there's this movie that came out a few years ago called "like crazy." it's about this girl from the UK and this boy from the US and they have a summer of love wherein she outstays her student visa, returns to the UK for a wedding and plans to return to the US on a visitor visa, except... THEY WON'T LET HER BACK IN. because of her prior visa violation, the US has enforced a ban and the whole rest of the movie is about her 3+ years of legal efforts to have the ban lifted.
this is basically an immigration nightmare and i'm 99% certain this movie was US/UK border control sponsored propaganda intended to scare the shit out of anyone who might ever consider applying for a visa or violating one they've got.
in which case, well played. because it scared the shit out of me, which is turning out to be a bit of an inconvenience now that i am applying for a visa.
you guys, i am so freaking paranoid about this. so worried that i'm going to screw it up. concerned to a degree that no law-abiding citizen ever need be.
suddenly details like my dad's birthplace are fraught; my mother's birthdate, an ongoing uncertainty, becomes a potential bit of misinformation. i'm 31 and i have to call my dad three times while filling out the application to double check my answers with him, because i'm that scared of accidentally telling a lie.
"please list any criminal convictions you have had (including traffic convictions)."
this question is particularly troubling. because it looks so simple if you invert the syntax. why NO, i am not a convicted criminal. but, thanks to some stringent mississippi highway speed enforcements, DAMN did i accrue some traffic tickets in 1999-2002. all of them paid, all of them absolved from my record. all of them suddenly so, so frightening in this context, wherein my failure to admit to having forked over a grand total of $300 to the MDOT in 2002 might derail all my future plans.
my father is quick to reassure me that i'm being a loon: "beeb, be real. they're asking if you're a felon, not a speed demon."