Access Denied - No USA For Me For A While.

By 01:39 ,

WARNING: BIGGEST RANT EVER IN THIS POST.  You may or may not enjoy reading this post, but it is a true story, and I think is also probably one of the most important ones yet. 

--------------

So as some of you may have known, I was up and ready and super excited and anxious and nervous all at once to go for my visa interview to try to see my parents who I haven't seen in over a year, go to my brother's high school graduation, and be a bridesmaid at my best friend's wedding in the U.S..  My intention was to stay there for 2 weeks... okay, 16 days, max... in June of this year. 

Friday was my interview.  After preparing a series of letters and "proof" that I would come back to Brazil and paid nearly R$500 (leaving me the brokest I've been ever in my adult life), I faced the massive line at the U.S. Consulate in São Paulo.  After a few hours of lines, making sure I'd spotted all the i's and crossed all my t's on everything, paying an extra 60 USD to try for my B-1 business visa my managers had recommended just in case I needed to travel abroad, and getting my fingerprints taken... I desperately ran up to the interview window when my number was called and plopped all my stuff on the little counter.  The guy looks at me and asks, "Porque você quer ir para os Estados Unidos?"  Why do you want to go to the  United States? In his broken Portuguese (teehee). 

My plan was to be completely honest.  Honesty is the best policy, right?  So I started rambling in Portuguese why I wanted to go and his face forms a blank, he looks at my application and looks at me and says, in Portuguese, "You lived in the United States for 19 years?!" to which I replied... "Sim." And then proceeds to, "Do you speak English?" ... "Um, yeah."  And in the middle of his sigh of relief so as to take a break from Portuguese, he is also dumbfounded at the idea that this crazy woman thinks that for some reason she's going to get a visa with all sorts of ties to the U.S.  But I fed him my argument.  I told him I left the U.S. because I didn't want to be in the situation I was in, that I wanted to go in and leave through the front door.  That my life in Brazil was wonderful.  

Long story short, I stood at that window while he went to the back office and talked to a number of people, looked up several things online, read through a few books with laws in them, and after what seemed like ages, came back to the window, gave me all of my copies of all of my ties to Brazil and reasons why I wanted to go to the U.S., types in a few things on his computer, looks at me and goes, "So here's the deal... you're visa has been denied."  First of all, the present perfect was not necessary in that sentence.  Secondly, ok, sad... but THEN he goes, "And I have bad news for you." To which I reply sarcastically, holding back tears, "Oh, worse than that, huh? haha"  

"You can't apply for a visa until 2018."  Apparently if someone is in the country illegally for more than 1 year, the whole visa thing is off limits.  Hmm... First of all, how do you define "illegal?"  I was protected under a numer of laws for a while.  But then I thought... Ah... wish someone would've told me that before I dished out all the money I had lying around!  And then he had the audacity to say, "I'm sorry.  Good luck." GOOD LUCK!?  In what? 10 years when I try again?  Or in seeing my parents if something were to happen to them in the U.S. (God forbid)???

I've never had too much luck with U.S. immigration policy.  In fact, I've always thought the system was completely broken and continues to be.  The fact that I've never gotten along with this system, nor the system with me, is one of the biggest reasons I came back to Brazil.   I was at a point of pure disgust at the fact that my family, living there honestly and trying endlessly to obtain permanent residency, kept getting doors shut on our faces.  So if I was disgusted before, imagine my sentiments now.  

Okay, so I won't go to my brother's graduation.  That's okay, he's coming to Brazil for his summer vacation anyway.  So I won't get to wear my "watermelon" colored bridesmaid dress.  That's okay, I'm sure my friends will do their best to visit me here (wink cough wink) and at least I'll see the pictures.  Okay, so I'll go a little longer without seeing my parents.  But word on the street is their green card is a few months away from being approved!  

What's not okay?  Knowing that if I had gone to the consulate with a bullshit excuse to go to the U.S., with some plane ticket to Disney World, a fake name and passport, pretending I'd never stepped foot in the country before... they probably would've approved my visa.  

I can honestly count on both hands how many people I know who have gotten visas to the U.S. or their permanent residencies (green cards)  being 100% honest.  And then Americans complain about the problems immigrants cause.  Wonder if it's because they only let the shady ones in the front door.  

All I know is, I have a whole world out there to discover.  The USA may or may not have the privilege of seeing me after all of this because I never like saying never... but I really would like to say never at this point in the game to be quite honest with you. 

beijosss, and thank you from the bottom of my heart, all of those who were wishing, praying, hoping and thinking happy thoughts for me and my attempt at a visa! 

------------

For more background on my story if you're new to this blog, please see (or click on "immigration policy" under 'what i like to blog about' in the panel to the right)

- Why I returned to Brazil. (This is my most read post, btw :-])
- My comments on what I would have to do to return to the U.S
- My level of happiness before and after Brazil. 
- Spending my first birthday away from home
- My hometown, Governador Valadares - famous for exporting Brazilians to the U.S. 

You Might Also Like

15 comments