Here is what Immigration meant to me personally:
Proving that I am worthy to receive a student visa.
Getting questioned like a criminal by border control when I first arrive.
Sending in my application for the Greencard Lottery three years in a row.
Third time was a charm, I got picked and “won” a Greencard. That was just the beginning.
Lots and lots of early morning hours spent sitting in front of the immigration office, hoping to get in to talk to someone.
Filling out ten thousand forms, only to find out that you have to fill out ten thousand more.
Getting poked and prodded by an immigration approved doctor, not just once, but twice. Once for student visa, once for Greencard.
Did I mention filling out forms?
Sending in thousands of my hard-earned dollars in check and money order form to accompany all the forms.
Having a successful Greencard interview only to be told that my application is put on hold, because I was missing a form (that had not been mentioned in any of my paperwork). At least I finally got a work visa and was allowed to officially work.
Talking to lawyers and immigration officers, not quite knowing what’s really going on.
Spending thousands more of my hardearned dollars for an immigration lawyer.
Getting my temporary Greencard “stamp” with one day left to spare on the application deadline.
Sleepless nights and “lost my faith” tears because of that deadline.
Once again waiting in line for hours to renew the temporary stamp because my actual Greencard got lost on the way to me, TWICE!
Finding out that they misspelled my last name when I finally got my card one and a half years after I got approved for it.
Saving up money and conjuring up courage to go for naturalization. I knew it would involve ten thousand forms and thousands of dollars once again.
Deciding that it was time to go for the citizenship, a now or never kind of thing.
Finding out that applying for naturalization is a lot easier than permanent residency.
Studying for the citizenship test and slightly freaking out about the whole thing.
Sweating bullets waiting for my interview and test.
Once again finding out that interview and test is a lot easier than assumed.
Impatiently waiting for the letter confirming my approval.
Happy tears when it finally arrives.
Proudly taking my oath together with two thousand other new citizens!
Holding my brandspanking new passport in my hand and the indescribable feeling of having a childhood dream finally coming to fruition.