Friday was the day that we had been waiting for since we married: the interview with the U.S. Embassy concerning my application for an immigrant visa. The soul-destroying, expensive misery of the application process continued right up until the actual interview proper. We queued in the rain for half an hour, but did get to chat to another prospective immigrant who turned out to be a thoroughly bloody nice chap. He had kids and everything but still had to endure the same process as us, with the added insult of having to fly from LA to London for his interview. Yes, he had to fly 6000 miles, from the US to London, for his interview with US immigration.
Once we’d worked our way past the tooled-up [Glocks and MP5s, one even with a holographic reflex sight] coppers, private security people (including one guy that always makes jokes about being bought coffee, and has done for many months at least), and an x-ray machine, we were allowed inside the hallowed atrium of the Embassy.
We took a number and waited awhile until we were summoned up to window number 1 where a clerk systematically pointed out all of the paperwork we had failed to produce. We protested that form 27B/6 had told us not to bother but it was met with incredulity. Just as we were about to give up and settle in the UK she also told us that, despite previously having sent in multiple photographs of ourselves, yet more were required and that that they had to be in a different format.
Michele encouraged me not to blow myself up and instead we went outside to a local chemist to pay a fortune for the legitimate pics.
Of course getting back in involved a pretty tortuous experience again, only this time we were able to preempt the coffee joke from the man with no neck on the front gate.
Once we handed over the pics, the entire experience changed. After a short wait we were directed to a different window, behind which sat the paragon of efficiency, understanding and cooperation. This woman was wonderful. She told us everything we wanted to know, told us how to rectify our omissions with as little hassle as possible, agreed with us that the misleading form was indeed misleading, and told us she would let the appropriate people know!
She then told us that we had finished the immigration procedure, on the understanding that we would get the missing documentation back to them asap.
Michele, incredulous, asked what had happenned to the “Green Card” style interrogation about toothbrush colour. The woman explained:
“Seeing as all you two have done since you got here is bicker, I know your marriage is genuine. If you’d have been all kissy cuddly then I’d have been suspicious…you’ve been married too long for that.”
So, providing I don’t fail the medical, that’s it!
Scary eh ?