More of the “Argh!” that’s been my day…

…yeah I know I’m not in the best of moods today, but at least my laptop order got confirmed, even though the shipping date is scheduled for the 26th of March which is way late….ah well, the Chief Teddybear is yelling at them right now to try and get that sped up a bit (he’s working for Dell, so ;))

Anyway, what REALLY is pissing me off right now is that our health insurance just keeps messing with us. Those guys never do anything right. First they didn’t acknowledge my coverage, then they changed my name out for Stephen’s (his is pronounced Stephan, mine’s Stephanie so they totally fucked up…) and now that I need meds that they need to give me a prior authorization for they suddenly can’t find me on their records again…that paired with the fact that they keep sending us statements saying that either of us hasn’t been covered for previous doctor visits and trying to bill us for it, just shoots it through the ro0f….I’m really glad once I have a social security number so I’ll have a number proving my existence….

…I got my Green Card in the mail btw and it’s totally not green…well the back of it is, but the front is some kind of yellow-ish, which I thought was rather funny…anyway, nobody’s gonna send me home now so at least something good happened ūüėČ

“Welcome to the United States of America”

This is the header of the notice that I received from the USCIS yesterday. It was titled “Welcome Notice”, so fitting. Truly, it amused me.

But anyway, hey I DID it! I fought my way through the overwhelming load of dead trees and masses of mainly hispanic immigrants waiting with me at the immigration center. I’m a conditional permanent resident of the United States of America now. My Green Card will be sent to me within 3 weeks and I’ll be able to remove my conditional status if I apply a couple of months before my conditional Green Card expires. Standard procedure.

In other words: Yay, nobody can send me home now ūüėČ I’ve also been given an alien registration number (A-number) that I’ll have to remember, but they also announced that they’ll tatoo it onto my arse, just for my very personal convenience…eh…maybe…not.

Anyway, hurray for being legitimate, finally ūüėČ

How to get a Green Card for Dummies – A guide in 10 easy steps

1.) Go and look up www.uscis.gov¬†Here you’ll find everything you need to know about¬†becoming a legal resident of the United States of America. It’s¬†easy, really.¬†

At least that’s what they tell you. That and that prices are going down to make it more affordable. Both of which isn’t true, of course. You better calculate with at least¬†$1,500 to get the GreenCard.¬†You also won’t find all the information you need there.

2.) Apply early. Processing times vary.

“Vary” is a good word here. Actually they say it’s up to six months. Realistically it’s at least that much. Don’t make any plans if you’re planning to immigrate. In the meantime just abate your time¬†sitting at home and waiting. If they let you stay in the country that is (see step 3 and 4)

3.) Be prepared. Have all your documents with you and be sure to do exactly what the friendly people from the USCIS tell you too. Expect to be sent back to your country of citizenship for interviews or other appointments at any time. 

At this point you might¬†be seriously considering getting an attorney. The quetion is a) do you have the money to afford one and b) will that actually be¬†effective, because in order to actually help you’ll have to find an attorney whose main field of action is immigration. Have fun with that one.¬†And in the end they might still want to send you home for random reasons.¬†

4.) Don’t expect to¬†receive any useful information when calling their¬†phone support. 4. a) If you don’t have your receipt number for the forms you’re filing you’re screwed. 4 b)¬†If you don’t have a receipt number yet because you’re still waiting to hear back from them you really have a problem.¬†

Note: Do not expect that the information they give you on the phone is even remotely accurate. They will tell you that fees apply when they actually are being waived. They will tell you to send forms in seperately that should actually have been submitted together to prevent you from being sent back to your country of citizenship. Oh and they might choose not to tell you that by entering the U.S. on a visa waiver program you also waive all your rights to be able to talk to an immigration judge if your application is denied for whichever random reason, nice eh? 

5.)¬†You’ll be requested to submit a bazillion of forms once, twice, thrice and a fourth time and a fifth….in short: be srue you have access to a good copy machine.¬†

6.) Your forms will be sent to a bazillion places¬†all over the US of A. Don’t expect anybody to know their¬†exact location and¬†status at any given point.¬†

7.) When you finally are invited to appear at an interview appointment, be prepared to get nervous. Bring anything that might serve as proof of cohabitation that you can get your hands on (i.e. leases, credit cards, bank statements, health insurance cards, utility bills,¬†your hubby….and no used condoms or a live demostration of acts that might requirea condom aren’t appreciated. Don’t try it.)

8.) Just because you’ve received a receipt for submitted forms doesn’t mean¬†they’ve been approved. Another term of¬†eternal waiting will¬†take its course. Be patient.¬†

9.) You might get lucky and finally be able to talk to someone (an actual human being!) at an interview. You might be lucky like me and get someone who’s actually understanding and willing to help you out. Or you might not.¬†Hey, life’s is one¬†giant lottery!

10.) They will tell you¬†it’ll take another 2-3 weeks till they have received your wayward¬†forms and¬†found time and mental stability to approve them. They’ll tell you not to worry, because there shouldn’t be a reason¬†to incline them to deny your application. You hope.¬†They’ll tell you¬†that you’ll receive your¬†Card in about 5-10 business days after approval. You hope more.¬†
Only¬†problem remains: You’ve already been¬†going through immigration hassle for¬†7 months. You are a nervous wrreck. You’ll worry till you get your hands on that damn thing.¬†

Good luck and strong nerves, man.
Welcome to the US of A.