Just over two years ago, my husband and I were visiting with his family in the South, and I found myself wishing we could be there full time. Wishing we had access to the resources available in the US, that my husband could be closer to his family, and that we could be living that laid-back Southern lifestyle.
And then it hit me – why am I wishing? We could do it!
We came back home to Canada, and we started the process to immigrate back to the US. For my husband, it’s as simple as crossing the border – he was born in the US, and still has his citizenship. For me, the process is a little bit more complicated.
First, we had to submit paperwork basically asking the government to acknowledge that we were married, and that our marriage was legit. We had been married for about 6 years at this point (8 years at the end of 2020), and we’ve been together since 2008… but we had to prove it. Wedding photos, documentation of trips we’ve taken together, etc. We compiled all that information, and sent it off.. and then we waited.
And waited, and waited. The government shut-down at the end of 2018/early 2019 didn’t help. It took about a year, year and a half for this paperwork to be approved.
Then, we had to petition for me to be able to move. This is where things get tricky, but we went through it all when my husband was moving up here, so we were a bit familiar with the process. We started gathering all of the required documents, with the help of a US immigration law firm. During this time, we dealt with medical emergencies, a family member passing away, the pandemic shutting everything down, as well as the general hoops to jump through to access information like tax records. Fun times.
Next steps include travelling all the way to Quebec to have a medical exam done, and then travelling back to Quebec to participate in an interview at the Embassy. (It takes about a week for the medical exam results to be released, and they’re required before I attend the interview. Oh yea, did I mention there’s a global pandemic going on right now?!)
The stress of going through the immigration process for a second time has not been kind to me. I’ve had to deal with bigoted conversations about why we want to move, about how “horrible” the US is (while completely ignoring Canada’s own issues..). I’ve withdrawn from my usual ‘go-getter’ attitude because I’ve had to channel all of my emotional energy into handling this stress.
Eventually, we’ll be able to move. And we’ll have a space to call our own, down the street from family. We’ll have dogs, maybe even some cats. We’ll start a family. I’ll have my own sewing space and office. We won’t have a leaky ceiling!
I’ve got a lot of dreams, goals, and plans for when we move, including expanding my online business to include selling fabric, and buying a longarm machine to start a longarming service. (My mom has already called dibs on using it when they come to visit). Until then, though, I’ll continue growing my tiny business here, in a corner of our constantly-in-repair apartment, while slowly downsizing so that the day we get the news that we can move.. we’ll be ready.