Green Cards and Aussie Citizenship

Giant jenga game

The trick about being in an international marriage is working out the logistics.

Obviously there are other small hurdles to overcome, like ongoing arguments about how to pronounce aluminum. For the record, it’s aloominum, because we dropped that pesky second ‘i’ in the US so I’m not wrong JUST DIFFERENT AND NO I AM NOT BEING OVERSENSITIVE.

Whew. Sorry about that, where was I?

Ah yes. Logistics. As constant travelers, we’re pretty good at figuring out the ins and outs of visas and flight patterns and when we should go where. But until we master cloning, time travel, or apparating, the fact remains that we can only be in one place at one time.

wedding couple surprised
“What do you mean we have to pick one place to live?”

So after four years in Australia, we’re due for an extended stay in the USA. (I know, great timing.) In January we started the process of applying for Jared’s green card, which I think is going to be a superfun process that is not at all complicated.

All up it costs about $1500USD and we’re expecting it to take 10 months, though that’s just an educated guess based on intensive Googling. The green card will grant Jared permanent residency in the US, allowing him to live and work there. It expires after ten years, and it doesn’t allow you to vote or apply for a passport.

We don’t have a concrete plan for when we’ll arrive, where we’ll live or how long we’ll stay, but yes, we are US-bound. Once the green card is granted we’ll have six months to enter the country and you can be sure we’ll be doing our best to fit in some stopovers on the way there.

In the meantime, I have officially applied for my Australian citizenship. It was all done online, which makes sense these days but was still thrillingly convenient, after compiling the physical encyclopedia that was my partner visa. There was only one slight hiccup, when I clicked ‘NEXT’ to see that I had to enter the dates of every international trip I’d taken since the age of 18.

Every. Trip.

Since I was 18.

woman in crazy clothes smash guitar

Thanks to that partner visa I had a spreadsheet that covered 2003 – 2013, but I had to rely on memory to cover the years before and my new passport to cover the years since. I’m sure the immigration person will enjoy scanning through a list that contains various 2-day trips to Italy or Switzerland, stopovers in Singapore and Shanghai.

On the (very) bright side, applying for citizenship only cost us $287 AUD, a comparative bargain. Within two weeks I received an email notifying me of my citizenship appointment in June, which makes it all very real. I’ll meet with an official to present original copies of my paperwork and sit the citizenship test; assuming I pass then I’ll have to wait for an invite to a citizenship ceremony.

Once that happens, I’ll be a legitimate dual citizen who can apply for a passport, also blue, but this time with a kangaroo and an emu on the front.

IT’S CRAZY. It feels like I’m growing a new identity. I’m sure I will have more to say on the subject when it actually happens, but for now I’ll keep my fingers crossed and get back to my fruitless attempts to pronounce words the way I’ve always been pronouncing them without copping any flack.

Wish me luck.






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  1. Ermagah, when I applied for my Russian visa online I had to fill-in on the countries I had been to in the last ten years — and right as I was about to click ‘next’ it kicked me out for inactivity.
    I now have a running Google notes with all my travel dates. But seriously, since you were EIGHTEEN?!
    International marriages amaze me. You must *really* love a person to go through all that, haha.

    1. Noooo!! That is AWFUL. I can only imagine the despair I would have felt to lose all of that; spreadsheets are definitely the way forward!

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