Presented below is my so called Alien Registration card – also known as “green”, although in reality it is white. It is dated, as you can detect, 02/04/1992 – the day I arrived to JFK, and indicates my nationality as “Stateless”.
Why is that, you’d ask? Because my native country, formerly known as USSR, stripped me of its citizenship as automatic good-luck gesture as soon as I applied to OVIR for exit visa. And if you think it was just a gesture, think again: I was made to pay for the privilege, if I remember correctly, the sum was 500 rbl per applicant – or was it in $? Anyway, it was preposterously high – for comparison, my monthly engineer’s salary was 125rbl and my then-husband’s – 200rbl. But I was and am glad: I no longer owe them anything. The bill is paid.