Waiting for the FBI and the Fireworks Competition

It’s been a longer than we expect­ed wait for any response regard­ing our paper­work for Land­ed Immi­grant sta­tus. This week, I decid­ed to call the lawyer we’ve dealt with dur­ing the whole process to find out if he knew any­thing more than we did (or per­haps he could find a way to expe­dite mat­ters). After a lit­tle phone tag, I found out yes­ter­day that the hold-up has been Pam’s fin­ger­prints. It’s not that she’s on any watch-list, but that the prints just don’t come out well enough. Appar­ent­ly years of wash­ing dish­es, dry hands, and oth­er wear and tear have left her with fin­gers that just don’t offer much in the way of a well-defined print. She’s had them done twice, and the sec­ond time, the fel­low doing the prints looked at the first set (which had come back with the ‘Reject­ed’ stamp on them) and declared “I could read these!”. He explained that the FBI requires prints that are read­able by a machine rather than a human. So, we find our­selves in lim­bo, iron­i­cal­ly because the FBI won’t clear Pam’s fin­ger­prints. This is par­tic­u­lar­ly irk­some, as so much of our future deci­sions are on hold because of this (and even the abil­i­ty for us to stay here). Our lawyer said that there’s real­ly noth­ing we can do, and that we’ll just have to wait while the prints and Pam’s records make their way through the FBI’s labyrinthine bureau­cra­cy. I’m hop­ing that the wait won’t be much longer, but there’s no telling how much longer this will take. It’s a good thing that my work per­mit did­n’t depend on this!

If it’s Sat­ur­day, Then This Must be China
Last year we very much enjoyed watch­ing not one night of fire­works, but 3 of them. Each year, Van­cou­ver hosts a Fire­works com­pe­ti­tion in late July to ear­ly August. Last year, 3 coun­tries, includ­ing Cana­da, Chi­na and Swe­den were the par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries (Swe­den won). This year, it’s 4 : Italy, Chi­na, the Czech Repub­lic, and Mex­i­co. We saw Italy’s per­for­mance last Wednes­day from Vanier Park. Tonight it will be Chi­na, who will open their dis­play with the music of ‘The Yel­low Riv­er Con­cer­to’, a piece that has the dubi­ous dis­tinc­tion of being the only fair­ly well known piece of con­cert music that was writ­ten by a com­mit­tee, (the Yel­low Riv­er Com­posers’ Com­mit­tee, of course), although there is an arti­cle in Wikipedia that attrib­ut­es it as an arrange­ment of music from The Yel­low Riv­er Can­ta­ta by Yin Cheng­zong. The Yel­low Riv­er Can­ta­ta is attrib­uted to Xian Xing­hai (1905?1945), so I’m not sure where the Com­mit­tee attri­bu­tion on so many record­ings (includ­ing the one I heard a few times when I was a kid) came from. Next Wednes­day it will be the Czech Repub­lic, and the fol­low­ing Sat­ur­day, Mex­i­co fol­lowed by the ‘Grand Finale’. I remem­ber how I was sad that we’d leave the Fourth of July Fire­works behind, but they seem to be replaced nice­ly with more than enough pyrotech­nics, although with­out all of the kitschy Amer­i­cana we indulged in on the Banks of the Charles.

2 Replies to “Waiting for the FBI and the Fireworks Competition”

  1. How come you need to deal with the FBI, if you’re try­ing to get into Cana­da? Or are you refer­ring to a Cana­di­an agency that hap­pens to have the same acronym as the USA’s Fed­er­al Bureau of Investigation?

  2. Frank -
    As odd as it sounds, we have to pass a secu­ri­ty check of our fin­ger­prints by both the RCMP (the Roy­al Cana­di­an Mount­ed Police — yes, the Moun­ties) as well as the US’s FBI (the Feds). The US FBI is sup­posed to report to the Cana­di­an gov­ern­ment if we are on any of their lists (most want­ed, par­tial­ly want­ed, unwant­ed, unwashed, who knows?). I also had to have the Cam­bridge Eng­land police sta­tion send an affi­davit of sorts that I was­n’t on their records as a mis­cre­ant dur­ing the time I was a stu­dent back in 1983. One of the least sur­pris­ing things about the immi­gra­tion process has been the paper­work. As in lots of it. For us it’s not huge deal, but for peo­ple arriv­ing who’s Eng­lish is not so good, it’s a sig­nif­i­cant hurdle.

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