Tag Archives: US Immigration

Immigration Update – Boys

Last time we discussed the immigration issue it was a very frustrating time. “Bureaucracy is an art form” tells the annoying tale of how fruitless our visit to Federal Plaza was with the boys to get their Green Cards. We left their having been told there is no proof the boys entered the States legally, and that we should wait for a letter from there with further instruction. The letter was expected to ask us for copies of their Nexus cards which would prove when they entered the country. They had also told us that the kids needed to have had a B2 visa, which was total hogwash.

That was almost 2 months ago. We were waiting for this letter, which we knew would come in quadruplicate, so we could follow the steps to get this sorted out. The government works at its own pace and we knew we just had to be patient. We also consulted with an immigration attorney who agreed with us that this B2 visa business was a load of baloney.

On Thursday last week we received 8 pieces of mail from the Immigration folks. 2 per child. We were thinking that this was the request for more info. Actually one was the approval of the I-130 (Petition for the Alien Relative) and the other, shockingly, was to say that the boys’ application for permanent residency had been approved. Without asking us for the proof of entry? Without the B2 visa that the clerk insisted we had?

We checked online – you can type in your file number and track any updates in your case. It had not been updated with this new change. So while we were excited to get these letters, we were a little skeptical. When we receive the green cards, we thought, then we’ll be happy.

On Sunday we went to the mailbox to retrieve Saturday’s mail. The Green Cards had arrived. OK, it was kind of anticlimactic – just a huge sense of relief washing over us.

I still don’t really understand how things turned around and all of a sudden we have the Green Cards over-nighted to us – but I am not going to question it. At all. I am just so thrilled that that part of the immigration saga is over. Next part happens about a year or so from now, when I have to reapply for my green card. The kid’ cards are good for ten years – hopefully within that time we will all become citizens.

Now that I can prove the kids are legal residents, there is a whole bunch of paperwork that needs to get done – but I will do it with a smile on my face. We have been waiting for this for a long time. All told, it took over two years….

Immigration Update #45208

There isn’t much to say other than we are not getting our visas. Yep. Simply put, apparently they no longer process these visas and we have to go for Green Cards necessitating more waiting and more nail biting and more freaking forms. Forget about the fact that we paid a lot of money in fees for the visas.

I could go on and on about the awful treatment we have received, and the incompetence of certain people in official capacity. But I won’t. I could complain to you that after we paid all our money they told us they weren’t issuing the visas. I could witter on about KoD’s extremely disappointing visit to the consulate to try and talk to someone and get someone to help us.

I could even whine and moan that my apartment lease is up at the end of the month and we have nowhere to go, and that we are still waiting for our passports to be returned to us – but why would I want to yank you into my mire of self pity?

Well, we have now become people who have hired a bevy of lawyers to help us out, because any way you look at it, life has become even more difficult. Hopefully we won’t have to resort to selling our organs in order to settle these bills.

For those of you that want to help us out with $ (see what I have been reduced to??) I have set up a a paypal account – from this page enter the following email address to donate MilnerLegalFund at gmail dot com . If you wish to donate in Canadian funds go to the same page but use the address of MilnerLegalFundCa at gmail dot com. The Facebook page can be found HERE.

I want to take the opportunity to thank those of you who have been extremely helpful and supportive in many different ways – don’t stop, ok? We need you.

This has been a long journey already (15 months married this Shabbat) and it so isn’t over. But as I was telling my girlfriend the other day – I am not in this mess alone. I have the KoD by my side, keeping me focused, keeping it real, making me feel loved every single step of the way. Yes this is an annoyance. It’s frustrating and I want to cry and scream and howl at the moon. But at the end of all of this crapitude I will be living FULL TIME with my husband (I know, what a concept) and kids. Just have to get through a few more doses of yuck to get there.

(There will be more detailed posts on this insanity to follow. I simplified it because I am so sick of thinking about it and dealing with it and living and breathing it….)

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Medicals

So last week we had our immigration medicals. This is a necessary step in the immigration process. The two main things they are looking for as grounds to deny entry to the country are Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. But they also want to make sure that one is otherwise healthy. Don’t want any drains on the already over burdened medical system, eh?

We cabbed it downtown to the swank offices of the one practice in Quebec that is licensed to perform these medical examinations. I registered us and had the pleasure of filling in more forms, a basic medical history for each of us. As I am filling it in, I had a lot of fun asking the kids if they were pregnant – I needed it for the form!! There was much eye rolling and “Ima, you are sooo not funny”s. BH my kids are all healthy, there have been occasional illnesses and injuries and surgeries – which of course I had to remember for each child, but I think I covered the important stuff. This gave me the opportunity to explain to the kids that they need to be aware of their medical history.

Soon I was called in to do a chest x-ray. The kids, being under 15, were spared this and the blood tests that I had to do later. One does see a different in the private healthcare system – the equipment was state of the art, the techs better dressed. No hospital scrubs here. I guess you get what you pay for.

Went back to the waiting room and waited. And waited. And waited. Finally a nurse called us all in to an examination room, where there were more detailed questions. While I was giving information, another nurse was testing the boys’ eyesight and taking their weight and height and all that kind of stuff. What bothered me the most was that they started asking me questions about my personal medical history in front of the children. I told the nurse that I wasn’t comfortable discussing this in front of the kids, and she accommodated me by waiting till they were out of the room before asking more q’s. She seemed surprised at my comment – I was surprised at their lack of discretion.

I brought the kids vaccination booklets with, and apparently there were some discrepancies. My kids were up to date with every shot. I know this. But somehow two of the kids were missing an entry or two in their booklets, and the US government requires proof of ALL the vaccinations. Mommy knowing it was done doesn’t count. The boys were not happy to learn they had to have needles, especially knowing that they really shouldn’t have needed them. Ima needed a needle too – I could not prove I had my MMR so I needed a booster for that. At no point did the nurse ask if I was pregnant – a big no no for the MMR, and at not point was I told not to become pregnant in the next 3 months, another no no with the MMR. Highly unprofessional. I know this anyway. But they should have said.  In order to minimize the whining I pointed out that we needed to do this in order to move, and that I was less than thrilled too, but it’s not dangerous to us, and is a sacrifice we have to make. They cooperated fully.

As they were taking histories and testing the kids, they prepared to take my blood – in front of the kids. I sent one of them out as he has issues with needles and blood, but really, none of the other kids needed to watch. But I wasn’t a wuss about it – showed them that it was no big deal.

I was laughing a little to myself as the nurses kept talking about what a big family we were. Where I am living, 4 kids is a small family!

We trooped back to the waiting room where we sat for another 30 minutes until the doctor called us in. Again asking me personal medical history in front of my children. I just found that so unprofessional. My kids don’t need to know this stuff at their point in life. We all had medical exams that lasted no more than 2 minutes. She asked more detailed q’s about their illnesses and surgeries, but the hands on exam – really quick.

What I found interesting was that there was no waiver for me to sign, allowing them to contact my personal physician, my medicare number was not taken – I could have given them a ton of false information and they never would have known. The doc told me that all the kids were normal and healthy. BH.

We were at the clinic for 3 long hours. I was presented with a big fat bill at the end of it – just thinking about how I could have better spent that money hurts. I know it’s an investment in our future – and the peace of mind knowing that the kids are healthy is worth every penny!

I am just praying we don’t have to do the medicals again when applying for permanent residency. Once should be enough, right?

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