7
   

Need a Legal Opinion - They Won't Let a Relative Visit From Europe

 
 
Reply Tue 16 Jul, 2013 11:28 am
My wife is from Bulgaria. She has lived with me here in America for seven years. We wanted to have a relative visit, so we invited her 19 year old nephew. He needed to get a visa to be able to come. We went through the procedure from the government Web site, which included sending him a letter of invitation and guiding him through filling out a form. The application cost $160. We thought that he might come for a month.

Today he had his interview at the American embassy in Bulgaria. They insisted that the interview be conducted in English despite the fact that he told them his English isn't very good. They asked him what he does for a living (he just graduated from school and doesn't work yet), what his parents do and similar questions, looked at his application and the letter of invitation we sent and then turned him down. They told him that he can re-apply in six months or when his situation changes. We think this means that he cannot prove that he would return to Bulgaria. Although, as he indicated, his English isn't very good, he thinks his interviewer said that he had insufficient reason to enter the country. If so, it means that visiting a relative isn't sufficient reason.

As for being able to make a convincing argument that he wouldn't stay here illegally, he just graduated from school a few weeks ago, so he doesn't have a job yet, and he has a girlfriend, but isn't married yet. He does have numerous family members in Bulgaria.

We wondered what we can do about it. Does the staff at the American embassy in Bulgaria have absolute power to permit or forbid visits to America for any reason or no reason with no accountability to anyone? I'm hoping that a lawyer here or someone with related experience knows.
 
JTT
 
  -4  
Reply Wed 17 Jul, 2013 12:48 pm
@Brandon9000,
That's what you get when you live in a fascist state, Brandon.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  3  
Reply Wed 17 Jul, 2013 01:19 pm
@Brandon9000,
Send this to your Congressional representatives and ask them to look into it on your behalf. Your Senators and your Rep can all work for you for a change.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Jul, 2013 08:52 pm
@JPB,
JPB wrote:

Send this to your Congressional representatives and ask them to look into it on your behalf. Your Senators and your Rep can all work for you for a change.

I guess it may come to that or I may reluctantly spend the money to talk to a lawyer who specializes in this area. Upon Googling this for awhile, it seems that this is very common, and particularly so with people whose situation in life makes it hard to prove that they will return, such as teenagers. Had they bothered to check the backgrounds of the people involved - me, my wife, her nephew, they would have found nothing to suggest a penchant for lying or breaking the law. Apparently, the embassy staff are omnipotent when they make such decisions and if one is just in a bad mood he can turn someone down on a whim. Each application costs $160. We are all just powerless, mute supplicants.

I don't know whether I'll go the lawyer route or write to a congressman. I like the government in theory, but on those few occasions when I've dealt with them in actuality, I have often gotten the feeling that they are some kind of aristocrats who bestow favors on us or withhold them on personal whim. Now my choices are to wait and try again when the kid is married or owns more property, waste thousands on a lawyer, or give up.
JTT
 
  -2  
Reply Wed 17 Jul, 2013 09:33 pm
@Brandon9000,
Quote:
We are all just powerless, mute supplicants.


"... government of the people, by the people, for the people, ..."
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jul, 2013 05:16 am
@Brandon9000,
I guess it depends on who your reps are. I wouldn't have any qualms about asking for help in my area.

Maybe it's like kids being told to look for a cop if they're ever in trouble and need help. It depends on what the kid looks like and who the cops are.
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Jul, 2013 05:22 am
@JPB,
Just about all Congressmen have offices that handle this sort of problem. Your Congressman or Senator should be able to help out.
BillRM
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Jul, 2013 05:22 am
@Brandon9000,
Yes ,I would myself both phone and write to my congressperson.

Next you might be able to put up some kind of a bond to insure his return assuming you and your wife trust him to return.

At least I would look into the matter if the congressperson does not work out for you.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jul, 2013 10:07 am
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:

Yes ,I would myself both phone and write to my congressperson.

Next you might be able to put up some kind of a bond to insure his return assuming you and your wife trust him to return.

At least I would look into the matter if the congressperson does not work out for you.

We absolutely trust him to return. How would one do this?
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Jul, 2013 10:08 am
@engineer,
engineer wrote:

Just about all Congressmen have offices that handle this sort of problem. Your Congressman or Senator should be able to help out.

Won't our letter get lost in the thousands of letters our congressman receives?
Brandon9000
 
  7  
Reply Thu 18 Jul, 2013 10:08 am
@JTT,
JTT wrote:

Quote:
We are all just powerless, mute supplicants.


"... government of the people, by the people, for the people, ..."

Do you mind too much if I work out a family problem without you hijacking the thread?
ossobuco
 
  3  
Reply Thu 18 Jul, 2013 10:16 am
@engineer,
Helping constituents was a large part of what my reps (in two different areas of California) set up their offices to do. I'd just go there and talk to them, assuming their office is relatively near. I suppose I'd write a letter to carry with me, so that they'd have not just my presence but a piece of paper with the facts.
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Thu 18 Jul, 2013 10:16 am
@Brandon9000,
Have at 'er, Brandon.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jul, 2013 10:25 am
@Brandon9000,
Most Congressmen have local offices with FT or PT staff. They receive requests like this all the time. They can tell you how to proceed. There should be a phone number for the nearest office on his/her website.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jul, 2013 10:35 am
@ossobuco,
Well - I was thinking of the state assembly people and state senators in my old home areas. They were quite effective. But going straight to your congressperson's office makes good sense.. My original take was because the state legislators' offices were closer at hand for us - they could be a good first stop.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Jul, 2013 10:45 am
Maybe we can find out where they're located. I suspect it's Tallahassee. We're in Central Florida. We know someone who used to do security for the American embassy in Bulgaria. He may still have contacts there, although, this is by no means certain.

The consensus of this thread seems to be headed towards using the congressional reps instead of hiring a lawyer.
JTT
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 18 Jul, 2013 11:08 am
@Brandon9000,
Quote:
Maybe we can find out where they're located. I suspect it's Tallahassee.


Have you ever heard of Google?

Quote:
We know someone who used to do security for the American embassy in Bulgaria. He may still have contacts there, although, this is by no means certain.


Yeah, that's likely to help you a bunch, B. You'll end up doing time for lame ass US law. But the big war criminals and terrorists that make up your governments get pensions and warships [fitting] named after them.

Quote:
The consensus of this thread seems to be headed towards using the congressional reps instead of hiring a lawyer.


Naaa, get a lawyer. And you were worried about the 160 bucks. Rolling Eyes
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Jul, 2013 11:19 am
@Brandon9000,
Quote:
The consensus of this thread seems to be headed towards using the congressional reps instead of hiring a lawyer.


At least as a first step it would seems wise to see what if anything your congress person could do for you.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jul, 2013 05:50 pm
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:

Quote:
The consensus of this thread seems to be headed towards using the congressional reps instead of hiring a lawyer.


At least as a first step it would seems wise to see what if anything your congress person could do for you.

Okay. They must get so many requests of all sorts, though. It's hard to believe they'd be effective. Willing to try, though.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jul, 2013 05:57 pm
@Brandon9000,
They may get a lot of requests but one of the reasons for that is that their staff can either help with questions like this or at bare minimum point you in the right direction.
 

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