Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Family separated for too long

I am currently assisting a client pro bono in a case where he is seeking reunited with his wife and children. My client is a US citizen. He is a military veteran. And he works on very military like missions for private corporations that do work for the US military. Because of the vagaries of his station, he lived with his foreign wife and US citizen children in a foreign country for approximately 10 years. Then he received three weeks notice that his job no longer existed. The host country ordered him to leave and he prepared to go back to the US.

My client immediately made plans to move back to the US. He took his wife and children to the US Embassy to get a vacation visa for his wife so that she could come to the US with the rest of the family. This request was denied because the consular officer believed that she was coming to the US to stay, and therefore a vacation visa was inappropriate. This is a defensible decision only if you do not take into effect him the impact the decision will have upon the family of my client.

It is sometimes the case that a consular officer will issue a vacation visa to the wife of a US citizen. They do this sometimes because the wait for an immigrant visa can be ridiculous. I met my client and learned of his troubles on August 2. His wife and four children remain in another country. He has gone nearly bankrupt from the expenses of maintaining two households, one in the US, and one in another country. As you can imagine, he is suffering, his children are suffering, and his wife is suffering.

We have filed for everything reasonable to gain her entry. We performed a Congressional Inquiry on the actions of the Consular Officer. Of course what he did was legal, just not "right." We next we filed a request for a parole document to allow her to enter the US for emergency circumstances. There has not yet been a decision on this request. We also filed form I-130 to gain her entry to the US as a lawful permanent resident. This form should gain her entry into the US within a year to year and a half.

We have had support from Congressman, and CIS seems to be doing everything they can do, but this is just one of those frustrating things that often happen in immigration. It is a pity that happened to someone who spent his whole life working for the benefit of the US. I think it probably should not happen. But I can only do so much.

Does anyone think it is right that an alien on a nonimmigrant visa can get his wife here in two weeks, but a US citizen must wait a year or more for his wife? Nonimmigrants have the ability to bring their wives here quickly and easily. Why does this not exist for US citizens? Ridiculous.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing these comments. I can see your point of view. A friend of mine is an immigration lawyer in Jacksonville, FL, and I'd be interested to hear his opinions on the matter.