Even though the first part of the process was done very quickly, we did not hear back from USCIS or the American embassy in Brussels for a very long time. After two months of waiting, on July 26th, I wrote to an immigration caseworker at MN Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office. I had been an intern at the Minneapolis office in 2014, and witnessed our staff helping numerous people in all kinds of situations. Within 10 days the American Embassy in Brussels broke the silence. They had contacted me to announce my application package was on its way. This means I can apply for the green card!
Protip: Tap into the vast resources your government officials have to offer. Your local legislative office does more than take in complaints over the phone, they can also take compliments and help you solve things.
Over the years people often asked me “Why don’t you just apply for citizeship?” Well, cuz it is not that simple. There are a few ways one can acquire citizenship, such as by joining the army, having American parents, marrying an American, making a large investment that creates jobs, the lottery. But it is never that simple.
Last year Forbes wrote a piece on how slow immigration processing times had become, particularly so in spousal sponsorship cases, such as mine. The process often takes about one year. Today, my greencard was approved. Nick and I reached the finish line within 4 and a half months (even after some missteps).
I would like to talk a little bit about the classes I have been able to take this past semester at the University of Kent through the Rotary Global Grant. Not a lot has happened in my personal life since I last wrote to you. I have been focusing on writing my essays and doing research, and that took a lot of time. So here is what happened in my Fall 2015 classes.
I realize that my last letter was a bit gloomy. I’m starting to bland in with the weather here. So let’s try again!
Since volunteering with the refugees, I’ve had to focus more on school, on my French, on my readings, and on my theoritical learning. This is after all what I came here to do.
It’s been 75 days since I left Minneapolis to pursue my Masters in Brussels. I first flew to Germany, and then got a ride to Belgium. All under U$ 330 Dollars. I wanna assure you I’m being as resourceful as I can with this grant, and that I’m thrilled to be a Rotary ambassador once again.