My work permit came through the other day. I now have unlimited permission to work in the USA. This means that I am no longer tied to my current job as a contractor to NASA. It took about nine months for the application to be processed, and several more months before that for me to gather all the information that I needed to make the application. So now, I can quit my job and look for something better, assuming that I wanted to. I enjoy my work. It gets a bit tedious sometimes, but astronomy still thrills me. I am one of the lucky few who get to work at something that I love. One day, the dream will end, but I hope that that day does not come for a long time.
The next step is to get my permanent residence permit: the coveted Green Card. The final paperwork will be submitted next week, and then it is just a matter of waiting several more months for the government to decide whether or not I get to live in the US for as long as I like. The process has taken years so far (with an interruption due to to my divorce). But now, the end is in sight, and that is a great relief. One way or the other, my future will be decided in the next few months.