March 8th: I went on four cruises over the last ten years, and they each had four ports of call. I had to enter all sixteen locations (with dates). Tedious. But I was glad I had an account with cruise line because they had the dates. My next road block was a previous marriage. Over ten years ago. I remember the date of the wedding but not of the divorce. That’s fine. I needed a copy of the divorce certificate anyway for my upcoming marriage. Killing two birds with one stone. So I will be going out to get that information (and paperwork) then filling my car with gas and getting my oil changed. That will put me back a few dollars. Just as my storage unit did when the monthly payment hit this morning. I have to find a way to store or dispose of the rest of my belongings. I’ve already purged so much. Oh. That was another part of moving to another country. Freight shipping is expensive, and going through the post office is a joke. (A friend mailed me a Christmas present in the UK, and the shipping was $50 for $40 of stuff.) So I gave away, donated, and sold most of what I owned. This was not an easy task. I’m not materialistic, but – but – BOOKS. I put what could not be parted with in a storage unit. Because the price doubled once 2022 hit, it’s time to figure out something new. Sorry to ramble and for my messy grammar. My thoughts are speeding through my head. As I mentioned before, having a journal to keep thoughts and tasks organized is fantastic. I’m so thankful for my Hero’s Journal right now. It’s keeping me from getting overwhelmed.
After a trip to the courthouse (and having my fiancé gather paperwork and provide information about his personal life as well), I finished filling out step 2 of the application (called “Application”) and moved onto step 3 (Finances). Step 1 was just “Start.” A lot of the documents they’ve asked for so far have been his. Fortunately, he was up late, so we got a lot accomplished. We hit a stopping point when he needed to get documents from work.
March 9th: Once my fiancé provided the information he had to collect, I carried on with the application and finished step 3! Onto step 4: Documents. Mandatory documents are my passport and a copy of my fiancé’s passport. Other documents I must provide but aren’t labeled are divorce papers for both of our previous marriages, proof of his citizenship, and proof that we’re not married but are partners. I’m baffled by that last one. Missing any of these can make the application delayed or refused. Oh boy. There is an interview to this process eventually. I will also possibly need to be tested for tuberculosis. Finished step 4. Step 5 was super short. Just agree that I’m being honest and will not break laws. No problem. I’ve reached step 6 (Payment), which is going to be my stopping point for today. I need to make an appointment to provide my biometrics (fingerprints and photos) through an application support center. 1250 Poydras Street, 18th Floor, Suite 1800, New Orleans, LA 70113-1804 (This is really just a note-to-self). I will need to upload documents but also mail in my physical passport as well as any documents I don’t upload. All this is meant to happen after I pay the fee because they’ll give me details on how to do all that after I pay. The fee is $2085 or $2869, depending on which service package I want. This page also tells me that it usually takes up to 12 weeks for most people to receive a decision about their applications. That’s a lot of money. I knew it would be expensive but wow. Good stopping point.