Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Huyen's Visa Story Part 2

(Huyen and her birth certificate...which I think is printed on the brown bags they give at the super market in America.)

(Huyen and her "family book.")

I've received many emails from people asking what the status was on Huyen's visa. It's been a few months since I posted, "Huyen's Visa Story Part 1." Basically since November Huyen has been collecting documents to bring to her visa interview. Here's a list of some of the documents:
1. Her birth certificate.
2. Her college diploma.
3. Her college transcript.
4. Her work contract (Huyen changed jobs recently so we had to wait for her new contract).
5. A letter from her boss saying she can take six weeks off of work.
6. Her family book. What's a family book? Yeah, I didn't know either. Basically it is an official register of everyone in your family and where they are.
7. Printed bank account statements from her bank.
8. Her apartment lease.
9. A sponsor letter from me.
10. Copies of my bank accounts/work contract/lease. I'm trying to show that I have been living in Vietnam.
11-20...various other documents.

From what I hear, the visa interview lasts about 90 seconds...and sometimes they don't even look at your documents. Oh, and did I mention that you have to pay $131 cash just for the interview. Yeah, whether or not you get your visa you're out $131. Oh, and one other thing, after 90 seconds they tell you right away whether or not you'll get your visa. Huyen is so excited about visiting my family that I'd be scared for the officer if he rejects her. After all, this is a girl who got the highest mark possible at her required army training camp. She's a "tough cookie" as my father would say.

I've spoken to a lot of people about getting a visa and basically what it comes down to is this: You have to prove to the immigration officer that you will 100% return to Vietnam and not stay in the USA. To me this seems silly since there is no chance Huyen would stay in the states. All her family members, possessions, prospects are in Vietnam. She's coming for a visit and that's it.

There are three types of visas Huyen could apply for:
A. A work visa. She would need to have a work reason to go to the states. This is the easiest to get if you have a company sponsor you.
B. A Visitor visa (This is what we're applying for).
C. A fiance visa. My friend Alex's cousin is applying for this for his Ecuadorian fiance. This visa requires the most leg work but is probably the easiest way to get a significant other into the USA. There's just one hitch -- you have to get married within 90 days after entering the USA.

A Vietnamese friend of mine who was rejected a long time ago for a visitor visa told me that "Huyen has no chance." Being an optimist, I like to think she's got a pretty good shot. Her interview is TODAY so think good thoughts for her!!!