Yesterday we went down to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) offices in Bloomington, next to the Mall of America, to be interviewed for the final stage of Emma’s green card. We were slightly stressed about it, not knowing quite what to expect, but in the end it was very easy and quick – the case officer didn’t really seem to know why we even had an interview. Mine had been approved a few weeks ago, but I hadn’t gotten around to getting the final stamp so I did that yesterday also.

We’ll be getting the actual cards (which aren’t even green) in a few months but until then we each have a stamp and some handwriting in our passports, which doesn’t look very official but means that as permanent residents we don’t have to sign anything to leave or enter the country, we’re no longer linked to my job, so if anything goes wrong we don’t have to leave and can get unemployment benefits, I don’t have to stay in the same type of job, and have the same work status as any American. So a lot more security and stability. It’s taken over three years to get this far, and I’m very happy it’s finally come through.

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