So a little story hour for your Friday. Pull up a seat, because this one’s a doozy.
A good friend of mine (US citizen) is married to a Mexican man. Her husband had a US permanent residency appointment for Monday, December 28 of last year.
For those of you who don’t know, you just don’t stroll up to the US Consulate the day of your appointment. You have to arrive at least two days before, to complete a medical exam.
So if your US permanent residency appointment in Ciudad Juárez is for a Monday, you have to arrive the Thursday of the week before, to have a medical exam on Friday. Then you get to spend the weekend in Ciudad Juárez , waiting for your Monday appointment.
The most dangerous city in all of Mexico.
And, of course, the US Consulate is closed the 24th and 25th of December. So if my friend and her husband didn’t postpone the appointment, he’d have to arrive in Juárez on Wednesday, December 23rd. That much more time to spend by himself in Juárez. Merry Christmas, indeed.
So they went through the correct and legal channels to reschedule his appointment. My friend was told that the appointment would be rescheduled in 2-3 months. It took 5 months.
The appointment finally happened this month, in May.
Now, my friend’s husband doesn’t have any deportations on his record. Never was undocumented in the US. No criminal record in Mexico or the US. He has a valid US tourist visa. My friend is a US citizen with a clean record. Her father proudly served in the US military.
This past Tuesday, my friend and her husband received notice that he was denied permanent residency to the US.
Oooh, kids-this is my favorite part of today’s story.
We have to do this high-context style, and go back in time a little. My friend was her husband’s financial sponsor for the permanent residency to the US. At his permanent residency appointment, the US government wasn’t happy with my friend as her husband’s financial sponsor, so due to the US government’s error in mathematics, my friend’s father quickly stepped in to be the financial sponsor. The father signed the correct documents, and sent over his tax records. Everything was scanned, and emailed to my friend’s husband in Ciudad Juárez.
The next morning, my friend’s husband handed in the documents at the US Consulate. A consulate worker reviewed the documents, and told my friend’s husband that everything was fine, and to wait 2-3 days for a DHL package. Cool. My friend’s husband flew back home.
Very kind people – you know who are:) – agreed to pick up his DHL package, and send it to the city where my friend and her husband live.
Because this is another lovely trick by the US Consulate in Ciudad Juárez; their response time is supposedly 2-3 days after your appointment. But the US Consulate’s response is sent to the DHL store in, yep, you guessed it-Ciudad Juárez. So if you don’t have someone kind enough to pick up your package for you, you need to wait out those 2-3 days.
More time to kill in Ciudad Juárez.
OK-so my friend and her husband finally got their DHL package in their home this past Tuesday. The package had the husband’s Mexican passport, and the denial letter. The letter said that his application was denied because…
The US Consulate in Ciudad Juárez needed original signatures on the financial support documents from the father, i.e., they couldn’t be scanned.
So, when the US Consulate worker reviewed the documents in front of my friend’s husband, they couldn’t have told him that right then?
My friend’s father express mailed the same documents with the original signatures to them. My friend and her husband went to the local DHL offices, and sent the originals with them, along with the husband’s Mexican passport, back to the US Consulate in Ciudad Juárez.
In the denial letter, they were told that they had an opportunity to re-send the materials. Now to send the documents and the passport from the city where they live to Juárez is approximately $300 Mexican pesos, around $23 US right now. How much does it cost for the US Consulate to send back the husband’s Mexican passport with an answer? $100 US dollars. I’m so not kidding. The $100 is of course on top of the application fees, lawyer fees that they paid up to this point, plus paying for the trip to Juárez. (flight, hotel, food)
Did it say in the denial letter from the US Consulate how long it will take for a response? No. Are my friend and her husband absolutely 100% sure that they will get a yes on the US permanent residency? No. Was her husband’s valid tourist visa shredded at the US consulate? Yes. They had travel plans coming up next week for an important family event in the States. He is almost 100% not going.
My friend openly talks about her high level of privilege in the many different areas of her life. And yet, even her husband’s case, his US permanent residency case isn’t a slam-dunk.
BP should talk with the US Consulate in Ciudad Juárez: I’m sure that the US Consulate in Ciudad Juárez has a ton of extra papers that they could get rid of to plug the gushing oil leak. At least in that case, a person’s legal permanent residency application to the US would be put to some good use, no?