The USA Green Card Journey (pt.2)

The story so far …

In the beginning, the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

Now as far as the Green Card is concerned, we must fast forward to June 2017 where this happened and without the aid of “peril sensitive sunglasses“:

June 2017 – At some point, the attorney sent off the documentation to USCIS. We expected to have a decision made before start of July 2017.

July 2017 – Email from attorney. USCIS have issued another Request for Evidence and this time they’re serious. They want proof by July 28th. Oh crap. They’ve at least specified what they were after.

This happens literally the week before I was to fly out to Penn State Mac Conference , so it was a mad dash to assemble all the paperwork, get it DHL’d out to the attorney, prep for the conference and go. This is the point where 20 hours before I was due to fly, I get the following message:

I recommend against (visiting the USA) when an immigrant visa petition is pending since entry as a tourist does not permit immigrant intent when entering the US. The pending petition establishes an immigrant intent in the US.

Ah. I didn’t know that.

I do now.

For the record, I have zero intent on any of my future US travel to violate my visa waiver status . When I have the visa all confirmed and in my passport, then I will book that one way ticket and not before.

Thankfully there was not any issues at passport control. I was asked the usual questions and the CBP agent merely remarked I was the first non-Microsoft conference attendee he’d dealt with in a few hours. I later found out there was a giant John Deere tractor conference going on as well.

So all is good, I do the conference and head back to Zurich, the day job and wait.

August 9th 2017 – This is the day that literally changes my life forever.

… USCIS (have advised) that the I140 petition was approved. We will now be contacted by the embassy to schedule the interview …

I am not ashamed to admit that after I sent an email thanking him for the excellent news, I annoyed the (*!! out of my Swiss neighbours by screaming aloud “YESSS!!!!!!”.

I may have cried a little at this point too. Not ashamed. 22 years of hoping, dreaming, wanting and we’re finally past the difficult part. I sent a couple messages to some friends letting them know the news. There was even a Facebook post.

22 years. The relief is incredible. However I had to come back down to reality quickly before ego inflated beyond stretching point, so I made the effort and got on with the conversations I was having and the tech help that I was providing at the time. I made the point of asking what the timescale was on the next stuff. The answer was the following:

  • 1 to 2 months for the National Visa Center to respond with checklist of documents required.
  • Submit those documents.
  • US Embassy in London then schedules an interview 3 to 5 months later depending on volume of cases being processed.

(and you can probably bet your bottom dollar, it’ll be five months.)

Now some things weren’t mentioned but i’ve found from research. A minimum of five days before the interview, I must have the mandated medical examination at their preferred medical centre in London. I must also have certain documents ready such as original long form birth certificate plus photocopy, passport with at least six months on it and a UK police certificate.

Assembling those things is my next priority. And now I must sit and wait.

To be continued (again) …