|My corner of America - Detroit from NASA (source)|
If life wasn't crazy and stressful enough with planning on buying our first house, it's all occurring at the same time my green card expires. While greencards tend to last 10 years, entering on a K1 visa, my first only lasted only two years until we jump another set of hurdles, pay lots of dollars ($590 which breaks down into $505 for the paperwork fees and the other $85 going on biometric costs) and get the "conditions" removed. What conditions I hear you cry? Well in my case, proving that my marriage is legit and that we didn't just married just so I could enter and live in the US.
This has got me stressed, very stressed, don't get me wrong I know my marriage is real, it's the trying to prove it part to officials who know nothing about us. Sadly while you could send in a million photographs of you and your spouse together, they hold little weight compared to the formal paperwork evidence.
So this is all based sending in the I-751 form off and after a couple of weeks of compiling, printing and photocopying about 10oz of evidence what do you send in such a situation? Well, officially within the guidance for the I-751 they suggest any of the following;
- Birth certificate(s) of children(s) born
- Lease or mortgages showing join occupancy/ownership
- Financial records showing joint ownership of asserts and joint responsibility for liabilities eg savings, checking accounts, state and federal tax returns, insurance policies, joint utility bills or loans
- Other documents which establish a legit marriage
- Affidavits sworn to or affirmed by at least two people who have own you since your conditional residence was granted and have personal knowledge of your marriage and relationship
After mailing it all in the wait begins, I've already received my receipt and a year extension on my green card, now just the waiting game for having my biometrics (photograph, finger prints) to be taken all over again and then we go from there towards getting the full ten year card, then after that I think I'm applying for citizenship which brings up a whole load of other topics in itself although I won't feel ready for that for another couple of years.
I should probably give some background to all the readers that have come along since I moved to the US and don't know the full story. Basically I fell in love with an American and migrated from Yorkshire to Michigan in 2011 on a K-1 visa after being in a long distance relationship since 2009. I blogged about it a lot over those nine months waiting for my visa - from the paperwork to the medical exam and America embassy interview alongside applying for permanent resident status so feel free to have a look back - it's all under the visa tag, and as always if you ever have any visa/expat questions you can always get in touch.