Stuck In Portland: 6 Weeks Later And Still No Visa

On September 26, 2013 we decided that extending our Indian visas in India would be almost impossible, so we decided to fly back to the US to get new and longer-term visas.

In case you missed it, here is the more detailed story of why we didn’t extend in India, and why we came to Portland.

We thought we would be in the US (Portland) for about a month, get both our visas and fly back to India. It has now been 6 weeks, and we still haven’t received even one of our visas. 

We have to apply separately and consecutively because in order to get my Indian Entry Visa, I need Josh to get his Indian Business Visa first. Processing times are supposed to be 7-10 business days and they’ve had Josh’s passport for 5 weeks now! What the hell? They did ask for another supporting document, which we provided 2 weeks ago, but still nothing. Josh calls everyday to receive the same answer: it’s still pending. Why is it taking so long? We went through this 5 months ago and it took less than a month to get both our visas. We really don’t understand what is going on.

We are stuck in Portland. At this point we have no home. When we moved to India last July, we left nothing behind, and for now we can’t even go back to India.

We are stuck in the home of two really nice people who were strangers to us 6 weeks ago and we met through Airbnb. It’s a great deal: we have a great view, a private room with a king size bed, a workspace… but on a long term $49 dollars a night adds up, that’s $1470 a month, more than we’ve ever paid anywhere for rent. And we still have to send money to India to pay our rent and bills over there.

We have no idea how much longer we are going to be here but it will be at least 2 more weeks because the processing times for my visa are 1-2 weeks and I can’t start the application until we get Josh’s visa.

On another subject, my green card is also in standby and taking longer than usual. Short story: in 2010, I got a 2 year conditional green card because it was through marriage, meaning that after two years I would have to apply to remove the conditions, which I did on March 2013. The processing times for that form is 6 months. It has been over 7 months and have heard nothing from them since April. At least, when I applied to remove the conditions, they extended my green card for a year. It will expire in August 2014.

We feel like we are in time warp, everything is taking longer than it should, and we are completely stuck. Also, none of our projects are taking off. Nothing seems to be working for us for a while and we are getting frustrated. Especially Josh who is not very good at just chilling, waiting, and doing nothing (I’m pretty good at being lazy.). He is the guy who gets things done, he is the guy who tries to find a solution for everything, he is productive and always coming up with ideas, so to be stuck like this is really taking a toll on him. The hardest part of it is not knowing if we are even following God’s wish, which in the end, is always our wish and purpose. We always try to follow and surrender to His wish and His path for us. But following a “Silent Master” is hard! We have to rely on prayer, intuition and faith.

Is this what He wants? Why does He want this?

For me, it helps to not try to understand why, but have faith and patience and believe that there is a reason why we are stuck, why it’s taking so long and why we are here right now, as long as we are surrendered and not forcing our desires. This is very right brain thinking, so I feel for Josh who is very “left brain”, because in our current particular situation, it is a lot harder for him to be stagnant and not be able to make sense of our situation. He feels helpless because there is nothing we can do right now but wait. And when he feels like this, I feel helpless because I have never figured out a way to help him feel better in times like these, nothing I say helps, or so I feel, in fact I think I make it worse. We think so vastly differently so my reasonings don’t resonate with him.

One example, last night I was trying to be positive and told him: “well, at least we are here in a nice house, with a nice bed, etc… it could be worse, this is better than being in jail or sleeping in a car.”  This reasoning did not help at all. In fact it backfired with words like “you don’t get it, that’s not the point. If God wanted me to go to jail, I would.” I know it’s not the point, but it’s a way of thinking positively. We are not choosing this, this is where our situation led us to, this is where God led us to a this moment, and at least it’s not jail, or out in the streets.

But don’t get me wrong, I’m not always this positive. I complain quite a bit. But recently and unexpectedly, Josh made me feel better about my complaining. I think complaining sucks, but I do it a lot, and one day not long ago, I told Josh that I was sorry for all my complaining. And he responded something along the lines of: “it’s okay, as long as you stick to doing what you’re supposed to. In the Navy we used to say: happy sailors complain. It’s when they stop complaining that you have a real problem”, because that’s when they’ve stopped doing work.

I still haven’t reached the point to be cheerful no matter what work God gives me. It’s somewhere I want to reach eventually. For now I’ll do the work and complain about it while eating Lindt chocolate and listening to Ballet Classical music on Pandora.

At least, Portland is not a bad place to be in limbo.

portland sunset
The sunset from where we are staying.
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2 thoughts on “Stuck In Portland: 6 Weeks Later And Still No Visa

  1. Visas are a cause of such frustration!!! I hope everything is resolved soon.
    I am dreading sorting out my spouse visa in January… hopefully there will not be too much waiting around in offices 🙂

    Everything does happen for a reason though… I am certain of it. x

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