In the latest of instalment of our immigration/visa/green card journey (or what I am starting to regard as the bureaucratic endeavour to destroy as many forests as humanly possible), I have just finished packaging up the documentation for our RFE. When we sent off the I-485 (adjustment of status form) back in December, we were pretty confident that we had included everything we needed to in order to ensure the smooth processing of my green card application (which also includes my employment authorisation and travel document, the latter of which allows me to leave the country legally without jeopardising my residency status). When we had confirmation of receipt less than a week later, and then a letter detailing my imminent biometrics appointment, we were even more reassured that we were in the home stretch.
Three weeks ago we received a letter which contained not one but FOUR requests for evidence (RFE). Each one, written on delightful pink paper, had a list of documents that were required to fulfil each category of "missing" information.
I'm actually not too cross about the whole thing. I've been stressed out about it, as obtaining a few of the documents has taken a while (proof of future employment prospects (for Ben)? So, we need to ensure we have proof that he isn't getting laid off any time soon... right), and I like to be expeditious when it comes to any USCIS business. But I haven't become angry or upset about the requirements. Like the dog that accepts his fate, I have learned to be (somewhat) helpless when it comes to jumping through immigration hoops. It just has to be done, and there's nothing more to say than that.
Dutifully, then, I spent this morning writing a cover letter detailing ALL THE THINGS that needed to be included in the packet of documents to be sent back to the USCIS, and then organising ALL THE THINGS thus:
This is actually a helpful process for several reasons: firstly it allows me to make sure my brain is fully aware of what is required; secondly it ensures that whoever reads it knows how the documents are organised; and thirdly, I can use the letter as the main check list before sealing the envelope.
Once everything has been organised and double-checked, I then scan it. All of it. By this point, I am usually flagging. The initial determination and energy I experienced while organising papers and filling the envelope has deteriorated into a petulant whine about how I want to be done already.
It's necessary though; to not have our own back up copy of everything we send would be foolish. Fortunately, when we moved house, we decided that we would invest in a new printer for our study. This little gem is a wireless printer that will happily scan straight to the computer, in several different formats. So, although a little laborious, getting .pdf files of every piece of evidence straight from the study to my laptop down in the kitchen is really rather pleasing. It should also help reduce the amount of trees dying as a direct consequence of our attempts at obtaining a green card. Ha! "Green" card. Anyway...
All that is left to do now, then, is post that fat envelope full of proof off to the USCIS and cross everything* until we hear back. Here goes!
* This is unlikely to actually occur.
Thanks to Hyperbole and a Half for the awesome meme images, and to my friend Matthew, for making them for me as he watched my Facebook-documented despair earlier today.