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Yes and maybe

Today was a somewhat crucial day as far as some of the goals we've been working towards for the summer.


1) At 8:30 in the morning, Andrei had his visa interview at the U.S. Consulate. We had heard rumors that spouses aren't guaranteed non-immigrant/tourist visas since they might be just using their new marital status as an excuse to emigrate. The general approach is that the Consulate assumes the applicant will be tempted to stay in the U.S., and therefore he should prove that he has ties to his home country.

Andrei and I got a few letters of recommendation and could have taken some steps to prove our relationship is legitimate, etc. However, Andrei felt that he just needed to tell the truth and not embellish, nor hide anything. So he headed into the Consulate at 8:30 this morning and emerged within an hour with an orange card...that means YES.

2) After picking up the translations of my latest documents (including the letterhead and stamp of a few documents that were otherwise in Russian...just in case...), we headed over to Immigration to try to get my documents approved. It's now been about 6 weeks since we've been circling among various offices.
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We went right to the boss again even though we technically were supposed to visit the regular inspector. The boss still couldn't commit even though we had done things the way he had asked. Thought it over....checked upstairs...nope, still not sure. He told me to wait for a phone call, but I had my doubts, so we convinced him to submit my documents to the committee which meets tomorrow, and then they'll call me by name on Thursday. This is it! I feel that I have exhausted all options, and if I still get rejected, I will have to look into changing my name back.

3) Andrei leaves on the train at 10pm for his annual summer expedition with students from the university where he teaches.

We're thankful that a few burdens have been lifted in time for Andrei's departure. When he comes back, he'll be on "vacation"...except for wedding planning, that is. ;)

To sum up: Andrei is now allowed to enter the U.S., but I do not currently have an exit visa. So we're still not sure whether or not we'll be able to travel anywhere outside of Russia anytime soon.

It will be fun to look back on the time when Andrei was allowed to travel to the U.S. and I wasn't. :)


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