Brief outline

..of what will presumably happen. Because, see, I’m not really comfortable talking about it extensively with people that I know. It is far away, after all. And what if something happens and we need to postpone? Or, worse, cancel? I’d have to tell those same people that the plans have failed, which is a weird form of humiliation. No one knows me here, though, so I can talk, write, make plans and work out some dreams and nightmares while also documenting my efforts to allow that new country to become my home. All risk-free and safe.

Now, listen, I don’t have my heart set on the US. Had you asked me two years ago, I would not even have considered it a realistic holiday destination. But now that love leads me there, I’m willing to let the country into my heart. I let their finest citizen in there too, after all.

Before the country can be welcomed, though, I need to:

– Sell my apartment

– Move in with the beloved and ensure that we can share a house. Make contracts.

– Get definitive on where to live in US

– Find lawyer

– Figure out which legal status would make visa proceedings easiest (right now, it looks as if this is an indirect way of saying ‘get married’)

– In the case of getting married : pre-nup, insurances, wills etc.

– Getting married (quick courthouse? But how not to hurt the mutual parents’ feelings?)

– File for visa

– Pay through the nose

– Wait

– Make decision on what to do with house here

– Pile of unexpected paperwork (because you always have those)

– Figure out if I would be able to work

– Pay more

– Please the Allmighty Lord- and Ladyships of Immigration

– Arrange to do whatever we decided to do with house here

– Find house there

– Arrange shipping of Owned Stuff

– Find work

– Build network

– Live

This list does not count the actions of the Beloved  (Gain residency? Enroll in university? Teach? Work? Not kill me?) and is probably overly simplistic.

I also found this website: http://www.visajourney.com/ which I definitely should remember.

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2 Responses to “Brief outline”


  1. 1 Kyla June 14, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Hi!
    I found you via A Practical Wedding, and was immediately interested in the title of your blog. Now that I’ve read a bit of it, I’m even more interested.
    I’m an almost-30-year-old American woman who just married a Spanish man (for love, conveniently). You and your partner sound a bit like us, at least on paper. We’ve just this month finished Direct Consular Filing in Madrid and are planning to move to San Francisco this August (we’re currently living in Florence, Italy)!

    I think your description of the process is fairly accurate, actually (especially “File for visa; Pay through the nose; Wait”, though those steps need to be repeated, since there are two different “phases” of filing, paying, and waiting). But unfortunately, I’m not sure who told you that DCF would take 10 weeks to 4 months, but from what I understood throughout the process, that’s not even close to the total time required (we spent almost exactly 8 months from the date the initial request was received to the interview date). The first part should take somewhere between 10 weeks to 4 months, but then once your I-130 is approved and they forward it on to the NVC, you pay again and submit yet more paperwork (this is when you need the Affidavit of Support) and there are a few more months of waiting, then once they’ve approved the DS-230, it’s forwarded on to the Consulate/Embassy, then they give you an interview date somewhere around 5-6 weeks later. You can then enter the U.S. as soon as you have your visa in hand (the Embassy in Madrid said it would take up to 2 weeks for them to mail it to us), and you do have permission to work as soon as you get there. You’ll also be able to apply for a Social Security number (serving as a tax I.D. number in the U.S.) during the last phase, which should make it so that you get it as soon as you get to the U.S.

    I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for this comment to get that long or contain that much technical information! You can email me or find me on Twitter, and I’d love to talk more about all of this.

    • 2 thesmittenimmigrant June 14, 2011 at 9:39 am

      Hi Kyla,

      Thank you for your long reply. It’s really nice to hear from someone who is further on the same path than we are. Congratulations on gettingthrough the process succesfully.

      I’ve understood that the time needed for DCF depends largely on the local consulate (and whether or not there is a specific office connected to said consulate). If there isn’t, paperwork needs to be sent back and forth more often. The 10 week to four-month period was what I read on the website of our local consulate. However, I don’t know if that has changed recently. In any case, I think we’ll try to do his naturalization-process and my visa process at the same time, so it wouldn’t matter much if the DCF takes longer (naturalization takes between 8 months and a year, I believe).

      We’re hoping to move to the Bay Area – not SF itself, but into the Valley. It’s a popular place for many, it seems 🙂

      Thank you for your offer – I will definitely contact you when I have questions. Right now, we’re just ‘waiting’ for the wedding 🙂 Good luck with the move – I hope you’ll enjoy going back ‘home’.


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