As we have seen over the last little while, I have been
just a teeny bit seriously stressed!! Too many things to take care of and so little time! One of the big deal stress producers playing a major role in this is the green card process….
Oh yes, I am Canadian and married to an American (for 7 years) and still do not have a green card! Don’t worry, I am legal!! Since we have moved around with the military so much, we have never been in one place long enough to get all of the paperwork done (you need at least 2 years). We finally got our chance, here in Okinawa! We started the process in 2009, but because I was pregnant, we were told to hold off until the baby was born (otherwise, we would need to re-do a lot of paperwork). So the second Gavin popped out, we were bringing our forms to the consulate. This is not just a couple little forms, this is MONTHS of ordering documents, getting documents notarized, updating passports, getting a ‘different’ birth certificate because mine was not good enough (seriously???) We did our little interviews to prove we were really married….no, I have been married to him for 6 years (at the time of the interview), had two kids with him, lived all over the place, just so I can get a greencard…..I am from Canada, not a third world country. They were super nice to us, and actually made it easy on us because they could see this was not a scam marriage!
It seemed like we were heading down the easy road…..until, there was a huge curve and a tree toppled over that we had to basically attempt to get around and now here we are half way over that stupid fallen tree. Huh? Okay, let me explain! I need to get criminal checks from where I have lived, no biggie, I am not a criminal! So as easy as buttah, I got my US one from on base, got my Japanese one in downtown Naha, all I had left was to get fingerprints sent off for my Canadian one.
So this is where we end up at the fallen tree in the middle of the road we thought was easy. I am Canadian, so I can say this: “Canada is a pain in my ass”….sorry to my fellow Canadians, but the way they handle things is just shy of being caveman-like! They tell you it will take 120 days to check your fingerprints….even if you have no criminal history. It has been taking the past 6 months for me to get this criminal check, and I still don’t have it. I am very able to say that if I don’t get my visa stuff before we leave here “I BLAME CANADA”!
I sent everything off to them in September. One month later they send it back…”sorry we don’t accept money orders that are issued outside of Canada”. Really? REALLY?!? How the hell is a person supposed to get a Canadian money order, if they are doing their check from OUTSIDE of Canada??? Good Lord! Thank goodness my dad is helpful, because we were able to send everything to him and he was able to get a Canadian money order for us. Well then, my dad is reviewing everything and sees that in small print it asks for another fingerprint card (so they want two, not one). I can only get prints done within a four-hour period on Tuesdays, so I wait for the ‘fingerprint day’. I finally get all of that cleared up and then send it to my dad, again!! By them time we get all of this stuff sorted and sent to my dad, it is almost Christmas!!!! He got the goods sent out and now all we can do it wait. That is right, no status updates, no rush delivery, no way to know if it has been done or not. Just.keep.waiting.
If this check does not get here by April 12th, we don’t get the green card and then have to do it again once we are in Germany…which is really just another big pain in the behind! I honestly feel bad for all the other people who have to go through this process. It is so confusing to try to get everything together, get the right documents, then fill out the million and one forms that are needed. There are thousands of dollars that go into getting this done, not to mention 2 years of stress and waiting before it is all said and done! I just want to be able to live like a normal person with my ‘American’ family!!
So here is where I ask for some serious “Get My Fingerprints Back by April 10th” vibes from you folks!! I am on a wish and a prayer right now 😉
Well, onto some good news!!!! I went running this morning and was feeling pretty tired, but I held onto it and just pushed!! I ran exactly 5K at a 9:11/mile!!!! That is seriously a huge jump from my two-week ago 11:00/mile!!! I am so excited about it, and felt very proud of myself for getting my butt moving at such a good pace when it was only 4:45am!! I am set for my long run on Saturday, which I will take at a slower pace!! I am pretty sure I will do good, I just need to really listen to my body!!! Okay so that is how I end this post on a positive note 😉 I hope you all have a great hump day, I am off to bed so I can be ready for my 4:30am Shred Level 2 wake-up call!!!
Have you every had to deal with immigration issues? How do you handle the frustration of the ‘waiting’ process?