All posts filed under: Empathize

on relationships; the human connection

My Real 90 Day Fiancé

WAIT–What’s a 90 Day Fiancé? If anyone has watched the TLC show, they have some notion of what a 90 day fiancé is. Except, if you’ve watched the show and know nothing else, your idea would be very skewed, melodramatic, and scripted since the way those couples were portrayed–their relationships and finances–wouldn’t pass the sniff test at the interview to even be granted the visa to enter the country. But I digress. A 90 day fiancé is the colloquialism for a K1 visa holder, who is an international fiancé(e) of an American citizen, who upon arriving in the US, has exactly 90 days to get married to said American citizen and file for an adjustment of status (AOS) to become a permanent resident (i.e. a Green Card holder). Essentially the 90 days is a deadline where if you do not get married and officially file an AOS before that date, which is the date the K1 visa expires, the visa holder essentially can be deported back to their home country, as he/she will no longer have …

My Real 90 Day Fiancé (MR90DF): One Year

October 14, 2015 The best way I could write this was as a letter to my husband: Dear Efrem, One year. It’s been one long year, and yet it’s only been one year. One year since you stepped foot in the United States. One year since we got the privilege of beginning our lifelong journey together. One year since I got to see you for the first time after 15 months when I left you in an airport in Cape Town, both of us in tears, and then you met me in an airport in New Orleans, as I held a sign up with your name on it and we both grinned stupidly. It’s been one year of new experiences, one year of happiness, and one year of many trials. We either foolishly, or sensibly depending on how you look at it, took on more in this one year, than many couples would take on in five, and are still together to look back on it and learn from mistakes, reflect on memories, and laugh. In …

Day 78 & 79: Homeownership

December 30, 2014:  Buying the House We spent Christmas in Destin. We knew we were supposed to close on the house before the new year, we just didn’t know quite when and what the entire process would look like. In retrospect, we really didn’t have a great realtor. The entire process was poorly coordinated and rushed, in order to finish before the new year. Our realtor, who should’ve been on “our side” was incredibly flippant with us as clients, cursorily explaining things to us, not making crystal clear the timing and deadlines for making requests from the seller. It was probably because we’re young, first time homeowners, who she wasn’t going to make a lot of money off of, so she just didn’t really care about doing a good job. Maybe we should’ve done our homework better–we thought we were doing our due diligence, and we discussed things with my parents as we went along, but New Orleans is a special place in terms of issues that come up in houses so we realized after it was all done that we definitely should’ve …

Days 64 & 65: AOS Paperwork and Crazy Doctors

December 16-17, 2014 Besides the obvious requirement of getting married within 90 days, part of the K1 visa also requires you file for the Adjustment of Status (AOS) within that same period of time. After that, you’re good until the bureaucracy decides to get around to your application and grant you, first, an employment authorization, and then eventually the green card. Part of the stack of AOS paperwork to be sent is the medical exam and medical records. When most foreign fiancé(e)s enter the country, they’ve already completed their full medical exam and it’s just a matter of filling out the remaining paperwork and mailing it in with the (very high) fee. But sometimes, that person may be missing one or two vaccinations depending on whether they were in stock in the country where they did their exam, and whether or not it’s flu season at the time. When Efrem did his medical exam they were in their flu season (SA has seasons opposite ours), but they were out of the flu vaccination. So we thought that …

Day 49: I Now Pronounce You…

December 1, 2014 For it being the day that we legally became married, it was pretty uneventful and rather underwhelming. Not that we wanted it to be a big deal, it’s just funny to think about what we did on the day we got married. Everyone took their time getting up in the morning since we had just gotten back from Virginia Beach very late the previous night (or was it super early morning?). We could get married anytime during working hours so we decided to get married around 1 PM. At around noon, everyone went upstairs to shower and get dressed. Efrem put on his suit, I put on a short white dress I had purchased months before, hoping that I hadn’t gained too much weight (fortunately it still fit nicely). We took a bunch of “selfies” in our room before we went downstairs and took a bunch more. When my parents were ready we all loaded up in the car and drove to the county clerk’s office. Inside the clerk’s office we finished …