So, as mentioned before, on October 15th we went in for our immigration interview, to prove that we’re a “genuine and valid” couple. Fun fun fun. We are. The interviewer mentioned, however, that we needed to pay a fee at the office that approved my husband’s sponsorship and that she needed to see if she could obtain a medical extension for my record (which has been expired for two months — and which, it should be noted, the immigration office itself told me I did not need to update if my doctor said I cannot get an x-ray because I am pregnant, but of course that becomes suddenly irrelevant and a burden on MY shoulders when push comes to shove). She said it would take up to ten days for her to get the permission.
Well, it’s been nearly two business weeks, which is close enough to ten days for me, and we haven’t heard anything from her. She said her office would send us a letter to let us know whether things get approved. I asked for an email or a phone call as well, and she said they can’t do that. What the fuck am I giving you people my email address and phone number for if you can’t use them to communicate information with me quickly? So every day I’ve been checking the immigration status website, and every day since early August it has said the exact same thing on my application status — “Interview scheduled for October 15, 2008.”
Despite having not heard back from her yet, we decided to go ahead and pay the fee we need to pay. Chris drove up to the sponsorship office yesterday — only to be told that they can’t accept payment, but he could try the other immigration place up the street. So he went there, which was a completely blank building inside with only a two-way mic to communicate with the people he needed to. They told him that the fee cannot be paid until the application is finalized. He told them that our interviewer said it needed to be paid before the application’s finalization; they told him she was wrong.
So, defeated, he goes back to work & gives me a call. I call the Canadian immigration hotline to talk to someone, who tells me that yes, the fee needs to be paid before my application can be finalized. I ask him if he has any information about the status of my application, he says he can’t even access my records because I applied as “living outside of Canada” and apparently, Canada Immigrations in Canada can only access records of people applying as “living in Canada”. Because that makes fucking sense. Anyhow, he tells me I can pay the fee to the sponsorship office online, and it should be $490. He says it’s great that I have to pay this fee in particular, since it usually means everything is fine with the application and I should be getting approval soon — this isn’t a surprise, since the interviewer told us the same thing, BUT this is the first time someone has given us a figure, so that’s nice.
In fact, this is even nicer than I realized, because once I’m logged into my account on the Canada Immigrations page, there is NOTHING to be found about me needing to pay a fee. But if I don’t log into my account and click on the “pay application fees” link, I can get to a page that lists something like 20 possible different fees that could need to be paid depending on what application I’m providing and what stage of the application I’m at. We pick the only one that’s $490, and have to set up a NEW account just to provide credit card & payment application that doesn’t even ask for our case file number. What the fuck ever.
So Chris faxes in a copy of the receipt along with a cover letter stating what fee it is and for which case file, and today I mailed out the same to the office. My account page still isn’t updated with any information on the medical thing, so we tried to call the Detroit office. After stumbling around trying to find the number, Chris gives it a call — and go figure, it’s a number where you can’t actually speak to anyone, it’s just an automated message.
Know what the message says? SEND THE OFFICE AN EMAIL TO COMMUNICATE WITH THEM.
Sooooo, I sent them an email asking for an update on my application status as well as trying to confirm that I paid the correct fee to the correct office. I tried really hard to be polite in this email, but as you can imagine, after five years of this constant back and forth with no one person assigned as a case worker that can help us out, it’s getting fucking exasperating. Even more frustrating is the fact that I’m due in 103 days, but it takes 90 days from the date of the application’s approval for me to get Ontario health insurance. I am praying that by some miracle, the approval process gets finished within the next 10-13 days, and then that Maia decides to take her time and arrives into our lives a few days late (due date: February 15th). I mean, can you just imagine if I had the baby like two days before my health coverage kicked in? That would be the world of Canada Immigrations taking one last, satisfying, peanut-laden shit on our faces.
Frustration levels: high. Anxiety levels: getting there.