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Livin' on the Edge

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Those of us inside the Visa process know what it is like to wait. The mutual reassurances that last for months, the attempts at distraction and humor whenever one of you sees something troubling on the news, and the final sheer determination of waiting those final few days.

I am by no means a veteran of the visa process. I am, however, an analyst and a quick analysis of how USCIS in California seems to operate at present is that they only post updates once a week, and usually on Tuesday. There may be the occasional straggler but the bulk seem to be publicly updated on Tuesday.

Until yesterday, I hadn't given this much thought until it came close to time for Ivona and myself to get electronic notice of our NOA2. We both waited, refreshing the webpages every few minutes for nearly the entire day. Her being several hours ahead of me, I continued even after she succumbed to fatigue. The results of our actions: frustration.

The dates of approval run right up to the date CSC said we submitted the application (which is two weeks AFTER I express mailed it to Texas, which then forwarded it to CSC). After months of waiting and hoping and watching the numbers and getting our hopes up by analyzing the way CSC was processing, it is like having someone put the chain down right in front of us and being told, "sorry. You have to catch the next ride." All the buildup of hope, all the patience maintained, all the mutual reassurance that it should REALLY be this batch... broken in 24 hours.

I really should not complain. I know there are others who are still waiting from January and before who have not heard word themselves. They stood where we stand now and I am not sure where they get their reserves of patience and resolve but may whatever Powers there are bless them for their strength.

That part of me that is selfish, however, still can't get over the frustration. That part of me realizes that we are RIGHT HERE. We can see the end. Both of us are 100% boring as far as the government is concerned. No criminal histories. No travel to even remotely hostile countries. We are both college educated and have held steady jobs for years. All paperwork prepared with perfect professionalism and with ample documentation to demonstrate not only a relationship but a willingness to commit to the long term.


We have all heard the phrase: It's not fair. In my life I do my best never to utter this phrase simply because I find myself always answering, "Life's not fair, get used to it." In this instance, though, those words wish to issue forth from my mouth at a volume that would scare those who know me. The frustration building up wants to boil over and seek some target in which to vent... but I refrain. I concentrate on the moment and try to use that frustration to more productive means. I contact my congressman again, only to be told (again) that California still has almost a month and that their office can't help me yet. I make it through the USCIS automated call system to discover that their organizational structure prevents their customer service reps from giving any more information than I can get from their web site.

Peter's Laws, from which I have snagged many good life philosophies, states: "Bureaucracy is a challenge to be conquered with a righteous attitude, a tolerance for stupidity, and a bulldozer when necessary." Never before in my life have I ever wanted to rent a bulldozer and just go steaming into the USCIS buildings to ask for a case status (not hurt anyone, of course, just make a point).

The part of me that feels the worst, though, is that part of me that wants so much to reassure Ivona that we really are next in line and that we won't end up like others whose dates come... and then go with no word one way or the other. I have a hard time proving it with numbers and she does not share my level of faith in justice. I cannot even reach out to place a reassuring hand upon her shoulder except within the bounds of cyberspace. I feel helpless in my resolve, stymied but not broken.

To those who have stood here before me, and to those who will be here tomorrow, I offer to you the advice that I give myself in this moment and offer to Ivona as well. Today is just a day, just like tomorrow and just like yesterday. Until someone discovers a cure for the plague of bureaucracy it is simply a disease we must suffer through when it infects our lives. No, it's not fair. Yes, it sucks. Yes, you will survive and tomorrow could be the day when the fever breaks and the sickness passes and you can finally begin the rest of your life together with your love.

I'm with her. :)


Some self-quotes:

"May our days be comfortable and our drama entertaining."

"When it comes to attempts to force equality there are many wrong ways to do so. You cannot command understanding or tolerance. You can only command obedience. Obedience implies that the one giving the orders has power over the one being given the orders. Where is the equality in such a situation? Education and patience teach equality, not force."

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I know exactly how you feel... we got our NOA2 approved December 29th 2005; our petition was sent to the wrong place and it is only now that things are moving for us - I have the medical tomorrow and the interview on the 7th June... all I can say is hang in there... vent about things here on VJ - you will find you have a wonderful support structure that helps you pick yourself up when you feel low. (F)

Paul and I met on the Bazaar on the 14th January (he joined my progressive rock forum that day)

July 3rd he flew to England to meet me

We fell in love while he drove all over the place coz I cannot read maps (we were supposed to go to Ingleton - but touched Darlington 4 times, Pierce Bridge 6 times, Scotch Corner twice and Bernard Castle twice and we never did make it to Ingleton)

It has been so long and so much has happened in between...

Arrived in Houston on October 29th 2006

Married 17th November 2006

Lost my father 8th January 2007 (all dates are a blur after this)

Conditional Green Card dated 24th October 2007

I-751 posted on 6th August 2009

Received on 7th August 2009 in VT

Melo's Prog Bazaar


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Livin' on the Edge...

As I always say: If you are not living on the edge, you're taking up too much room! ;)

that goes to the quote thread! loved it! :P


Latest steps:

10/26/2006- Consulate receives case (seriously, one month to receive the case?? BS!), and packet 3 that I sent even before they had received the case.

01/02/2007- Interview!!!!!!!!!!!!! Got a 221(g)

01/23/2007- Second Interview. VISA granted!!!

01/29/2007- VISA arrived.... no envelope though. I'm gonna contact them and see what happened this time!

01/31/2007- I'll have to send them one last financial support evidence.

02/01/2007- Evidence sent

02/02/2007- Evidence received by Consulate

02/06/2007- Consulate sends envelope!

02/07/2007- Envelope received!!!

02/10/2007- Flew to the USA!!!!!!

04/17/2007- Wedding day!!!

--- Wish us luck!!! ---

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I appreciate you taking the time to write your account and words of encouragement. Keep focusing on that end, which will truly be the beginning.

Blessings~ (F)

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