I have just returned from my latest visit to my husband and step-daughter in Indiana. And although I will give a more appreciative recollection of my travels in a later post, right now I am rather frustrated with the ongoing obstacles of immigration and lack of clarity amongst those who call these trips ‘holidays’.
Before I continue, I will clearly state that Yes, I do understand the process of immigration, and comprehend the wait times, extreme precautions they administer, and the overall scheduling of these required steps in order to verify that any immigrant be admitted legally into the United States.
Now, that being said, I will state what may have been obvious to many, but not diligently expressed to myself or my husband throughout the beginning stages of this process:
On October 8th, I entered U.S Customs at the Pearson Toronto Airport at 4:30AM prior to going through security to await the boarding of my flight south. Unfortunately I was pulled into their interrogation quarters and learned that this will be my last visit to the United States until I officially receive my visa in the many months to come. I was nearly denied entry on this trip, and was firmly warned that once I had received my application receipt in May 2014, that that was silent notification that as a traveler with the ‘intent to immigrate’ I was officially inadmissible to the U.S until my visa is issued to me.
People constantly comment on my trips to see my husband and step-daughter as to how 6 days is a long visit, much longer than the last; they call these trips holidays, or vacations, and time-off. I could have extended my original travel dates by one extra day, which is considered no big deal adding an extra day to my ‘holidays’. But my frustration and anger at the moment is directed to the improper notions that my time with my husband is a ‘vacation’, ‘time off’. No, my time with my husband is time, quality time. I never take sufficient time to see my family due to work conflicts, working around other people’s schedules, and guilt that I have more time off than others (which is untrue since I work 6 days per week every week). I am frustrated at the notion that people do not understand that I work here, and my travels to Indiana are me going home, for 3 days, 5 days, or the luxurious extent of 6 days. This trip could have been extended for one more day, but post-booking a work change occurred and I was no longer needed at work on a certain date, and so would be coming home a day before I actually needed to be back, something that would have gratefully given me one extra day at no cost. Instead, me being a little nuts for my husband, a few hours before my departure flight back to Toronto I made the decision to book another flight the next day to give me one more night and morning with my husband.
All I’ve ever wanted with my husband and his daughter is time. That’s it. We don’t vacation, or go on holidays. This trip, I went to her soccer game. We all cooked Canadian Thanksgiving together. I helped my step-daughter with her cursive writing. I fell asleep next to my husband, and we drank coffee in bed the next morning. I drove him to work, and did his laundry because when I’m bored I clean. I rearranged his apartment some of which to his disliking, but like I said, I clean when I’m bored. We visited with his family and we went grocery shopping. I was not on holiday, I was at home. And to those of you who state how 6-days is a long time: You try it and you tell me that this is a long time at home. Tell me over the next few years how a few days every few months is sufficient. Tell me how you would feel if all of a sudden you had no idea when you would next see your family, because after this visit of 6 whole days you would be inadmissible to visit for months to come.
6 days is not a long time. However, yes we make it the most quality time possible of which includes arguments, fighting, loving, laughing, hugging, sitting, eating, joking, driving, and just being.
But do not – DO NOT tell me my ‘vacation’ to see my husband was a long one, because I’m typing now after a day of holding back tears, my heart and stomach wrenching with ache and my head unable to translate my fury over others’ misinterpretation of my time with my husband and family. It’s time, the most wonderful and beautiful version of time that I am now inadmissible from holding for an undetermined amount of government appointed time.
I could have had one more day. There can always be one more day, but instead there officially is not until I receive my visa.
Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo