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Friday, May 21, 2010

Your Visa Is. . .

I'm looking forward to the day when there will be no more borders, visas, miles of paperwork, and immigration. When everyone will be able to come and go across a common land that we will all share. For me, that day cannot come soon enough!

Today, however, I experienced the joy of visiting the US consulate in Amsterdam, for the fourth time in the last 11 years, to request yet another visa. I was pondering whether I could request frequent flyer miles for my regular attendance, but decided the security guard at the gate would likely not find that amusing! Thankfully, everything went smoothly and I should be receiving my visa within a week or so. Once I have it in hand, I will have one last interview, for my green-card (date as yet to be determined) and then. Then I shall be finished with it all. Unless, of course, I decide to go and live in another country and have to begin the process all over again!!!

The actual visa interview is actually anti-climatic after so much preparation. I began the whole process months ago with my very helpful lawyer and was kept busy sending reams of photocopies over on a regular basis. The completed visa application came by Fed-Ex along with numerous sticky notes that directed me to "insert photocopy here" and "insert photocopy there" and "sign here." After compiling everything I needed, I was ready for the actual journey.

The journey from California to Amsterdam was no easy one. I encountered additional challenges along the way as I forgot to bring my medicine, the hotel I'd reserved was overbooked, our international flight was delayed 2 hours, a student demonstration was planned for the very day I had my appointment, and when I arrived at the consulate I found myself packed into a very small room with 50 other weary travelers.

My interview, on the other hand, was the fastest one yet. Though it took me two hours to get from initial entry to actual interview, the consul asked me several questions and two minutes later said the welcome words: "Your visa is approved."

To those who follow my blog and know me well, you will understand why those four words were bittersweet to hear. Life has been particularly challenging for some time now and I, the sanguine, hesitate to shout with joy. I am grateful, however.

I am grateful that I have a home, a car, and a job to return to. I am grateful that I have family and friends, both near and far. I am grateful for email to keep in touch with those who are far away. I am grateful I live in a country where women have freedoms and where I can understand the language! There are more things I'm grateful for, but I'm getting so sleepy I cannot think of them all.

I'm still thinking about those four words and a time still to come. Has my heavenly visa been approved? Somehow I'd like to think so. And there isn't a pile of paperwork required, either. Just a simple belief in Jesus and a single death on the Cross.

1 comment:

  1. I am glad that you were approved. It is all confusing to me; all the stuff you have to go through. I am just glad it worked out. And I like the way your tied in our heavenly visa. :)



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