Lets cut to the chase about the interview yesterday - I passed! Although I'm not sure "passed" is the correct word. I'm not getting deported, I'm allowed to stay in the USA.
And now to the details;
So we are know I was dreading the interview - I had no real idea what would happen and searching google resulted in seeing them question everything from what you did last night, to details about your partner and your sex life. I made sure to fill my folder with everything they mentioned in the letter that we were required to take, I had our photobook, cards, photographs, official documents and letters. Everything filed, everything ready. I was beyond nervous.
Our appointment was at the nearest Homeland Security building which for us is on Jefferson Avenue in Detroit. The process was similar to the one I underwent at the American Embassy in London - you let them know you're there and you wait in a huge room resembling an airport lounge with loads of screens with numbers and letters. We had to wait for my name to be called and met with the guy that was doing our interview who led us to his office. After swearing we'd tell the truth he went straight into pronouncing he'd gone through my K-1 forms yesterday [that's that huge envelope of the original paperwork dating back from January 2011 with Joe's original application, my London medical stuff and things from the embassy which I handed over at the Detroit airport] and that he was happily giving me a Green Card. Just like that.
The waiting room where we had to wait prior to the interview - resembling an airport lounge. On the upper walls [which you can just see] they had the names and dates of famous immigrants to America - from Bob Hope to Einstein. Image source.
In five minutes he'd double checked my biographical information, talked about that we can't yet go to Canada until I actually receive my card, took a copy of the marriage certificate and said thank you for coming.
Now I know some people who have issues with immigration and how lax it is may have issues with this process especially knowing I'm getting a green card out of it. I did think there would have been more questions, but considering the process as a whole and this being the end of the journey - we'd already handed in a lot of photographs, copies of boarding passes and been through one interview previously. Maybe it's because I'm British and not from a country they worry about. I'm glad they didn't tackle us down and question everything about our relationship because as I've said before everyone one's relationship is different. This is just our and this was our case of immigration - it might not be the same for everyone so please bare that in mind.
So what's next? In the short term we're off to celebrate with a meal at the weekend and we need to actually wait for my green card in the post. We're off to spend the rest of the year working out where we want to live/settle down - as you know I'd love that to be in Chicago. A lot of this is dependant on things out of our control - if the economy continues to suck in the UK [or if Cameron's still in charge] then maybe we'll stay here. And its also dependent on who's living in the White House come November, I think Romney cuts could hit us hard. But who knows - I still need to get a job first. In the long run I can apply for American Citizenship in three years - it might take me that long to decide!
Finally I want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone of you that has ever wished us luck, not only for yesterday but from the very start regarding long distance relationships, moving, visa's to the wedding. You all really are the best!