Paperwork, Frustration and the US Government

Sunday, 29 May 2011
Kingsley called me last night and I could tell something was wrong by the sound of his voice. He started by saying, "I'm very frustrated right now." Come to find out the US Embassy sent him a letter from the London office saying our visa waiver application "has arrived," dated May 11, 2011 and will be adjudicated in a time frame of 180 days. That's another SIX MONTHS!

We've been waiting for almost a year to hear something from our initial application, sent in and recorded as "received" in August, 2010. I've already sent emails to the embassy and our House and Senate representatives to hopefully get more information next week but even the most mundane detail is extremely difficult to come by. I thought things were starting to seem hopeless a year ago. Now we are truly at our wits' end.

I am a US Citizen who has always done her best to uphold the noble characteristics and determination of this great nation. WHY am I being penalized for loving a British Citizen? Did Homeland Security lose our application and recently find it again? Why are we starting over from square one? The frustration is debilitating to our well-being and our marriage.

Tonight I read about former Marine Clay Hunt in Knoxville's Metro Pulse. The 28-year-old apparently became so frustrated by the lack of organization and response from the US Government that he ultimately killed himself. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Three of his best friends were killed in front of him in combat and although he continued his service, he returned home with severe PTSD that made it difficult for him to function in civilian society.

News accounts tell of his frustration with the way the Veterans Affairs Department handled his disability claim. Because he couldn't get his GI Bill payments or even afford his medical bills, he racked up thousands of dollars in debt as he waited. This wasn't cleared up in a couple of months. It took Hunt almost a year and a ridiculous amount of doctor visits to get disability payments after the VA lost his paperwork. Unbelievable.

I am a pragmatic woman. I understand that embassy workers are over-run with work and have thousands of applications to process but why won't our leaders at least grant preference to US Citizens petitioning for their loved ones to enter the country? Especially those who apply to get in that are young, educated, speak English and are willing to work hard and pay taxes? (Kingsley is the kind of man who never even takes a sick day.)

Kinglsey and I now have to contemplate where else we might want to create a life because we now know this "adjudication" process could be literally never-ending. Our visa waiver application could potentially be passed around from office to office for decades. I cannot bear to think of losing my house, my garden, my cats and my family who lives sort-of close by. What will I do?


Teri's Blog said...

Canada? Ireland? This makes me scared for when we apply for Dave's visa.

Denae said...

Those are both excellent options which I really haven't considered. Thanks! My advice to you is start the process for Dave while you are still both legally in the UK. It takes forever.

LizP said...

Catching up on my blog reading after the long weekend and wow ... this and your car!

Sending hugs from Thomas & me!!!

LetsTalkAndWalk said...

Denae - I cannot imagine how frustrated the two of you are. Trying to do the right thing and continually hitting wall after wall. WOW! I would hate to see you leave Knoxville, but would certainly understand. Is there anything we can do? Call people? Email campaign?
Thoughts and prayers with you both!