Friday, 9 December 2011

I could trace your private number

Today's post is inspired by the brilliant cover of 'You Spin Me Round' by Thea Gilmore and Mike Cave, and the ridiculous amount of detail I have had to go into about myself, my background, and my current identity documents, for the next stage of immigration paper work we need to do to obtain my green card. Now, officially, we don't actually have to do this right now - we could wait a few weeks, maybe even a couple of months, to submit the Adjustment of Status (AOS) documents - but, as with everything immigration-related, a) it is better to do all submissions sooner rather than later, and b) I am a crazy person and like to get everything done, colour-coded, duplicated, and filed about a million days before it actually needs doing.

So, here we have the next stage:

I've managed to make a start on all of the forms (and pretty much finish five of them). The other two need Ben (the I-864) and possibly another US sponsor to be completed, to ensure I don't become a financial burden to the country, and the I-693 has to be filled in and signed by a civil surgeon. As I have already had my medical back in the UK, this just involves having my vaccination record checked and signed off. I have to pay for the privilege, but I am getting used to the random costs that we incur throughout this process, so it's hardly a surprise! You should shop around for an affordable surgeon to do the honours, as - due to the nature of private medical care, I am guessing - it is entirely possible that a practice will insist on their own "medical" before signing off the I-693, justified by their individual policy (which, unsurprisingly, results in more money for them - colour me cynical, but seriously?! It's SIGNING a piece of paper that has already been approved by a US Embassy verified doctor in the UK, and filling in a few boxes. I don't need another blood test/full health screen/lifestyle interview to ensure nothing has changed in the last three months due to so-called "medical ethics" that somehow add to the money pot, courtesy of yours truly's purse), that can result in incurring anything between $100 and $300 in getting it all signed off. You should be looking at $50 tops, plus any vaccinations you might need if your record is incomplete. My appointment is costing $35. 

Rant over! Once the forms are complete, and I get used to signing my new name with a more confident flourish, we can get them all sent off next week, and then sit back and wait. All being well, I should get my EAD (Employment Authorisation Document - from form I-765; item #15 on the list) and AP (Advanced Parole, to allow me to travel in the event of an emergency) in 2-3 months, so I can start doing paid work - if I can find a job - and then the biometrics and interview appointments shouldn't be too much longer after that. And then, green card! Fingers crossed... 


  1. It's a a total pain. I couldn't believe how much stuff they needed. It's wise to send off for the temp travel and work documents at the same time, like you're doing - but as far as I can make out, they often take as long as the green card to get processed, which usually takes months...

    Don't forget to include money for the biometrics too. I forgot to do that. They were extremely swift to contact me when they wanted money from me. Not so swift with processing my documents. From purely a service user's perspective, it doesn't seem like a particularly great service for $1000!

    Still, once it's all over, it's a big relief! :-)

  2. Yeah, that $1070 includes the biometrics fee. As far as I can tell, that is just having my fingerprints done, which has been done 2-3 times already in the UK and when I arrived here. So yeah, value for money, huh?!

    Definitely going to send off the temp. travel document and EAD application; I need to work for both money and sanity reasons.

    I've heard positive things on the British Expats website about their current processing times. However, I am prepared to be waiting around for the documents to come back. I will carry on doing volunteer and internship work to keep busy, and get my driver's license during that time too, all being well.

    I agree: when this is done, I will be SO relieved, just to have a year's break from it all if nothing else! Thanks for the positive message. :)

  3. Marrying in the United States using the adjustment of status process is one of the most common ways couples can ensure they can stay together and still get their Marriage Visa. It is very important you understand this adjustment of status process, otherwise your Marriage Visa may get denied.


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