One aspect of the immigration process that seems to be near-universal is the extremely stressful and disruptive nature of the immigration process. For example, I’ve done a bit of searching on the internet for the immigration officer that signed off on the letters sent to me. I’m sure she’s a nice person, diligently working processing mountains of paperwork, trying to sift through the potential applicants wishing to come to Canada to live and work. The very process in which she is involved is itself somewhat dehumanizing – after all, she (and others like her) are not looking at people, but rather documents. Perhaps she gets a sense of who we are from those documents – certainly in the spousal case, I have a good sense that the pictures and letters and narrative story help make us seem more human – after all, if you are reading about someone’s relationship, looking at pictures of their moments together, and getting a sense of their home life, it would be difficult to not at least start to think of them as something other than just pieces of paper.
Be that as it may, the actual process for those involved in it is incredibly stressful. I’ve been in Vancouver on my work permit for 29 months, I submitted my own application 3 months before than and I was spending significant chunks of time here in Vancouver before I applied, so it feels like even more to me (over three years). And yet I cannot get settled because I have to live with the very real possibility that I’ll have to pick up and move – and in the process leave my spouse behind, since Canada is our only real option for remaining together. Oh, and did I mention that there is also the small shock of being diagnosed with a disease that we’re told is fatal? But the first thing is to get settled so I can stop spending so much time worrying about immigration!
I think it doesn’t help that my occupation (in the IT field, I specialize in the development of software that organizes and manages unstructured information in computer systems) tends to encourage my desire to understand complex systems and their nuances. I’m sure that most people aren’t sending e-mails to their lawyers discussing the issues of case law regarding legal issues in an immigration appeal (I suspect he might not appreciate it either.)
Ah well. Perhaps I’ll learn patience one of these days.