Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Joining the EU

NYC City Hall Archway
{ Looking up under the City Hall archway | NYC | December 2012 }

Let me tell you about last week—and why it involved getting fingerprinted more than once, writing a handful of checks, and filling out an obnoxious amount of paperwork.

We're about to hit the three-year mark on our marriage, which means: I can file for citizenship in Italy and Sweden! Well, Italy. Sweden requires you to actually live there first, but trust me, I'm working on that.

As part of the paperwork, I had to get an FBI criminal report and a police report for each of the three states I've lived in. Of course each individual body had their own specifications and costs and notary requirements, which made the whole process that much more interesting (sike).

I thought it'd be pretty simple after the legwork of getting fingerprinted was done—just wait for the FBI and all those states to send me a report, translate all our identification documents and get them authenticated and then call up the Italian Consulate to schedule an appointment and sweetly ask them to grant me citizenship, per favore.

Of course, it's never that simple with the Italians. They told us the next possible appointment will be in AUGUST 2013! I could have an Italian baby by that time! Not only did we have to pay $3/minute to hear that bad news over the phone, the $150 I spent on fingerprinting and record requests was for nothing, since by the time that appointment rolls around, they'll have expired. Annoyed doesn't even begin to describe my mood. I bet if they minimized their espresso breaks and lengthened their hours from about 2 hours a day to say...a normal work day of 7.5 hours we'd have an appointment next month!

(Note: we were instructed to only call once we had all the documents ready, if we had any idea they wouldn't give us an appointment for the time it takes me to grow a baby we'd have made the appointment first A YEAR AGO and then done all the run around to get our documents in order).

Meanwhile, we heard our marriage is thisclose to being formally registered in Sweden. I sent the paperwork back in October to register our marriage there, which would give me the right to receive their version of a SSN, which makes getting residency and benefits from Day 1 infinitely more easier, instead of waiting to do it once we arrive.

In the midst of all that foolishness, I finished R's citizenship paperwork for the US. After two rounds of fiancè visa applications for him to enter the country in 2009, plus applying for his 2-year green card in 2010, and then his 10-year green card in 2012, he can (finally) ask for US citizenship (like Italy, the US also requires you to be married for three years before making your request).

Am waiting for the day when I will no longer have to write a check to any country's homeland security/minister/etc. (I'm scared to even tally up how much we've spent in the last 4'ish years on this). If everything keeps moving forward R should have American citizenship next year and I will hopefully have Italian citizenship and Swedish residency within the next year...which would give me a break from dealing with immigration bureaucracy until 2016,  when I can ask for Swedish citizenship. And THEN I will no longer have to deal with this nonsense...well, until we have children and need to request citizenship in three different countries for them. Sigh.

I'm on my way to becoming Jason Bourne—except with legal passports.

And no Treadstone, of course.
{My trip to Goa | 2006 | Jason Bourne may have run down this exact same beach }


  1. HA, I was wondering what pic had to do with post until I read caption

  2. i totally guessed from your insta that you were up to some international document wrestling. just take a few breaths. I mean you, R and your kids and grandkids will be laughing at this one day.

  3. while figuring out what i need for my dutch passport i was told that my BIRTH CERTIFICATE needs to be UPDATED. oh reallllly?? they want to make sure nothing has "changed"??? wtf

  4. Thank you for coming by and giving me the chance to arrive here! Yes. My greencard process felt like a movie. Although, my husband and I joke that we enjoyed the greencard process so much as a chance to talk about how crazy we were for one another; that we think they might have accelerated the process for us --- I received my greencard 6 months earlier than expected. I wish you the same!

    1. My pleasure!

      I'm hoping that by juggling three processes at more or less the same time I'll become numb to it all soon ;). My husband's greencard came super fast both times, now we're just waiting on citizenship——as that will determine our time frame in the U.S. (!!!). Thank you for the well wishes!



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