Things on the Immigration front were going well… I received my Sponsorship Approval email on the exact date I predicted I would, and the waiting period felt much easier than the gathering of information. However in October I still hadn’t heard from Mexico City that they had received our application from Canada yet. I sent them a quick email kindly asking if they could confirm that they had our package.
A few days later, on October.10th Mexico City responded with the Acknowledgement of Receipt letter I had been waiting to receive for 64 days. In this letter it asked us to provide proof of our common law relationship along with a few other things. I went from being completely relieved they had our application to terrified they only received half of it. How could they want more proof? We provided them with hundreds of pages of proof… There is no possible way I was going to be able to come up with one more additional document. They had everything!
The first thing I did was email the Embassy to see what exactly they wanted from us. They responded with the same request, proof of us living together. I emailed again asking if they received our original proof or if they wanted something extra. They replied with a generalized answer. I emailed them yet again and in a very direct way with underlined and bolded points, if they had received our original proof. I was not going to spend time putting together the same evidence if what they wanted, was something different. They responded with a call to Ricardo telling him they did receive our proof but that we needed to submit additional information. When Ricardo told me about this phone call though, he failed to mention they DID have our original application… So, without thinking this through… I went straight back to my computer and yet again told them they did not answer my question and to please answer my question.
This my friends, is how you make a visa officer angry.
Warning to future applicants: Do not email the Visa Officer unless you absolutely must.
They responded to my message, with a request for an interview.
GREAT! Exactly what I had been trying to avoid from the very beginning. They asked for me to email them back to confirm the appointment. This time, I emailed them back and was as sweet as pie. For the rest of that day I felt sick, I couldn’t eat and I regretted sending them 5 too many emails. Ricardo walked in the door from work hours later and after telling him about his upcoming interview he had a huge smile on his face and with excitement exclaimed that he was SO HAPPY! Ok…. opposites attract, I get it now.
We had 3 weeks to prepare for the interview. I planned to teach him everything there was to know about our application, the process, and important dates in our relationship. Instead, we did the usual things like school and work, and had an amazing vacation with my sister and Clayton… In short, we did everything BUT prepare.
We headed to Mexico City by bus at 9pm. We arrived at 8:30am the following day and headed straight for our hotel. After having a quick nap, we went to Office Depot for another printing and copying session for all of our new documents. I was thankful that I was able to come up with over 200 more pages of evidence when I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to send one more thing. It took about 4 hours later that night to organize, highlight, and paper clip everything together. Once finished we studied the application for 2 hours.
We went to bed at 1am and I still wasn’t sure if we had everything perfected.
My office for the evening… Our hotel room.
I’ve stayed in several hotels but I’m not sure I’ve ever received a toothbrush and toothpaste before.
The next morning we headed to the Canadian Embassy at 8am. We arrived 30 minutes early and were the only ones in the waiting room. We waited for a good 45 minutes before they called his name. I was still trying to remind him of all the facts and coached him on what he needed to say. At about 9:15am they called his name over the PA system to come to interview room 15. He blew me a kiss and walked down the hall. The feeling I had was indescribable, it felt like all of my organs simply shriveled down to size and made their way to my pinky toe. I sat there in the waiting room chair shaking my leg uncontrollably all the while praying he would remember everything. I must admit I also asked God to help me have patience when he comes out telling me he forgot to mention one of my several points I told him not to forget. Oh ye, of little faith.
At the Embassy!
About 5 minutes after disappearing into the interview room, Ricardo walked out with the proof I sent him in there with. WHAT? It was finished already? This can’t be good… He came up to me and asked me if I had my Mexican Visa. I showed him where to find it in the proof we gave, and went out to our locker to get the original ID. I had the opportunity to ask him how it was going, he said everything was fine and he didn’t seem nervous at all. He gave me a quick kiss and was off again. With a sigh of relief I sat back in my chair feeling more relaxed.
1 minute later he ran back out, “They want to see your passport, do you have it?”
I went from being semi-relaxed to being in complete panic-mode. I went outside again to our bags digging for my passport. All the while contemplating if I should give it to them. Would they say I went to Canada too many times in the last year and a half? What if they think my trips were too long? Maybe I should tell them I don’t have it? I could tell them we could send it by DHL, couldn’t I? Maybe then they would forget about the passport.
The night before I prayed that God would do whatever He could to intervene for us. We had no control over the mood of our interviewer so I prayed he would put him or her into a really happy one. Within these 45 seconds of searching for my passport I was reminded of this prayer. Suddenly I was okay with handing it over… I asked God to help intervene the night before now I needed to give this over to him and allow him to do the work. And with that, my passport was in the hands of Ricardo who was on his way back to the interview room.
The locker we put all of our stuff in. Lucky #22! They don’t allow anything past security so we had to leave it outside.
After giving Ricardo my passport, my mind was going a mile a minute. I was shaking my leg uncontrollably and after another 2 minutes Ricardo came out again. He called me over, close to the interview room door and told me they were looking over my passport and asked him to wait outside. I was terrified. This was it, we were going to be stuck in Mexico forever. Again, O ye of little faith.
They called him back into the room and after a quick minute he returned again with a huge smile on his face. He came over and said something in Spanish that I didn’t quite understand but I knew it was good news. Without even thinking, I burst into tears. He explained that the visa officer said that he satisfied their concerns and he was approved to move to Canada! (With the exception of a few more police checks that we need to obtain.)
We waited outside in the waiting room for another few minutes while the visa officer prepared a document for us to obtain 2 police checks. As we were waiting Ricardo handed me an envelope with all of our original documents we sent, photos, facebook history, messages etc. It was really neat to see that package again, but I was still confused. Why are they giving us back our application? Do they not want to see the 200-300 extra documents I managed to put together? What about the statutory declarations I paid almost 200 dollars for?
When the visa officer came to the window I asked her if she wanted to see our additional evidence. She was quick to respond with a smile and told me this part of the process was over. She would not be needing anymore proof from us and Ricardo was approved, pending police checks. I said the first thing that came to mind, “Are you SURE you don’t want to see our proof? I have so much!!” She laughed and said it was not needed. (She could have humored me and had a look at all my hard work lol but I was glad it was over.)
I can’t even believe that on April.30th, 2011 I moved to Mexico on a mission to move back to Canada and we are finally at the end of this long process! It will still be another few months before we are cleared to move to Canada but the hard part is over!
Thanks again to everyone who offered us your prayers and support. We know this journey wouldn’t have been possible without you!
For those going through the Canadian Immigration process, the questions that were asked at the interview were very basic.
Questions Ricardo was asked:
-Why did it take so long to get divorced? (He had been separated for 3 years before the divorce was final.)
-Why don’t you have water and electricity in both names? (My name couldn’t be on our property papers because I’m not Mexican and can’t own outside of the city limits, and therefore couldn’t be on those bills.)
-How many times did Shelly visit before she moved to Mexico, where did she stay, and who did she come with?
-What date did Shelly move to Mexico?
-How many times has Shelly gone back to Canada since she moved here?
That was it, very simple! The interview took a total of 10-15 minutes including the 2 times I had to run outside. I would recommend if your sponsor can attend the interview with you, this would be a good idea. They won’t be able to go into the interview with you but in our case it really paid off that I was there.
~*~Goodluck! Buena Suerte!~*~