Wednesday, October 19, 2011

205 days and then relax....,

Well it's the 1pm on the 19th of October 2011, and I'm sat in a pub in Soho London, relaxing after one of the most stressful days so far in the whole immigration process.

It all started yesterday, with a train journey from Leeds to London, Kings Cross. Arriving in London at 8pm, I proceeded to my hostel for a nights sleep - not that I got any!

I "awoke" at 5:30am, showered and left the hostel at 6am. The first order of business was, 1) passport photos to American spec (different to uk)
2) find somewhere to store my bag & phone. The embassy won't let you take anything electrical in, including key fobs.

Goulds Pharmacy (100 yards from embassy) do both, so I turned up at 6:45am to find that it doesn't open until 7:30am (my appointment was at 9am). There was a really nice italian coffee shop next door, so I sat down, had a coffee and a bacon sandwich.

7:20am the pharmacy opens, take photos (worst ever picture!!!) and drop off my suitcase and phone.

7:30am queue up at embassy, show letter, and go through security. In embassy by 7:45am. On entry get given a sticker with I-906 on it.

8:00am the embassy comes to life. Numbers start being called out (mainly N numbers - non-immigrant)

9am My number flashes up on screen - here we go!

So I stand in front of this window, and slide my passport & letter under the window. The women on the other side then disappears. A minute or so later she reappears with a bright pink file and then starts looking through it.

Finally I get asked my name and the name of my fiancé - she then asks me to put my left hand on a scanner to take my fingerprints, then the same for my right and then both thumbs.

I then proceed to give her the following documents (& copies): police cert, birth cert, divorce decree & affidavit of support.

She looks through them checks them off a list and then hands me a pink slip, telling me to fill it in once I leave to sit back down. She asks a couple of questions then tells me that I can go sit back down and wait for my next call up.

9:20am my number flashes up again - this is now the main event!

I go to window 15 and am greeted my a smiling American lady. She asks me to put my left hand on a fingerprint scanner and once that goes ok, I have to raise my right hand and say "I do", after see recites an oath in which I promise to tell the whole truth.

She then proceeds to ask me the following questions:

Where did me meet?
When was that?
When did we meet in person?
Has Linsey been to the UK?
When was that?
Were her parents going to the wedding?
Did either of us have children?
Was that my niece in the photos?

She then smiled and said "I'm going to approve your visa"

I think I just stood there looking blank!
She then said, "take your pink slip up to the courier counter and you should get your visa in around 5 days" and that was it! It took all of 5mins! What were we stressing about?

I then paid my courier fee, went back to the pharmacy to collect my things, then phoned Linsey at 9:44am to tell her the news!

All I had to then was find something to do in London until 7:30pm and relax.

See you all in MN in a few weeks!!!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

An INTERVIEW (and a pile of nerves...)

So...right after I posted the last blog...I mean like literally the next day Matt got his letter in the mail from the US Embassy in London giving him his interview date and time.

And when is it, you ask?

Wednesday, October 19th at 9:00am GMT
(so...3:00am MN time.)

Can I just tell you that I am nervous beyond belief?!?!?!?!?!?! Any time my mind wanders to that date and time, just a few days from now, my heart races or skips a beat and I get really nervous and I have to stop, take some deep breaths and remind myself that it's going to be ok... But let me tell you that my mind wanders to that date more and more often the closer we get.

And I have a feeling that I will not be getting any sleep the night and early morning of October 18-19...

This is it folks...well, technically it's not IT it...but this is the final step in the fiance visa process. THE INTERVIEW...dun dun dun! I joke, but I'm terrified!

This interview is what is the final step in allow us to be together permanently. After hours spent working on paperwork for the petition and then the visa and then affidavits of support and proof that, YES!, we have met in person, 4 times...this interview is the final decision making step by the US Govt to allow Matt to move to the US so we can get married and put the computer and skype and IM and phone calls behind us.

So...yep...I'm a little bit nervous...anxious...overwhelmed...worried...excited...emotional...thrilled...
scared...feeling a bit unhinged...etc...etc...etc...

I seem to have lost my appetite. I made a delicious soup last night and some buffalo chicken today and I don't want to eat any of it.

The next 2 days can't go any faster. I wouldn't mind skipping them, to be perfectly honest. I don't think I'll miss anything. Just work, rehearsal, and doing stuff at home. Right?

So...if you are someone who prays and believes in the power of prayer, like I do, please pray that Matt has someone who is nice and gracious and friendly. Pray that our paperwork is all in order and what they are looking for. Pray that the process goes quickly. And pray that they KEEP his passport to stamp and process it for the actual Visa. Keeping the passport is a GOOD thing! It's the thing we want! The thing we need! And if you're not someone who prays, good and happy thoughts would also be gladly and gratefully welcomed!

Here's to the next few days...that they go quickly and smoothly. That Matt makes it to London without any craziness (like last time for the Medical Exam). That he can get a little sleep in the hotel before getting up VERY early to get to the Embassy on time. That all the paperwork that is required is there and that they KEEP HIS give us the VISA!

I'm sure I'll post something here and on Facebook on Wednesday after I've heard from Matt. (I told him that he had to call me right before he goes in and when he was out of the Embassy and I sure am hoping that that is before I go to work at 7:00am.)

A HUGE thanks to all of our family and friends who have been nothing but supportive throughout this whole process. We couldn't have done without your love and encouragement. Anyone who has planned a wedding knows that it is stressful...but until you have done so while trying to figure out US Customs you really haven't had it that bad...I think just planning a wedding would be a dream right about now...

Like I said, this isn't IT's will just be the first step completed and Matt actually moving to the States. There is a whole other process of paperwork that will be tackled once we're married and a few years after that and then theirs always the Citizenship option...whew! It really is a pile of paperwork! You should see my's full!