One hurdle down

3 Jun

I avoided talking about immigration for quite awhile now. It has been my proverbial elephant in the room and as massive as its effect is, was and will be, I skirted around it, I ignored it even when its paws had me on its grips on those sleepless nights.

So, when I came home last Friday, May 27th, after a bunch of errands to find a hastily scrawled sign of “Welcome to Canada!” from D., pinned by a nice bottle of Cabernet, I was puzzled. More than that, I was alarmed that D. just grabbed the nearest piece of paper which happened to be a resolution authorizing him to sign all tax related documents in behalf of the company.

When he told me, my mind was blank. And sternly told him, “Please don’t joke about things like that.” It turned out to be true, of course as I later confirmed with his mom who received our mail. But I held off telling family and friends, wanting to see the document firsthand and also knowing that it was just a document saying I can enter Canada as an immigrant. I still have to solidify my permanent residence at the border; which meant spending money to go all the way to the Philippines (or somewhere) since I don’t hold a US visa, as convenient as that would have been.

I think D’s mom was more excited than I was, presenting us with champagne glasses for a nice bottle of Clicquot. Sure enough, it was an immigrant visa to enter Canada, which is what happens when you choose to process the permanent resident card outside of Canada.

A curious thing on the letter, something that I didn’t read about when we first applied – it turns out that I have the option of requesting for an interview if I’m already in Canada.

It was with trepidation that I called the CIC call center on Monday, the 30th. Unfortunately, the immigration office in Montreal is dedicated to emergency and refugee cases only and I had to wait for a month before I could get an appointment. Then, she mentioned the “flagpole procedure” where we go to the closest Canada-US border and make a U-turn to return to Canada where I can get my immigration papers validated.

It was a good option even though I have a healthy fear of US immigration (I’m sure there will be future posts as to why). In my mind, I could read more about it, carefully gather my papers and probably lose about a few nights of sleep over it.

When I hung up, D. said “So, we’re going this afternoon?”

“Ummmmm… today?” I squeaked. Before I could finish, he was already booking a rental car for the ride from Montreal to Lacolle.

So we came, we saw and did we ever get my passport stamped.

PS. I will try not to ruminate on the fact that it took longer to pass the US border for the flagpole procedure than it was to get interviewed in Canada for my permanent residence. Or the fact that my hands were sweating all the way to the border. Or that I was tense and almost defensive when the border agent curtly asked D. and me, “How do you two know each other?” Or that I barely suppressed the urge to yell, “We’re f*cking married which is how I got to this point where I need to validate my permanent residence papers, god damn it!” Deep breaths.

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3 Responses to “One hurdle down”

  1. Tita June 7, 2011 at 11:51 am #

    This blog was the best! what a story! I couldn’t help but LOL at the end on the story!

    Courage Susurrus! you can make it back!

    • sussurus June 7, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

      Haha! It was quite a day and there’s more to come, I’m sure. I just hope that it will also turn out positively for us. But seriously, and you know this, they are just soooo intimidating!

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