We are up to our eyeballs in forms in this house. (I know, I know, it’s part of the deal.)
I imagine the journey to ultimately holding valid New Zealand visas as a kind of long car trip without a map. I’ll be your navigator and backseat driver. It’ll be fun. Let’s start!
Get on and head in the direction of Immigration Visas. But wait! Do you have about a half dozen passport photos of you and your family? Maybe an even 10 for good measure. Okay. Head back to town and get those. I’ll come with you. I’ll wait while you try to get your two year old to pose just right so that his head is facing straight on. It’s okay, I have a book.
Ready now? Okay, head in the direction of Immigration Visas. Whoa! Slow down! Get off at the first exit for your FBI Background checks. While you’re at the police station, you’ll fill out some forms and get your fingerprints taken. This will be the most fun part of this process. That tells you something.
Mail those off asap, because it takes a couple months for the FBI to do whatever it does.
Go back out to the main highway in the direction of Immigrations Visas. Slow down! You’ve got to get off at the next exit that says Medical Clearance. While you’re at this exit, we’ll find a computer where you can print out the roughly 100 sheets that will make up the medical forms for you and your kids (more if we’re printing out the forms for your husband). First there’s the 20-page form that delves into all manners of your health. All manners. You’ll fill out about 80% of this form. The rest, your doctor will fill out. Attach one of your passport photos to this. Then there’s the Blood Work Form, which is only 2 pages long. Fill that out and attach a passport photo. Lastly is the 2-page Chest X-ray Form. Attach a passport photo to that and then fill that one out. Make an appointment and bring all 3 sets of forms and your passport. (The examiners for the 3 exams have to verify that you didn’t send an imposter in your place and that the 10 vials of blood they will draw is actually your blood, and that the chest x-ray is an image of your chest.) Get those tests done, get the techs and medical examiners to sign off everywhere, (don’t let their exasperation get you down) and get back on the highway.
Now your kids. Get their passports, and, wait, what? Your daughter’s passport is set to expire in September? Okay, get off at the next exit and renew her passport at the post office. Now, get their medical clearance forms (you filled those out, right?), staple their passport photos to them, and bring them and your kids and their passports to their examination. (Thankfully kids under 15 don’t have to get blood tests or chest x-rays.)
Okaaay, now that you have all those medical clearance forms, pull over into that rest area for a couple hours and fill out the Visa applications. I think I’ll take a nap while you do that. It takes a long time. But doesn’t it feel good when you get to check the “No” box to questions like: Have you ever been convicted of any crimes against humanity by any other country? That is a nice and quick confirmation that your life is on the right track, isn’t it?
Okay, now that you’ve filled out the visa applications and the medical clearance forms, we’re going to pull into this town here and rent an apartment and live here until the FBI background checks come back. (This metaphor is getting a little complicated, so don’t worry, I’ve forwarded your mail to the new address.)
Right now, we are waiting in the metaphorical small town between Our Old Life and Immigration Visas. It’s just fine here, not much to do though but wait.
Right now though, literally, we’re in the middle of The Big Purge. And The Big Put the House on the Rental Market. And The Surprise You’re Already Feeling Sad About Leaving phase. But those get their own posts.