Without apology or admission of error, the officer set the form aside and went to the next document I’d provided.
“I need your document of migratory movements,” she said. Her English was very poor and I tried to speak with her in Spanish to improve communication but she insisted on speaking English. She folded her hands and looked at me.
“It’s the next page,” I said.
She came to the next page and stared at it. “This is a copy, I need the original.”
“I included two copies and the original, keep going.”
It occurred to me that the whole process could have been easier if she’d asked me for the documents she needed and I could have dug them out of the stack as requested. However, she wanted to play this “no talking” game.
After a ridiculous amount of time in which plenty of tax payer dollars were wasted as this woman went through my stack of papers with the least amount of efficiency possible, she finally had to admit that my packet was complete. Incidentally, unless my memory fails me, I believe I included a copy of my tax returns for the sake of transparency.
I paid a fee and received a confirmation number to show my application had been submitted.
A commonly held misconception is that everyone has a right to get a residence visa for their spouse. My lawyer corrected me by saying, “every US citizen has the right to apply for a residence visa for their spouse.”
There is a vast chasm between “receive” and “apply.”
Time passed, and eventually I had to go to the embassy with my wife and submit to an interview. We were ushered in and taken to a window where I had to make a payment of approximately $400. It was at this window that I realized how absurd this whole procedure was. I gave them the money and they told me to sit down without offering me a receipt. The first rule of any exchange of currency is that the receipt better be in hand the instant the money has been taken. To tell me to “go sit down and wait,” was just needless bullying. They would have been within their rights to claim I’d never given them any money at all. What would I have done at that point? Complain of theft to the armed security guards?
About twenty minutes later I was given a receipt, and then we made our way to the interview.
The woman who interviewed us was again skeptical, but she was not the same woman as before, and her English was better. My wife and I had signed statements from friends attesting to the legitimacy of our marriage. Each of these statements was accompanied by a notarized copy of their passport identification page. We had wedding photos, and we had all the required documents. Every paper was in order.
Still, the officer hesitated.