I am actually very interested in the answer to that question. For years I have heard the term “Green Card”, but never actually seen one. Never. Not that I had any reason to see one, I never really knew anyone that immigrated to America. Well, there was the German lady down the street I guess. She had met her husband when he was in Germany, for the war I am guessing but maybe after, and came back to the States with him. But at that time I also didn’t have the first clue about the inner workings of the immigration process. We sure do now though that we are working on getting a VISA for my wife, and we aren’t even done yet. Here’s how it works.
First, you gather all the required documentation, including the paper from the Polizei that says you are not a hardened criminal! Second, you send the Department of Homeland Security a LOT of money and not a lot of paperwork. Third, you wait patiently for them to take 2 months to start a background investigation and another 2 months to let you know that you are good to proceed. In the meantime, you get to pull your hair out trying to decipher the immunization procedures, and have your doctor run tests to prove that you did in fact have chicken pox when you were a kid. Fourth, you pay an Embassy approved doctor a bunch of Euro for a routine physical, which naturally requires a trip to Frankfurt. Fifth, you complete the way-too-long online form and send you original documents to the Consulate. Sixth, you wait (again patiently) for notification of the day of your appointment. Seventh, back to Frankfurt with even more money for the appointment at the Consulate. And finally, you wait for DHL to deliver your VISA, in an envelope that you actually prepared and paid the postage for. There you have it, the simplified “how to get a VISA” breakdown. Once you have the VISA in your possession, all you have to do is physically immigrate to America and you get your Green Card!
We just finished the fourth step today. I would complain about the 2 1/2 hours I waited in the car, but the kid and I watched movies and ate cookies. Good times, and guaranteed 100% better than the super time my wife was having in the doctor’s office! That’s ok, we will have the pleasure of sharing the fun day in the Frankfurt Consulate. I bet that will be a real hoot. The things we do for love. It will all be worth it in the long run, once I find out if the Green Card really is green!