Monday, June 6, 2011

Online Forums

Jose and I are in the hotel waiting for tomorrow's appointment and I'm alternating between trying to distract us and obsessively reading the online immigration forum.

Jose found the forum about a month ago and I've checked daily since, where we've learned good news and bad.  Bad news: last week we found out that there is a website for checking available waiver appointments, and most of the people on the forum have been able to move their appointments up by more than a month.  People with first appointments after Jose's, which was on March 29th, are already back in the U.S.  Lame.  Good news: 17 of the 21 people with waiver appointments in May have been approved! I'm hoping/thinking we will jump on that bandwagon and have Jose home this month.

The forums have helped us understand the process and what is going on better, so even with the bad news we sometimes get, they've been a great resource.  Each month, the "forum family" as the members, mostly wives of applicants, call themselves, post a list of every member with their waiver appointment that month.  They celebrate when someone is approved, and provide support when someone is backlogged (being backlogged means the hardship wasn't convincing enough for an immediate visa, and adds another 6-12 month wait).  Each day, they update the list with the developments in each case.  That's been most helpful for us, because we've been able to track how many people are approved and how long it has taken to get the visas (usually about 2 weeks).  We even learned about two phone numbers where applicants can get updates about their waiver, including hearing that it was approved days before the decision packet arrives at DHL. 

I haven't actually posted anything on the forum, I'm more of a invisible stalker, but I'm tempted to register and have Jose added to the list of June appointments.  I kind of want random wives sending me words of encouragement and supporting us no matter what the outcome is.  It's always nice to be in contact with people going through something similar.  I just don't want to have to be as emotional and obsessive as them. Sorry, Jose, but it's a little much.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

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