Sunday, June 22, 2008

Presumptive US Citizen aided by Jupiter

Transiting Jupiter, hovering around natal Mercury during past months, at last brought me some luck on Thursday. The tale of woe I recounted in my previous post turned out to have a happy ending after all.

We were at our local Sheriff's office by 9am Thursday with a request for a signed and sealed statement of my criminal history (or lack of it) - this was forthcoming in record time - about 10 minutes. Onward to the town's Police Department, where we obtained a similar statement very easily. By 10.30 we were on our way to Oklahoma City, to find the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to obtain the third required background statement. Finding the building took longer than actually obtaining the document I needed. There was a whole department set up for the purpose of obtaining background statements, so with the exchange of $15 and a short wait I had the third document in my hot sticky hand - hot and sticky because temperatures were already in the nineties.

We headed for a soup and salad bar for a bite of lunch then decided to book in to a motel for the night, in case of unforeseen requirements post-interview. A couple of hours relaxing after the morning's efforts, then off to the USCIS building around 5.10pm My interview was scheduled for 5.30. It appears they are working overtime to deal with their enormous backlog of applications, and I suspect that the lady who interviewed me isn't one of the usual interviewing officers. She was a lovely lady, and the whole interview was relaxed and easy-peasy. I answered the first six civics questions correctly so no need to go to the remaining four. When she came to the part concerning my rejected fingerprints I was was able to wave my three documents trimphantly before her. She laughed and said, "When someone rang me about your application last evening, fortuitously your file was open on my desk and I took the opportunity of mentioning the fingerprint problem, wondering if you'd be able to rectify it." I refrained from asking, or showing any annoyance at all, why the office hadn't written to me about the problem during the past 3 months. I was so relieved to have had things go so well, so far. I wanted to avoid a sour note so bit my tongue - hard!

Here is the luck of transiting Jupiter conjunct natal Mercury: a chain of consequences. My husband's daughter-in-law had been visiting our home each afternoon last week to use our treadmill, as she's recently undergone an operation and needed some gentle exercise as therapy. In normal circumstances I'd probably not have had any opportunity to chat to her about my citizenship application. She happens to know a lady whose friend works in a congressman's office. The chain continues - phone calls via local offices and Washington DC eventually reached the lady who was to interview me, who at the moment of a phone call to her had my file open on her desk. It was evening too, well after office hours. The interviewing lady was a kindly soul, a big lady, Jupiter personified! I strongly suspect that regular staff wouldn't have been anywhere near as accommodating as to give out that information which helped me so much. They would have been likely to inform me of the fingerprint problem at the interview, then put my file back at the bottom of the pile - AGAIN!

A chain of events - happy happenstances which served to smooth my ruffled feathers of Wednesday evening.

Now, all I need is an Oath Ceremony. The interviewer told me it could be two or three months before I'm called, but they are arranging extra ceremonies because the courthouse can't accomodate a large enough number. They are swearing in an extra 150new citizens at three ceremonies at the USCIS office next week, and may do the same in July. I might get included in the next batch, but no guarantees - it could equally mean a wait until August or September. Sigh.

So now I'm what could be termed "a presumptive citizen". I'd bet my bottom dollar that they know more about my background, from cradle to.....well, not quite grave yet, but near enough, than they do about the presumptive President of the USA !

Since my first application for a marriage visa, in 2004 they have sifted through my life history, medical background and investigated my lack of criminal history both in the UK and USA with a fine tooth comb. They have seen my bank statements, birth, marriage and divorce certificates for both me and the husband, given me a chest x-ray and medical back in London, and generally made me feel like something that crawled out from under a stone. The fact that I still want to be a part of this beautiful country says a lot for the land and its people, and little for its Immigration Depatment.

Oh - and thank you kindly, Jupiter!


The Next President of the United States said...

So glad this process is finally nearing an end. However, you must understand that becoming an American means you are taking a BIG STEP toward Godliness. We can't just let ANYBODY (i.e., heathen Limeys and such) become members of this Great Society. Thus, we make the citizenship process agonizing to ensure you've got the GUTS it takes to be one of us!!!

anyjazz said...

It has been a long and stressful process. There were pounds of repetitious and often unused paperwork required, contradictory instructions, officious and usually unfair delays, monstrous and growing fees often for apparently nothing. And beneath it all there was the creeping mildew of political undertone seeping into the cellar.

Now we are at the last hurdle. Let’s see if they can figure out a way to get you into an oath ceremony sometime before October first so that you can register to vote in the next election. They can’t delay you more than three months can they? Can they?

Twilight said...

Well now, TNPOTUS, I've taken a step towards Godliness have I? LOL!
Second cousin of John Wayne twice removed? Long lost expatriate granddaughter of Mae West (there's a Goddess to be proud of!)

I don't know about my GUTS, but the way I felt on Wednesday evening, They'd soon be wearing THEIRS for garters!

Twilight said...

Yep - last lap coming up, anyjazz!

There'll soon be a joint sigh of relief, never to have to darken the doors of USCIS, ever again.

Talk about hassle and inefficiency - the USCIS must hold the world patent on that !

And, in answer to your question,in the immortal words of a certain politician who shall here remain nameless:


R J Adams said...

As one who has trodden the same path, for at least part of the way, I can agree with everything you say. Your experiences are not the result of individual inefficiencies, but the standard procedure inflicted on all. While TNPOTUS was obviously tongue-in-cheek with his comments, the arrogance he depicts so humorously is sadly an endemic part of the immigration system.
Congratulations on surviving to the last hurdle; hopefully, it will be the least arduous.

The Next President of the United States said...

On, no, Mr. R.J., I was deadly serious ... okay ... maybe I wasn't ... well, then again, perhaps I was .. ah, alright, I was only joshin'!! Having been a born 'n' bred American my entire 57 years, sometimes I find it better to take my country and my countrypeople with a chuckle. What's the sayin': Just laughing to keep from crying? I really do love this country, but you know, we aren't "all that," anymore than any other country is "all that."

Do enjoy reading your correspondences, by the by.

Twilight said...

Thanks, RJ - good to see you around again after your globe trottin'.

Yes, USCIS is "bad to the bone" no doubt about it.

I see TNPOTUS has noticed a fellow-Gemini in the room - fellow wordsmith too - but aren't they all?! :-)

Wisewebwoman said...

Delighted for you T, all this aggravation coming to an end. Now all that remains is that you swear allegiance to God (Christian, of course) and country which should be very moving.
Will you be able to have dual citizenship? I never know with the U.S. I have dual here.
Long journey for you. Well done.

anthonynorth said...

You're getting there. It all works out in the end, even if the road is long and winding - it usually is.
And like so many countries, fine people, rubbish administration!

Twilight said...

WWW - Thank you! Yes, the last part will be fairly painless and, as you say, moving. there was a time when I would have balked at the words of the Oath of Allegiance, but oddly current political events have changed my mind and I shall say the words with sincerity. ;-)

Twilight said...

Hi AN :-)

You've hit the nail on the head, as you so often do!

"like so many countries, fine people, rubbish administration!"


Twilight said...

WWW - I forgot to say - yes, I'll have dual-citizenship - UK/USA.

R J Adams said...

If I may just use this platform to thank TNPOTUS for his kind words. Perhaps surprisingly, I'm beginning to love this country myself, and it's people (well, some of them!) but definitely not those who wield the power and control. Just as in the land of my birth, they ruin it for their own personal gain.

Twilight said...

RJ - I think TNPOTUS may be on vacation just now - if so I shall draw his attention to your post when next I see him. :-)