-waitress jobs I've applied for (I have a long list of reasons why nobody will hire a 20-something foreigner with previous work experience, living under a student visa, but I'm not going to go into that here).
But living under a student visa gives me all the rights of, say, that moth you just swatted on your wool coat. Despite the last five years costing a shocking amount in tuition, bills, rent, food, clothing and yes, taxes (because the City Council will leech me for property tax and there's not much I can do about it) - none of which has come from external funding (there is no agency in the world that will pay for this sort of thing) - I get to be viewed as a virtual parasite on society, attempting to take a job away from some hard-working National.
What I get to look forward to now is paying for an extension on my student visa so I can finish this degree, then whoring myself out to the first company which will acquire a work visa for me, with the potential worst outcome of being a virtual slave for a further five years, unable to leave a horrible workplace without losing my right to live in the UK.
Well, no. The absolute worst outcome would be never getting a job at all and being kicked out of the UK, losing everything I have built for myself here. My life, my friends, my home. I've been at the mercy of a capricious and quixotic bureaucracy most of my adult life, and every time I seem to have gained a little victory over the system, it turns and swats me down again.
I dunno what else to say.