Sunday, February 13, 2011

My new UK expat blog: I got my K1 Fiance Visa, now I'm living in the USA!


Welcome to my new UK expat blog!  It’s been a packed 6 weeks since I arrived to start my new life and began living in the USA.  Once I'd got through my K1 Fiance Visa interview and received my immigrant visa from the USA Embassy in the UK, my plan was to come over to Florida in time for Christmas.  But I nearly didn’t make it, due to the heavy snow in Europe and I had to spend an unscheduled extra 24 hours at Dublin Airport en route from the UK to Florida.  I should have guessed what was about to happen when I saw the flakes fluttering down onto the runway as we came in from Manchester.  The worst thing was that they made us board the plane (pictured below) and wait around, before ordering us off it again 2 hours later.  Then they told us that they were closing the airport down because of the weather and we had to leave the building complex.

It’s no fun being amongst a crowd of angry and upset people, especially when there are thousands of them, it’s snowing heavily outside, you don’t have a penny of the local currency, you’re lugging around two heavy suitcases, one carry-on and a large guitar, and you’ve no idea where you’re going to sleep that night!  On top of that there were people still arriving at the airport, unaware that the authorities were trying to evacuate it, due to fears of overcrowding!

Anyway, it all worked out in the end, I got a lift to a hotel in a van full of Americans and Irish and my plane was rescheduled for the next day.  Aer Lingus have since told me that they’re going to refund my accommodation expenses.  I’d always fancied visiting Dublin, but that wasn’t what I had in mind!


The journey to Orlando was uneventful after that and I came through customs without any problems, although it was pretty time-consuming.  Upon arriving in the US port of entry on a k1 fiance visa, the official kept telling me that I needed to get married within 90 days, or I’d be kicked out of the country.  I told him that I was aware of the US immigrant visa restrictions and that, despite not having fixed a date for the ceremony, I planned to get married very soon! 

Abby and I have been seeing each other for over three years, ever since we met on MySpace.  We were both involved with the poetry/writing scene there and became romantically involved, communicating with webcams on Skype each evening.  Six months later I flew over to the US and we met in person for the first time!  It was a little nerve-wracking, but luckily we hit it off.  After that we met up every 4 months, me visiting there and Abby and her daughter coming to the UK.  But living three thousand miles apart was never going to be a serious long-term option, so I applied for a fiancé visa.

We tied the knot a month ago in mid-January.

Money and Poetry

I had to give up a decent job to move over here (I worked for the library service back in Yorkshire) and am currently unemployed.  I brought some savings with me, but psychologically I feel a little self-conscious about not having any income coming in.  So I thought I’d look into ways of earning online and came across Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.  It looked interesting.  I’ve since blogged about it on hubpages (I’ve posted the cheesy pic I used for the blog below! Hehe!), basically you perform tasks on your computer and receive small payments that you exchange for Amazon giftcards.  The first day I tried it I did a dozen tasks and received the grand sum of 34 cents!  I now make about $9 on a good day, which usually takes up 2 or 3 hours of my morning.  It doesn’t make a massive difference to the household finances, but it does pay for a few little luxuries that we wouldn't have had otherwise! 

I’ve also been involving myself with the local writing and poetry scene, performing a couple of readings at a local café bar with Abby, and have also made moves to do some (unpaid) work with a local writer’s group, which I’m looking forward to!

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1 comment:

  1. Congrats on your marriage in January. My boyfriend and I have been together 3 and a half year now, and were 700 km apart prior to that, but certainly not as far as different countries apart. We work from home, and only started 3 years ago. It's been tough, still is mostly tough, but we see growth and are hanging in there. I suggest you also try oDesk and Constant Content to add to your efforts at making money online. I believe having your own hosted sites is the best way to go though, and I believe you are getting ready to launch your first own niche site, and are planning more - good, and good luck with that. Adsense earnings will grow, just be careful with following all their rules, learn, know and understand them through and through. You don't even want to make a simple error regards their policies as I believe it is very difficult to get your Account back if they close it. One of the first things you need to remember is never to click your own Adsense ads, and another important thing to remember is that your sites that display Adsense ads need a privacy policy.