Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Packet 3 Received.

Packet 3. Which actually is not a packet. I think it use to be a packet of forms to fill out, but now it is just a sheet of paper telling me where to go to get forms to print and fill out. This is what we've been waiting for since we heard that our petition to apply for visas was accepted.

I have all the documents and supporting documents (in triplicate) on their way. Thank you soooo much to my Dad who was gracious enough to go ahead and copy everything so I don't have to when it gets here. He's sending me things like my US bank statements and old tax forms. The day I get them I am going to mail off my DS-2001 to London. That officially notifies the US Embassy that I have all my required papers and documents IN MY HAND. They don't want to deal with people making appointments and not being prepared, and who can blame them? It's an extra step, but since you can see everything you'll need online, you don't have to wait until this step to continue, you just have it all ready. I've been a bit of a slacker (I know, it's so unlike me), but I have a (semi) good reason. Really, I do. I was cleaning up my desktop before the holidays - my virtual desktop that is - and deleting shortcuts to programs. Well, amongst the shortcuts I also deleted a couple of folders. The one labeled DIERKS STORE that contained all of my saved designs (not so bad, as a lot of them had been backed up), but also my in progress ones, of which there were quite a few. It depressed me so bad that it took weeks before I could bring myself to face Photoshop and start again, but I did, just this week. The other folder I deleted was called MOVING. Not original folders, but the point was that they would stand out. I guess that didn't work. I lost all the photos of our new house, I lost forms I'd filled in, and emails I'd saved to my hard drive. Thankfully I still had them in my email, so there wasn't anything there that I couldn't type up again or download again, but it had taken me *so long* to get it all sorted in the first place, that I just couldn't bear to deal with it. Especially with the Embassy taking so long on the last step, I just wasn't very motivated. But I got myself back on track last week, got the final list of things to Dad, and he mailed my documents to me the other day. And today we get our Packet 3s. Three of them.

So, what comes next you might ask? Well, that's (relatively) simple. I get my documents and mail off my DS-2001. The Embassy gets it, schedules our interview and sends us a letter telling us when it is. With the arrival of Packet 3, we got our case numbers, which means we can schedule their medical exams. This also has to be done in London, and we had a bit of a dilemma over when to do it, but came to a good decision today. The medical has to be done before the interview. This is a relatively new rule. It use to be that people would book their medicals the day before or after the interview once they got the interview date letter. Now that it has to be done before, if we wait to book it and try to get it done the day before, what happens if they don't have a slot (or three in our case). If we're lucky we could book it for sometime before, but what if the interview date is so soon that there are no slots for the medicals? There were other timing concerns as well, but I won't get involved in that now. They basically all involved risk of not getting medicals done before our interview date.

So we're going to go ahead and book our medical for the first available and make two trips. In theory, we'll go and come back the same day. I called this afternoon and their machine said they were closed until tomorrow. As soon as I get a day and time we'll book something, and hopefully it will be a time conducive to us going and returning the same day. We'll have to stay in a hotel when we go for the interview, as they are usually first thing in the morning, but if we can save a hotel stay for this trip that will be great. I looked at some random dates online, and it looks like we'll be taking the bus. Big yuck, but it's almost half the cost of the train, and that was off peak. Peak travel for the train was 3-4 times the bus. And who wants to be crammed in with a train full of business people anyway?

What happens then? The medical office will send the results to the Embassy, which will keep them until our interview date. That is when we show up with all of our documents and sit for *gasp* HOURS (that's what most people report having to do anyway). If everything looks okay, we could get the visas that day. If not, we'll leave the passports and they'll mail them to us when they decide. It feels so good to be back in the running.

The countdown timer on my blog says we're moving in 5 months..... OMG 5 MONTHS!?!?!? That's so close! That's so far! It's not enough time. It's too long to wait! I'm a jumble of contradictory thoughts and emotions. I miss my family and friends. But I don't miss working like a dog. I miss my dog.... and my cat. I can't wait to see them again. But I'm a little afraid of the scene I'll cause when I do! I'm crying just thinking about it now. Well, lots to do before I start dinner. I've got a list of things I download and print at the library first thing in the morning. Have a good night all my friends in blogland :)


Michelloui said...

Oh wow, you've got A LOT on your plate! You must be so busy, and trying to remember this form and that form and get these things done and those things... argh!! I am a naturally organised person but even all this would drive me nuts. And then to delete two very important files?! That gave me the shivers when I read that, I could totally relate to that feeling so bad you couldnt even face the thing for ages. Oh yuck. Im glad youre back on track now and that the countdown is moving along... I can also understand that mix of emotions!

andrea said...

It happens so much faster than you think it will, and then you will wonder where the time has gone! I remember being where you are exactly and now I have been back in the US for over a year!

Jenny said...

Michelloui - It is a lot. And it was a hard hit, emotionally to find that I'd deleted them all. Even with all there is to do, it's easier when things are moving along than when it slows to the waiting.

Andrea - Hello, so glad to have you stop by. I've been reading up on your blog. I am very interested in your journey.

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