Friday, February 02, 2007

the only card that matters

We had Somebody's permanent residency interview in SLC on Friday, Jan 19. Things there only went mostly well. We were told to bring things to prove that we had a valid marriage relationship. Little did we know that what they really wanted was proof that we lived together--a different matter altogether. We had none of the things the interviewer wanted (a lease agreement we both signed, a bank statement showing a joint account, junk mail addressed to both of us). We had brought junk mail addressed to Somebody, and junk mail addressed to me, but we really don't get anything addressed to both of us. We had taken the latest Scoop that was addressed to us both, but the interviewer said, "That is private mail and doesn't count." Did you know that junk mail matters more than private mail? I had no idea.

I had also grabbed the latest statement from USAA showing both of us on the policy. The guy took it and said, "Is this a copy for me?" What? "No, that is the original." Looong sigh from interviewer. "You should have made me a copy." Then he asked if we had any joint credit cards or memberships, like to Costco. Yes, we had both, but Somebody had left his wallet in the car with all his cards, including his driver’s license that showed the same address mine did. Nice, huh? Luckily the guy let Somebody go to the car and get his wallet, then photocopied the cards and the insurance form. And then he approved us.

Seriously, we were worried there for a while. And a little disappointed that all the things we had been told to bring, including a photo album with at least 60 photos of the two of us during the year, with different hair lengths to show the passage of time (not even kidding, those were the directions) the interviewer didn't even look at. Didn't even ask for them. We had a whole satchel full of proof of our relationship that he never asked for. At least we passed, though, right?

And then…
…earlier this week Somebody's Green Card came in the mail! I can't even describe how excited he was. He spent an hour reading me every word on the card and the letter that came with it. And then all evening kept pulling it out and looking at it in awe. How cute. Now he is free to come and go from the country at any time, and, the best part, he is able to work anywhere as if he were a citizen.

The card he has now is valid for two years. At that point we apply for another card that is good for one year. Then we apply for another card that is good for ten years, or he can apply for citizenship. I never realized how seriously the U.S. takes immigration. The interviewer told us that when we apply again that the government will start doing "Bed Checks" where they come unannounced to our home at 2 or 3 in the morning to make sure we are both there. Doesn't that sound like a lot of fun?

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