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TNT readers share the reasons why they are in full support of Boris Johnson's campaign to make it easier for Aussies and Kiwis to live and work in the UK.

Danielle Duchesne is a Kiwi who has recently been booted out of the UK after her two-year visa ran out. Her friend Louise Baker, also from New Zealand, is still in the UK but only has a year left. “The past year has gone by so quickly and I know the upcoming one will go even faster...” she laments (see over the page for her story).

They are desperate to gather as much support as they can for Boris’s campaign, even starting a Facebook page under ‘Support UK Visa Changes for Kiwis and Aussies’. They are looking to get as much support as they can, hoping the united voices of Australiasians backing Boris’s policy will help make it happen. 

“Not going to lie, it feels like I’m going through a bad break-up. Sorry if that sounds dramatic, but it does,” says Danielle, who was forced to return to New Zealand in October this year.  

A contemporary dancer, she moved to London as soon as she finished school having visited the city alone during a summer break travelling Europe. “I fell in love with the city, the dance, and the energy. So on October 14, 2012, a friend and I flew out ready for an adventure. The moment we landed, I knew this was the right thing.”

Danielle did however struggle with progressing her dance career at first, instead taking reception, restaurant and marketing jobs before qualifying as a personal trainer. After a rollercoaster two years, she really started to feel settled.

“In my last few months, I found myself in the right head space to really push forth with my aspirations to dance, while maintaining a role in the fitness industry. I had also connected with so many wonderful people, and was in no way ready to say goodbye. Most of all, though, I had fallen completely in love with the city. I had a life in London that I was not ready to let go of. Leaving when the choice isn’t yours is a whole different ballgame, and I don’t think I’ll ever really let go of London.” 

Indeed, it’s only been just over a month since she’s left and Danielle is already longing to get her old life back: “There are so many little things that I miss about London: pockets of beauty in and among a big and crazy mess; I miss the energy of the city, the beauty of it, the parks, the cheeky picnics and drinking; the dance classes, my fitness classes, the bustling way of life; tapping my Oyster in and out of Tube stations, the Hammersmith river, the night buses home; Shoreditch cafes, Southbank, the moments when you realise you’re living in this amazing city... the list could go on.”

So when Danielle heard about the new push for bilateral visa mobility zones, she knew she couldn’t just sit back, wishing she was back in London and waiting for something to happen. “Even though we are just two people, it feels good to try to do something. I have reached out to radio stations, a few magazines, and we are now in the process of presenting a report to MPs in London asking for their support so we can then push forth if we get a good percentage backing this. 

“I feel my usual fire coming back to me, with the idea that the more positive energy we put out regarding this, the better our chances of getting that positive bounce right back – it’s only physics!” 

And if their hard work pays off, Danielle will be the first on the plane back to the UK: “I can’t wait for the moment that I can feel the wheels touchdown in London, but this time without an expiration date.”

Click NEXT for more reader stories...

If you would like to share your view or personal story, get in touch with the editor at caroline.garnar@tntmagazine.com


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