Immigration: The Waiting Place

Dr. Suess talks about the dreaded Waiting Place in his book “Oh the Places You’ll Go.” I’ve read this book so many times and it really is one of my favourites. I follows the young protagonist through life where the hometown is left behind, where you soar to great heights, and also have the times when you are in a slump but overall, you always get back up and keep going. It’s a great story and one that my therapist gave me after dealing with the head on collision. She even read it out loud to me while I sat on the couch with her chair pulled up closely to me. It was special and I still think fondly about it.

The Waiting Place is this place where you don’t want to be. It’s the place where life is put on hold because you have to wait for something or someone. For the past almost two years, I have been in that dreaded waiting place. It sucks. Honestly it really sucks. Due to being rather independent, and by the advice given through the Immigration hotline, we didn’t apply for a Partner Visa, and subsequent Permanent Residency because if we waited until after the 3 year anniversary of us being exclusive, then the application would pass right through and I’d be granted the PR straight away. So we waited until after that date, which happens to be August, and applied in September, in between my hospital stays just before bub came. Like we didn’t need another thing to go askew at that time, really? It still makes me mad even though I try to let it go.

We didn’t get a pass because there wasn’t an official document, such as a real estate form, or a joint bank account opened literally from the day we declared our exclusivity to one another. I would be really suspicious if someone I was dating from another country did say something like “hey let’s be together AND let’s open a joint bank account today”. I would be so suspicious. I don’t think that normal people think of things like that, we certainly didn’t. So even though there is a huge record of everything else, including newspaper articles, lots of statutory declarations by friends and David’s family, we were still put on hold… and back to the Waiting Place for another year.

The 2 year mark of applying is coming up, so I am hopeful that PR will finally be granted. The thing is that, unless you’ve ever been in a situation like this, you have no idea how much stress it actually causes. Really, at this point because I am on a Partner Visa (which was only granted after a year of being on a Bridging Visa, that I can literally be asked to leave the country where my entire life is now, where my husband and my child are. I try not to get all doomsday about it, but it really sucks to not have that feeling of security in life. It makes me teary eyed just thinking about how fragile it all is. It also makes me angry, or upset rather, that we have done every single thing correctly, we truly are in love and committed to one another, we are married, we do have a child, I even went to University here so it’s not like I’m a fly by night person, and we still haven’t been granted the okay to permanently reside here, or rather I haven’t. The thing is that it does effect my husband too. We’ve had to have the conversation of what if… and if we would move to America, which would cause all kinds of upheaval. It’s such a challenge and it really feels unfair.

When looking at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, at the very bottom is your shelter, the place where you live. Now for the first few years here, I was here on a working holiday visa, and then a medical treatment visa and I accepted that I didn’t have that foundation set, and still worked with it, I mean I kind of had to since I needed to stay in the country to recover from the accident, which was a long and challenging process. My soon to be husband and I met during my medical treatment visa, and even when we decided to be exclusive, I knew that the foundation was still not there and didn’t want to apply for a partner visa straight away because unfortunately I have had relationships that have not worked out and I wanted our love to grow as it would with me being independent, and us not having to think about anything else like but to just be romantic, and enjoy one another. So when I was on a student visa for a couple of years, we continued to develop our relationship, became engaged, all of life was really starting to flourish, the way that true love does, organically, authentically, nicely, and without any pressure of government or any outside agency. I accepted at that time that I was still not setting my foundation in my hierarchy of needs, but I we were solid in our relationship and we knew the next steps would come.

After I graduated it was suggested time and again when I would call to immigration, and when i would look online, that for time and money sake, it would be most efficient to apply after that magical 3 year mark of our anniversary. So instead of applying for Partner Visa, I went for the Post Graduate Work Stream visa, and we had projected to apply for the PR in the next stage, again after the 3 years. Well during my Work Visa, we got married, fell pregnant on our wedding day, and then had a crazy difficult pregnancy. At the very beginning of the third trimester, I was in hospital, and it wasn’t looking so good. So in between hospital stays, we went and applied for PR. It had been after the 3 years, and it should just go on through, as it was suggested strongly by so many people from Immigration.

For the next almost 2 years, the lack of foundation has been so apparent and something I cannot help but think about, specifically because it isn’t just myself and my husband who we need to be concerned with, we have a child and that child is completely dependent upon the two of us, not just one if I have to leave. It’s such a horrible position to be in. The lack of foundation when I have a family to think about and care for, is really heavy on my heart, a lot, consistently. I try my best to not let it get to me and just trust that it will all be okay, I will get PR and my family and I can actually live life like we really do live here, all of us, all of us. This is making me cry right now as I type this. It really sucks. It’s so unnecessary to have to go through this, especially with a small child.

I am so ready to move out of the Waiting Place and move on with our lives. I don’t want this to continue taking up mental headspace. I want to really build my life with my husband and our child with a firm solid foundation in place.