This was originally posted on fellow soon-to-be band wife Fleur Terry’s blog, Fleurst-Rate. I know there are many of you in a similar situation. Happy to report that she and her fiance, Caleb Shomo, seem to have worked it out - sending you both positive thoughts!
Dear Barack Obama,
I know that you have far more troubling things in this world to worry about, but I need your thoughts, or help for what is just a simple love story.
Sometimes, in this day and age, you meet someone who is not from the same place as you. One day, you get on a plane, land somewhere foreign and fall in love with the most wonderful human being.
They say the course of true love never runs smoothly, but even they can’t have been talking about immigration laws.
I have been with my fiancé for over a year and a half now, and we have had a few ups and downs, not least from the amount of flying that we have had to do; but also with the problems we have faced when, simply, we just want to live in the same country as each other.
Right at the beginning I believed I could perhaps work in your country, however immigration law states that you must be able to prove that you can do a job that no American can. Well, call me courageous, but I’m pretty certain that an American could do any job they wanted, and so this was not an option for me. I therefore thought that I should go back to University, gain more education to help me while I could not work. ‘There are student visas’ I thought. And after all the filing and the payments and the waiting…after a one minute interview, I was rejected on the grounds that I already have a degree. Perhaps not everyone in America agrees with gaining more education. My father has three degrees.
And, all this while I travelled and lived in America for 90 days at a time, twice, so that we could have an existence together (that wasn’t for just two weeks at a time, with 6 weeks in-between).
In April, my then boyfriend proposed to me and became my fiancé. We are so in love that it seemed like a natural progression. We then discovered that we could also apply for a fiancé visa. If we were engaged I could return to the country and get married to the man I truly love. But 90 days allowance for a fiancé to enter the country for? Is this truly all that is given?
Not only would that mean that we would feel rushed on arrival, it also means that some of the romance has been lost from the wonderful circumstances. The pressures of how quickly we would have to get married or not get married or spend (once again) longer without each other, flying back and forth (once again), so that we can do things on our own time scale.
My question to you, Obama, is not a very large one: Is there truly no way that two people can just co-exist together in your country? Where they can just be together and date for a period without having to get married in an instant. What about us young couples, who know that they want to be together, and get married, and have committed to each other as fiancé/fiancée, but feel like we have very limited options. Is there truly no way that there could be a sponsored visa? A visa that would allow a person (as part of a committed couple) into your country to live and enjoy and just be, right next to the person that they want to the most.
Most love like this is strong enough to stand the time apart. With inventions like Skype and Whatsapp our lives are made easier. But is there a part of you that truly can’t understand that the immigration laws need to change to keep up with the times? Especially in this day and age where we are so free to travel as we please.
I have worked since I was 15 ( even recently for the Government as a civil servant), I have been educated to a Bachelor’s degree level, have other qualifications, have never broken the law and am financially well off enough that I would not burden your country in the slightest.
I merely want to hold hands with the man I love daily, for a bit longer, before we take the next step.
Is this really too much to ask?