Just how long will it take to fully settle back into life here?

Looking back on it now, it was remarkably easy for Wendy to settle into life in Northern Ireland 10 years ago. Back then, she could sign up for a doctor, get a UK driving license and even a National Insurance Number wasn’t that difficult.

This time around she already had the NI Number although it turned out that there was a non-obvious form that needed to be completed to tell the tax people that we were now living here rather than in France. She had the driving license too and didn’t even need to get her photo certified as we thought she might have had to.

The doctor was a touch more difficult as they struck her off after about three weeks as they didn’t believe that she intended to live here. That’s one notable difference in the health system from the rest of the UK. Elsewhere you just need to be there to register, in NI you need to prove you intend to continue to live in NI (and, yes, that does, or rather is intended to, apply even to those moving from England to NI).

Social security is rather more difficult and as a result we ended up in court with them last Tuesday as they simply don’t believe that she is legally here at all. It looks like the critical document is going to be one that all concerned totally overlooked but more on that anon as the matter has still to be decided by the judge.


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