Honestly... I feel like my life resembles a soap opera more and more every day!
Ok, maybe not all of it.... but the Visa Saga
seems to be never ending.... just like those soap operas that last like 15 years!
Ok so... these past few days have seen the visa saga
turn around and change so many times it was hard to keep track.
Let me try and give you the recap....
This all started off Saturday... Lately I have been shopping for wedding dresses, seeing as we were figuring I'd be getting my visa by this summer and have the wedding in September. I pretty much think I've found the dress I want, so I asked my mom if she thought it was the case to go ahead and call them to fix an appointment to take my measurements and start the whole "I'm buying my wedding dress" process. So my mom says to me... "Do you think it's wise at this point to go ahead and buy it? What if this visa takes longer than you think? What if it takes up to a year?
" - She stunned me.... I was litereally appauled by the mere idea this could be anywhere close to true. I was furious at the thought! More so... I was furious at the fact she could even think such a thing! That had
to be complete and utter crap!! There was NO
way in hell it was gonna take that long.... noooo way
I had to find out more... I had to prove her wrong!
So what more could I do that browse the net. It was a saturday so of course the USCIS
office was closed... (yeah that's the immigration services office.. a place I have grown to despise.... but shush or they'll never let me in the country!). There was no way I was going to get live real uptodate information at that point... all I could do was try and search and find something that would give me a rough idea of how long this procedure usually takes.
So off I go... browsing away.... (I have this HUGE folder in my favoruites folder, called "VISA INFO
". There are more pages bookmarked in there than the police department has records on file, I'm willing to bet!
Anyways... I find this cool new page which says that it gives live real time updates on processing times and dates for each specific branch and for each specific application sent in.
So I punch in the required specifics... and wait for the browser to work its magic.
Surely enough there it is.... the truth is right there in front of my very eyes:
"For the application 'so and so' we are currently processing applications submitted dec 21st 2005
". Excooooooze me??!!? Come again?!!??
Yeah, you heard me.... dec 21st. That means that they are about 3 months behind schedule.... meaning that I have to wait about another two months before they even pick up my application!!
That's the first thing I try to say to myself. Panic, dispair.... I'm going to rip my hair out in a minute, then I think I'm going to bring the walls down with my screaming. What good is that for, did I hear you ask?? Nothing... absolutely sweet nothing, nada, zilch, zip, niente... soo? But it feels oh so good
to releave some built up anger. Oh yes I was pissed
After doing my own CPR on myself, I figure there has to be some way around this.
I know of a friend who married in her country and then when moved to the US, she told me her visa only took her about three months total. Yet I was told that once the USCIS office gets my application, it takes about another 3 months to approve it and send it to the US embassy here in Italy... so that's 6 months right there!!
" me thinks... "maybe if we marry in Italy the process is faster, maybe the waiting time for THAT type of visa application is faster, seeing as we're already married
". Great thinking Alex!! There's the solution!!! We'll just have to marry here! We can get it done all in time for June!! (Yeah we're cool like that in Italy... marrying a foreigner doesn't take much paper work or time at all... how neat hhuh??)
Ok so... call up the fiancè... give him the bad news then the new idea/good news... squabble a bit.. ("I can't have my family fly there... oh yes you can, we'll all chip in... ok well if I can have my family then maybe... ok that's settled
"). Fiancè tells mom.... mom says "ok we'll do best we can to try and come".... Alex says "monday I am going to the US embassy here in rome to see what needs to be done
All day sunday fiancè and I daydream of having the weding in Rome. Yay we can marry in june, then I will come back for 3 months and wait till the visa is ready, then I will come back to rome to get it and then I can move back permanently to the US.
Monday rolls around. I check the official
US embassy website, and it states that walk-ins are welcome, no need to schedule an appointment, just for info. So off I go... drive all the way downtown only to find the 4 guards tell me "nope, no walk-ins... you need to call and schedule an appointment
"... "but but... but the website, the official US embassy website said there was no need!!
". "Not anymore
Great... remind me to thank the frikkin terrorists for that one!
So I go home, pissed as ever.... my day already is taking a turn for the shithouse and I haven't even had breakfast. Not good!!
So I get home and try calling the USCIS office, but of course in Nebraska it's not even 5am yet!! Right... I have to wait!
The guard at the embassy DID
give me though a number to call. So I call... (oh yeah get this... this is a toll number. That's right... while us poor innocent non-americans call to get various visa and travel info, the US government gets rich... for a 14 min phone call, I spent $26!!!! NO FUKIN JOKE either!!)
Ok, so I call and the girl on the other end tells me that seeing as I already have papers sent in I might as well keep at it... meaning that it's not really a good idea to start over and marry in Italy and resubmit papers after the wedding. It would start the whole thing over again and wouldn't be faster at all... infact she gives me rough waiting times for this kind of visa... "Well you say there's a three month delay on the processing times so... you say you submitted in february?
" "ok, well... then it takes about three months for them to give the first ok and send it to the US embassy in rome... and then another 3 months or so for them to call and schedule your interview. then once you have given in all your documents and had your interview, it's about another 6-8 weeks untill you get your final paper... so all in all we're talking 6-9 months
". "great! But i can go visit meantime right? Like, just on vacation?
" "well..... actually, I don't know if that could cause issues with your visa request
" "how do you mean?
" "well.. I am not sure but it might cause problems, you might not be allowwed in the country untill you get your visa
" "you have got to be joking, right? Surely they don't think that two people not see each other for a year!! what if kids were envolved?
" "i don't know, but you have to ask the immigration office
Ok... at this point I am like bright purple in the face and i think i am letting off steam from out of my ears!
All this info, too much for me to digest and no one to share it with! My fiancè is still in bed asleep, it's like 5:30 am in Indy!!
I have to take off for work, meantime my mind is racing in about 500 different directions, i think i want to commit treturous murder! Could that be possible?
When the time comes, I give this lovely wake up call to the fiancè who poor guy gets this awsome
news first thing in the morning at 8am! So we agree that as soon as he gets home from work he'll call the immigration office and ask first of all if i am able to visit the US on vacation even though i have applied for an immigrant visa, and second of they can confirm these long waits for the visa to come through.
I tell ya, it was a long 5 hrs of work... they seemed to never end! I wanted sooooo bad
to get home and find out what was going to be my destiny for the next 8 months! This could mean not seeing the fiancè for that long!! The thought was too much to bear!!
So I get home, wait for the fiancè to get home and make the infamous call. Well they prett much confirmed the long wait but
also said that me entering the country on vacation was up to customs, on a case-to-case
basis... pretty much letting on that it was up to the little shit
at the airport customs desk to let me in or not, whether he liked my smile or not, or whether he thought me to be some illegal immigrant seeking refuge in the US. As for me wanting to stay and all... i want to do it the legal way, thank you very much!!
So she gives the fiancè the customs phone number, so I call them only to find out that i can come to the US to visit after all, so long as my passport is in order and that i have a return ticket home (all shit i already knew btw!!)
I think this has been the longest week-end of my life! I have seen my fate change like 3 times in three days.... not a bad average huh?
Soooo.... episode conclusion - where does this leave us?
Well... pretty much in the same place as before! We're going to have to wait at least
'till the end of the year to be able to marry, if not beginning of 2007. Meantime the fiancè is coming to visit me for a week in june, for my 30th birthday... and then I have decided to go to the US for three months, like i did after my graduation. There is no way in hell they are keeping us apart. We are going to beat them, we'll hold out and pull through.
This is going to be the hardest thing i'm ever going to do, but i am not a quitter!
We will just have to wait. And look forward to june!
I can't wait!!!