Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Visa Form DS-230 Finally Arrived

As you will recall from my last posting, I had been expecting the visa form DS-230 to arrive weeks ago. It is partially due to bad timing, and partially due to the incompetence of the National Visa Center.

The bad timing is because we received the bill for $380 (what they charge to process the DS-230) at the end of December. We mailed it in promptly upon receiving it. Mail to the US normally takes two weeks from here, but the post office was closed for the entire first week of January. Still, the National Visa Center should have received the fee by mid January, but their records indicated that it arrived on the 25th.

I waited weeks more for the form to arrive. As I reported in my last message, I called the National Visa Center on February 15th to find out what the hold up is. At that time, I was told by Kira that the forms were mailed out the week of the 29th. I now know without a doubt that this was a complete and utter lie.

From my recording with Kira, the direct quote from her is "The forms were mailed to your spouse in the Philippines the week of January 29."

If that is so, then how is it that when the forms finally arrived, the post mark was stamped February 16th, the day after my call??

What a bunch of liars. I would have much preferred it if she would have said, I'm sorry but there was an oversight, but I promise it will be mailed out first thing tomorrow morning. I would have still been upset over the oversight, but not nearly as upset as I am about being lied to. What the hell is wrong with these people?

Now it's just a matter of gathering all of the supporting documents before we can mail it in. We had anticipated the original birth certificate and marriage license, so those are good to go. We also knew in advance that we would need clearance certificates from the NBI (National Buruea of Investigation), as well as from the police in any foreign country she has lived. Those are no problem, we have them ready to know.

What we did not expect was that we also must have local police clearance from every individual town my life has lived in (for more than 6 months) here in the Philippines. Honestly, what sense does that make? If the NBI shows no deragatory records, then why go through this? Just to send people chasing their tales?

Again, this is one of those things that it would have been good to know about in advance, because my wife did live in Manila for a year, which is a very long way from here. Unlike most countries in the world, authorities in the Philippines are apparently unable to manage clearance by mail, so she is there as we speak getting these documents. She went alone because I am pissed at having to waste $100 for a single piece of paper, and did not want to double that with both of us going. Yeah, I know, I sound like a sour puss, but wait until you've been dealing with these knuckleheads for a year and see how you feel about it.

The good news is that this will be the last form to fill out. Once this is sent to the National Visa Center, they will review it for completeness. When the interview is scheduled they will send it all back to us as part of a kit to take to the interview.

On a side note, I have also been receiving mail related to the 129-F Fiance visa (all this other stuff is related to the spousal visa). I've received two letters stating that the Fiance visa is approved and that they are mailing some kind of a kit to my wife. Honestly though, I don't see what the point in that fiance visa was except to bill me an extra $170. The point was suppose to be for her to get into the US faster while we wait for the spousal visa to be processed, but the spousal visa is being processed faster, so honestly, what's the point in the other one?

Your tax dollars at work.