As you may have noticed there has been a lack of communication from me both on Twitter and here at my blog. This is for a very good reason. I am no longer in the UK. I have moved to the USA to live.
This was not something that happened overnight and took a lot of planning and the details are far to complex to go into here and now. As a result of this move I have been cut off from regular internet access for quite some time and can now only access it from the local library. Fortunately for me they have wireless access so I can still type my posts on my faithful laptop and then upload them for your reading pleasure.
So let me tell you a little bit about what happened and how life is for me so far here in the USA.
As some of you may have known I am very happily married to a wonderful American woman, she came over to the UK leaving behind some family and after much discussion we decided to move back to USA to re-unite everyone and make a much bigger happier family. This took many months of paperwork and telephone calls to the Embassy in London to make sure that everything was in order. They are very particular about how the forms are filled out and will send them back if you have one question wrong.
Finally after about four months of waiting a letter arrives telling me that I have an interview for my visa and that I need to schedule a medical with the approved doctors. This was a bit of a pain as they were in London and there was no-one else that the embassy would let carry out the medical. So I had to schedule a trip down to London and underwent probably the most painless medical ever. The only thing that I didn’t enjoy was the one injection to top up one of my immunizations. I spent more time travelling to and from the doctors than actually in there. Ah well such is life.
The hardest part of all this was the waiting. It was months and months of waiting followed by a few short days of activity followed by yet more waiting. So about a month after the medical my family took a trip down to London to undergo the interview process.
The embassy is a very impressive place, all flags and glass with incredibly heavy security. You have to go past several security checkpoints before you even get into the grounds. Once inside it is a case of hurry up and wait but you do get a ticket with your number on and they have a computer system that lets you know where you are in the line but not how long you have to wait. So after what felt like many very long hours we were called to a window where I was fingerprinted, palm printed and finally sworn under oath by a very nice lady who had done this many times. She looked through all our paperwork and then got out a huge envelope and passed it through to me.
“That’s your x-ray” she said with a smile “you will need that later on”
With that she dismissed us and said that we would be called to another window shortly. So back to the waiting room we went to wait some more. We were then called to yet another window where someone else took my passport and made me take an oath. I answered few more questions about what I would be doing in the USA and what I did n the UK and with that we were told
“I have good news and bad news” our hearts sank “The good news is that I have no problem giving you your visa but, and this is the bad news, you have filled out the wrong form for your situation and I need that before I can issue the visa to you. Get it filled out and signed then send it back to us via the courier with your passport and we will get it finished off and back to you within a week.”
So that was it we were sent away with the right forms and told where to book the courier. A week later we finally had the paperwork in order as the form required a signature from the family in the States. I booked the courier and sent away everything and we crossed our fingers.
Less than a week later I get a call from the courier company saying that they have a package for me from the embassy. I figure that it can only be one thing and arrange for them to deliver it the following morning.
We waited for the day with butterflies in our stomachs hoping and praying that my passport had the visa attached to it. It seemed like an age before the courier rang the bell at 9am and I signed for a package that was a lot larger than I expected. I eagerly ripped it open and out fell my passport and an envelope with IMPORTANT VISA DOCUMENTS DO NOT OPEN stamped on it in very large letters. I opened my passport and there it was my visa. I could now move to the States. I sank to my knees with relief it was almost the end of our waiting and we could go all we had to do now was pack up and book the flights.
The next two weeks passed in a blur with packing mainly handled by my wife as I still had to work. The flights were booked for December 16th from Heathrow. If you are planning to travel with young kids then I highly recommend Virgin Atlantic if you have the option. Everything from booking the tickets to check in was smooth and stress free. Our flight was quite empty so we were able to move from the seats that we had booked across the isle into the centre row of four and had them all so that the little guy could have space to play and wander around. He was very well behaved for the entire flight and even managed to get some sleep!
Ok so I have written a lot for this post so I will end here and start another one with what happened when we arrived at Immigration later on.
If anyone ha any questions for me please feel free to leave them in the comments or e-mail me at the address listed and I will do my best to answer them.