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Friday, February 13, 2015

Immigration Update: One Step Closer to Not Being an Alien

Finally, finally, there’s some progress on our immigration case!

Immigration process Canada to US: finally success!
Photo thanks to Tracey Photography
After already having our processing date pushed back twice, I didn’t have any patience left for another delay with our application. (Quick update: my husband and I are in a long distance relationship as we wait for me to get my green card for the States. I live in Ontario and will soon be moving to Tennessee.)

We were told to expect news on Monday February 2, but our inboxes and phones were disappointingly quiet. I didn’t let myself get my hopes up that anything would be approved early, but am I foolish to admit there was a slight, tiny part of me that thought maybe this time things would at least move along on schedule?

I tried not to be heartbroken and instead channeled my frustration into planning exactly how much hell I would give the National Visa Center when I called their hotline to follow up. I decided to wait until Tuesday so I wouldn’t accidentally tell off the person on the phone who might be able to give me some answers.

Fortunately I didn’t have to make that call as the next day I received an email saying the pre-processing of my immigration visa application was complete! It’s now been forwarded to the US Embassy and I’ve been assigned an interview date in Montreal for March 23.

The feeling of excitement was shortly followed by the realization, “Wait, what?? March 23 - SEVEN WEEKS AWAY? Are you kidding me? We’ve already waited so long!” I was with a friend at the time who reminded me to be grateful because this was a major step in the right direction.

“You’re right, you’re right,” I replied, “This is good news. This means I can book my medical exam now and get the ball rolling with that. Yay!” We did a little happy dance in the kitchen to celebrate.

I was able to speak with my husband later that night and though we both lamented the fact that my interview was far away, at least there was finally momentum with our case: I’d officially moved into the last stage of processing.

Shadows at golden hour
Photo thanks to Tracey Photography

The next day I called to book my medical appointment and was fortunately able to get one within a week. I was a bit nervous as I didn’t know what to expect or exactly how critical this doctor would be. Fun fact: I’m immune to the chickenpox (so is my mom). What do the chickenpox have to do with anything? With all of the talk that vaccinations are getting in the media lately, I was worried because I’ve never received the varicella vaccination which is required if I want to immigrate to the States. 

I didn’t know how much of a stickler this visa doctor would be, but everything turned out to be okay. As long as my blood work confirms I’m immune (or, if I’m not, I get the vaccine later this month before he forwards my results to the embassy), this isn’t even an issue. The only problem I had was getting a $40 City of Toronto parking ticket during my appointment. Boo.

Now for the best news of all: I was able to confirm with a US Customs Officer that I can visit my husband in the States! And my parents offered me a return ticket with their rewards miles! And in March it’s usually 10 degrees (50 F) warmer in Nashville! I’m so stoked. I’ll be spending the next month in Tennessee, Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa then, if my interview goes well, road tripping back down to Tennessee at the beginning of April.

So, cheers my friends! (I’m on my second glass of wine as I’m writing this.) Here’s to being one step closer to not being an alien!

(Sorry for all the exclamation points.)


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