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Finger Prints

Yesterday morning, as early as 8, I had another appointment at the Application Support Center of the US Customs and Immigration Service [USCIS] in San Antonio, for them to get new fingerprints and a new foto of me. This is as my present Green Card is temporary [for two years] only. If, as in my case, you get the Green Card by marriage and that marriage is less than two years old at the time of application for the Green Card, that will always be issued for two years only, to avoid fraudulent applications based on a marriage of convenience – which I can understand. Thus, within a time wondow of 90 days before the expiration of the first Green Card, in my case January 28, 2012, you have to file for a removal of the conditions, which we already did at the beginning of November. We handed in:

  • The petition form, I-751: Petition to Remove Conditions of Residence, filled in and signed [without forms, here as well as in Germany, nothing goes]
  • Documents that show/prove that we’re still living together, e.g. proof of a joint account, joint utility bills etc., plus at least two sworn affidavits by people who know you, stating that they testify tghat you’re still living together
  • A cheque for $590 [$505 for processing the application and issuing a new Green Card, plus $85 for the fingerprinting] – they do know how to get at your money, don’t they? Amazing, that they’re still running a deficit at the USCIS. Oh, and, of course, should you be denied that removal of the conditions and not get a new Green Card, it’s not cheaper.

Well, as said before, yesterday I had this appointment for fingerprinting. Abd 8 o’clock in the morning of course meant that I had to get up at a really ungodly hour [05:15], as I needed to make myself presentable – as fas as that is possible 😉 – by shaving and showering. And I also wanted to have my breakfast without rushing before leaving at around 06:30. I wanted to leave that early as I might hit the rush hour traffic in San Antonio. As it turned out, there was no rush hour traffic, at least not with any kind of traffic jam, and, with the help of “Miss TomTom” [that’s what we call our navigational aid because of it’s female voice] I was at the office at 20 minutes to 8. It was quite chilly still – we had had a slight frost that night – and the office only opened at 8. Therefore I waited in the car for some time and then, about 5  inutes before the appointed time, I joined the (short) queue that had formed up at the door.

The door was opened on time, and qwe were speedily processed: show letter with appointment plus some proof of identity, fill in another form [mainly confirming or updating the information UCSIS already has about you], be given a number – and then wait. But that wait was really short and it didn’t take long for my number to be called. First I had to sanitize my hands [oh, btw, I had been asked to remove my ring], then my hands were wiped off again [very likely to remove fat and/or any other kind of residue], and then my fingerprints were taken:

  • first all four fingers [except the thumbs] of each hand
  • then both thumbs
  • and after that all four fingers [except the thumbs] of each hand separately

After that they took a picture of me [upper torso, of which only the head was used]. That’ll go on the Green Card. I was even asked, btw, if I agreed with that picture – which I did. The I had to give a sample of my signature. That’ll go on the card as well. Then, as the final step, the fingerprints were checked and those that didn’t satisfy the lady who had taken them were repeated. And that was it: quick and efficient. I was really surprised how little time that took. Well, before I left I was asked how I had liked the service and I could only say: very well. That was marked on a little evaluation form, which I was then given with the request to add my comment, if I so wished, and the to put in it a box there. I think that’s really a good idea they have with some pub lic offices here: to ask their customers immediately if they’re satisfied. That would be a good idea for Germany, too, I think.

Well, it was only around 08:15 when I was out of that office again and ready for my errands in San Antonion  and then for the trip back home.

And now we’ll be waiting for the things to come. Either USCIS are satisfied with the proof we sent in and they’ll just issue a new Green Card [this time valid for 10 years] or they’ll ask Mary and me for an interview to finally make sure we’re still living together. That interview would be conducted separately for each of us and our answers would be compared to find out if they match. Questions might, e.g., be who slept on which side of the bed in the night before the interview. I wonder what will happen if one has separate bedrooms??!!  ;)  Not that we do, but sometimes, when one of us can’t sleep because the other one is snoring up a storm, the one who can’t sleep will go to the spare bedroom. A different, less intimate, question might be about the colour of a room in the hose. That again might present a difficulty for me. I’m not exactly colour blind, but I do have my difficulties when red and/or green are involved in a mix of colours. Well, if we have to take the interview, I’ll have to ask Mary and simply learn the facts. But hopefully that won’t be necessary.

Um diesen Beitrag in Deutsch zu lesen, hier klicken.

4 responses to “Finger Prints

  1. Wow! What a process! Keeping my fingers crossed for you…

    • Hi Sabrina,
      Yep, I agree: quite a process to get a green card. But hopefully they’ll approve me for the next ten years. And after that it should simply be routine. Thanks for keeping your fingers crossed for me.
      Best regards from KC,
      Pit

  2. My wife and I had an interview when she got her Temporary card, but not when it converted to permanent. Boy, I hated that interview, though we had ours together.

    BTW, the San Antonio office sounds pretty darned efficient compared to St. Louis.

    Cheers.

    • Hi Randall,
      The first interview, after the initial application, is mandatory and is conducted for both the applicant and the sponsor together. The second one, to remove the condition, is not mandatory but depends on the circumstances and the proof you send in. But if there is one, it’ll be separate.
      Re the SA USCIS office: I agree, they’re really efficient. What I was also happily surprised about, when I first applied, was the overall speed of processing my application. The people I had contacted in Germany [those who had helped me with my visitor’s visa] had told me the whole process [from handing in the application to issuing the green card] might take up to 15 months [in which, btw, I wouldn’t have been allowed to leave the US, or, if I had applied from Germany, would not have been allowed to enter the US]. But it turned out to be just a tad over three months! That made us really happy.
      Best regards, and have a great weekend,
      Pit

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