This is not a simple process
Even though we Canadians are your friendly neighbors to the north, I still count as an ALIEN. That means to legally move to Los Angeles and start a life together with Tom, a few things have to happen before we start the road trip:
The Visa Process
K-1 Visa Filing This is a big packet (15 pages of forms, plus another 30-some pages of supporting documentation) that says, yeah, we want to get married and oh by the way we are notifying you the US government that the petitioner (Tom) is asking to make his country a little cooler by bringing a foreigner (Me) into the US and if the US will grant an ALIEN FIANCEÉ VISA then we promise to get married within 90 days. Also, here is some money for you Dept. of Important Government Love Stuff.
NOA1: This is basically just a notification from the government that, hey we got your paperwork. High-five, everybody.
NOA2: This is notification that the initial petition part of it has been approved. Then we send in bunch of additional documentation (like, proving I’m me and stuff) along with more money.
Medical Exam & Interview: This is the final hurdle in the visa part of the process. I get a medical exam to prove I don’t have measles, etc. (Fun fact: there are THREE doctors in all of Canada who are certified to perform this exam.) There is also a personal interview at the US Consulate in Vancouver. It’s a one-on-one interview, but it would be really great if Tom was there, the officials look favorably on that. At the end of that interview they tell you straight up if your ALIEN FIANCEÉ VISA is approved.
STATUS: Scheduled! We’ll be in Vancouver September 19th-23rd for all the exams, paperwork, and interview action. STAY TUNED.
Packing: Assuming our visa is approved, it’s packing time. The current plan is to obtain a U-Pack shipping cube, stuff my mattress and board games inside, and send it off to California in November. (Fun fact: It’s very difficult to rent a moving truck on a one-way trip across the border!)
Road Trip, Calgary to L.A.: Shortly after packing up the cube, Tom flies up here and we pack me, my dog and any random leftovers into my little Whiffle Ball car and embark on an epic 1600-mile road trip! The plains of Montana! The lush valleys of Idaho. Something, something Utah! It’s a lot of driving, people. Three days later, we’re in Los Angeles!
Nuptials!: Once I cross the border into the States, we have 90 days to get married (which we’ll probably do with a JP immediately, followed by a small ceremony in December) and then I apply for an adjustment of status to Permanent Resident and an Employment Authorization Document so I can start working. This is the point at which I receive the famous Green Card.
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