18 April 2011


Well, I'm having my bi-yearly visa meltdown that involves trying to figure out whether or not staying in this country is a feasible option for my family. If you look below, there is a more in-depth discussion of it, but I am struck by the metaphor they use about the Tier 1 post study work visa being a 'bridge' and all these niceties about about wanting to keep talent in the the country. If the Tier 1 post study work visa is a bridge, it's a very expensive toll bridge that doesn't reach to the other side, which I assume is the Tier 2 skilled work visa. There are so many limits on what you can do and so many constraints on you if you want to stay after the post study period. I guess I can see how you might come out on the other end with some permanent work but it would almost certainly rule out doing a postdoc as you really need to find a permanent post that you stay in for at least six months before applying for the next visa. Not sure how you're supposed to get hired in a permanent post without a permanent visa though. 'Trust me, they'll give me the visa after you hire me and keep me around for six months. That's what the website says.'

It's so frustrating. This government will have spent around £100,000 on me over the last 4 years, keeping me in the country and educating me. Then I'll finish and they will make no real effort to keep me on as a tax-paying resident, even though that's what I want.

It does, however, open up all sorts of possibilities for me and my family when we finish. If I'm going to teach English/do teacher training, I can likely do that anywhere in the world, in any number of interesting schools/environments. So that is exciting.

And I don't have to worry about a postdoc application because it won't be in my interest to do one anyway. I'll look for projects in Europe and work all over the world. Where the Pihlaja family lands will be a mystery to everyone until then. And I like that a lot.