Posts Tagged ‘immigration’

Immi

Posted: 05/09/2008 by Toby in News
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Today I tried to pass a check for $1425 to the Australian government and the dweeb that I passed it to (an American) flat refused to take it. In case you were wondering, there was nothing wrong with the check, it’s just Australia doesn’t trust me. Thankfully I carry plastic.

This morning, my love extended (not only to the FBI as stated in my earlier post but also) to the Australian Embassy on Massachusetts Avenue. This morning, I dropped off my SP-47. All my hopes and dreams of emigrating to Australia rest inside that little stack of papers.

F.B. of Investigation

Posted: 04/09/2008 by Toby in News
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This morning I sent a love letter plus $18 to the FBI to ask them to send me my criminal history. I just hope they have enough paper in the printer for that one. For those of you who are interested in getting a criminal history of your own, simply follow these instructions.

Why have I requested this sordid part of my life, why would I make myself relive the details of my corrupt youth? It’s to get one step closer to completing my application for an immigrant visa to Australia. We have the basic packet together, and I’ll be dropping it off tomorrow at the Australian Embassy. Once the investigator at the embassy or wherever has done the initial review, they’ll ask for my physical and my criminal background check.

C.I. Services

Posted: 02/09/2008 by Toby in Informative
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We just got a letter today from the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, formerly known as INS.

Our application which was filled in (correctly of course, accompanied by a glob of money in check form to pay each person individually who might be moving the application from one pile to another pile) and mailed 54 weeks ago, which I will round down to 1 year ago, only just today bore fruit. Sharole now has permanent resident status with no conditions. That’s unconditional permanent resident status. Her unconditional permanent resident card will come within the next 60 days (accompanied by information detailing the limitations on her permanent residency). We were so happy that we promptly rolled our eyes and filed it.

This government tries hard, but it’s really not good enough. The ultimate form of government would have taken a thousand years what should take a day.

Manners after 9/11

Posted: 04/07/2008 by Toby in Other
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People may think of 9/11 in terms of the physical event, the ripple effect on America’s foreign policy, the so-called ‘war’ on terror, the war against Iraqis, or even the increased security at the airport. 

Yesterday we had an ugly reminder of another casualty: basic good manners.  Crossing into America I felt like I was crossing from Afghanistan wearing turbans with AK-47′s sticking out the windows.  Not because of any gates, nor tire rippers, nor unfriendly signage, but because of the American @$$hole sitting at the station.  I felt so sad and angry as I imagined him, being trained that any manners, friendliness, or polite conversation would instantly bring floods of terrorists to his booth once they found out what a pantywaist he was.

After he asked his questions in a curt barking voice, not looking at us, he said toward the end, “I hear two voices giving answers, I want only one” (because my dear wife has a deaf husband and thinks I didn’t hear and ends up answering at the same time as me or just before (more about that in the comments)) and he repeated the last question.  He handed back our passports without a word.  I hoped I was allowed to go.  He gave a short nod as though forced to allow a band of dirty gypsies.

I’m glad he didn’t say, “Welcome home” it might have accidentally come out as, “Step out of the car, keep your hands where we can see ‘em!”

Immigration

Posted: 30/05/2008 by Toby in News
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To continue on Toby’s little rant, I was the participant at the Immigration Office. I got there right on time for my appointment to find only one person was working and the number machine ran out of paper right on my go, yep it took a good 10mins just for them to find another role, they were starting to doubt they had any. In the end turns out my number did print just before the paper was no more but naturally she didn’t check that prior to the search was completed.

I was finally seen about 30 mins later. By that time we now had 2 workers, seems it’s one very slow stream back from lunch, plus always so much to chat about rather than serve customers that are having to pay for a parking lot to be there as I watched the minutes pass away. My request seemed such a quick one, if only they had an isle for 1 or less questions or even better a self serve, I could have stamped my own passport, grin!

Upon being seen I told them my plight of needing a permission slip to leave the country for a week as my residency card had expired last year along with it having been stolen and most likely tossed in the rubbish, plus the fact my new card that I paid for about a year ago still won’t be arriving until October or so. She said they could put a stamp in my passport but said I’d need to take a seat.

Yep they sure don’t want to you to stay long those seats are hard and uncomfortable. As time passed and not only all the people before me but all those after me, kept leaving and I was still waiting I started to wonder if I’d been forgotten about, so alas some glances the reps way occasionally letting her know yep I’m still here.

Once more I was the only white person in the vicinity, seems a regular event during my immigration visits. When playing spot the white people the game gets dull rather quickly.

1 hour and 45 mins later I get called back up, she said here’s your passport it took longer because your wallet was stolen and we had to make reports. As my eyes rolled internally as I remembered Toby’s and my conversation about what our reason was for not having the card any longer, we ended up deciding to go with the truth, seems not really to our advantage after all!

It’s at times like this that one has to hope that my card will be used and they will catch some underhanded person and punishment will prevail, what can I say makes all the hassle much more worth it at that point, don’t you think!

Toby and I still wonder if there is an advantage about going about such things above reprieve when seems so many others don’t, and they are still ahead of the the game and we are way over here.

On the up side she knew her stuff, and that is always nice for a change.

Feeling like a Mexican

Posted: 29/05/2008 by Toby in News
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Well, not me, since I’m American (pronounced like ‘Mare-kin’), but my dear wife is unfortunately going into the seventh circle known as a CIS office. I’ll be headed home for half day to work from home while she drives to the nearest, which is apparently in Baltimore.

We plan to take a trip to Prince Edward Island, which is in that “why are you still a country and not the 51st state” country called Canada, and the U.S. has now decided that Americans who go to Canada and back are potential ter-ist, and must have a passport to get back in. I’m sure the Canada side of Niagra Falls took a hit on that one. This means we have to get our papers in order, and among other things, Sharole is still waiting (this is month number 9) for her replacement green card, since the first one was only good for 2 years and expired last October.

Also in preparation for the trip, Tuesday bright and sorta early we went to the Post Office and applied for the infants to get their Marekin passports and $292 dollars later they accepted the applications. The woman was dubious as to whether we would actually get the passport booklets for the kidlets in time for our trip, so we decided the following: if they don’t make it, we’ll take it as a sign from God that my precious children are too good for Canadian soil.

Oh, and the woman who processed the applications? would probably have had trouble saying ‘naturalized citizen.’ Would have come out natowize seh-zen.

In a few years I’ll have a brother in law in the state department somewhere, but unfortunately I don’t think that will be much help to us since by that time we will have bailed. Not that he isn’t a hoopy frood.