Friday, July 20, 2012

America is my country and Australia is my hometown

Even though I was actually born in New Zealand...

John Muir once said "Radiate radiate radiate far and wide as the lines of latitude and longitude on a globe" 
A Claiborne House immigration story
In 1994 and until recent Australia would not recognize dual citizenship, and that would mean that becoming a U.S. Citizen Tony would lose his Kiwi (from birth) and Aussie (from living down under for most of his life and being Naturalized Australian - the only one in his family in those years) citizenship. He served 10 years in the Royal Australian Navy and was in the first Gulf Conflict aboard the HMAS Adelaide. An FFG that was actually built in Todd Shipyard in Seattle. 
She's true blue mate
But now that Queen Elizabeth has allowed the law to change, Tony applied for Naturalization (this is after arriving in The States and going through the full immigration process before we moved here from Sydney in 1994).  For those of you who have never understood the US Immigration process here it is in a nutshell:
  1. You must prove you have money in the bank (and won't be dependent on the govt)
  2. You must prove you have a vocation (and won't be dependent on the govt)
  3. You must prove you have an education (and won't be dependent on the govt)
  4. You must prove by medical tests that you do not have any communicable diseases like AIDS (and won't be dependent on the govt)
  5. You must prove sponsorship, just being married to a US Citizen for 5 years doesn't cut it (and won't be dependent on the govt)
So overall you need to prove that the burden will not fall back on the US, that you will be a contributing member of society.  I know this seems diametrically opposed to everything we see and hear on the news, but truly, the immigration process is a very difficult and lengthy one (unless you show up illegally).

Since moving to the USA Tony has been working hard, tax paying, built our first own home in the PACNorthwest, children, cats and dogs and goldfish, church going, community minded law abiding legal "Alien".

We then moved to Virginia in 2004 when we purchased The Claiborne House B&B. Operating this business and working full time in I.T. for the past 9 years. As we say "It keeps us off the street".  As we reply to our guests who are relaxed and innjoying their home-cooked delicious breakfast and say to us  "You bought an inn and now have a slower pace of life..." which is actually the complete opposite. As I like to rebutt with "We jumped out of the pot and into the fire!" The life of an innkeeper is not as illustrious as people think, it is hard work and plenty of it!

So here we are, in 2012 and Tony had his citizenship interview in DC, and finally his sworn oath ceremony today to protect and serve this great nation of ours. He is now the lover of three countries.

Tony is now a New Zealand Australian American!
The brand spankin' new American Citizen Mr Tony Leete
Auckland, New Zealand