This is a follow-up of my posts Deal for Green Card Holders: Costly, Invisible and Unfair?
AND Mr. President Bush....The wait is on!!!
A few people asked for more details; here are some facts about me: I am a Legal Permanent Resident (Green Card holder) in the US, and have been living in America since 1997. I received my permanent residence status -- sponsored by my employer -- in early 2002. In my years in the US, I have been a regular taxpayer and have contributed to the community and economy by working for several employers including consulting with the State (government) of Georgia and Fortune 500 companies. During this time, I have also worked towards the `American Dream' of gathering new skills and graduated from the U of Colorado with an MBA in 2000.
On a trip to India during 2004, I met a nice woman...proposed to her and got married in early 2005. I filed an immigration application (Form I-130) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to sponsor an immigrant visa for my wife, who is an Indian citizen.
Here is the catch, as a Legal permanent resident, I have to continue to show residence in the US in order to retain my `Green Card' status. I am given to understand that it would take several years (approximately 5 years) for the immigrant visa application to be processed and approved; during which time, my wife cannot travel to the US. For example, her tourist visa application was rejected [since she has an 'immigrant visa' application pending]. Being separated from her this long is going to cause undue hardship to both of us, and to our conjugal relationship. Are these "American Family Values," to separate nuclear families?
Now, the flip side: Had I been an H1 Visa worker, I could have got married AND sponsored a dependent visa for my wife to join me immediately. (same if I were a student, business visitor or other visa holder). To mention the complete facts, American citizen have a way out: they can sponsor their spouses to come to the US in non-immigrant status and then convert to an immigrant status under the Legal Immigration and Family Equity Act (the "LIFE Act").
Only Legal Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders) like me are in a uniquely disadvantaged situation. What are my legal options?
Wait for 4 to 5 years separated from my wife!
Pray that lawmakers begin considering bills like H.R.1823: A mechanism to unite families of Legal Permanent Residents was created by the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act of 2000 (the "LIFE Act"). It was called the "V visa," which is no longer available. This could change if a bill like H.R.1823 becomes law.
Damn with the "American Dream"!! Pack up and head back to India and join the Offshoring, outsourcing Boom/Wave...
Well, I know what you are going to say...leave by all means; one less Legal Immigrant to deal with in this Land of Immigrants?!
It would make life easy for all, right? However, the American Dream was also built on the fact that one could fight the wrongs in the system...and this is what I wish to do! I can only HOPE that the lawmakers of this country consider this bill and expedite it to be signed into law.