Ever since I moved to the Netherlands to live with Arthur in May 1999, it has always been our plan to move to the U.S. ‘someday’. In late 2006 we finally made the decision that we would move in early 2009. At that time the plan was to start looking into the process in early 2008. In mid-2007 we decided to move up our plans by several months and by the end of 2007 we decided we would try to move as soon as possible. In order to move we would have two major tasks: applying for Arthur’s immigrant visa, and selling our home in Leiden.
The U.S. Immigration Services website has step-by-step instructions on visa applications and all of the required forms are available for downloading. We also read of other couples’ experiences on the informative forum www.usadutch.com.
With our papers in hand, we dropped off our visa application petition on at the American Consulate in Amsterdam on Tuesday 29 January 2008. Our petition was accepted. About a week later we got an envelope with details on what we had to do next. Arthur filled in the oath and mailed it back to the Consulate about a week later. The oath stated that he was ready to proceed with the process. A week after that, we were informed by the Consulate (via post) that our final interview would take place on Thursday 20 March 2008. Arthur had to make an appointment with the Consulate-approved doctor for his required medical exam. His exam and chest x-ray was on Tuesday 11 March. We brought all of the necessary papers with us for the final interview at the Consulate on 20 March and Arthur’s visa was approved. He received the visa in the mail a week later, on 27 March 2008.
During January and February we met with several real estate agents in our home. We weighed their offers and finally picked an agent in mid-February. He came by for a second visit to accept our contract and take photos of the house. The following week the house was officially listed online.