Hello everyone!! No, today’s article is not about golf. I’m probably the worst golfer in history! Today’s article is a continuation on the process for my wife and I to move to the Philippines. We’ve gotten a lot accomplished in the last couple of months, but we’ve really been working on this for a while now. My planning to move to the Philippines started in 2009 when I visited there. It was such a beautiful place filled with fun, energetic, and nice people that I wanted to be a part of that after my retirement. Our plans were moved up about 10 years when I got hurt and was forced to retire. So, we’ve been trying to push our paperwork to the limit and get everything done in order to be able to come to Paradise Islands. (PI)
We’re currently in the “hurry up and wait” phase of our paperwork. You see, we’ve been waiting for my wife’s ten year resident card to be approved. We sent this in last August, so I was curious of the status of that and if it not yet being finished would cause a problem for us in getting her citizenship. So, I placed a call to the USCIS phone number provided on our paperwork. The man I spoke to said that the paperwork was two months behind and would be approved in April. My next question to him, “Can we send in our paperwork to start citizenship since she meets all the qualification?”. His answer came after a few minutes of looking it up, or asking someone else. I don’t know which, all I know is I was on hold. When he came back he said that we COULD send in the paperwork, but that it wouldn’t be started until the ten year was approved. That was fine with me, as long as the paperwork would be accepted and there would be no problems.
Since we moved, I also tried to confirm that our address change had gone through so that our paperwork would come to the right house. He told me that the people that could look that up were gone as it was a holiday. President’s Day, how could I forget?!
So, I made yet another call to verify our address two days later. Only to find out that not only had our address change request NOT been made, but we were also misinformed of our ability to send in the paperwork for the citizenship for my wife. After talking with the woman on the phone, she ensured me that the address change would in fact go through this time, and told me about the citizenship paperwork. She said sending in the paperwork BEFORE the 10 year residency was approved COULD cause an even longer delay in our citizenship paperwork.
And for those of you wanting to move… make sure you don’t leave the district you were in before, because moving would cause another 90 day delay in processing. Thankfully, we didn’t even leave the state we were in, just moved a few miles away. But leaving from one state to another could potentially cause a HUGE problem with paperwork. Keep that in mind if you’re thinking of moving and are in a hurry to get your paperwork completed. An additional 90 days is a long time!
So, what’s left to do? A LOT! Apparently we need to register our marriage with the Philippines. When I checked into this it seems necessary in order for my wife to use her new last name in the Philippines, and also to renew her passport. One nice thing about the Philippines paperwork, it seems easier to do and is MUCH less expensive! Cost for this should be less than $40 including photos that are required of both me and my wife! Not bad. It’d be thousands of dollars and months of waiting if it were our government!
A word or two of advice from me… Follow through. Follow through on EVERYTHING you are trying to get done here in the U.S. You just never know when someone in the GOVERNMENT will drop the ball. The address change alone could have set us back a month or more! And please don’t get me started on the Department of Misinformation I seemed to have called about our other paperwork. How can two people, following what is supposed to be the same laws/policies/procedures, come up with two completely different answers? To be honest, I think I was being protected by the second person I spoke with. I got the impression that my paperwork might get lost or other mishandled if the other paperwork was not yet done. Could I send it in? Probably. But at the cost of time, and possibly more money.
Until next time, paalam, ingat and God bless!
At the time of this writing, I am 40 years old. I’ve been married to my Filipina wife since December 2009. She is from the Province of Pangasinan, Philippines. I was born and raised in the Metro Detroit area in Michigan. I’ve worked in many fields throughout my short career, mostly in Architecture, computers, and law enforcement. I’m medically retired from the U.S. Government due to a back injury and look forward to our move to the Philippines. My interests here were yard work, guns, and hanging out with friends. But because of my back injury, I’ve had to shorten what I can do to just hanging out with friends. Not a bad thing when you’re retired, right!? Also, I’m sure I’ll find some new interests when I get to the RP. We don’t yet know where we will be moving to exactly, but I expect it to be on the main island of Luzon. I look forward to moving there, getting healthier, and experiencing island life.