Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Marathon and the Sprint

This is a blog about a journey. A journey called U.S. Immigration.

Can I just please share this little (huge) timeline of events, so you can understand why I am so elated right now?

February 4, 2011 - sent in Visa application, paid filing fee
March 11, 2011 - received confirmation that our application was received, list of instructions on initial paperwork to fill out
May 28, 2011 - paperwork received and now eligible to continue in the Visa process - time to establish connection with National Visa Center and give them a ton more of our money
June 2011 - received receipt of fees paid
June 21, 2011 - another email telling us about another fee to pay. Depressing, but it was the last fee. This totaled our fees to well over $1,000!
July, 2011 - received receipt of last payment, this officially confirmed our submission for a visa application. Yes, it took 6 months of paying fees just to confirm we were actually submitted a visa application!
August 2011 - received checklist of all paperwork needed to be submitted. Mind you, this was a monstrous list equaling a monstrous to-do list for us! Rob worked on most of it. Keep reading below :-)
August 2011 - first submitted Affidavit of Support, proving I was financially able to support Rob and not let him take any government money for support.
September 2011 - AOS denied - insufficient proof of income, signatures weren't original on the paperwork (huh?!)

Between Sept 2011 and Feb 2012, Rob sent for and waited on his birth certificate, Canadian background check results, and military records. Our governments do things in very timely manners, as you can see.

February 2012 - resubmitted AOS along with Rob's documents now that we had them all in hand. A few days later AOS denied - signatures weren't original.
March 2012 - AOS denied - signatures not original, marriage certificate not original, birth certificate not original. Resent them
March 27, 2012 - Everything denied again for same reasons. Contacted NVC, arranged everything to be sent to them a different way to prove everything was real.
April 2012 - Marriage cert. and birth cert. accepted, AOS denied - signatures not signed in blue or black ink. Seriously?! I used black ink! Resent.
April 20, 2012 - AOS denied - my income does not match that listed on the form. Oh yeah, guess I went through a job loss and a season of no job. Re-do forms.
May 7, 2012 - denied. Oops, forgot to tell us that now that were in a new tax season, need to completely re-do form, get 2011 tax returns from me and my parents because my income no longer supports Rob.
June 5, 2012 - called NVC to get an update, and our paperwork has all finally been accepted!! (oh yeah, they are quick to tell us our paperwork sucks, but not that it's all in good order)

There are many days that I wish I could step into another newlywed's shoes and feel what a "normal" life of being a newlywed is supposed to feel like. Not one that is bogged down by immigration paperwork and wondering if your husband is going to be denied a visa after all the hard work we put into this process. But yet, I don't wish this process on anyone. Anyone. Which is why Josiah will be strictly prohibited from marrying anyone from another country...for his sake. Or mine. Ha!

And now we just wait for Rob to be scheduled an interview with the US Consulate in Montreal. It's the sprint to the finish line!


Renee said...

Congratulations, Stephanie! I'm so glad to hear that you're on the home stretch with the immigration situation. It's such a maddening process. Being done with it sounds really good to me too (but honestly I'm sure we're a long way from that). I hope you're finding ways to celebrate!

Très bien said...

yayayayyyy!!! So happy for you!

Anonymous said...

I can understand that waiting process..I waited over 5 years, as my process started right before 9/11 was 5 years too long and by the time my application was finally accepted..I had made a life for myself in Canada.
It is hard..but looks like you are in the home stretch. fingers crossed.
also just remember..not every newly wed is living a normal stress free life!
keep your heads up :)

Jessica Smith said...

So glad to hear things are moving forward now! :) Praying the rest of the process moves quickly and smoothly. :)