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markp

problems with getting us visa for my wife

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Hello, i just wanted to share my sad experience with the us embassy here in Costa Rica. I hope others can learn from this if they ever need to get a visa for there wife. I had an open appointment for the middle of September to get a tourist visa for my wife (Tica) to go see my family and meet them for the first time. Unfortunately I received a call this week that my mother had past away unexpectedly and I would need to travel back to the US to attend her funeral and care of here estate with my sister. I called the US embassy and requested a emergency appointment to get a visa for my Costa Rica wife to travel with me. I got an appointment yesterday two days afar I called and was told to bring information showing my wife had family here and proof of my mothers death. My wife has a large family here and two young children from a privies marriage that live with us in our apartment in Coronado.

 

I notified my family and they provided me with the death papers from the funeral home and doctor, and awaited my answer from the meeting to set the date of the funeral. We went to the meeting on Friday morning with official stamped copies of our marriage ( in Costa rica) children's papers, letters from my wife's school she is attending, documents from my layer stating my permanent residency is in process.

 

The person in the embassy we meet with was the coldest unprofessional person I have ever meet, the meeting is intended to be with just my wife as she is the one requesting the visa I do not need a visa as I am a US citizen. The person did not want to speak to my wife or see any of the documents she had, he only wanted to speak to me and asked when I came to Costa rica and if I had residency here. I said that it was in process but I do not have it yet, and then asked if I was working here, I said I can not work here until I get my residency that is the law.

 

He then said I am sorry your wife does not have strong ties to Costa Rica she can not go to the US.

 

Two things that make me so mad one is that having two young children here, a large family and attending school is not considered ties to costa rica vs a low paying job that anyone can leave in one minute. Second is that my country was unwilling to help a citizen travel to the funeral of my mother with my wife, I feel so rejected and disappointed that my country let me down and was not respectful and willing to help me travel with my wife to attend the funeral of my mother, while they hand out hundreds of visas to non us citizens to go see mickey mouse or other attractions.

 

I will be traveling alone to attend the funeral next week, I would suggest to anyone that is a US Citizen to request the intervention of their state officials before going to the embassy, after I have spoken to my state reps and congressmen it is clear that they completly disagree with the process used here. If you are looking to get a visa you need to have approved residency and a job here or own property otherwise you will be rejected no mater how important the request is.

 

 

I am not looking for simpithy I only want to share my new found knowledge and if I had known all I had to do was have my wife get a job at the panderia or palli for a few days we would have done so.

 

So disappointed in my Country I will be even more happy when I complete the process and can say I am a Citizen of Costa Rica... I am very ashamed to say that I am from the US after this...

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Mark:

 

Unfortunately I do not think that your experience is at all isolated or restricted to CR.

The US Immigration website clearly states that they assume that any person seeking a visa is intent on staying permanently in the US. You have to be able to prove otherwise. It seems that the biggest problem is that it is the opinion of each interviewer to determine the strength of ties or likleyhood of a person to not overstay their visa. Are these people familiar with the local culture and customs? Are they having a bad day? Do they like their job? Do they like you?

 

I think that the process sucks. I would like to see a published list of criteria that could be graded objectively with a minimum score required to be issued a visa. At least then a person could know where they stand before they go to the time and expense of applying for a visa.

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Mark:

 

Unfortunately I do not think that your experience is at all isolated or restricted to CR.

The US Immigration website clearly states that they assume that any person seeking a visa is intent on staying permanently in the US. You have to be able to prove otherwise. It seems that the biggest problem is that it is the opinion of each interviewer to determine the strength of ties or likleyhood of a person to not overstay their visa. Are these people familiar with the local culture and customs? Are they having a bad day? Do they like their job? Do they like you?

 

I think that the process sucks. I would like to see a published list of criteria that could be graded objectively with a minimum score required to be issued a visa. At least then a person could know where they stand before they go to the time and expense of applying for a visa.

 

Thanks Mark.....the rules of the world are going to have to change if we are going to be able to contribute and survive in it......The complexities that third world countries try to copy sometime are a little much and do not serve the populace.....unfortunately most bureacracys have little constraints and difficult correction procedures......take the U. S. for example........john

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Hi markp

 

I spent 28 years with several different US agencies. One thing I know for sure is that the higher-ups in the different agencies do not like to get derogatory letters from the people we work for. Especially ones that make them look bad. You should get the name and official position of the AH you encountered and send it to the State Department in DC. Include names of witness if any. You would be surprised at the size of the pot-hole that this will put in the career path of Civil Service misfits.

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My local newspaper had a story today that really tugged at my heart strings. Seattle is about 100 miles from the border with Canada so cross border relationships here are not unusual. I have many friends who live in Canada. At work, there are many fellows who have wives from foreign countries. Canada is most common but there are also wives from the UK, France and Colombia. Probably other that I have forgotten. They all had to struggle to gain residency for their wives Gaining US residency for Tica wives is no exception. It will always be a struggle. The good news is that of all of the cross border marriages that I know of, residency has eventualy been gained. Perceverence will finally pay off.

 

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2009855236_separated13m.html

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