C'mon Inner Peace… I Don't Have All Damn Day
More than two years ago I met the most annoying yet adorable man I have ever known, we could not be more opposite. I am from the United States and he is from New Delhi, India.
I was raised Christian but gave that up for lent when I was about nine years old… and never went back.
He was raised as a Sikh man, wearing a turban. Neither of us felt right with the religion we were “born into” so at least we had societal conflict in-common.
As our friendship grew, we decided that we wanted to be together but that proved difficult due to our locations. Manpreet and I had discussed marriage before I ever stepped foot on Indian soil; I knew that I had to see for myself if this man was everything I thought he was.
He was, and more.
I left India with a very strong “knowing” that I would NEVER find another man quite like him. He allows me to be myself, he encourages me to fly and he drives me absolutely crazy. Never have I a met a man who was such a positive influence on my life… until I met Manpreet.
Once we decided that we were more than compatible and wanted to start our life together we applied for the K1 Finace’ visa to bring him to the United States.
Pay attention folks…
The K1 visa would allow a U.S citizen to bring their fiance here; they would have 90 days to get married or go back to their home country. We were actually finalists on that reality show 90 day fiance’.
The application rules for the k1-visa are fairly non-nonchalant; you must have met your fiance in person at least once in the last two years; you must provide a package with proof of relationship, ie: letters, emails, photos, pregnancy tests… you know the normal things.
I began the visa process because I was never so sure of anything in my life. A commitment of this type takes on an extra layer of devotion; ours is a long, hard road. I would not wish this stress and anxiety on my neighborhood crazy-lady, no matter how tempting.
Ok, that’s a lie, she could suffer from a bit of anxiety and I would not be upset about it.
I applied for the visa around April 15th 2014, a year after our friendship began; for those of you who seem to think we “rushed into this.”
From the very start, there seemed to be a curse aimed directly at our relationship by some ancient Indian-hocus-pocus determined to keep us apart.
We SHOULD have received notice from the Texas USCIS office within 10 days of receipt of package around, oh I don’t know, April 30th?
Somehow ours was “lost” or “otherwise compromised,” we aren’t sure.
I can accuse or point fingers but what would that accomplish? The fact of the matter is, that precious time that we could have been together was wasted.
What was supposed to take 10 days, took about 5 months; I’m not kidding! We did not receive a confirmation from the Texas USCIS that the package had arrived… until September 2014.
Mistakenly, I thought THIS first initial contact was our approval and excitedly planned for Manpreet to arrive in the U.S. by Thanksgiving or Christmas 2014 at the latest.
This was only the acknowledgement of the package arriving at the Texas USCIS. We had already waited all summer, we planned on him being here by winter, but we were only at step-one somehow.
This was DEVASTATING.
It would take many, many more months for them to actually open our package, as it sat in a box on the floor of some warehouse while Manpreet and I formed an even-more solid relationship as the time slowly passed.
We expected notification by spring, maybe February 2015? But that came and went. I would have gone back to India to spend more time with him, had I not thought he would be arriving soon. Instead we waited.
Finally, one year after we first applied, we received notice that our case was “approved” and was being moved from Texas to the NVC (National Visa Center) in New Hampshire.
An approval is a preliminary step saying that someone reviewed all of your evidence. Someone out there in government-land thinks that you have an actual bonafide relationship.
They forward this approved package to the NVC which starts communication with the foreign embassy, in our case, The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India.
Keeping with tradition, our adorable package filled with happy photographs and sappy love-texts, took way more time to reach New Delhi than was expected. We were told it would move faster at this point, but seemed to be lost in the system, yet again.
We expected an interview date somewhere around June of 2015. He would be here for the summer and we could start our life together.
It turns out they would have never notified Manpreet whatsoever. Nope. We were never notified of the arrival of the package to New Delhi.
He had to be very proactive about finding the information himself to set-up the required doctors appoints, biographic information and police clearance certification.
We would have still been waiting had he not started doing things on his own.
Finally we received an interview date at the New Delhi embassy for August 28th 2015. This entire process, we were told, should have taken 4-6 months had it been done correctly. Instead Manpreet and I waited a year and half for this interview date.
A YEAR AND A HALF!
By this time, our “approval letter” from Texas was no longer valid. It had expired on August 16th. Why would we think the government would actually set an expiration date within a decent time-frame to get things done?
All of these weird and bizarre twists and turns were scrutinized once an actual human was standing in front of us, and I am jumping out of my pajamas to tell you the rest of this incredible love-story.
Awww, but you have to CLICK HERE for the fairy-tale ending. Sorry folks.
For more stories in the Gori and the Sikh category, click—> HERE
Read about “My Indian Boyfriend “—>HERE
My Big Fat Sikh Wedding: Indian Astrology —> HERE
My Big Fat Sikh Wedding: The Dress —> HERE
Surviving Long Distance Love—> HERE
Open Letter to my Husband—> HERE
Our Honeymoon, Rishikesh India—> HERE
K1 Fiance Visa Process—> HERE
US Embassy Interview K1—> HERE
Cr1 Marriage Visa Timeline—> HERE
Journey to New Delhi—> HERE
First Trip to Jaipur India —> HERE
Our First Diwali—> HERE
Giving Thanks, Shukryia —> HERE
Being Sikh in America—> HERE
The Indian Grocery—> HERE
A Path to Happiness—> HERE
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