Sunday, 30 September 2007

quality of characteristics

Friday I got a large manila envelope in the mail with this return address.

I was psyched. My background check was back and it had only taken 3 weeks!

Wah. I was wrong.

The lovely local police station clerk didn't do my prints well enough, so now I have to get them redone and send them back to the FBI. I'm going to go to the same place, so I don't have to pay again (they better not make me pay again!) but I'll try to get a different person to do it this time.

I do see it as a good sign, though, that I did get some sort of response in only three weeks.

Saturday, 8 September 2007


For the first time, um... ever, I didn't procrastinate! Since the girls' paperwork arrived, it was time to start working on my own. Thursday night I went to the official New Zealand immigration site and downloaded all the necessary forms and guides I'd need. The first step I noticed was the police background check. According to this page, in the US I have to request it from the FBI. And according to the FBI it takes 16 - 18 weeks to process! Good thing I didn't procrastinate.

So like I said, Thursday night I downloaded the forms. Knowing I had Friday off it crossed my mind that I could go to the local police station and get the required fingerprints the very next day and be done with it. But then it crossed my mind that I know myself pretty well, and realistically I was going to put it off. But then by the weirdest coincidence, Friday morning my mom suddenly needed to go to the police station! I don't think in my 32 years of life my mother has ever needed to go to the police station. Here's why she had to on Friday.

We live very near (about a mile and a half) Boston College, which is a decent New England liberal arts college (what New Zealanders call University). What they are more known for than academics, though, is football (American football, not soccer). College football is HUGE in the US, and when games occur, whole cities have to shut down. This sign is directly outside our house.

As you can see, every year they have to update the sign with a sticker, and this year they haven't yet updated it. Boston College has a home game today, Saturday, September 8. My mom also has a dinner party scheduled for today, Saturday, September 8. Many of her guests are driving, and our driveway won't fit all the cars. So Friday morning Mom called the city parking bureau to ask for special permission to ignore the parking ban. They told her to immediately bring a signed letter with her request to the police chief. And that's why she had to go to the police station Friday, the same day I was planning on putting off going to the police station.

So we went. For $5 I got these.

Another act of providence helped me avert a major shanking of the process. I had filled out the forms, put it all together in an envelope, stamped the envelope, and ran to the door to catch the mailman. I had only JUST missed him, by about a minute. (Kiwi culture note: In New Zealand mail carriers don't pick up outgoing mail from your house like they do here in the US. They only deliver.) I contemplated driving to the post office to mail it, but decided that a day wouldn't likely make much of a difference, so I could wait till Saturday for the mailman to pick it up. Well, later that night I was online, I had a bunch of web browser windows open to many different sites, and so I started reviewing the pages and closing the ones no longer needed. One of them was opened to the FBI page I linked to above, with the instructions for requesting the background check. I quickly reread it and was about to shut it, when I noticed that I had not filled out the fingerprint form entirely! Yikes. I can only imagine the delay if it had actually gone out in the mail incomplete. I opened up the envelope, finished filling out the form, and resealed it. It went out in today's mail. Whew.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

looky looky

Check out what arrived last week!

Two big folders with goodies inside.

My girls now have proof of their New Zealand citizenship, and they can move to the country unhindered! Interestingly, since their citizenship is by descent, they cannot pass on their Kiwi citizenship by descent to their children, unless after living there long enough they apply for a grant of New Zealand citizenship. I guess that means until then they're second-class citizens?

Now it's really time for me to apply for my permanent residency.