Tuesday, January 29, 2008

First Tag 2008

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Tagging time! Thanks, Cam. Here goes.......

A- Attached or Single? Attached as to Married?
B- Best Friend? The Dog is Man's best friend.
C- Cake or Pie? Don't care.
D- Day of Choice? Friday
E- Essential Item? Identity Card
F- Favorite color? Bright & beautiful.
G- Gummy Bears or Worms? What is that?
H- Hometown? Where the heart is.
I- Favorite Indulgence? Dancing
J- January or July? January - new resolution!
K- Kids? Blessings from God.
L- Life isn't complete without? Family and Friends.
M- Marriage Date? Whose marriage date?
N- Number of Brothers and Sisters? Whatever the statistic of the population on this earth is.
O - Oranges or Apples? Oranges after a meal. Apples when I am sick.
P- Phobias or fears? I tried my best not to be afraid.
Q- Quote? Beauty is in the eyes of the Beholder
R- Reason to smile? God loves us.
S- Season of choice? Festive Season
T- Tag three friends or family Anthony, Iain, Singapore Girl, Princess Ivy
U- Unknown fact about me? To remain as unknown.
V- Vegetable? Yes, it is healthy for us.
W- Worst habit? Cursing (what I think as the worst habit anyone can have)
X- X-ray or ultrasound? Whatever the doctor recommended.
Y- Your favorite food? Malaysian
Z - Zodiac sign? Western or Eastern?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Hamper of Scrapbooking Kit

Monday, 28 January 2008

Must be my lucky day today - 28th day of the year 2008. Someone came and presented me with a hamper of scrapbooking kit!

The surprise gesture definitely lifted up my spirit. I was feeling down yesterday afternoon as well as yesterday night. Blamed the mood on my hormones!

I have never done scrapbooking before so this would definitely be interesting. I know Lian would love this. She likes handicrafts and she is good in it as well.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Process

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

I started writing about this process on the 18 January 2008 to document the process but didn't publish until today. Hopefully this will give some people an idea what to expect.

Gosh! To obtain a Permanent Resident card (Green card) is indeed a process!

Mike had to submit 3 forms:
(1) Form I-864: Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the Act
(2) Form I-130: Petition for Alien Relative ($355)
(3) Form G-325A: Biographic Information

I had to submit 2 forms:
(1) Form I-485: Application To Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status ($930 + a biometrics fee of $80 = $1,010)
(2) Form G-325A: Biographic Information

I find the total amount $1,365 amusing. My mind related it to: In 1 year there are 365 days!

In order for me to travel out and return, while the green card is in progress, I have to submit 1 application form:
(1) Form I-131: Application for Travel Document

In order for me to work, while the green card is in progress, I have to submit 1 application form:
(1) Form I-765: Application for Employment Authorization Document

The Application for Travel Document (I-131) would cost $305 and the Application for Employment Authorization Document (I-765) would cost $340 if they were not submitted together with the Form I-485 (Application To Register Permanent Residency).

We started filling the Adobe forms, on the computer, on the 26 September 2007. After reading the instructions of the related forms, we realized that there were a number of supporting documents to be collected before the applications could be sent.


There were the affidavits from relatives & friends about my relationship to Michael. First affidavit was given to us on the 8 October by Grant and the last (9th) was given to us on the 19 November from Ronald.


I had to submit a medical examination report and it must come from an USCIS designated medical doctor. Here goes another episode......

19 November '07: Paid Horizon Health Services $210 for Medical examination & Report. My weight and height measurement was taken. Given 2 vaccinations (1) Measles/Mumps/Rubella (2) Titinus. A Tuberculosis Skin Test was administered. Seen by Dr. Lorena Jauregui. Asked to return (1) 21 November for result of the Tuberculosis test (2) 19 December for Titinus booster. Asked to go to Yuma Regional Plaza Lab for blood test ($36) – result would be sent back to the Horizon Health Services.

21 November '07: Result of Tuberculosis test – positive. Asked to go to Yuma County Public Health Services (no payment required) for consultation of tuberculosis. YCPHS asked me to go to Focused Imaging of Arizona for chest x-ray. YCPHS said that the x-ray film would be sent back to them. YCPHS said to come back Mon 26 November. Told them that we would be out of town. They said to call them when we get back to town again.

30 November '07: Yuma County Public Health Services (YCPHS) said to see them on the 4 December to obtain results.

4 December ’07: Visited Yuma County Public Health Services and collected result of chest x-ray (Focused Imaging of Arizona) and Supplement Form to I-693, and sent them back to Horizon Health Services.

5 December ’07: Sent papers that I collected from YCPHS yesterday to Horizon Health Services. Given a sealed packet that I was to submit to Immigration, to be opened by them only.

19 December ’07: Visited Horizon Health Services [3250 East 40th Street, Yuma, AZ 85365, tel. no. (928) 317-5023] for titinus booster ($30). They passed me a sealed envelope, to be sent together with the first package that they gave to me on the 5 Dec ’07, both to be opened by Immigration Depart (USCIS) only.


Friday, 28 December 2007: We got all the supporting documents! Checked the website to see whether the forms that we have filled were still valid. Fortunately, we didn't have to refill any forms. Last thing - individual pictures of Mike & myself, taken according to USCIS specifications, at Walmart - $20


Saturday, 29 December 2007: Finally we mailed out the package to USCIS, Chicago IL 60680: $1.69 (Cushion Mailer) + $7.00 (Priority Mail) + $0.65 (Delivery Confirmation Label # 03070020000313305254) = $9.34 . It was a relief for me. I have been worrying about it for the past many months, waking up in the middle of night thinking about it.


Friday, 4 January 2008: Received acknowledgement of Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008: Received acknowledgement of Form I-131 Application for Travel Document & Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Document.

Thursday, 10 January 2008: Received acknowledgement of Form I-485 Application To Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

Thursday, 17 January 2008: Received appointment notice to appear at the application support center (3250 South 4th Avenue, Suite E, Yuma, AZ 85364) for the capturing of my biometrics (fingerprints) at 10:00 am on Wednesday, 23 January 2008.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008: My fingerprints had to taken manually because they didn't come up clearly on the scanner. All the years of house chores must have blurred the lines! My photograph and signature was taken too.

Saturday, 26 January 2008: Appointment notice to appear for interview at the USCIS office in Phoenix office (2035 North Central Avenue, Green Appointment Lobby, Phoenix, AZ 85004) at 7:30 am on Monday 21 April 2008.

Saturday, 1 March 2008: Received "Employment Authorization Card" valid from February 20, 2008 to Febuary 19, 2009. I can work legally!

Saturday, 15 March 2008: Received "Authorization for Parole of an Alien Into the United States" from February 20, 2008 to February 19, 2009. It was very disappointed to learn that the original envelope was returned to USCIS on the 3 February 2008. It should have come almost the same time as the "Employment Authorization Card". They have the same validity period!

I am very disappointed with the Postal Services today! Very very disappointed. A letter posted to me, using my maiden name, on the 22 February 2008, was returned to the sender on the 2 March 2008. It was never delivered to my residential mail box!

One sticker on the envelope said:

Another sticker on the envelope said:

The sender posted it again to me, using the same name, on the 12 March 2008. This time, it was c/o Mike's name. It is ridiculous! This is the first time in my life that a mail is not delivered when the address is valid!!!

I don't understand why and I am going to find out why! If it was because of my name, then I shouldn't be receiving any mail with that name at all. I have received other letters, with the same name and address, from the same sender.

Monday 7 April 2008: Cost $18 to obtained a certified copy of the marriage certificate from the registrar. A certified copy was obtained in compliance to the letter of appointment listed the documents required to be brought to the interview on 21 April 2008. It was disappointing that the Immigration officer (at the 21 April interview) said there is no need for the certified copy because she will certify the copy that was sent with the original application, after having seen the original Marriage Certificate that I brought there.

Tuesday 8 April 2008: Applied for social security card.

Monday 15 April 2008: Received Social Security card.

Monday 21 April 2008: Interview in Phoenix (2035 North Central Avenue, Green Appointment Lobby, Phoenix, AZ 85004). The Immigration Officer said she cannot approve my application for Permanent Residency until Mike have submitted additional information on his capability to support me. We were notified by letter to submit the additional information by the 24 May 2008.

Tuesday 6 May 2008: Posted requested additional information to Phoenix. $0.58 (1st class letter) + $2.15 (Return Receipt) + $2.65 (Certified) = $5.58

Saturday 10 May 2008: Postal Return Receipt received.

Saturday 17 May 2008: Received Notice I-797 at 00:45 am (we will driving back home, from Oklahoma trip). Don’t know when the letter arrived in the mail box. Was out of Yuma from Monday 12. Envelope was dated 13 May 2008. Notice I-797 was dated 9 May 2008. Notice I-797 is Welcome Notice. I have been approved the Green Card – Conditional Permanent Resident (2 years).

Wednesday 21 May 2008: Received Green Card (Permanent Resident) valid from 08 May 2008 to 08 May 2010. Need to submit an application to remove condition within 90 days before expiry date, to remove the conditions.

Time-wise, I think the system is great and commendable. Depending what you applied for, I heard some people have to wait a longer time. Overall, we spent $1693.92 for the whole process.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Please Drive Carefully

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Old habits died hard. I automatically walked to the left side of Mike's truck when he met me at the airport when I first arrived in US 8 months ago. Months later I still make the same mistake sometimes! Mike laughed "Honey, you are in US".

In Malaysia, the front passenger sits on the left side while the driver sits on the right side and we drive on the left side of the road!

My first time sitting as the front passenger on the right side of the car was in China in 1999. China drives on the right side of the road too! It felt funny moving forward on the right side of the road. Now that I am getting more comfortable with moving on the right side of the road here, I wonder how I would feel when I return to Malaysia and move on the left side of the road!

Michael had courageously allowed me to drive to church to attend meetings, for the past month. When we were in a hurry, my left hand would automatically reach up to my right shoulder to pull down the body strap over to my left side. And of course, there was nothing to pull!

Then the signals. I still made mistakes in this aspect, especially if I didn't use my head in advance. In Malaysia it is located on the right side of the steering wheel but in US it is located on the left side. In Malaysia you push up the lever to signal when you are turning to your left and you push down the lever to signal when you are turning to the right. In US it is just the opposite - lever up signals right and lever down signals left.

Mike kept teasing me that in US, they drive on the right side of the road for the right reason! I kept saying that it is not incorrect for us to drive on the left side of the road in Malaysia and we are not on the wrong side in Malaysia! It is just the way we were taught to drive there. Now that I am in US, I will need to drive on the right side of the road, the way this country drive!

Today, for the first time in US, I drove by myself! Today, Mike didn't feel well to go to church. I asked him if it was alright for me drive myself. Michael had courageously sat by my side while I drove to church for the past month. I have gain confidence on that particular stretch of road but I dare not try any other street of the city. Michael said "please drive carefully".

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Properous 2008?

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Hopefully this is a prosperous year for everyone! Chinese likes the number "8" because in the Cantonese dialect it sounded like prosperity. It usually refers to success in business and financial aspect $$$$ . Honestly, who does not want to have more money? Money is not the most important thing in the world but necessary. Hope everyone is blessed with more than enough money and still be humble.

A **** HAPPY **** NEW **** YEAR ****

A **** PROSPEROUS **** NEW **** YEAR ****