[Originally authored 27 April 2012]
Having sent my application to the British Consulate in New York on the evening of Thursday, 26 April (yesterday), I now have little to do but wait. This morning, I received an e-mail from the US Postal Service informing me that the package had been delivered to the Consulate at 9:10 AM.
This was then followed up, at the end of the business day, by an e-mail from the Consulate informing me that they had received my application.
As the e-mail from the UKBA makes clear, I will receive two more e-mails from them, one informing me that my application is entering the review process, and another informing me of the outcome (and, assuming that my passport will be sent back to me, informing me how it will be shipped and when it should arrive so that I can arrange for someone to sign for it).
When presented this way, the process seems orderly, straightforward, and linear:
- I send the application
- They receive it (as is noted in this e-mail)
- They begin processing it (as will be noted in the next e-mail)
- They send my passport back to me (as will be noted in the third e-mail)
- I receive my passport (hopefully with a visa in it)
Strikingly missing from this linear narrative is any recognition of the complex web of institutions (including governments and private corporations), individuals, technologies, histories, and emotions that are enlisted in the immigration process, all of which — to go back to that quote from Steve Rubenstein that I included in my first post — reaffirm borders through their crossing. I may have more to say about that in my next post.
— Phil S.