Expatriate update: changing visa and the consequences

Expatriate update: changing visa and the consequences

It’s funny how it’s easy to forget about the technicalities of your residential status when you’ve settled in a foreign country for a while. Once you’ve dealt with all the challenges of the beginning, you start to build your new life and your routines, and soon you forget that you’re here on a visa that is meant to be temporary. At least I did.

But things always end up changing, right? The wind turns, the moon disappears from view, the ocean tides withdraw, the trees let go of their dying leaves… and I happened to learn that my visa will have to go too in a few weeks.

I so easily forgot about me being an expatriate, and it’s now hitting me right in the face. As home as I feel here in this magical spot in the Pacific Northwest, I’m still bound by a piece of paper on my passport and my life here is only permitted by the US immigration laws.

I’ll spare you the boring details about why and how my status will have to be adjusted, but here’s what you need to know, because – of course – this unfortunate news will affect the shop.

Should everything go according to plan (let’s have a bit of hope here), I will get a new type of visa and be allowed to stay in this country. No big international move at the horizon for now, which is really great! But getting the new visa will take some time and (let’s go for the bad bits now) it won’t be one that allows me to work. At least not by its own. I’ll have to get an additional work authorization, and that too, won’t be done in a day.

At this point you’ve probably already understood what it means for the shop. Since I won’t be allowed to work here for a certain length of time, I’ll have no other choice but to close it, and take advantage of these forced vacations to “work” on something else (like getting to the point where patience is my best quality) (or maybe a new Oracle? hmh, just saying).

Last but not least, let’s talk timing and delays. How long will this whole process take?

Please be aware that I cannot guaranty anything, that this is just an estimation, and that… yeah, things change. But for now, here’s what I’m being told: my current visa will be canceled the last day of November, then there’s approximately a two months wait to get the new visa, and after that, another couple of months for me to have a work authorization.

What do you need to remember from all this? Essentially, that the shop will be closed by the end of November (I will be able to confirm the date soon), so if you had the intention to get Christmas presents from my shop this year, I can only apologize and suggest that you place your orders sooner than later. I’ll still be happy to have them ready for you and your loved ones โ™ฅ

TL;DR: My current visa is being canceled, I will get a new one and be allowed to stay in the US, but I will have to wait before having the authorization to work here again. As a consequence, I unfortunately will have to close the shop for an extended period of time (approx. 4 months), beginning at the end of November.

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