Random thoughts of a Brit living in the Imperial Valley of California

Done With the INS

with 2 comments

[NEW HOST MARKER]I spent the first part of the day yesterday at my friendly neighbourhood INS office in Calexico. I had to hand in my current permanent resident card and apply for the new (unconditional) one. In the past you would have to get there early and queue up to get seen, now an appointment is mandatory; mine was for 8am and I was second in line at 7.40. The appointment letter said you will be denied entry if you show up later than 15 minutes before the appointment time: the doors opened at 8.05.

I believe no trip to the INS is without trouble, no matter how good your paperwork is. In my case, after watching the officer speak on the phone for 20 minutes without dealing with anybody she finally announced that the computer system was broken and so she couldn’t help anybody. We were welcome to stay but she didn’t know if it would be 5 minutes or 5 hours. There’s a plush INS office in San Diego so I asked the lady if I could go there instead, and not have to skip work to visit Calexico. She said I could but then, to my amazement, she said she would try to work my case without the computer. She took my passport and card away, came back 10 minutes later to take my fingerprints, and then about 20 minutes later she was done (and by then the computer was working again).

So now I have a stamp in my passport saying I am a permanent resident waiting for my card, and the card when it comes should be valid for 7 years or so, maybe even the full 10. Unless I decide to go for citizenship, it means I am finally free of the INS for a while. And that’s a good thing.

Written by admin

May 31st, 2006 at 8:29 am

Posted in America

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