Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Greencard Interview

We had prepared for it for months, starting with the day I sent in the last of my "additional evidence" requested by the immigration authorities.

The night before the interview, Albie read aloud some sample questions he had found on the internet, and we learned that the interviwer may ask where we keep our towels and dirty laundry as well as who feeds the cats and how often, what we had for breakfast that morning and who sleeps on what side of the bed.

All my photo albums were ready to go - from the wedding album to cat and condo photos - and all our joint Christmas cards for the past 2 years were neatly arranged in Ziplock bags.

We got to the interview a few minutes early, found parking right away, and realized the building we were looking for was the courthouse. The metal detector was no problem, except for the paperclip in my shoe, and after we checked in with the receptionist we were seen almost immediately.

Albie had joked that I would be made to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, to which I confidently responded "I don't need to know it - I am not a citizen."

As we entered a small office with glass walls, the immigration officer stopped and asked us both to raise or right hand. "Oh shit!" I thought. Maybe Albie was right.

"Do you swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth here today?" he asked.
"I do," Albie said.
"Yes," I replied.
Which led to a discussion as to what the correct and appropriate answer actually is. We found out that even nodding was OK in this instance.

"So, you guys live in (town name)?" our interviewer's first question was, although it wasn't really a question. "The Magic Valley."
Then we discussed the water quality of the local river (rumor has it that 20 years ago you could develop film in the river).
"And you are both reporters?"
"Well, we both work for newspapers. That's why we are so tired - it's the morning after Election Day."
"I see."

The interviewer looked through our applications. He turned to me, almost apologetically.
"Have you ever been arrested?"
"In any country?"
"I'm just kidding." He laughed. "I know you haven't."
He pointed to the papers.
Ha ha.
"Have you ever been a terrorist?"
"Let's see..." (Looking through papers)
"Is that my background check?"
"Yes. You're good - no terrorist activities."

More flipping through papers.
"So, you guys got married in Vermont?"
"Why do you want to come HERE, if you're from Sweden? You should make your husband move to Sweden!"
"Sure, maybe later, after we have kids."
"Although Sweden has its share of immigration problems."

"Any joint property?"
"Good. This is great."

A few minutes later...
"OK, you are all set. Your greencard will arrive in two weeks."
"What? We're done?"
"Yup. Look for it in the mail."
"But don't you want to see our wedding photos?"
"Yes, sure."
"We've gone through all this trouble."
"That's what everyone says."

1 comment:

Anna-Karin said...

Roligt att du skrev detta just nu! Jag, Kajsa och Jenny såg The Proposal i lördags och pratade om att du måste ha gjort en sån intervju :)