Around this time frame I handed in my dissertation:
And was enduring hell because DH and I had the date set for the wedding, invitations sent out and everything paid for and YET I didn't have my fiance visa (for those who are not familiar with this process, if you are planning on getting married in the US and you are not a US citizen you need a fiancee visa). In some way I blamed DH, MEN!, for this and in other I blamed myself (the OCD in me knew I should've taken charge. Seriously, I plan what I'm going to wear on a vacation 3 months before the vacation.) So back to the visa. They tell you to apply at least 6 months ahead, you should actually just a apply a year before because its A LOT of freakin' paperwork...A LOT!
In order for paperwork to commence DH had to send everything, not me, because he's the one sponsoring me. Well, I love DH very very very much but man, he's horrible with his organizational skills. Like I said, I should've done this myself but at the same time its not like I could've. So in comes March, we were getting/got married in December, and he still hasn't sent in the paperwork (you should picture me here freaking out and crying at the same time...not a happy camper I tell ya!) So finally he send it and the whole drama ordeal commences. For months we go back and forth with immigration because either we didn't send a missing form or forgot to send in the money or because immigration was backed-up with visas and so forth (hence why you should apply with plenty of time). Now you would ask yourself, could you play the military card? Yes and no. If he was deploying he could but he wasn't and therefore we had to go back to the line like everyone else...makes sense though. So we were stretching for time and my stress-level was going sky-high. At the same time I had to deal with really tough family issues and writing my dissertation so as you can tell I was under a lot of stress. Due to my stress DH had to get the end of it...poor guy :(
So in comes November and, lo and behold, I get a letter saying my visa is ready to be processed...IN THE UK! (by this time I was living back home in Spain) This time its up to DH to work his magic. Since he's on MSG in Munich he approaches a colleague who might give him some insight. Instead this colleague does more than that and paves a way for the whole visa fiasco. (I am very grateful to that person for all their hard work). Let me just clarify this, the person didn't get my visa but just sped up the process in the embassy in Madrid. So with my paperwork getting send to the UK and me needing it in Spain they were able to "catch" it before it was send back to the US to get sent to Spain (I know complicated). So its in Spain and they call to squeeze me in. When I went to the consulate they knew my situation and they knew who I was marrying and as I was thanking them for squeezing me in they said to me "we always take care of our Marines"...I was so touched I almost cried. I ended up getting my visa a WEEK before I left for the States. PHEW!
As DH said, "everything is going to be fine" and it was. I got my visa, PHEW!; headed Louisiana; got married; went on our honeymoon; moved again to 29 Palms.
The next stage was getting my Permanent Residence Card (aka: Green Card). I was told, through the grapevine, that it would take about a year, so in my head I was like "shit! I can't leave the country to see my family!?!?" Well, that was a lie. I submitted it in January and in April I had it in the mail.
Now when I travel all I have to have is my passport and my Permanent Residence Card. Which looks somewhat like this:
|(image credit: Path2USA)|
So this was what I have been remembering this entire week.