Oh god.

It has been a while since my last post and in the mean time the year of 2012 has come, and the year of 2011 has gone. So let me start off by wishing a late happy holidays. Now, with that out of the way…

In the past few months we’ve been starting to get things sorted out for my departure and wedding. As it stands, I’ll be leaving this country on March the 15th. I’m having a bit of a tough time deciding what to bring and what to leave behind, specifically book-wise. I’ve got a fair amount of books that I enjoy. I’ll probably bring two suitcases full of clothes and smaller possessions and maybe my bass guitar. Beyond that, everything else is set. I’ve got my ticket ready, my passport with visa and the documentation I need to enter the country.

A wedding, however, is a whole different beast. So far, the venue is booked for May the 23rd. Invites have been received and will be sent out sometime this week(Mine will be, at least) and we’ve got pretty solid leads for a dj, officiant and cake and a bunch of other stuff. Still have a fair amount of time to get it all sorted out, so I’m not worried just yet.

All in all, it’s pretty friggin’ scarily close.

Mission Complete!

MISSION 2


Phase 2 of 2

THERE, AND BACK AGAIN

BRIEFING

With all your papers you must enter US territory, obtain your visa and come out alive.

GO FOR IT

And off I went, without my phone. Things started out with the fact that I had missed the train I had the directions printed out for. The doctor is near the consulate and I remembered how to get there from Schiphol, so I decided to take that route and hope for the best. By the time I arrived at the Museumplein in Amsterdam I had no idea what time it was and whether I was still on time. Finding the consulate posed no challenge, as the large gate and American flag sort of gave it away.

So I arrived and only three other people were waiting in line. Moments later one of the guards came up and asked who stopped by for an immigrant visa. I was the only one from the people in line and he let me pass to head into a small white guard post. As they searched my bag and asked me questions about why I was there and what the hell my Tool keychain was(I must admit, it does look like a cult symbol), they made me go through a metal detector before letting me in and telling me to go to window 5.

When I came in, however, the only windows that were in direct line of sight were windows 1 through 4. Windows 5 through 8 were off down a little hall on the right in a separate room. Which, coincidentally, made up the entire public area of the consulate with the room I was in. There were more people waiting in this room(A couple, a young guy and an elderly person). Despite the fact that I got in last, I was called to the window first where I handed over all the required documents and provided them with my fingerprints. All seemed to be in order and I was asked to wait. A while later I was called to window 6 to talk to the guy handling the interviews.

It started off with him making sure I was still who I said I was by asking my name and birth date. This fluently flowed into a barrage of questions about me(What is your profession, what did you graduate in) and the relationship(When did you start dating, when did you get engaged) and finally questions to assure that I was going to get married to Anais and Anais alone within the time set for it(6 months to use the visa to get into America, then 90 days to get married). And then…
“Congratulations, you’ll get your passport with the visa back in seven months days.”. He said, laughing as he walked away.

MISSION COMPLETE

On to mission 3: Wedding.

Inspiration for this format made possible by(Also, big FU to IE7 for breaking the bordered headers forcing me to hack stuff with spans):

Doctor!

As a mandatory part of the visa application process, one must make an appointment with the panel physician to make sure everything is OK in the physical department. I somewhat expected this to be no more than a simple check on vaccinations and get the ones that I’m lacking. I couldn’t be more wrong. My medical took place last week(October 28) and here’s what happened.

I left for Amsterdam at around 9, my appointment was at 11 so that turned out to be plenty of time, and arrived half an hour early. The doctor’s office seems to be an old house, which you could tell by the fact that the small reception-ish area had a sink and looked remarkably like a kitchen. Made the place look somewhat charming, really. After filling out some forms and handing over my passport and vaccination records I had to wait for a while for my turn to come up.

When it did, I joined the good doctor in his office. To start out with, he took some of my blood. I’ve never had my blood taken before, so it was quite the interesting experience. It didn’t hurt, but it looked kind of funny to see my blood flowing into the little tube. Next he asked me to take my shirt off, so he could take my blood pressure and pulse, followed by my height and weight. Then he gave me a booster DKTP(Dyphteria, Kinkhoest(Pertussis), Tetanus and Polio) shot, because it was over 10 years since I had that one last.

To finish things up he tested my eyes by making me read letters off one of those old-fashioned charts and then we sat down to go over my medical history(I’ve never really had anything serious, so that was done pretty quickly). After some advice about my weight he sent me on my way to pay(145 for the medical, 35 for the shot) and off I went to get my lung x-ray. This took, at the most, 10 minutes. Pretty much got in, took my shirt off, had the picture taken, put my shirt on, paid for the thing and left. I imagine it’s how it feels to visit a cheap hooker.

The best part about the whole thing:

Picture of my arm, October 30
Picture of my arm, October 30
Picture of my arm, November 1st
Picture of my arm, November 1st
Picture of my arm, November 4th
Picture of my arm, November 4th

 

Finally, this:

Dazed and Confused

So a few weeks have passed since our petition was approved. In the mean time I have received instructions on how to apply for the visa and have followed them thus far.

First step involved filling out a biographic form(Again) and two other forms. The instructions let me know that I am to complete and return them immediately. So I did.

Step two involves some sort of scavenger hunt for forms(Passport, birth certificate, photographs, evidence of relationship, evidence of support etc).

Then step three tells me that, once I’ve completed their scavenger hunt, I am to sign and date a stub and return it with the check list to the consular’s office. The key here is this part:

“After the form has been returned to this office, you will be scheduled for a medical examination and a visa interview at the earliest possible date”

Today I received two envelopes. One contained the rest of the instructions I already had and the aforementioned scavenger hunt check list. No surprise there. The other envelope contains a letter that basically says my interview will be on November 7 along with instructions on the medical I need to do. Now here’s what confuses me, how am I scheduled for an interview when I haven’t even returned the check list?

Approved!

Title says it all. I just checked the USCIS site and it said the following:

On August 31, 2011, we mailed you a notice that we have approved this I129F PETITION FOR FIANCE(E). Please follow any instructions on the notice. If you move before you receive the notice, call customer service at 1-800-375-5283.

Awwww yeah.