All posts tagged: becoming american

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 197: Change of Address

April 28, 2015 All I can recommend is that you DO NOT move while you’re in the middle of this process. Just don’t do it. Because USCIS apparently can’t handle a simple change of address. They say the can, they even have this nice, tidy online form that you can fill in and submit without having to actually mail a whole bunch of crap in. But it’s all lies. They’ll send you a letter a week or so later saying they’ve confirmed your change of address. But it’s all lies. Also, if you did as we did and submitted our I-485 with our I-765, be sure to remember that they do have two different case numbers and you have to put in both, or fill out two forms, regarding your change of address. Because despite the fact that your immigrating fiance(e)’s A-number should be attached to everything and that USCIS processes everything, they can’t handle a change of address unless you specifically tell them which cases your address is changing for, as if your address would change …

Days 88, 95, 101: Getting a Driver’s License – 3 Strikes

January 9, 2015: Strike 1 It always feels like one step forward two steps back and a whole lot of anxiety. I feel like I should just always carry around copies of the stacks of documents proving that Efrem has the right to do things and be places. The general population is incredibly ignorant of what a K1-visa holder means—even people who should know to some capacity. SO I stay looking up every statute and every footnote and keep the links and print-outs on hand when someone inevitably says he can’t do one thing or another so I can whip out their own policies and say—“but it says here…” Case in point, today, Efrem decided he was ready to take the written exam for the drivers license. We even had delayed it from before because I had to make sure all the insurance information was ready and that I knew what his rights were. I dug through the extremely user-unfriendly LA department of public safety and the office of motor vehicles website to find out what …

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 …