Getting the Stamp

Today was yet another good day.

We had an early start, up around 5.50 am, as we were heading to the US Embassy as part of the visa application process.

Most of the work during this process had already been done by the US lawyers, so in theory it was going to be a shorter process.  However, we still had to complete the online application (DS-160) form for the entire family, pay the process and present ourselves at the embassy.

For some reason, still unknown to me, the prospect of having an interview at the embassy for the visa application was very daunting.  I would go as far as stating that it was (is) more nerve wrecking than sitting an exam.

Nevertheless, it had to be done.

We arrived at the embassy at 7.30am, just as the office opened, and were lucky to get in first – literally.

As soon as we entered, our number was called, and we submitted the completed documentation pack – one per family member.  Then we sat down again.

The place was full.  I think it must have been student visa day, as most people looked to be fresh out of college going to the US to study or work.  Getting the hell out of Dodge!

30 minutes later we were called again.  This time they needed our finger prints.  Then we sat down again.

30 minutes later the dreaded interview.

Nervously I approached the counter, which just happens to be in the waiting area so everybody could hear your interview, and were greeted by a very nice man.

He asked were I work.  Where I will be working.  Where we would be living.

Then he used his over-sized stamp on the application form.  Looked at us (my wife and I) and said enjoy your stay in the US.

That was it!

I felt like running down the waiting room aisle screaming, but felt that it might be inappropriate.  We calmly walked out, looking anxiously over our shoulders, in case they’d change their minds.

As soon as we were outside the embassy fence, we hugged and laughed maniacally.  My wife even pinched and punched me, just to check if we were sleeping.

The process had taken about 1.5 hours.  We needed energy and headed to a local brasserie for breakfast to celebrate; full Irish breakfast, coffee and juice – what every grown man needs to kick-start the day.

It was such a relief to have this done and approved.

Obama, here we come.  You’d better prepare the BBQ and send us the invite of course 🙂

Next step.  pack up the house!

…now we can share the good news with friends and family, and of course with all the various stakeholders in our life; banks, insurances, schools, medical support … oh my God!  There are so many things to sort out!

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