Wednesday, 29 February 2012

A small leap: Visa application is in!

It's official - my visa application is in!

This stage of the process splits in two, where my job is to apply for the visa, and Mr's job is to provide his financial information. At this stage, the visa application is just like a standard application - I have to provide a ton of personal information (most of which they have already) about my past, my residences, my jobs, and my family. Mr's paperwork is a little more interesting because it requires him to accept total financial responsibility for me.

As a married couple, we didn't see this as such a big deal, but it is an incredibly important element of the immigration process. No country wants a new immigrant to become a financial burden on the state, so it becomes the petitioner's responsibility to ensure that doesn't happen. Not only does Mr have to prove he has enough money to sustain us both, but he also has to agree that if I ever did access any state aid, he would be required to pay it back. This means it'd be useless for me to try to access welfare or any other kind of benefit.

The financial requirements for a family migrant petition is proof of income/savings 125% above the US poverty guidelines. It's not a huge burden, but it can also be topped up by using co-sponsors, such as family members who sign the same forms accepting financial responsibility for the immigrant.

In this way, the state is placing trust in the petitioner and their family with regards to the character and potential financial burden of an immigrant family member. As I said, no country wants or needs new dependents, but I also believe it's because it's assumed that the petitioner is the best judge of character of the immigrant, and therefore the best judge of whether the immigrant's intent is good and true. The petitioner takes all responsibility for the immigrant and is therefore first line in defence of any potential fraud. Of course, no immigration officer spends as much time with a potential immigrant as the petitioner, so it makes sense.

Despite having already made our marriage vows promising to share our worldly goods, I did ask Mr to make sure he was absolutely sure he wanted to be financially responsible for me!

In other news, I've handed in my notice at work. I'll be sad to leave such a great position at a great organisation, but in other other news, I've also secured a month's placement in London with the BBC straight after I leave. The past few months I've had quite a few offers of placements at the BBC and was unable to take them up. I'm excited to be taking time to get some extra TV production experience after attending the TV festival, and before I head to the USA.