Our Immigration Story, Part 4
This is the final part of our immigration story, it will catch you up to our status today. This is also story of privilege. My husband Kevin, and I have been able to reach our goals fairly easily and quickly. The privilege of being white, educated, and from a first world country has given us the ability to seek out great opportunities. According to Visa Guide an employment based green card can take 1 to 4 years depending on the wait time and yearly caps. Ours arrived 15 days into our third year. August to October was just a whirlwind of activity and suddenly everything was perfectly lined up.
Early August Kevin got the job.
October 1 arrived in Madison, Wisconsin on a TN-1 Visa for Kevin, TD for me.
October 5 Kevin started job.
Visa Status Changed H1-B for Kevin, H4 for me.
April letters arrived regarding immigration appointment.
June 20 first immigration appointment - Biometrics.
July second letters arrived regarding another immigration appointment.
August letters arrived with Employment Authorization Cards for both of us.
August 29 Kevin’s appointment with surgeon general for I-693.
August 31 second immigration appointment - meeting with official officer.
September 24 my appointment with surgeon general for I-693.
September 25 mailed I-693 documents to immigration.
October 15 letters arrived with permanent resident cards.
What does this mean?
Permanent resident means that we both are now, legally allowed to work anywhere within the United States. We can not vote, here or in Canada. Our visa status is no longer tied to Kevin’s current job.
Where do we go from here?
The next step in the immigration process is citizenship. As permanent resident cards are good for ten years, this isn’t a step that will be happening right away. In fact we are not able to apply for citizenship until we have been permanent residents for five years.
Our future plans
Building our life in Wisconsin is the future. Kevin enjoys his job and we foresee him retiring there. Our current plan is to pay off all student loan debt, do some travelling, and eventually build a house. What isn’t figured out is what I want to do, but that’s a story for another post.
For the moment our immigration story has come to a halt. But for many others this isn’t the case. Below is a list of articles and resources. If you have the ability to help support others please do so. We all deserve access to safe living, education, food.
If you haven’t read the whole story, you can catch up here
Border Angels - Border Angels is an all volunteer, non profit organisation that advocates for human rights, humane immigration reform, and social justice with a special focus on issues related to issues related to the US-Mexican border.
Families Belong Together - Families Belong Together includes nearly 250 organizations representing Americans from all backgrounds who have joined together to fight family separation and promote dignity, unity, and compassion for all children and families.
Find Your Representative - and call them. Let them know what you want them to support.
How to Apply for an American EB1 or 01 Work Visa - I saw this video six months after we entered the country. It helped answer a lot of the questions I had an made me feel so much better about our situation. Also just explained why someone would come here even when they weren’t fleeing where they were from.
Nothing to declare: Why U.S. border agency’s vast stop and search powers undermine press freedom - a very long article but worth the read. I think press freedom is super important. We need to see and hear the words of opposing sides. Articles like this terrify me, even though the odds of me being searched are fairly low. I have nothing to hide and showing them my phone wouldn’t put me in any danger. However it’s the worry that something I think is minor and not relevant would be important to the person searching.
ACLU Know Your Rights 100 Mile Boarder Zone - this information is good to know whether you are an immigrant or not. If you aren’t and you see someone being harassed you can speak up and potentially help them out because they may not know that they have rights. This document also explains basic rights and situations, but isn’t long enough to be boring. I actually didn’t know a few of the things mentioned, like requesting to not speak until lawyer is present or document request denial options. The ACLU is a website I go to for good information and for updates. It’ is an organization fighting for people’s rights. I highly recommend following them and if possible donating.
Why is Legal Immigration to the U.S. Almost Impossible? - a great video on the breakdown of legal ways to get into the country.