More waiting

This should have been us today:

green card movie screenshot

OK, slight role reversal. Gerard Depardieu is playing my character and Andie MacDowell is in the role of My American. Also, we go without the subterfuge, since we were in love from Day 1.

In any case, when we left the U.S. Federal Court House in downtown Spokane this morning, we should have been celebrating with sunshine, lollipops and rainbows … everything! (R.I.P. Lesley Gore)

Instead, we left our Green Card interview with an RFE, a request for evidence.

It’s all my fault.

My penchant for beating deadlines has finally caught up with me.

Just another bump in the road

We didn’t have the smoothest K-1 visa process, if you remember. Our case file got lost, delaying our approval by at least two months.

Thus, I was anxious to get everything moving once I was allowed entry into the U.S. as My American’s fiancee. We got married on March 7 (a blog post I swear I’ve been meaning to write) and I had all the paperwork for my Green Card application filled out the next Monday morning, March 9.

wedding day
Jack Merritt Photography


The Chicago service center for Customs and Immigration Services received my application two days later.

We were well ahead of our 90-day deadline, April 25, to get married. I was too prepared for my Green Card application, which I had read I should file “immediately” after we said our vows.

Except for one problem.

The CIS officers in Oroville, WA, where I crossed still haven’t sent my top secret packet of information to CIS in Spokane.

The lovely local officer who interviewed us this morning didn’t know where the information could be.

It means I’m off bright and early tomorrow morning to see a civil surgeon and have my medical done all over again.

It means we sink another $215, at minimum, into the whole process, bringing us up around $2,500 thus far.

That’s another $215 after I’ve already spent $265 on a medical in Vancouver.

Wait .. there’s good news

Once we get over this hurdle, I’m in!

The interview was easy-peasy. Our CIS officer didn’t want any proof of our relationship as “bona fide,” sizing us up as a “real” couple based on our easy banter, I suppose. (As a Canadian, I also hail from a low-fraud country because, let’s be honest, would I have left the Great White North for any reason other than love?)

We shared our love of dogs and she asked me questions about my (non-existent) criminal past and associations with questionable groups (slo-pitch teams oddly didn’t apply).

I will have my application approved and I will have a two-year Green Card, recognizing me as a legal resident of the United States.

Oh yes, it’s only temporary. In two years, I have to go through another round of applications for “Removal of Conditions,” a service that costs about $600. A year after that — and another $600 — I can apply for citizenship, if I don’t want to have go through a Green Card renewal every 10 years.

In the meantime, more cool things are happening.

I can work, because I have my Employment Authorization.

I can visit Canada, because I have my Advance Parole. (Helloooooooo, Cranbrook! It’s time for some Timbits!)

You’ll just have to stay tuned.


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