Friday, 15 July 2011

Waiting is a killer

Having a bit of a 'mare in my head right now, due to the very happy news of my official letter being sent by the US to Myrtle (my old house which, fortunately, is now owned by a dear friend of mine, so she has been keeping me in the loop in terms of mail) which has resulted in realising (for definite) that the medical will most likely be during the week commencing 25th July, meaning that the interview will be scheduled 5-7 weeks from the date of the medical. So, not only does that mean further time apart from Ben, but that could in theory mean that it won't be until mid-September until I get my visa, so travelling to the US after that is, well, inevitable, and also results in putting out people who had made plans around the original (rather optimistic) estimate. I also need to cancel flights and rearrange a few other bits. Ugh. I've been feeling rather overwhelmed by the whole thing - despite Ben and family being wonderful about it - and somehow like I've got a lot to worry about. I think I just need a bit of time and distraction, to get some perspective, but this amount of uncertainty (even if the end result, however long it takes, has about 95% likelihood of being positive according to USCIS statistics) is really starting to unnerve me. Again. I wish I knew how to cope with it better - I feel like a child.

It could go faster, all being well with the medical and the embassy working fast (we plan on getting all relevant documentation sent on Monday, when I will also book the medical, so that's within 3 working days of receiving the letter - not bad), plus I already have the certificates, proof of vaccinations, criminal record check and so on all ready to be presented, along with proof of our relationship. Ben has applied for all of his tax returns, which I need to present at the interview as part of the affidavit of support and I've also applied for a second birth certificate, as one of the most frustrating things about this whole process is the fact that they (the wizards) seem to need the same document in two places at the same time. Eesh. Add to that the delightful parting of us and money (Ben has already paid $400 dollars for the initial petition, I will pay £210 for the medical, $350 for the interview and, when I arrive in the States, we have to pay $1070 after we marry in order to change my residential status) and you have a rather mental Eve on your hands.

In order to cope, I have (of course) made a list of the process to come. It's the last bit this side of the pond, so I am trying not to explode with how much we still have to do. Have a look below...


STAGE 1 - Forms

FORMS:
DS-230 Part 1
DS-156 x 2
DS-157 x 2
DS-156K


a) Post all forms ASAP to US Embassy in London

b) Call embassy and pay $350 

STAGE 2 - Assemble documents and book medical

a) Compile documents required to bring to interview (originals plus ONE PHOTOCOPY of each):

Birth certificate
Passport
Police certificate 
3 colour photographs 
I-864 (affidavit of support)

b) Book medical

c) When these documents have been assembled, send Notification of Applicant(s) Readiness, Form 2001 and mail it to the Immigrant Visa Unit together with a covering letter containing your email address, if applicable, date of your wedding and date of the medical examination. 


Stage 3 - WAITING AGAIN!

a) Wait for medical appointment.


Bring the following to medical exam:
Passport
Driving license
Passport type photo
Medical questionnaire
Vaccination records

b) Wait for interview date!



In the meantime, I need to cancel/rebook flights, ensure that I inform Excess Baggage (the international removals company I am using) of changes to my travel plans, pick up my wedding dress, sell my car and, possibly, get a part-time, flexible, temporary job to cover the extra weeks that I am in the UK, just in case I need an income. Yep, this is all totally possible.

This article did cheer me up thought. Bless Cracked.


EDIT: I have just spent the last half hour swearing at my computer due to the ridiculously unpredictable nature of Blogger's HTML/word processing format. So, this was not quite the stress-relieving exercise that I was hoping for. I give up.

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