Thursday, January 22, 2009

Green card application

Last night, we went see to Dr Simon, a GP in the expensive part of the Upper East Side who moonlights as an Immigration Dept-authorized "civil surgeon" for our medical examination, as part of our Green card application. This is not because they are concerned about our own well being, but to check that we don't have AIDS, TB, Hep B, scabies, syphilis, yaws or any other communicable diseases. Curious, because we didn't have a medical before we arrived in July so have already been here six months infecting US citizens.  so we filled out some forms, paid $US350 cash and gave some blood. Monica also had to have a Mantoux test for TB and Paul a tetanus shot.

Once we get the all clear on the medical, we have to submit photocopies of our current and past passports to prove we haven't been to Iran or North Korea, our birth certificates and marriage certificate an all sorts of other personal information as well as 12 references from Paul's colleagues saying he will be worthy addition to medical ranks of in the US. 

There are 2 options for us getting a green card, "consular" or "adjustment of status". we have elected the latter as it is all done within the US. With "adjustment of status", when our application gets lodged there is a 3-4 month processing period, during which time our visa is suspended  and if we leave the US we can't come back. Once it is processed, we have a brief interview at the Immigration office in NY and are then put on a waiting list for allocation, which could take 12 months or longer. During this waiting period you can come and go, but the term the Immigration Dept uses is 'on parole', no kidding. if you go "consular", you stay on your visa till you get the green card but it requires returning to Sydney at very short notice (2 weeks) for a green card interview that is not a foregone conclusion.   Our visas are for 2 years and renewable at least once so why bother but Paul needs a green card for his work (to apply for research grants etc). it also makes entering and leaving the US much easier.   Lucky Guantamo Bay is now closed!  


  1. gee what a palava. Suppose Julia and Nick would have had to go through same rigmarole. Today is 38C and a howling westerly blowing. Went out for a ride at about 11. Should have abandoned but went on. Sure took it out of me. But now sitting in air conditioned back part of house. Just about to go to Terrigal to see Mum. Staying over and then to Pearl Beach for Pam. Then we're going to see Slumdog Millionare. Have you seen it? Jenny tried to install Skype but our stupid driver won't run a lot of CDs, including the installation one for Skype as Jenny found out. She also tried downloading it from Internet but that wasn't successful either. So will have to see what we can do about fixing driver, otherwise no Skype. Happy Australia Day for Monday. Have observed that younger generation really go in for it. Has become a big flag waving bbq stopping day. Us older generation a bit more just for taking the free holiday. Also we say pics of that plane that landed in the Hudson. Were they ice chunks I saw?

  2. very interesting reading your blog. What one has to do to get the green card. Had a nice get together with Jenny Stephen the Sparkles and Mary. Lots of talk and news about the doings in N>Y> Lovely cool change has arrived so assured of a good night's sleep. Love Mum.

  3. we are going to see Slum Dog Millionare this weekend, supposed to be good but a bit violent at times, They weren't chunks of ice as water temp was 5 deg C; must have been debris or rubbish.

    Happy Australia day to you all, we both agree, for us it has always been a low-key day, no flag waving or fanfare although tonight we make an exception being expats, we are going to the Australia Pub on W.38th st, for some jingoistic Australia Day celebrations! (we'll probably regret it) Paul said for him (older generation) Australia Day used to be the decisive 5th test at Adelaide Oval, the Australia day Cup at Randwick and it also marked the end of the holiday period with all the boring meetings resuming at work.
    What a lot of hot weather you've all been having. Glad you finally got a cool change. And welcome to our new followers! Love Monica

    PS: Why is it that the younger generation are more into Australia Day? Have they any comments? What does this mean?

  4. Hi Monica and Paul,
    Jenny here just writing out instructions so Marie can post again to your online diary. We've just returned from a lovely walk and coffee down at Terrigal with Gerard and Annie. Now off to see mum over in Pearl Beach. Sounds as though you'll be doing a little more celebrating than we will be doing at home. G'day!

  5. Hi Mon on a learning curve. Be patient - well Jenny is. Will need some practice. Happy Australia Day. Look forward to your comments. Love Mum .