Sunday, July 29, 2007

Personal Updates

I would call this "Pupdates" but that's been copyrighted by a famous blogger of our acquaintance. :-)

Looking back at some past posts, I realized that I made reference to events and topics that I have never followed up on.

First, a medical condition alluded to here turned out to just be "one of those things." That is, there was no conclusive reason for what happened but they were able to rule out all known possibilities, especially all the bad stuff. So that's good news.

Next, there was my work situation mentioned in these posts. Having reported that I did not get job #1, I never did say that I was offered and I accepted job #2. What's more is that they gave me more money than job #1 and an even more flexible schedule. Plus it's less stressful. So I was quite disappointed when I was passed up for job #1, but things worked out pretty well after all. Regular (decent) paychecks for 6-9 months. Not bad at all.

I'm not sure if I ever mentioned this in the blog, but it was our intent to go up to Vancouver for Pride the first weekend of August. Alas, we've been hit hard by medical bills between my escapades and all the follow up to Alan's lab results. Although we do have insurance, we've hit the dreaded "donut hole" where we're paying a lot out-of-pocket. So, no Vancouver Pride this year. :-(

In Washington State (where Alan and I live) there's been a Domestic Partner bill passed which grants some rights to same-sex and certain "senior" couples. Yeah, I guess this is progress. I mean, all of the Democrats running for their party's nomination all agreed that same-sex couples should have the same rights as other married couples; it's "just a matter" of what to call it. Of course, it's much more complicated than that but they'll never answer the pointed questions I have for them. Anyway, we're supposed to be all a twitter and we're not. We'll probably register, although we do need to learn more. But we're certainly not going to celebrate it as an occasion.

Alan did visit the specialist on Friday; he needs to have another test done to do more ruling out. Much like the earlier situation with me, the doctor said that we may never find a reason but it's important to rule out all that we can. And I agree; I would never forgive myself if there's something we could have done something about but never looked into it enough. But it ain't cheap. (So my having a paying gig now is good timing.)

That's the news that's fit to bore you with for now.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

In the Mail

Two days ago we received a letter from the DMP (Designated Medical Practitioner) in Vancouver. He received a letter from the medical folks in Ottawa (which the DMP enclosed); they want more information about yet another irregularity in Alan's exam results. (That is, it's different from the one discussed earlier. There is no mention of the first issue in this new letter; we don't know if that means that they are satisfied with what we have sent them.)

What's strange is that the letter from Ottawa is very short and we're not quite sure what it is they're asking for. Also, weirdly, they say that whatever the results it should not interfere with the process and that their recommendation is that immigration should proceed. But we need to get back to the DMP (who will then forward to Ottawa) with a letter of response from our family doctor here in Seattle. So, it's do this but it won't matter?

Alan has an appointment with a specialist this Friday regarding irregular lab result #1; this we're doing for ourselves and we're still not sure if Ottawa will ask any more about it. On August 9, Alan has an appointment with our G.P. (the earliest available) to ask for a response to the letter we just received. He feels guilty because "his issues" are holding us up, which I told him was ridiculous because it's not like he's doing anything and I've had my issues (not medical) that have held things up. (e.g., look at how long it took to get my police clearance from Costa Rica ...) It's nobody's fault, it is what it is.

Other than just wanting resolution (I'm a total "J" in the Meyers-Briggs personality inventory), we're not in any particular hurry. Our plan is if/when we get the green light we'll do the formal landing as soon as possible and delay our actual move for when it makes sense logistically. I've started the household inventory but I need to get back to it!

I also know that I have no cause for complaint given what many others -- especially those not from the United States -- have to go through to immigrate to Canada. And the process to become a P.R. in the U.S. is much worse!

By the way, I know I'm not commenting much on the blogs of our "family," but I am reading.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Where Things Stand


Today is three-months since the receipt of the initial assessment (I.A.) and request for further documents from the CIC. The deadline.

On Monday (July 9), I made what I hope will be our final submission to the Seattle consulate. This follows the first response delivered on April 20, when we gave the CIC four out of the seven requested items. Of the three remaining: You know we received the FBI clearances. And that we've had the medical exams. While we're still following up on Alan's irregular results on one of the lab tests, we've submitted what the doctor in Vancouver asked for. We don't know if Ottawa will want more; this may be a hold up. (What we're doing now is for own purposes. They've ruled out all the scary stuff, by the way, but we'd like a "why" and not just "why nots.")

About three weeks ago, we received a response from the IRS. What a mess. A mass of paper with an industrial staple. There were duplicates of things (the cover letter, one of the tax returns), empty pages, pages with non-sensical codes on them. Buried were certified copies of three of the four years asked for. But the forms W-2 were re-creations, not copies so they didn't have employers' information on them; it was just the gross income and the taxes withheld. Since I imagine that one of the reasons the consulate specifically requested the W-2s is to verify employment, I don't think they will be satisfied.

For the fourth return (the one furthest back), the IRS said they were not able to find it, to give them more time, and that they would send a refund if they decided to give up. A week ago, I received a refund check. I copied the refund check and included a copy of my request form to the IRS with proof it was mailed. With the IRS cover letter (both copies!) I'm hoping the CIC will see that I've done what I can.

I submitted copies from my records of the tax returns for all four years, along with all of the W-2s. I affirmed in my letter to the CIC that these were accurate copies of what I submitted to the IRS. They can see that the numbers match for the three years provided by the IRS; it would be reasonable to trust my copy of the fourth year. However, reason and bureaucracy do not always go together. We shall see. But I can't imagine what more I can do.

I'm tired of the immigration hoops; I'm running out of steam. This is typical for me in the home stretch of any drawn-out process. I know it doesn't make sense.

I've tried to catch up on all my "Canada reading" -- the yahoo group lists and the blogs. Everyone seems well. Excellent. Onward ...