I didn’t know how it felt to be denied a US visa until it happened to me.
Disgust and disappointment reeked in every fiber of my being, self pity loomed and for the first time in my life I felt so rejected and dejected. All I wanted was just a US non-immigrant visa for myself and my grandson, so I could proudly witness and bask in the honor of seeing one’s daughter march in full regalia during her graduation at the University of Arizona where she took up her Masters degree in Agricultural Economics as a Fulbright Scholar.
Upon my query, I was told by the consul that she is not fully convinced of my reason or purpose of going to the US of A. What can I do? I have read that one should not argue with the consul, as they are highly trained for their job, so I nicely thanked her just the same, (so Filipino of me!) despite the turmoil I felt inside of me that time. Oh, how I wanted to challenge her to let me wear a tracking device, just to prove my sincerity. But pride and gnawing pain took the better of me, I meekly rested my case..
No matter how much I try I just can’t fathom and understand why wanting to attend one’s child graduation is not compelling enough to deserve a US visa. Why??? When Americans can go anywhere they wanted without the need for neither an entry visa nor a relevant, sincere purpose! Is this some kind of a unanimous discrimination?
In April of 2006, I was issued a visitors visa by Japan when all I wanted was, to visit my eldest daughter, who was then an exchange research scholar for only a year. I don’t see why the US could not grant the same privilege to a mother like me who has all the right to attend a very important milestone in a child’s and a parent’s life.
Having been widowed early in life, I am proud to say that I alone raised and sent all my three astute daughters thru college. They are all professionals now in their own right, two of them are about to graduate with their Masters degree, (UofA and UP Los Baños) both on full scholarships to boot, while my eldest who has also earned some masters units is now working in Japan as an English teacher.
The consul misjudged my intention, despite stating that I am now early retired from government service and started a small business out of my gratuity pay. I think, she surmised I will illegally stay having no stable source of income yet.
But for heaven’s sake!! I opted to retire early, because I no longer see the need of working my bones off after sending all my children thru school plus the fact that I have to raise and take care of my 7 y/o grandson by my eldest daughter who happens to be a single mom, too. I am tired of commuting everyday to Quezon City which is a distant 70 kms. away from my home in Laguna. I have been commuting for about 23 years before I retired. Every working day I leave my home in the wee hours of the morning while my children are still asleep and arrive back when they are about to go to bed at night.
I owe it to myself to break from my stressful commute and work, as I felt that I don’t deserve that kind of life anymore. Why would I risk a simple yet comfortable, retired life here in my country for an unknown job, if any, nor future in the US? Besides, why would I take along my young grandson if I planned to illegally stay? That would be very impractical and dumb of me!
Had illegally migrating to work in the US been my lifelong agenda, I could have applied for a visa while I was still in the government service, while I had a very stable job, handling a management position, while I was still working hard to send my three daughters to school, but I didn’t, simply because, I refused to take such risk and give up whatever I have here in my country.
It appears to me now that getting a US visa does not need any sincere legal intention at all. It all depends on the consul interviewer. How she puts to work her so called, highly trained instincts in analyzing probabilities minus improbabilities. What hurts most was, I was denied outright without being given the chance to present any proof of my ties in my homeland, without being able to present my daughter’s letter proudly informing me that she’s dedicating to me her forthcoming graduation and begging us to come, plus the fact that she wanted to set an example to her nephew so he would value the need of a good education. It was one painful, defenseless defeat, I tell you!
Even when my late parents planned to migrate and has in fact migrated to the US thru my eldest brother’s petition, I did not prod them to petition me too, I opted to get married and have a family of my own, thinking, I need not go to the US to enslave myself to work and earn money in a foreign land, I was contented then of what little I have here.
I am no hypocrite- Yes, I too dreamed of someday seeing and experiencing the so called, land of milk and honey, but in my own sweet time, only when I will have a sincere, relevant and proud purpose ….not to work, not to illegally stay, and now that the time has come… I was denied a V I S A!! It is most UNFAIR!! A law-abiding mother should never, ever be deprived, oh no, not at all, of the privilege of seeing one’s child graduate from school, wherever in this world that happens to be.