Saturday, 9 February 2008

Our Green Cards have arrived

Earlier this week, I pulled a couple of thick envelopes out of our mailbox from USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services). One contained my Green Card, the other Viola's. We submitted our paperwork just over a year ago (Green card application filed), and it is pretty good going to get it in this time frame. Others have to wait years. We had an idea that they were on the way because we heard recently that the application to be recognised as an "Outstanding Professor" (!), a prerequisite for a successful application in the category we were pursuing with Duke, had been approved.

The questions that people tend to ask are (1) So is the Green Card actually green? and (2) How does this change things? The Green card is actually white, with a photograph and a fingerprint, but with a green strip on its reverse side. So yes, there is some green on there, but it's not all green. Our status has changed now from being "non-resident aliens" to "permanent resident aliens". We can't vote, but we can stay in the country and my visa is no longer tied to my job at Duke. One plus is that I am now allowed to accept pay from outside work like lectures at other institutions. And when we are next travelling back from England, we will be able to join the other queue (line) with the US citizens.

The girls are still waiting for their green cards. It turns out that their birth certificates are not adequate because they do not have our names on them. So we have ordered fresh certificates from the UK so that we can submit them and the girls can be resident aliens too.


Anonymous said...

Outstanding professor eh?....say more....

All best


larry said...

Hello Prof
Very good articles on Galatians
FYI: i had applied for my green card and it took me 31/2 years for it to arrive
So congrats on the GC and how fast you had gotten it.