Wednesday the 7th of October has come and gone. As you may remember, that was Andrés’ big fat visa interview day for his “green card”, and as you may know, he was big fat APPROVED!
I had taken the day off, because as I had put together most of his application and gone through the process, I needed to see this thing to fruition. He had had a medical exam in September, and we had to pick up the results and bring it to his interview. So, we got that about 11am and moseyed on over to the embassy. We had an obligatory stop at Starbucks, and moseyed a bit too long there and realized we didn’t really have time for lunch before his 2pm interview.
I’m Amy, so I needed at least a snack to tide myself over, and after that we arrived at the embassy at 1:45. There were 4 people in front of us. At 1:50 the guards started calling us in one by one. The interview itself took all of 10 minutes, but waiting for the four couples in front of us to finish before our interview took an hour.
I had made Andrés drag along the 12-inch thick binder I had put together while submitting his applications months ago, with two originals and two photocopies of every possible document you could ever think of — birth certificates, police records, passport photocopies, and I kid you not, 5 different Victoria’s Secret flyers that were sent to me at my “real” address in the USA…to show them that I “still technically live in the USA even though I’ve actually been in Chile permanently for three years but whatever”. Our entire lives x2 (if you include photocopies) were in that binder. And the first thing the Vice Consul says to us when he sees us, “I actually feel really bad that you brought that big binder along with you because I really will not have to see anything in there.” I was so tempted to ask him if he was 100% positive he didn’t want to at least admire it for 10 seconds because my blood, sweat and tears were put into putting that damn thing together. I did say, well, we weren’t sure if you needed to see originals or more evidence, and he replied, “This is Chile! We’re not in the Philippines or Haiti or some high-fraud country.” Okedoke, got it. It sort of reminded me of when I was so worked up about making sure Joaquin’s US passport photo was going to be acceptable for the Embassy.
He asked us how we met, where we plan to live when we move to the USA and confirmed that we have a daughter (guess Joaquin seems like a girls name?) He looked up at us and said “congratulations, have a great new adventure”. We asked him simultaneously, “that’s it?” And he said, “you’re close in age (10 years is close in age for an immigrant visa I guess), you have a child together and you’ve known each other for several years…there are no red flags here”.
Well, shoot. After that whole long process, that’s what we hear. Now I think that the USA should definitely implement a fast-track immigration process for low fraud countries, because it’s obvious we qualify, but THIS was our timeline** to prove it:
March 17: I-130 packet & $420 application fee mailed to USCIS via DHL
March 19: USCIC received I-130 packet
April 15: I-797 Notice of Action acceptance of I-130 and shipment of packet to NVC
April 29: NVC received I-130 packet from USCIS
May 7: NVC Case # assigned
June 1: DS-261 form completed online
June 4: Affidavit of Support Invoice Paid ($120)
June 11: Andrés is registered as his own agent via DS-261
July 6: Immigration Visa fee available for payment online
July 20: Immigration Visa fee paid ($325)
July 27: DS-260 Immigration Application submitted online
July 28: Affidavit of Support and Immigration Visa evidence packages mailed to the NVC via DHL
July 30: Packages received at NVC
August 20: Notification email received for Case Complete
August 27: Notification email received for interview date
September 16: Original Interview Date (rescheduled because we were in Brazil)
October 7: Rescheduled Interview Date, result: approved
**This is actually a much shorter wait that many other countries.
Now, all that’s left is to pick up Andrés passport with his temporary immigrant visa (hopefully this week) and pay another $165 Immigrant fee (give me a freaking break) and then we are free (no pun intended) to move to the USA. Though, this will not occur until early 2016–for administrative reasons 😉
So, all I can say is THANK YOU GOD THAT YOU ARE GOOD TO US BUT MOSTLY THAT IT IS OVER.