... or hoops that will be jumped through.
After we sent in our application, all we can really do is wait. At this point there are 2 things that could happen:
a) we get an RFE (request for evidence). This means that something is missing from our application and the U.S. government is giving us a chance to remedy this by sending us a letter in which they explain what they want from us. This can happen for a million reasons, from something as silly as forgetting to sign a form or fill in the date, to something more serious, like needing to provide more evidence of a bona fide relationship.
Getting an RFE can slow down the process even more so we're really hoping to skip this part. But when you're waiting for as long as half a year without any sign from the officials (not even a carrier pigeon mistakenly sent your way), an RFE can seem like a sign from the Almighty Overworked Public Servants that they have descended into the dungeon and finally reached the moldy box that contains your application, pulled out the dusty yellow file and poked their nose through your personal information. They then laughed and laughed at the photos of the two of you sticking your blue tongues out, raised an eyebrow at the nicknames used in private emails and rolled their eyes at the mushy parts, because, let's face it, they probably read about 500 love stories every month.
In other words, an RFE can mean that something is moving.
b) we get an NOA (notification of action). This means that the government approved our petition on Trevor's side of the ocean and our application is transferred to NVC (National Visa Center).
At this point we do an HCD (Happy Celebration Dance) and engage in some MPF (Making Plans for Future).
From NVC (National Visa Center), our petition is sent to the embassy of the non-US citizen (called beneficiary). Once the petition crosses the Atlantic, Trevor's part is over (for this part of the process) and I get to enjoy all the fun of dealing with red tape.