Posts Tagged 'visa'

Things we do while waiting for the NVC: counting

The NVC has still not invoiced us for the IV-package (the last package of information they need to give us a ‘case complete’  and send our paperwork to the consulate). I’m getting mightily impatient. Why are they so slow in asking us for money? I’m pretty much waving dollar bills in their face as if they’re a second hand book store, but so far to no avail.

However, there is plenty of other stuff to keep us occupied. We’ve signed up for an ‘Open House Day’  to get more people to come look at our house. We obtained the board game Pandemic and are totally in love with it. We’ve taken walks and cooked food and did other things of which I will yet write.

And, I’ve been programming. A while ago, I asked Beloved to, as a birthday present, buy me a book that would allow me to learn some basic programming. He gave me this:

I recommend Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner by Michael Dawson wholeheartedly. I mean.. I’m pretty smart. I’m not totally computer illiterate. Sure, I may have an unrealistic amount of Command Line Interface Anxiety*, but I did once, singlehandedly, install Debian on my computer. I even taught Debian which of the three soundcards present in that computer should be used (but don’t ask me why there were three to begin with). Still.. programming is a realm of arcane knowledge that just doesn’t look all that accessible to the average liberal-artsy educated almost-thirty-year-old.

However, I decided that programming would be a good thing to learn and I had an inkling that I might like it. I am, after all, a writer, editor and translator by profession and one programs by means of a language, right? I figured that if I just told myself that translating from human to human is not that far removed from translating from human to computer, this could be a fun experience. So far, it has been. The learning curve in the book is not as steep as other materials I had sampled (and which were all disheartening, really). The approach is lighthearted and fun and practical.

So, currently, I am working  on the tail end of chapter four. At the end of each chapter, there are little challenges to help you be more creative with the things you’ve learned so far. And just now, I managed to complete one of the challenges in less than ten minutes and have it execute perfectly. I didn’t even make a single typo or forgot a single bracket, even though I made a point of typing everything from scratch. I’m proud, mmkay?

The few lines below make a little counter program. It allows the user to indicate an integer at which to start counting and one at which to stop counting. You also indicate how big the count interval has to be. The program then counts for you and shows all the numbers it counts.

# Challenge 1 - Autocount
# Shows learning in chapter 4.
# by Smitten Immigrant, March 12, 2013

# introduce program
print ("\n\nWelcome to AutoCount")

# ask for user input
startnr = int(input ("\n\nType the number at which I start counting:"))
endnr = int(input ("\n\nType the number at which I stop counting:"))
interv = int(input ("\n\nType at what interval I should count:"))

# run the counter and show count
print ("\n\nYour count is:")
for i in range (startnr, endnr, interv):
 print (i, end=",")

# end program
input("\n\nPress the enter key to exit.")

* You see.. Breaking a computer by pointy-clicky navigation is really hard. I don’t even know if I could do it if I tried. The command line interface is a wholly different beastie, though. You can type things there and I have this suspicion those words can break things. So far, not one of my geek-friends has seen fit to disabuse me of the notion.

Package is under way

Today a courier will carry our I-130 petition over the ocean to deliver it to USCIS on Wednesday November 7 at the latest. I’m relieved and nervous at the same time. Hoping all goes well!
I’d like to think we ‘front-loaded’ the petition reasonably well, without sending a huge monstrosity of a file.

Here’s what we sent:

– G-1145, so as to be notified digitally of progress

– cover letter with table of contents (2 pages)

(subdivision petition)

– check for filing fee

– I-130 petition

– copy of Beloved’s birth certificate (front and back)

(subdivision page biographicals)

– G-325A for Beloved

-passport-style picture of Beloved

– G-325A for me

-passport-style picture of me

(subdivision marriage)

– marriage certificate (or rather ‘international extract from local government database, proving marriage’)

(subdivision cohabitation)

– international extract from local government database proving residence at home address since (date) for Beloved

– international extract from local government database proving residence at home address since (date)for me

(subdivision commingling of financial resources)

– statement from tax preparer with summary of jointly filed taxes (3 pages)

– signed notice of consent for electronic filing of taxes

– statement from online banking software showing joint account (+ translation and certificate of translation)

(subdivision affidavits)

-affidavit from my mother

-affidavit from my father

-notarized affidavit from Beloved’s parents

– affidavit from friend 1 (the one who introduced us)

– affidavit from friend 2

– affidavit from friend 3

(subdivision joint travel)

-8 pages of travel documents showing purchases of plane and train tickets for both of us.

(subdivision pictures)

22 pages with pictures, dates and descriptions of pictures showing narrative of our relationship. (app. 30 pictures)



USCIS here we come!

Aaaaaah.. An exciting time has begun.

Beloved has returned from a trip and we’ve officially started gathering all the paperwork for the visa petition.
We sat down, grabbed the visa guide and started ticking off what we still needed and what we already had. We started out ahead since I already downloaded all the mentioned forms and filled out what I could. Beloved only needed to help me complete things.

All the forms are filled out aftre one evening’s work, with the exception of one date (to be confirmed tonight after a dive into my personal archives) and two birthplaces (answer has come in earlier today). We’ve sent the first requests for affidavits and have divided tasks about who contacts what authority for certain pieces of evidence. If all goes according to plan, we should have everything ready for filing the I-130 petition within the week.

I’d like to think that no small amount of being able to do all this so quickly, is me doing my homework. *gloat* *brag*

I look forward to compiling the file of ‘additional evidence’ of our marriage, especially. People we love will write about out relationship, we get to make a timeline with pictures and maybe plane tickets and.. well.. we get to prove our marriage is ‘bona fide’, a word with which am entangled in an inexplicable love affair, only enhanced by once watching the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” which is brilliant.

Seriously, though, even if you thought this post was total blabber, you should really watch that movie.

Looking back on earlier expectations

In February 2011, three birthdays and one wedding ago, I predicted a time line for the emigration process. I figure today we can look back at what I estimated back then. Just to see how far we’ve come. Bits in Italic are from 528 days ago (or: February 21st, 2011 – my third post in this blog).

Picture by Aussiegal under a Creative Commons License.

3rd quarter 2013: Beloved kicks ass at grad school

We still don’t know where, but Beloved is in the US right now having conversations with professors and sitting in on lectures, so hopefully he’ll come back with good info and a sense of where he’d prefer to go if he’s accepted.

2nd quarter 2013: migration

We still plan for this. However, we also hope to have time to travel between packing up and moving to the US. On our list are South Africa, South Korea, Singapore.. I hope we can also do Russia and maybe some more Africa. I also really want to see Iceland 🙂 Anyway. So many places to go, but so little time!

1st/2nd quarter: pack up

Yes. But we’ll probably also probably will still be busy filing, because ..

4th quarter 2012: start direct consular filing process (expected to take 4 months max, maybe only 10 weeks)

Direct Consular Filing for a spousal visa is no longer an option here, so we’re stuck with filing to a lockbox, which will take 5 to 9 months and may, or may not, be expedited. I currently have all the needed forms on my computer and have spent a good amount of time filling things out and compiling lists of additional evidence of our ‘bona fide’ marriage. It means I’ll finally have an excuse to print some wedding pictures. *yay*!

In terms of results, Beloved will be naturalized very soon. I’ve bought a shirt with an American flag on it, just to be kind of contrarian at the ceremony.

1st quarter 2012 start naturalization process

This was delayed by a quarter, due to some messes with regards to integration policy and certain exams. However, we got a favorable decision earlier than expected.

1st quarter 2012 get married

Ha. We were early and unlocked this achievement in quarter 4 of 2011. On Black Friday no less, which means that we’ve been married for ten months, today at 5 PM.

4th quarter 2011 obtain marriage license, pre-nup, etc.

Waaayyyyy ahead of ya. We got all our legal ducks lined up perfectly and took all their ducky little mug shots and we were early 🙂

2nd quarter 2011 moving in together.

Yup. Did that. It’s still fun. However, I look forward to finding a house (read: apartment) together and getting a say in the interior.

1st quarter 2011 Halp! It goes fast! We have also contacted an expert on immigration an naturalization law with whom we’ll meet this week. We’re definitely at a point where some expert advice can save us hassle.

The expert turned out to be incompetent, but we managed anyway.

Looking back at what happened between February 2011 and now, I guess it’s not strange that it feels like a roller coaster. And it’s probably also not strange that it felt like a lot of waiting. It’s been a roller coaster, but it has also been a lot of waiting. Never knew this things could happen at the same time.

In a next post I’ll hope to tell you more about the USCIS paperwork and starting filing.That should be interesting as it is our official next step in the process.