I think my experience with this visa so far is why people actually hire people to do this shit for them.
But then what would I learn?
So, I sought some legal counsel – rather, asked an attorney friend what I can do now – and he said that what happened to me is what happens to a lot of people trying to enter the US for an extended period of time. I should have presented stuff like my birth certificate, more information about my family, more work history, a letter stating my intent to return to my job (which is what I thought the whole ‘leave of absence’ explained), etc. Well, it would have been nice to know that or at least find those directions somewhere in the visa process. All it really said was, if you’re a visitor, turn in your passport, a letter of leave of absence from your job, proof that you’ll be able to afford your stay, and proof that you intend to return home at the end. Which is what I did. Which got me nowhere.
Anyway, unofficially obtained legal counsel said that I should shoot for a stay of three-four months, make sure to have a round trip ticket, and a letter from my employer stating my intent to return at a specific date after my trip.
My new plan is to take off from Boston after graduation, head to London June 3rd, with the following things in hand: a round trip ticket (returning to the US on or before September 2nd), a letter from my employer stating my intent to return to work on (or [most likely] after) September 9th, a copy of my newly renewed lease for my apartment, a copy of my car payment statement (see, customs, I wouldn’t abandon my treasured MINI Cooper), a list every single family member in the US that I can think to list, a copy of my lodging accommodations (either hotel or hopefully, an extended stay flat) with specific check-out date, and whatever other scrap of information that I think might convince them that I plan on jetting out of their beloved country when my expiry date comes up.
I have, and I’m frightened to admit it, restored hope in this trip- (ducks and braces self for impact from inevitable ACME safe).
I know work will be happy to only have me gone for a short time, I’ll be home for my birthday (not that I wanted to spend it in the US necessarily), and it should still be enough time to see all of the things I want to see, visit my friends in Germany, and get a good tan from standing in the English rain.
I’m so gunshy to even post this because I know what happens when things start turning around.
Then again, I’d rather have stupidly high hopes and be disappointed, than not get excited at all.
Otherwise, I feel pretty good, I know no one asked, but I have officially exercised two days in a row. I’m on the right track. Something has taken over me because I’m about to text my friend and tell her to delay our beer-drinking tomorrow until I’ve worked out. Who the hell am I? I’ve lost it. This do-it-yourself visa process has stripped my senses.