Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Direct Consular Filing, OVER

So if you haven't already started the process, direct consular filing will be a thing of the past starting August 15th, 2011. Which means if you want to petition your alien spouse's visa from Chile, you'll need to do it through United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), in Chicago, I believe.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My love for Chilean soccer

Started in Canada in 2007 with "la rojita". June, I believe. With Sanchez, Medel, Vidal, Toselli, Isla, y varios más headed by Harold Mayne-Nicholls. La prensa chilena le siguió para todos lados al equipo informando a todo Chile de los cortes de pelo, el shopping, y las andanzas de estos jovenes alegres en Toronto. De hecho, la presa chilena fue criticada por lo mismo porque decían que hizo desconcentrar al joven equipo. A lo mejor se destrayó, pero a la vez me hizo a mi más interesada que nunca en el fútbol chileno, ya que conocíamos a los jugadores y a sus familias. Los periodistas incluso iban a las casas de las familias para entrevistarlas, ver los partidos con parientes y amigos de los jugadores y hacer a todo Chile conocerlos.

Los partidos eran emocionantes para todo el país. Por primera vez, in my humble and bastante amateur opinion, Chile tenía un buen EQUIPO, no solo a "SaZa", sino a una manga de buenos jugadores quienes jugaban (y juegan) bien! (Well, most of the time anyway. No one's perfect.) Chile veía a la rojita con tanta o más emoción y fe que a la selección adulta. No sé si soy yo o si Chile por primera vez tenía confianza en sus jugadores nacionales como equipo.

Despues del altercado que tuvieron con los pacos canadienses, lo que mas me acuerdo de la rojita en Toronto es cuando Medel sacó la pelota del arco Chileno (ni me acuerdo contra que equipo) y el protagonismo de Toselli en los triunfos. Bueno, y la mencionada interacción con la prensa chilena fuera de la cancha.

Bueno, y ahora varios de aquellos jovenes que jugaron en Canadá, ahora son parte de la selección. Y me rompe el corazón cuando pierde Chile, como perdió hoy día. Lo único que quería era que avanzaran para poder verles jugar más porque JUEGAN BIEN CTM!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Standard of Living

I took a consumer survey today that asked me if I would be willing to experience a decrease in standard of living in favor of my environmental concerns, (for me this means to use less energy, buy less stuff, pay more for organic local food, grow your own food, etc.) I didn't like how the question was posited, because it assumes that having less pollution (cleaner water, air, land) isn't an increase in standard of living. Honestly, some people are annoyingly clueless. (In this case survey writers. What's worse, there was no place on the survey to express this.)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Proving domicile in the USA on the I-864 (the affadavit of support)

How to show domicile on the I-864 when you're living abroad. I totally had an "immigration zombie" moment with this one.

I believe the reason showing domicile is important is because U.S. Immigration wants to be sure that you will be arriving in the United States with or before your spouse. If you're not living in the States, but your alien spouse is, I imagine that makes the I-864 pretty worthless to the government.

The domicile part of the I-864 is sort of confusing because if you are applying DCF, it's because the U.S. citizen applying is a "resident" in another country. However, you have to prove your "country of domicile" is the United States. You can be a resident somewhere outside the U.S. and have you country of domicile be the United States. If you go to Part 4, question 15 on the I-864 instructions, it gives you options A, B, and C. For most people trying to prove B and/or C is the way to go.

Possible proof of domicile:
On the I-864 instructions they list the following as proof of U.S. domicile:
  • your voting record in the United States,
  • paying U.S. State or local taxes,
  • having property in the United States,
  • maintaining bank or investment accounts in the United States,
  • having a permanent mailing address in the United States.
  • evidence that you are a student studying abroad or that a foreign government has authorized a temporary stay.
Or if you don't have these, you can show the following:
  • accepting a job in the United States,
  • signing a lease or purchasing a residence in the United States,
  • registering children in U.S. schools.
On the visa forums, users make even more suggestions of what to submit as proof of domicile:
  • a letter from parents/siblings/etc. saying that you are welcome to live with them while you get set up in the United States
  • a bill from a U.S.-based health insurance in your name or that you're included on
  • that you are giving up your lease or selling your house abroad
  • if you will be studying in US, send them documentation that you are enrolled in a college or university
Also there's a wiki at British Expats which is super helpful. It gives suggestions on how to prove domicile in the USA.

For more info on this, i.e., other people's experiences, it's very helpful to do a search for "I-864 and domicile" or something to the effect at british expats forum on the "USA, Marriage-based visas" branch.

Here's a link to the USCIS forms. As of April 14, 2011, anyway.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Say what?

I used to think the most difficult Spanish in the world was Chilean Spanish. It probably still could be considered more difficult than not. Why Chilean Spanish is difficult to learn is that Chileans mostly:
  • speak softly
  • speak in a monotone
  • cut off the last syllable of many words (e.g. cansá instead of cansada)
A Cuban guy came to fix my stove upon moving into our apartment. His Spanish was wonderful. (His English was pretty good too!) I could understand every word he said in Spanish. This only confirmed my knowledge that Chilean Spanish is the hardest.

And then my sink wasn't draining well, so last week, a different Cuban guy came to fix it. Oh my god was his Spanish difficult!!! His English was non-existent, so we communicated in Spanish, but I had to ask him to repeat himself often. When I asked him what had caused the semi-clog in the drain, I didn't understand one word of his reply! So I asked him, "Estaba tapado?" He replied, "Sí". And I had to get rolling anyway, so I saw him to the door and left myself. I think if I had conversed with him for a while, I eventually would have caught on. He left me pretty floored however.

Friday, December 3, 2010

On bilingual kids

When people comment that V and my future kids are going to be bilingual, I tell them that our kids will speak English with a Chilean accent and Spanish with a gringo accent. hahaha.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving sort of ruined.

I don't really like holidays a ton, except for el dieciocho and Thanksgiving. Yes, I'm a foodie. hahaha. Thanksgiving used to be my favorite American holiday. This year V and I had a lovely Thanksgiving lunch with my folks, for which I am thankful. But then, V asked me what we were celebrating. I couldn't remember if it was the first harvest that the pilgrims had after arriving to America, or if it was a feast that the Native Americans prepared for the pilgrims saving them from starvation. According to omniscient wikipedia, both answers are partially correct. Turns out the Native Americans taught the pilgrims to plant so that the pilgrims wouldn't starve to death come winter. It worked out well for the pilgrims, and Thanksgiving is celebrated at harvest time. So it celebrates the first harvest. Then the whites proceeded to kill almost all of the Native Americans.

I've always known that. I don't know why it ruined Thanksgiving for me this year and not other years. Perhaps because this year I read Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, An Indian History of the American West. And so I guess having to explain Thanksgiving to a foreigner six months after reading this book, got to me. I'm just thankful my little nephew and niece didn't ask me. I might have gone off on an "unpatriotic" rant and ruined their childhoods.