10 Year Green Card!

Returning back to the US this weekend I discovered among the piles of junk mail that I actually had some good news; the Removal of Conditions (ROC) on my green card had been approved! When you first move to the US you get a 2 year conditional green card and you need to file paperwork to remove the conditions on the card. You then get a 10 year green card and don’t have to worry about USCIS for 10 years which is a blessing, believe me. I applied last year but there was a backlog of over a year for processing ROC (you can see why I’m glad I don’t have to deal with USCIS for 10 years haha).

Like the card itself the “welcome to the US” leaflet is a little late.

They finally got round to processing my application and now a shiny new 10 year green card is on its way to me. I’ve decided that to mark the occasion of getting my green card I’d set myself 10 challenges. Here they are.

1. Learn how to not mix up American and British words. I have an unfortunate habit of using words that mean something different in the US and embarrassing myself. Playing a word game with friends one day I changed my mind about what I was writing and asked if anyone had any rubbers. Of course I’d forgotten that in America rubbers are called erasers and rubbers mean condoms so I’d effectively just asked a room full of people for condoms. *blush*

2. Learn what Americans call things. Not learning the local terms can be a challenge, even simple things like when I order coffee and they ask me what type of milk I want. I forget what the different fat content milks are called in the US so I blurt out “normal milk” or “semi-skimmed” (the UK name for what I drink) and then end up taking the first thing that they offer because I’m embarrassed and want to escape.

3. Grow up! There are a lot of words that aren’t rude in American English but are in British English and I must admit that I find it ridiculously amusing when I see a cottage called Knob End or “shag” on sale in a store. I need to stop doing that!


4. Learn American measurements. I refuse to use Fahrenheit but I should learn the conversions so that when someone asks me how cold it is outside I can say 15C which is 59F instead of just saying 15 and getting blank looks because people think it can’t be that cold out.

5. Develop a good fake US accent. If you are a Brit living in the US people are going to put on a fake British accent around you and it’s always terrible. Naturally my response is to do a fake US accent back and my fake US accent is also terrible (the only accent I can do is southern and I can’t do it without saying “I do declare”). If I was able to do an accurate impression of someone I’d have the upper hand!

6. Dress for the weather. In the UK the weather is very mild so I’m not used to it stopping me doing anything. We had a big snowstorm in Boston earlier in the year and about 5 people made it into my office and I was one of them. I had jeans and a wool coat on too so the snow stuck to me and I looked like a yeti. One of these days it’s going to catch me out!

I need to dress better for weather like this.

7. Visit all 50 states. Due to some road-tripping before I moved here I’ve been to 29 of the 50 states so far but my goal is to visit all of them. Look, I know there’s not much in North Dakota but it would be pretty cool to visit all 50, okay?

8. Become a citizen? I’m eligible to apply for citizenship soon but I’m still wrestling with the idea. I think that I probably should because then I’d be able to vote and God knows my vote is sorely needed the way things are going.

9. Take my driving test. Much to my shame I still haven’t driven since moving to the US despite the fact that I’m a competent driver (or was before I stopped driving haha). I take public transportation (such as it is) to work. Partly because Boston drivers are so scarily incompetent and partly because I’ve heard horror stories about the RMV (where you go for driving paperwork) I haven’t been able to make myself do the test yet.

10. Blog more often. I’ve been terrible lately, haven’t I!




13 thoughts on “10 Year Green Card!

  1. gailthefabulaphile

    Just imagining someone with a terrible Southern accent saying ‘I do declare’ cracks me up. I live in the South and it’s hilarious for me to hear other people to try it 😄

    1. If I didn’t hate both my voice and my face I’d record a video of me doing my fake southern accent haha. A lot of people find it amusing because it’s so bad!

  2. Good to hear from you again, I’d been wondering how you’re getting on. That’s really good news about your 10 year green card – well done 🙂 Friends of ours relocated to Arizona over 20 years ago with their young children – they’re all citizens now and voted last November (though obviously not for Trump!)

  3. Congratulations! Although I’m not sure I’d go as far as doing no. 8 on your list…
    As for no. 3 – please don’t! It would be a pity to see you losing that part of your personality 😀

  4. Congratulations! That must be a relief. My step-daughter’s husband is working through exactly that right now.
    I guess I watch/read a lot of Brit media and so none of those words would alarm me (and so I would know that if someone wants to “knock me up” at a certain time, they do not intend to impregnate me..hahahha). Frankly there are many colloquialisms and names for things from other parts of the US (including the one you’re in ) that I just don’t get. The whole “wicked” thing escapes me. So I really wouldn’t worry too much about that, just be yourself, nothing wrong being unique.

    I’m sure your southern accent is hilarious. I’m from the west coast where we’re pretty sure WE DON’T HAVE AN ACCENT BUT EVERYONE ELSE DOES (we do). I do a passable generic British accent (an amalgam of Bruce Dickenson of Iron Maiden, public television broadcasts of BBC period productions and the Monty Python guys).

    Good luck with your list!! It should keep you busy.

    1. Haha yeah I find regionalisms in the US really interesting. For example in New England they call a water fountain a “bubbler” which is weird and always gets me.

      The west coast accent is probably my favourite US accent in terms of how it sounds and I have met people from there who tell me they don’t have an accent haha. 🙂

  5. Congratulations 😊 My brother and sister-in-law just emigrated to the US last week and have been in bureaucratic hell ever since, not being able to get access to the proceeds from the sale of their house in the UK because of concerns they may be money-laundering, for instance! Not being able to get health insurance until they get a social security number which leaves them in limbo for at least a fortnight, not being able to buy a car or drive their daughter’s because they can’t get insurance until they have a social security number and a residence/utility bill etc etc. I’m sure it will all sort iteslf out but the not having health insurance is a worry.

    1. I hope they get that sorted soon! I had a lot of bureaucratic nonsense when I first moved and I just had to keep at it until I got my SSN and could start to actually do things! Also had issues with transferring my money to the US. Health insurance is a mess too but eventually it all came good!

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