Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Arriving in the States with an immigrant visa

So we were scheduled to fly out of Chile March 1st, but there was this "big tremmor" which shook the airport up and trashed it enough to delay our flight about a week. I consider us very fortunate, because many didn't fare so well in the earthquake.

We arrived in Miami March 8th, I believe, and went through immigration. V was on his immigrant visa so he got in the "U.S. Citizens and Permanent Lawful Residents" line with me to go through immigration. It's called something like that anyway. So we went up to the immigration official/cop guy and I went through first and then V. After V got his finger prints taken, the officer lead us to a room close by. There was one other client in there waiting, and then the official. We were told to take a seat and we waited for about 40 minutes while the immigration official worked. It was like 5am. Yawn. But the guy got to us and was really friendly and helpful. V just had to sign a form and we chatted for a while with the guy and headed to Ft. Lauderdale for a vacation with my family.

V was told that he can work with the visa that's stamped in his passport. Apparently it works like a green card while we wait for the green card to come in the mail.
Also the friendly official in Miami had recommended V get an I.D. card at the DMV, so he doesn't need to carry his passport. Also to get a job, apparently you need to present two I.D.s but we haven't gotten that far yet. And V has an international driving license so he doesn't need a driver's license just yet. So at the DMV, we were just about ready to finish getting his I.D. and the lady helping us said that when he comes into get his driving permit, he should bring the receipt she was handing me. I let her know he had an international driver's license. And after making a call, she informed me that if he gets an I.D. card, his int'l license would no longer be valid. Random. So we didn't get the I.D. card.

That night I happened to open some more mail V'd received while we were in Florida, that we just hadn't gotten around to opening. He'd been sent a sort of "alien" I.D. card, so I imagine that will work as an I.D. for writing checks and buying booze 'til he feels like getting his Minnesota driver's license. We had quite the pile of mail. V had like 3 or 4 things, mostly from USCIS. He'd also been sent his social security card, and a couple random papers that I've forgotten what they are. I wonder if the I.D. card he was sent is the green card... hmmmm...perhaps.