My application for a US work permit has finally been approved. It’s identical to three others I’d submitted successfully over the years, but under the baleful Tom Ridge regime it was rejected at first attempt, causing minor heartflips for me, my boss, and my lawyer.
Next I have to sit an interview for a travel visa. They used to do this as a same day walk-in service at the Dublin embassy, but now the appointment needs to be booked (or cancelled) two weeks in advance on an information line that costs $2.50 per minute. I need a special prepaid envelope for the return of my passport. There’s a $100 charge for the application, plus professional passport photos (no booth photos allowed). The work permit has already cost my employers–a small startup–over three thousand dollars and seven lost weeks of work.
It is impossible to consider living there long-term. From Luke in Toronto, a link to an article that speculates on what this kind of codology is really costing America: