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    Posted June 13, 2014 by
    SBaki
    Location
    Meriden, Connecticut
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    President’s immigration plan: Your views

    Soul mate found abroad

     
    Hi, my name is Sandra Baki and my immigration story started about 10 years ago. I used to work in a worldwide branch of a German company in Brazil in the IT department and during a computer virus infection i had to work with Chris for the first time. At the time i was looking to improve my English and we would chat via IM often. After few months we start to become a little more than friends. In the following year i came to USA for the first time and we spent some time together. That year i returned to US 2 times more for vacation and realized that i found my soul mate, so in the following year we decided that i would stay and we would marry, and that is what we have happily done.

    The immigration process for me was not that difficult, but was very costly. Chris hired an immigration attorney who did all the paperwork and was present during the green card interview. The attorney fees were about US$ 2000, plus US$ 1000 in government fees to process the green card. Because my green card was based in a marriage it was “conditional” and after 2 years i had to apply for a permanent green card, what cost me another US$1000 between attorney and government fees. Because my husband is a US citizen i could have applied for citizenship after 3 years from the emission date of my green card, but I was not in a rush because the green card was valid for 10 years and I was intimidating by the citizenship tests (Civics and English) and interview, and also the additional expenses to process it.

    Finally last year I decided to apply for Citizenship. I travel abroad once a year for vacation and it became a hassle to have a Brazilian passport and be subject of different immigration rules, while my husband carries a American passport. Being in US for few years made me more confident of my language skills and I did fill the citizenship paperwork by myself. Yet, it still cost me about US$ 700 in government fees. Few weeks after submitting the application forms I received a letter acknowledging that the citizenship request has been accepted, then few weeks after that I got a letter for the photo and fingerprint appointment. After that it took about 3 months until I received the letter with the schedule for my interview, which was easier than I expected. The study material provided at the fingerprint appointment does cover 100% of what will be questioned in the interview. Also, with my application I have provided a copy of all required documents and for the interview I brought all the originals and also the most recent Tax Return forms.

    I’m now a proud Citizen of the United States of America, and I believe this is still the greatest nation in the world. Americans who do not share this feeling maybe never had the opportunity to travel abroad to see and feel the reality of how is life is in other countries.

    I hope you like my story. Please let me know if you would like to publish it and if you want any additional information.

    Best regards,
    Sandra Baki
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