Sarah + Tim

a canadian, american and calico living in perfect harmony

Officially a Permanent Resident! July 12, 2009

Filed under: Canada,love — Sarah @ 7:31 pm
Tags: , ,

The Proposal MovieAfter seeing The Proposal on Friday afternoon (Kellene and I played hooky in the middle of the work day to catch it — how cool is that!) I have to admit I had a moment of panic.  After watching Sandra Bullock play a Canadian woman who is about to be deported, I thought about my current pending immigration status and got a terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach.

What if they rejected my application to be a permanent resident??  What if they made me leave my husband and go back to Canada solo???

Needless to say, I started to worry.  Considering after being summoned twice for my biometrics (a fancy, scary word for fingerprints) they both were rejected by the FBI.  And what’s more, the evidence we had presented to them was not adequate to prove our situation.  So we were asked to send in nothing less than the following:

  • Notarized witness affidavits from people who have known Tim and I since before we were married, describing our state of marital bliss
  • All the records possible (bank, car, credit cards, life insurance, health insurance, car insurance, phone records)
  • A written statement in my own words about how we met, courted, etc.  Who was at our wedding.  Photos.  Wedding invitations.  (You’ll be happy to know I sent them a lovely little scrapbook with photos from our courtship and wedding. Be careful what you ask for, Department of Homeland Security…)

    The picture from our wedding announcement, taken by Stephanie

    The picture from our wedding announcement, taken by Stephanie

Then Friday evening I got the letter from the Department of Homeland Security.

You are deemed to be a lawful permanent resident of the United States.

At long last!  No strings attached!  Conditions removed!  No deportation!  It’s been a long haul, baby.  Phew!

Are you living in the country you were born in?  Did you marry someone from another country?  Have you jumped through the fiery hoops of immigration?  Did you walk away unscathed?  Do tell!


9 Responses to “Officially a Permanent Resident!”

  1. Adhis Says:

    Welcome! (For now, at least.) 😉
    I can’t believe your we-are-really-married interview wasn’t enough!! Wow.

    I remember doing that (although it was with a different husband); it was kind of a fun interview. And then being grilled by INS shortly after our divorce. That was NOT a fun interview.

    The hoops of immigration are indeed fiery, but it’s a slow dragged-on kind of fiery.

    Congrats on making it to the first level. 😀

    • Sarah & Tim Says:

      It’s such a strange thing, immigration. Wow, that post-divorce grilling interview sounded VERY un-fun.

      Really, I’ve had a green card for two years, so this feels more like level two or three. But we’ll see.

      How did your citizenship process go?

      • Adhis Says:

        Oops, been a while!
        My citizenship process was fairly easy. I think the govt makes it difficult in the initial stages of residency, but once you’ve been here a few years, they ease up a little. They still lean on the rude side as Stephanie mentioned.

        The only glitches in the citizenship process was when my lawyer (which I didn’t need… turns out I filled out the forms correctly and he didn’t) left out information about me in the application and didn’t tell me I needed to submit more photos. I showed up to my immigration appointment, and they said they couldn’t interview me without add’l photos.

        I wrote about my experience here.

  2. Mindi B Says:

    That’s so great, Sarah!

  3. Emily M Says:

    Glad it all worked out! All that “evidence” you had to give them is crazy!

  4. Yeah we’ve done the immigration thing but only before we got married. I give you props for dealing with it, if it were up to me I’d do away with INS and come up with a new way of dealing with immigrants, there’s got to be something better. I went through INS with my parents, my mom is american but went to Canada with her mom when she was 1 and never gave up her citizenship so when we moved to the states she was able to be our sponsor. I remember how horrible it is to deal with them, they are unkind and don’t care about your situation. You are cattle to be herded to them, I’ve sat in their building and seen foreign immigrants with hard to pronounce names waiting for an interview. When they are called the person tries to pronounce their name and when they finally decide oh maybe that is me they are trying to call the person would say why didn’t you answer when I called the first time? Maybe because you weren’t pronouncing it right . . . . Extremely rude. When my older sister got married in Seattle and then had her reception in Canada my dad and my sisters and I weren’t able to go because we couldn’t cross the border at the time. Before we knew this we decided to go to INS in Seattle and ask them if there was any way that we could get a temporary permit to cross for her reception. We went there and the woman at the door said oh yeah you just have to take a number and you should be able to do it. We sat in the hot, boring, packed INS room (remaniscent of a DMV with a number board “now serving #”) for 8 HOURS. When they finally called our number it was the same woman that we spoke to at the door and she said oh I don’t know who told you that you could get permission to cross temporarily and we said YOU DID! That is among the few experiences we had that made us come to hate INS. I’m so glad that there wasn’t any problems getting resident status for you. 2012 is when I have to either renew my green card or get dual citizenship so hopefully that’ll be the last time I have to deal with them again. I don’t look forward to doing it but I do look forward to walking away after getting it and never looking back.

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