Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Update on Immigration Process

Things are really moving forward with my immigration process, which is very exciting. Last Wednesday we rose bright and early (around 4.45am) to get on our way for our interview up in Kansas City. I was very nervous as I had no idea what to expect in the way of questions or anything.

After a short wait in the waiting room, we were called in for our interview. It was very basic stuff for both of us - confirm your name, address, etc. In all honesty, I don't know why they even needed to confirm that stuff as we were the ones who completed the forms. About the only thing extra we did was take an oath to be honest in the interview before things started. Then, before we knew it, the lady who interviewed us was saying she would recommend our application to be approved.

Just yesterday (April 19th), we received the letters from USCIS stating that our application has been approved, and our card should be on its way within the next few weeks.

So what does all this mean?

Well, firstly, it means I no longer have to be in school, which is welcome news for me! I am definitely in need of a rest from all things school-related.

It also means I can freely travel out of the country with no restriction or need for additional paperwork!! :D

And finally, it means I am no longer here on a visa of any kind, but am officially living here permanently. While I would love to move back to Australia at some point, it is nice to know I don't have to live under the restrictions of a visa right now.

Please continue praying for us, as the immigration process is not yet over. Here's what we have left at this point:

  • After receiving my green card, I will need to schedule an appointment for my passport to be stamped and at that point I can travel with no restriction. With a trip to Australia planned within the next six months and a move in the next two months, I would really like to get this stamp quickly.
  • In two years, we will need to file another form with USCIS to remove conditions from my permanent residency. Because we have not yet been married two years, USCIS will only grant me conditional residency to ensure that I didn't get married simply to get residency.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Immigration Update

I thought I would give a little update on the status of my immigration process, since many of you may not know where I am up to on that. Here's a rough timeline:

Nov 2009 - Submitted all of the paperwork to USCIS (United States Citizen & Immigration Services) for an adjustment of status (from a student to a permanent resident)

Dec 2009 - Received the paperwork back with a request for more money

Dec 22, 2009 - Mailed paperwork back to USCIS

January 6, 2010 - Recieved confirmation of receipt for the paperwork

January 14, 2010 - Received an appointment notice for fingerprinting

February 2, 2010 - Had fingerprinting appointment. All went well, it was a very easy and fast process. Now they send my fingerprints through to the FBI to check my criminal background.

February 26, 2010 - I receive authorization to travel while my application is still pending

March 2, 2010 - I receive an appointment notice for my interview, the final stage in this process before they accept or deny my application.

March 4, 2010 - I receive my work card which allows me to work while my application is pending

March 10, 2010 - I receive my Social Security card, also necessary for me to work

As you can see, this has been a very long process with many different steps. Tomorrow morning Caleb and I will be attending the interview. I have no idea what to expect, so please pray all goes smoothly! After the interview, we will have done everything necessary to get the application processed and will just have to wait for USCIS to make a final decision and issue my permanent residency card, also known as a "green card."

We appreciate your prayers with this!