Sunday, March 13, 2011

This is not what we had in mind, USCIS.

Well, congratulations to my wonderful husband who is now officially a Conditional Permanent Resident of the United States of America! February 25th we drove to Fresno for his residency interview. We had an 8:30 appointment so we left at about 4:45, allowing plenty of time to arrive to Fresno, find the immigration office, and more importantly, find an IHOP. (We shared a garden omelette and some pancakes. Everything was delicious!). During our breakfast I quizzed him with the example questions we had found on the internet while researching other people's experiences with residency interviews. (Questions like: Where did you live right after getting married? How many televisions/telephones were in your home? What color were the walls? What type of A/C and heating did you have? What color is your spouse's toothbrush? What did you eat for dinner last night? What did you do after dinner? Who went to bed first? Was the A/C or heater on when you went to bed?) We went to the immigration office and waited in the waiting room for about an hour and 15 minutes before we were finally called into an interview office. Ismael was approved for residency after about 15 minutes of us answering super difficult questions such as: "What is your full name? What is your address? What is your date of birth?" (not kidding). We were told Ismael would receive his green card in the mail in about 2 weeks and that we could find more information on what rights and responsibilities Ismael now has as a conditional permanent resident on the immigration website. Well, I'll tell you what. I looked at the website. The website says Ismael can travel out of the U.S. for up to a year without having to ask for a special permit to re-enter the country. But that's not actually true, now is it, USCIS?

We had planned to leave in April to go to Ecuador and continue our work on the University Project for the next 10 months. But the information that the government is holding out on us is that Ismael can't be out of the country for up to a year. He can't even be out of the country for more than 6 months out of the year without getting his residency revoked. And of those 6 months that he's actually allowed to be outside the U.S., he can only be out for 90 days consecutively at a time. Well...guess what, Immigration...90 days is actually much shorter than 365 days...or didn't you know?


So...our ten-month trip has been chopped up into three-month segments three-months apart. Three months there, three months here, three months there, three months here...for the next three years (at which point Ismael may become a citizen). Or something like that.

They sure don't make it easy.


Blogger Becky said...

Oh, Amy, I'm so, so sorry. That stinks! I'm praying for you right now.

11:03 PM  

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