As a few of you will be aware I’ve been having some legal issues as of late. It seems as if there are people in the US that simply don’t want me here.
As an immigrant to the US each person has the option of applying for citizenship. When you can do this depends on your individual situation. Those people who are married to American citizens are able to do it a lot faster than those who have no familial ties to America (7 years vs less than 4). In order to be eligible for early citizenship you must start applying around 2 years in advance. We arrived in Texas in late October 2011, so we started the process in October 2013.
Apparently I was chose “at random” to have my application and status vetted, and that is where our problems began.
In taking a closer look at my original visa application the INS found something that they deemed “anomalous”. As they looked further into it they determined that my application should have been invalid. The main reason they gave was that, during the application process (which can take up to a year) you are not supposed to enter the USA without written authorization from the local embassy. Unfortunately I was not aware of this and I entered the USA for both the SANS Forensic Summit in 2011 and then, a few months later, I re-entered the US to attend job interviews.
We lawyered up to fight this. We have been here for over two years now. We have a house, cars, and various responsibilities to which we need to attend. Just picking up and leaving is not an option. Unfortunately the INS does not care about such things. They cancelled my social security number, meaning that working has become a real issue. Thankfully my employer is very understanding and doing everything they can, but it is only a matter of time until they have to give it up.
After several months of fighting the US government has told us that the only option is for me to leave the country and temporarily go back to the UK. While there I can be fast-tracked and given a new visa within a couple of months.
So that is it. I’m going to be leaving on Thursday, at my own expense no less, to return to the UK by myself. Everyone else in my family is a US citizen so they’re going to stay here and try to manage without me in the mean-time.
During the next couple of months I will be unable to work and provide for my family. Alisha needs work to keep our family afloat in my absence. I’ve taught her what I can about forensics and she often proves that she is smarter than I. As such I’ve told her that I would reach out to the forensic community in order to see if anyone can offer her a temporary position doing small cases from home while she looks after our children.
Can you help? Better yet, do you know anyone in the INS that we could contact in order to try to avoid the situation altogether? We’re pretty desperate.