What’s your next, most pressing deadline? Are you excited, stressed, or ambivalent about it? What’s the first thing you’d like to do once you’re done with it?
To tell about my deadline, a little description about myself is needed here. I am married and waiting for an immigrant visa to be available to be with my husband. My husband recently became an US citizen but he was a Legal permanent resident (LPR) at the time of our marriage. Now there is a major difference in immigration process between a spouse of an US citizen and a spouse of an LPR. There is no annual quota limit for visa in case of USC spouses but there is an annual limit of visas for spouses of LPRs. So, it is very common for a spouse of LPR to wait for 2-3 years to get an immigrant visa while the spouse of an US citizen can get that within a year.
The USC can file IR1/CR1 (Immediate relative category) petition on behalf of their spouse. Once approved by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) the IR1/CR1 case moves to National Visa Center (NVC) and they are processed without any further delay.
While the LPR can file F2A (Family 2nd preference category) petition for their spouse and unlike IR1/CR1 once approved by USCIS though it moves to NVC but it is hold there until the priority date (PD) for the petition becomes current ( which sometimes takes 2 or more years to be current) .
I understand that the immigration process is very hard for anyone who is undergoing this process, be it a spouse of citizen or spouse of LPR but the extra waiting part is very hard in case of LPR spouses. It gets real tough for the newly wed couples like us. We know each other for 10 years now and we were in a long distance relationship for total 6 years before we got married. But still me and my husband were constantly upset and had several altercations because of this long distance and zero progress in our immigration case. We got married to end this distance but the time has not come yet.
So here is our immigration story in short and my most pressing deadline:
We married last year in july (2013) but did not file an I130 petition. We did not know the details about the procedure then. We were just about to file the petition when some people scared us saying that it will take 5 years to get a visa if we file under F2A category. So, we thought to wait until my husband gets his citizenship. Then unexpectedly all the priority dates (PD) for F2A category became current during aug-sep last year. And we got extremely unlucky as we did not file right after my marriage.
Finally, my husband filed the I130 petition this year on May. All the credit goes to an online forum called Visa Journey where I got all the information needed to file a petition. I wish I knew about this wonderful forum earlier then I could have celebrated my marriage anniversary with my husband this year. But better late than never.
Right now our case is pending at NVC since early September as our PD is not current and we are under F2A category.
My husband applied for his citizenship way back in early february but his local office is on NYC and that is heavily backlogged. His naturalization ceremony was held on last week of November. Immediately after he got the naturalization certificate he emailed NVC to upgrade our case from F2A to IR1/CR1 so that our case can start moving.The representatives there told that it will take 60 days to upgrade that case. 60 days!!!! Isn’t that more than enough time to upgrade a case? I feel so upset. After upgrading also, there are many more steps left to be done at NVC. They will also take their share of time. But right now my only wish is to cross this upgrading part so that my pending case ultimately starts moving and the distance between me and my husband lessens with each passing day. That is my most pressing deadline that I need to cross.
After that I will be happy to finish this one and be ready for another deadline. I have made my own set of deadlines to cope up with this tedious immigration process. If I count all the deadlines at once that will make me too stressed to think about other things. So, I divided the whole process in smaller sets of deadlines so that I can celebrate while I pass each one of them and maintain my sanity.
I really hope to be with my husband in our marriage anniversary next year. In due time we will be together.
In response to Daily Prompt: In Due Time