After three days of eating, My Wife and I are on to Moscow for our second visit to the capital in a little over a month. We'll be going to the Department of Homeland Security Office located in the US Embassy, where we hope to file the paperwork that will culminate in My Wife's Green Card and my not writing a chapter about what's wrong with the immigration process.
Last time through Moscow, we went to the Russian Federation's Department of Foreign Affairs, the Stalin-era skyscraper pictured above, believing we had to get a form apostilled there, and even though we were sent down the street, I thought the photo well-suited to our ordeal: something rising up to block out the sun, a tower of paper-work and bureaucracy, apostilled this, notarized that.
Today, I filed form G-325A in quadriplicate, if that's a word; My Wife still has to do the same. Then I've got the I-134 to finish, which requires my collecting and photo-copying various tax and banking records (many of which are in America) and promising to financially support my wife in full for the next three years, if only so she won't become a public charge. "What's a public charge?" she asked. "What we're phasing out," I should've said. In addition to that, we've of course got the I-130, the Petition for Alien Relative -- "That's you, honey."
What else? Oh yes, we'll bring with us a stack of emails, printed out in bulk and going back over two years, to show our relationship is true and honest, not a marriage entered into only to get a Green Card. We'll support these print-outs with a stack of photos showing us in Moscow, Kiev, Volgograd, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov, and Belgorod. The foolish part of me only wanted to bring one photo and risk everything on the smiles and expressions captured therein. "You tell me," I could've asked the guy interviewing us. "You think we're real?" The smarter side of me says this isn't the time for games. But still, it's feels a little Soviet, having to prove that our feelings for each other are genuine.
Hopefully, by Wednesday, when we should be honeymooning in St. Petersburg, this will be behind us, leaving only a single interview to come -- one that requires only my wife's attendance in Moscow and results in her getting her immigration visa.
Thanks for all your well wishes.