May 20, 2010 § 12 Comments
[Nick and some colourful fountains last night, downtown Montreal]
As I flew to Toronto from Montreal this afternoon, I was fighting off tears, thinking about what took place this morning, but these were tears of joy and relief instead of the tears of frustration I’d been dealing with for the last 8 months.
Today was not only mine & Nick’s three year anniversary, but also, coincidentally my visa interview at the American Consulate in Montreal.
We woke up at 6 am at the hotel I purposefully booked 5 minutes away from the consulate. We arrived just after 7 even though my interview was for 8 and there were already about 10 people ahead of us. Nick went to get us tea and muffins, but we barely had time to eat them before security started opening the doors and leading in people to be searched.
The whole process was impressively orderly and organized. We were split into groups and given letters. We were taken upstairs to a high floor where we waited about half an hour before I was called for them to review my documents and take my fingerprints. They charged me a “machine readable visa fee” (AKA a “give us this last bit of money please” fee) and I waited some more. I was then called into a booth to be interviewed by an officer. For the first time in the history of my travels, I was face to face with the nicest immigration officer imaginable. The dude could have been a kindergarten teacher. I told him my fiance was also here and he told me to please go get him so he can be part of this too. He asked us how we met, to which we looked at each other and laughed, then I told the briefest version of the story possible. He asked about the company we both worked for, how often we visited each other, and really not too much else. After about 10 minutes, he declared “Based on the information you’ve given me today and that I have here, I can tell you that you’re approved for this visa.” Nick and I looked at each other like our heads were going to explode out of pure happiness and relief. We thanked him very much and left and Nick planted a big kiss on me as soon as we got into the hallway.
Now here’s the part of the story where you’re gonna think I’m starting to make things up – we take the elevator downstairs to leave and as soon as the door opens, there stands Steve Herman – mine & Nick’s old boss! The very same man who, when I asked him two years ago to be transferred to our New York office, he tells me “I’m sorry, I just can’t do it, it’s too risky. Maybe you guys will work it out and stay together and get married and prove me wrong, I just don’t know!” We were all shocked, but said hi and hugged quickly before he was ushered into the elevator with the next group of wannabe-Americans and can only assume he is thinking back on the same moment.
The whole experience was really great. I’m so glad Nick was there with me and it went so smoothly. We were back at the hotel, eating breakfast at 10:00 and were able to catch early flights home. Now I’m back in Whitby and just spent an afternoon with my wonderful sister and her amazing kids and will probably drink a beer with my Dad when he gets home from work in 20 minutes. I can’t wait to see friends next week and enjoy my last bit of time in Canada for a while.
Best day ever!
May 18, 2010 § 5 Comments
My visa interview is coming up fast – it’s early Thursday morning in Montreal and although I am feeling more confident and less stressed, I cannot wait for the moment they tell us that I’m approved!
Here’s a sweet email and photo from my rad Dad to mark this occasion.
Hi Christina – you must be getting very anxious/excited etc about your interview this week.
Two things to remember… 1) you have done an incredible job of pulling all the details and process together with the best advice you could get (and that is much more than the average person in this situation does to prepare); and, 2) You deserve to have this over with in the best way possible – I am sure they have already made the decision and are just waiting for your happy face to match to the pictures in their files in order to give it the go-ahead.
Anyway… Try not to sweat it too much. You are a fine person. The USA needs more people like you to help them out. And I think they know that already.
Good luck, and just be who you are… that’s more than enough.
p.s. just to lighten things up a bit I have included my grade 11 yearbook picture… good for a laugh.
March 25, 2010 § 1 Comment
Thank you very much to the people in charge of karma, as I finally received my visa interview date yesterday!
It’s not until the end of May, a mere 7 days before my fiancee petition expires (the American government really likes to keep me on my toes), so I am having my lawyer look into getting me back to New York in a couple weeks to spend just over a month with my sweetie, enjoying NYC in the Spring, and drinking beer at baseball games. The wait will go by much faster there, as I have used up all my patience in Canada. If everything works out as planned, Nick & I plan to fly back from New York straight to Montreal for the appointment.
I love progress! It’s not over yet though, so those of you who have had your fingers crossed for us, please retain the position!
(photo: Christina Miller – Wonderwheel @ Coney Island, July 2009)