You get ready to clear customs and suddenly you break out into a unexplainable sweat, wondering if you are in fact a law abiding, passport carrying, visa issued, non-terroristy kind of human being? And you're about to enter YOUR own country?
Okay then, well, this does happen to me for no good reason other than my respectful fear of customs officers.
I usually run down the FAQ's of my mind to double check I'm all good.
Passport? Check! In hand, ready? Check!
Not a 'switched at the last second' fake passport? No! You sure...?? Yes.
I am South African? Yes! This is in fact South Africa? uhm... (looks around nervously but not suspiciously) yes!
Are you sure you never accepted a strange gift from a fellow tourist on your travels that may or may not have unknown substances inside? Yes!!!
How confident are you in fact that you won't use the words 'explosives' 'communism' 'smuggle' by accident? Pretty sure if i remain focused.
I don't why... I just do.
It was no different with this grand affair of getting the green card.
Most of you know that it's been a pretty lengthy process. Especially when you throw the Fiance Visa months in there.
It's not really been a traumatic or painful process. It was just slow and filled with paperwork... and little silly fees for everything. (and not so little fees)
Anyway, after a few months the long awaited interview had arrived.
I wasn't worried. There honestly was no reason to be. I was not doing anything wrong, I'm here in the USA for no other reason than to be united with my beloved... who I like really love, for real. I never lied on any of those forms. I have copies of ALLLLL those forms, and back-up documents, and documents just in case and photo's of our real relationship from the last 3 years! I'm sorted.
However, I still got pretty nervous about the interview on the day of (because, well, see above).
Ben starting off with getting our legal wedding date wrong wasn't a great start either.
Of course it went well over all. Of course the guy hardly looked at any of our extra documents. Of course I got the approval for Permanent Residency!! Got that? Yay!!
Other than the little wedding date error it was pretty boring, standard, nothing more to tell you. In a way I was anticipating a bit more cross examination. Like in the movies, where they separate the couple and ask them all kinds of questions about bed linen patterns and first date details. None of that.
I'm expecting my "green card" (that's not green!) in the mail soon. It will officially declare my PERMANENT RESIDENT status.
This new addition in identity kind of freaked me out. I'm mostly over it now. It's just... so ... permanent you know?
Q: Who are you?
A: I'm a permanent resident...
Hey, I'm not complaining here, all of this is a really good thing. An end to months and months of paper work and not being able to make money and floating around in a haze of immigration limbo.