Well, it finally arrived!
Four whole months after my interview at the US Embassy in London, and the help of my M.P. (Member of Parliament), this arrived:
Please be advised that we are now in a position to issue your US Visa. Please resubmit your passport to us for visa issuance. Note that you have three months from the date indicated above in which to resubmit your passport.
Three months? It was on it’s way the next day!! Of Course, this email was quickly followed with:
We regret the delay in responding to your inquiry. We have been waiting for information on your case from the Non-Immigrant Visa Unit.
Why the wait? Where have they been?
I have to say, I’ve been appalled at the way this has been handled. This all started to go wrong when Tony and I decided to ‘do things properly’ and get a Non-Immigrant USA Visa to allow my to visit to the USA for a year. How often do you get the opportunity to have a whole year off work to spend in another Country?
At my first interview, I was asked questions about Tony that I simply didn’t know the answer to… why would I know what his social security number is? The consular officer that interviewed me obviously had a hunch that she wasn’t comfortable with and so denied me the visa.
As the Chief Immigration Officer at Miami quite rightly summed it up ‘ I was denied a visa because some A**H*** was having a bad day’ Some bad day. Some bad day that took away my only chance to have a year out. Some bad day that caused me to be held for 15 hours at immigration. Some bad day that left Tony stood in arrivals all night long not knowing what was happening. Some bad day that cost us in changing flights and re-applying for interviews. Some bad day that my employer went to a lot of trouble for and then did it all over again so I could return to work early. Some bad day that meant I had to find somewhere new to live from 4500 miles away. Some bad day that worried my kids, my parents, my friends not to mention Tony and myself. Some bad day that meant I couldn’t even go through the United States in transit. Some bad day that meant Tony and I couldn’t spend time together last week when I had the week off work.
I hope she doesn’t have another bad day any time soon. I appreciate the authorities have to be very careful over who they approve for visa’s, but when you’ve done absolutely nothing wrong, have a government job for which your criminal record has to be checked reguarly, meet all the required criteria, have documentation to prove you intend to return and funds to support yourself, why does it come down to someone’s gut feeling? A gut feeling that left me almost having a nervous breakdown.
A gut feeling that will leave me feeling sick every time I travel to the United States in the future. A gut feeling that will almost give me a panic attack as I go through immigration and see those men in black waiting to check me out.
Surely the system isn’t right if it relies on gut feeling? Do these officials have any idea of the impact on people’s lives when they make these decisions? Her gut feeling was that I wanted to live in America. If that’s what I wanted, why bother going to all the trouble of getting a year off work?
Apologies for sounding angry, but somehow I feel I’m entitled to. Here’s something to make us all smile though – Funny Immigration Video I hope you enjoy it 🙂