“HOW DO YOU KNOW HE/SHE ISN'T WITH YOU FOR THE GREEN CARD?"

immigration Jan 27, 2020

If you live in the US (or if you don’t, but you’ve watched a few American romantic comedies), you’ve probably heard people joke about “green card marriages,” where a person who isn’t a US citizen can marry someone who is, thereby securing his/her own US passport and lifetime access to the American dream. It’s presented in pop culture as an easy fix to a lapsed work-based green card (or did you not see The Proposal?) and for anyone who enjoys reality TV and the whole family of “90 Day Fiance” shows, it justifies our suspicions of anyone who speaks with an accent. It perpetuates the idea that “foreigners can’t be trusted.” When an idea is a part of the cultural zeitgeist and everyone gets why it’s funny, it ends up getting tossed around way too freely. Someone mentions that they’re going to propose to their partner from a country/region/continent that you feel suspicious about, and can...

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VISA BANS AND WEDDING BELLS

immigration Feb 05, 2018

“ALL VISA SERVICES SUSPENDED”

On October 8, 2017, the US and Turkey mutually banned tourist visas for each other’s citizens. Just a few days before, my husband had gotten two weeks of vacation from his job for December, which meant we were finally going to be able to travel back to his home country (Turkey) and have a wedding celebration with his family. The Turkey visa ban made it seem like it would be impossible for me to travel there, as the US visa ban did the same to any friends and family members of his trying to do likewise.

The next two months trying to navigate the visa ban unfolded in a way that was almost too farfetched to be non-fiction.

At first, it seemed hopeless that I’d get a visa at all. We told my husband’s parents that he’d definitely be coming for two weeks in December, but whether or not the wedding celebration would happen was left up in the air. (Of course, it is not totally ideal to plan a wedding reception when the bride...

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