Green Card Application Update

man woman surfboards

Now that I’m an Australian citizen, it seems like my eternal battle with paperwork and visa applications should be over.

Hahahahahhahahaha IT’S NOT.

We get to have allll that visa fun times two, this time with the US government. Jared and I are still planning to move to the states this year, but the exact timing depends on bureaucracy.

Here’s a run down of our green card application process to date:

January 2017
Submitted petition to USCIS, in where I request permission for Jared to apply for his green card.

October 2017
We receive an email that thanks Jared for his “interest in immigrating to the United States of America.” The petition has been accepted; Jared can now officially apply for a visa.

December 2018
I collate all the paperwork to show that I can financially support Jared in the US (this is…not a simple process). Jared uploads his required documents and completes his application online.

A new required document appears—he has to provide a police check from the United Kingdom. The instructions say that police checks are required if you’ve lived in a country for six months or more. He lived in the UK for five months.

Thanks for the clarity, National Visa Center.

January 2018
After the UK police check inexplicably sits in a Sydney processing facility for two weeks, we add it to the uploads and officially submit the complete application.

February 2018
An email arrives saying that there has been an update to the case. I log in to our online account, sure that I will see a notification that we are ‘documentarily qualified’ and now in line to receive an interview date.


Jared’s Korean police check has not been accepted. The police check that we got from our local police station in Korea and paid $70 to have translated. The same version of the police check I used to become an Australian citizen.

Waegook dressed up
This man is not exactly on WANTED posters in Korea.

I immediately call NVC.

“Hmm, that’s strange,” the woman on the phone says. “It’s hard for me to tell why they didn’t accept it because I can’t read Korean. Looks like it doesn’t have the same header as the one in my example.”

“Is there an example I can have a look at?” I ask.

“No,” she says, and provides a link with instructions for how to get a police check from Korea.

Go to your local police station in Korea, it says.

There’s a second link explaining what to do if you’re outside of Korea. It takes you to the Korean police website, is entirely in Korean, and does not work on any of my web browsers.

Long story short, we’re going down to Sydney on Friday so Jared can apply for his police check at the Korean consulate. It allegedly takes two weeks and by some miracle is free.

In the meantime, we’re here in Newcastle, trying to settle in but not too much, because we’ll theoretically be off again in a few months.

Walking dog on beach
Worse places to be in limbo.

I’ve got something to look forward to while we wait, because in 4 weeks I’m going to use my new Australian passport (!!!) for the very first time as I head to the US for a two week visit.

Initially I hoped to do a bit of state-hopping but quickly got priced out of that idea, so I’ll be in Sacramento for a night and in Denver the rest of the time. I haven’t spent much time in either place so if you have, let me know: What should I do/see?

More importantly, what delicious beer should I drink and which food trucks should I frequent?

US immigration visa update

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  1. Oh mannnn, that sounds intense! Ben and I thought of moving to Hawaii in a few years time but we’ve decided to make Australia home and try to visit Hawaii once a year (money permitting!). Although, never say never… How did you decide to move back to the States? (or will I have to read the book?) 😀
    – katrien

    1. Applying for visas is such a drag! I’ll be so glad when it’s all over and we can actually make concrete plans. Moving back to the US (like everything we do) is semi-temporary – basically it was just time to give a few years to being close to my family. Not sure how long we’ll stay or what we’ll do after, but we’ll figure it out as we go.:) Though we do talk up Hawaii too…it’s such a nicely-positioned middle ground!

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