Vt. lesbian couple fight DOMA, deportation

  • metta

    Posts: 39112

    Feb 21, 2012 3:41 AM GMT

    Vt. lesbian couple fight DOMA, deportation





    http://www.wcax.com/story/16976648/vt-lesbian-couple-fight-doma-deportation
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    Feb 21, 2012 7:23 PM GMT
    Such as life, many heterosexuals have been in the same situation, it's not unique to gay or lesbian couples. They can always move, they do have other choices than to be separated. I had to once let go of a Russian Husband because he had to go home to Russia, and could not stay in Oz anymore. Life went on, and my love for him went on past his death; but life does go on.

    Maybe Canada will have them?
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    Feb 21, 2012 10:57 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 saidIt's simple:

    A lesbian couple in Vermont has been thrust into the national spotlight. They are legally married here, but not at the federal level. Now one of them is considered an illegal immigrant and is facing deportation.


    Right there. Shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.


    So are you saying gays marrying should be a law at the federal level?

  • HollywoodHist...

    Posts: 403

    Feb 22, 2012 1:45 AM GMT
    TrueBlueAussie saidSuch as life, many heterosexuals have been in the same situation, it's not unique to gay or lesbian couples. They can always move, they do have other choices than to be separated. I had to once let go of a Russian Husband because he had to go home to Russia, and could not stay in Oz anymore. Life went on, and my love for him went on past his death; but life does go on.

    Maybe Canada will have them?


    This is not the same as heterosexual couples by any means. DOMA "The Defense of Marriage Act", which was passed during the Clinton administration, defines marriage on a federal level as being between a man and a woman. This means that a legally married gay couple (like the couple in Vermont) will not have the same rights as a legally married straight couple in regard to federal issues such as federal tax benefits and immigration.

    Yes, there are heterosexual legally married couples who are unable to get residency for their foreign national spouse - but it will be for a very specific and serious reason. For a gay couple there is no reason needed, it's not even an option, legally married or not - just forget about it.

    My ex was Brazilian and we wanted to get married and were looking into our options as far as immigration for him to the US. We were actually advised by an immigration lawyer to NOT get married, even thought it was legal here in California at the time. They said that DOMA would not allow him to become a resident regardless of a legal marriage - it would not be considered. And worse, if he ever went back to Brazil and tried to apply for a tourist or student visa, and was legally married to an American citizen, that the visa could be denied on the basis of him being a risk for staying past his visa expiration date. This is the same policy they take with foreign national criminals that are married to American citizens - so basically they would be treating my husband as a criminal even though he had never broken a law in his life. We lived together for three years before his student visa was up and he had to go back to Brazil. Although I love Brazil I couldn't go with him (at least not permanently) because I have joint custody of a son here in the states that I will not abandon. So we were forced to separate. We tried to keep the relationship going for a while, but have since realized that it could be years before we can see each other again and we can't afford regular trips back and forth - not many people can - so we've ended it. At least for now. And are still very close friends.

    So please don't make assumptions that there is no difference between gay or straight on this issue because that is the farthest thing from the truth. And do not make statements like "they do have other choices" - it simply isn't true for many couples - and frankly, why should it be? I am an American just like any other American. If I had nothing keeping me here and my partner was from Burkina Faso or Iraq am I expected to move there too when there is no legal reason to keep my partner from coming here other than that we're both gay? DOMA needs to be overturned and it's obsurd that it was ever written into law in the first place.

    Ok, enough ranting for the day icon_smile.gif
  • HollywoodHist...

    Posts: 403

    Feb 22, 2012 1:57 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    mlitsonata saidDOMA needs to be overturned and it's obsurd that it was ever written into law in the first place.


    Overturning DOMA still won't help, because the Federal government still won't recognize same sex marriage. It would need to be decided by the Supreme Court.


    From what I understand DOMA is the only federal legislation that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Without it the federal government, including the IRS and the INS, could not treat legally married same-sex couples differently from opposite-sex couples - there would be no basis to do so. But I could be wrong about that of course, I certainly don't know all the legal aspects of it - but that is what I was told in the past.
  • zackmorrisfan...

    Posts: 300

    Feb 22, 2012 2:28 AM GMT
    Why didn't the Japanese woman apply for citizenship through the normal channels during the last 13 years she has lived in the US illegally? And I'm not saying this in a rude or condescending tone - I'm just wondering aloud (I'm not a US citizen - perhaps someone can explain this with respect to US immigration law).
  • HollywoodHist...

    Posts: 403

    Feb 22, 2012 2:29 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    mlitsonata said
    southbeach1500 said
    mlitsonata saidDOMA needs to be overturned and it's obsurd that it was ever written into law in the first place.


    Overturning DOMA still won't help, because the Federal government still won't recognize same sex marriage. It would need to be decided by the Supreme Court.


    From what I understand DOMA is the only federal legislation that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Without it the federal government, including the IRS and the INS, could not treat legally married same-sex couples differently from opposite-sex couples - there would be no basis to do so. But I could be wrong about that of course, I certainly don't know all the legal aspects of it - but that is what I was told in the past.


    This is an issue where the absence of a definition of marriage doesn't mean the Federal government will / must recognize any marriage. Therefore, a repeal of DOMA will just serve to bring us back to pre-DOMA times, and same sex marriages were not recognized by the Federal government.


    That makes sense, but prior to DOMA there was no such thing as a legal same-sex marriage in any state. The issue had never been brought before the federal government. Now there is, in a nice little hand full of them. So without DOMA how can the federal government differenciate between legally married couples when there is no federal definition?

    I was told that DOMA was created because those who drafted it saw legal gay marriage coming down the pike and wanted to keep the federal government from having to recognize it as well. At that time, if a state had made gay marriage legal without a federal definition, the feds would have to recognize it. If that wasn't the case there wouldn't have been a reason to write DOMA in the first place.
  • HollywoodHist...

    Posts: 403

    Feb 22, 2012 2:40 AM GMT
    zackmorrisfanclub saidWhy didn't the Japanese woman apply for citizenship through the normal channels during the last 13 years she has lived in the US illegally? And I'm not saying this in a rude or condescending tone - I'm just wondering aloud (I'm not a US citizen - perhaps someone can explain this with respect to US immigration law).


    Of course we can't answer specifically since we don't know the situation but it's possible that she might not have wanted to relinquish her Japanese citizenship completely, just like my ex didn't want to do from Brazil. It's still there home country, they may have property there, they may still want to vote and visit regularly to see family, etc. What a spouse is often looking for is not citizenship but legal residency in the US.

    Also, and more likely, if she had overstayed her original visa because she didn't want to leave her partner then she might as well go for the long haul. My ex and I considered this ourselves. As soon as she leaves the country she wont be able to come back in for at least 7 years - sometimes longer. She also wouldn't be applicable for normal channels to apply for citizenship. The only way, that I'm aware of, for an illegal resident to gain citizenship is through marriage or asylum, and there isn't a hardship in Japan to make asylum an option. So in my case, since my ex went back to Brazil before his student visa expired, he can return to the states for a visit. But it's not financially possible to keep that up indefinately - at least not for most people.

    PLUS all the stuff SouthBeach just said, lol, very well written icon_smile.gif
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    Feb 22, 2012 2:41 AM GMT
    zackmorrisfanclub saidWhy didn't the Japanese woman apply for citizenship through the normal channels during the last 13 years she has lived in the US illegally? And I'm not saying this in a rude or condescending tone - I'm just wondering aloud (I'm not a US citizen - perhaps someone can explain this with respect to US immigration law).
    It doesn't say in the article on what kind of visa she is/was in the US. From the sound of it, her visa must have expired and her petition to change status to permanent resident was declined because of DOMA. You can apply for citizenship only if you have a permanent residency (green card) in the US.

    Permanent residency is difficult to get for a gay man. You have to work for a company in the US and depend on your company sponsoring (aka paying) you for it. (or an illegal option is to enter a sham-marriage with a willing woman. A friend of mine did that and is now a citizen)
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Feb 22, 2012 2:46 AM GMT
    zackmorrisfanclub saidWhy didn't the Japanese woman apply for citizenship through the normal channels during the last 13 years she has lived in the US illegally? And I'm not saying this in a rude or condescending tone - I'm just wondering aloud (I'm not a US citizen - perhaps someone can explain this with respect to US immigration law).


    Because the US immigration system is designed to make immigration easy for Europeans, and difficult for just about everyone else. I know, my partner is currently stuck in India, fighting just to get a visa to come back.
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    Feb 22, 2012 2:51 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    meninlove said
    southbeach1500 saidIt's simple:

    A lesbian couple in Vermont has been thrust into the national spotlight. They are legally married here, but not at the federal level. Now one of them is considered an illegal immigrant and is facing deportation.


    Right there. Shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.


    So are you saying gays marrying should be a law at the federal level?



    Yes, as marriage is written into, among other things, Immigration law and the Federal tax code. It ultimately needs to be recognized at the Federal level.



    Then I think you should talk to Mock about this, who completely disagrees.
  • zackmorrisfan...

    Posts: 300

    Feb 22, 2012 2:52 AM GMT
    DCEric said
    zackmorrisfanclub saidWhy didn't the Japanese woman apply for citizenship through the normal channels during the last 13 years she has lived in the US illegally? And I'm not saying this in a rude or condescending tone - I'm just wondering aloud (I'm not a US citizen - perhaps someone can explain this with respect to US immigration law).


    Because the US immigration system is designed to make immigration easy for Europeans, and difficult for just about everyone else. I know, my partner is currently stuck in India, fighting just to get a visa to come back.


    Is there is a different process for people immigrating from Europe versus anywhere else in the world? Here in Canada the process is the same for everyone (basically - although it seems easier for immigrants from other member countries of the Commonwealth).
  • zackmorrisfan...

    Posts: 300

    Feb 22, 2012 3:02 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    zackmorrisfanclub said
    Is there is a different process for people immigrating from Europe versus anywhere else in the world? Here in Canada the process is the same for everyone (basically - although it seems easier for immigrants from other member countries of the Commonwealth).


    We have something called the "visa waiver program" here in the USA for people coming for tourism. Generally, citizens of Western European countries are covered by this program. I think other countries like Japan and Australia are also covered.

    However, anyone coming in on visa waiver still must face the immigration officer at the port of entry and I know several people who have had their visa waiver cancelled and they've been denied entry and returned on the next flight (after spending a night in a jail cell, er, "alien holding area.")



    So this is essentially a program by which US immigration officials allow citizens in from certain countries who would normally have to have a travel visa?
  • zackmorrisfan...

    Posts: 300

    Feb 22, 2012 3:15 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    zackmorrisfanclub said
    southbeach1500 said
    zackmorrisfanclub said
    Is there is a different process for people immigrating from Europe versus anywhere else in the world? Here in Canada the process is the same for everyone (basically - although it seems easier for immigrants from other member countries of the Commonwealth).


    We have something called the "visa waiver program" here in the USA for people coming for tourism. Generally, citizens of Western European countries are covered by this program. I think other countries like Japan and Australia are also covered.

    However, anyone coming in on visa waiver still must face the immigration officer at the port of entry and I know several people who have had their visa waiver cancelled and they've been denied entry and returned on the next flight (after spending a night in a jail cell, er, "alien holding area.")



    So this is essentially a program by which US immigration officials allow citizens in from certain countries who would normally have to have a travel visa?


    Not exactly. It just means citizens of those countries don't have to go through the hassle and humiliation of appearing at a U.S. embassy and begging the visa officer for a simple tourist visa. Instead, they just apply online and get an electronic clearance notification via email.

    They still must face the Immigration officer once they get off the plane (boat, train, etc) and that Immigration officer has complete and sole authority to deny them entry (and they do, many times, for no good reason).


    Got it! Thanks. Also, thank goodness I don't have to go through this when I cross into the US (although I assume I could still be denied entry for no reason).
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    Feb 22, 2012 6:50 PM GMT
    zackmorrisfanclub said
    DCEric said
    zackmorrisfanclub saidWhy didn't the Japanese woman apply for citizenship through the normal channels during the last 13 years she has lived in the US illegally? And I'm not saying this in a rude or condescending tone - I'm just wondering aloud (I'm not a US citizen - perhaps someone can explain this with respect to US immigration law).


    Because the US immigration system is designed to make immigration easy for Europeans, and difficult for just about everyone else. I know, my partner is currently stuck in India, fighting just to get a visa to come back.


    Is there is a different process for people immigrating from Europe versus anywhere else in the world? Here in Canada the process is the same for everyone (basically - although it seems easier for immigrants from other member countries of the Commonwealth).


    No, he's full of shit. Anyone who gets around in the US knows that european immigrants are almost unheard of -- the ratio with immigrants from more third world countries is like 1/100, if even that. I can venture out on any given day and interact with dozens of different non-European immigrants speaking with an accent and very, very few European immigrants speaking with a distinguished accent which would make them recognizable if they were there. Unless he would have us believe that Europeans can instantly erase their accent upon arriving whilst the others keep theirs for years?

    The reality is just the opposite of his assertion.
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    Feb 22, 2012 6:54 PM GMT

    Hey Mock, what do you think of this?

    southbeach1500 said
    meninlove said
    southbeach1500 saidIt's simple:

    A lesbian couple in Vermont has been thrust into the national spotlight. They are legally married here, but not at the federal level. Now one of them is considered an illegal immigrant and is facing deportation.


    Right there. Shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.


    So are you saying gays marrying should be a law at the federal level?



    Yes, as marriage is written into, among other things, Immigration law and the Federal tax code. It ultimately needs to be recognized at the Federal level.
  • mar0302

    Posts: 273

    Feb 22, 2012 6:55 PM GMT
    Interesting comments.. marriage historically has been defined by the states.. not by the federal govt.. DOMA is the first law that defines it at the federal level.. and it bars gay marriage from being recognised.. This isnt the same as a straight marriage, in that man/woman marriages come with immigration rights.. gays don't, since this is a federal benefit which DOMA prohibits..

    As someone that relocated to the UK in order to be with my non-American partner, I sympathise with this couple.. It isn't good for the US, as the beacon of freedom, to treat gays this way.. especially when other countries (UK, Brazil, France, Spain, etc.) all allow gay partner immigration.. and it's also bad for the US since all my tax money goes to the UK now, and the US is losing out on loads of revenues when they need it most..
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    Feb 22, 2012 7:59 PM GMT
    meninlove said
    Hey Mock, what do you think of this?

    southbeach1500 said
    meninlove said
    southbeach1500 saidIt's simple:

    A lesbian couple in Vermont has been thrust into the national spotlight. They are legally married here, but not at the federal level. Now one of them is considered an illegal immigrant and is facing deportation.


    Right there. Shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.


    So are you saying gays marrying should be a law at the federal level?



    Yes, as marriage is written into, among other things, Immigration law and the Federal tax code. It ultimately needs to be recognized at the Federal level.


    Because of the way it is set up, yes, marriage would have to be recognized at the federal level to solve this problem. However, since there is no clear cut constitutional authority given to the federal government on immigration I am sympathetic to the idea that states should hold authority in this department, as it would eliminate this entire issue going on with deporting this woman who is legally married.

    It proves the federal government is not always on the right side of history. I don't believe the federal government should have the power to invalidate their marriage with something like deportation if they so wish simply because they are not recognized under federal law.
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Feb 22, 2012 11:11 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    DCEric said
    zackmorrisfanclub saidWhy didn't the Japanese woman apply for citizenship through the normal channels during the last 13 years she has lived in the US illegally? And I'm not saying this in a rude or condescending tone - I'm just wondering aloud (I'm not a US citizen - perhaps someone can explain this with respect to US immigration law).


    Because the US immigration system is designed to make immigration easy for Europeans, and difficult for just about everyone else. I know, my partner is currently stuck in India, fighting just to get a visa to come back.


    Ugh.... I know exactly what he is going through.

    Just to slightly correct what you wrote... it's easy for Western European citizens. We've been trying to bring an employee in for a project under the H-1B visa - he's Hungarian. It's been pure hell. We're coming up on the 1 year mark now since his first embassy interview (they had him come back for a second interview last May). He's been in Administrative Processing since May of last year. The embassy doesn't take phone calls, they don't answer faxes, letters or emails from us or our attorney.

    Is your partner in the hell known as "Administrative Processing?"


    No, because he is from a country with a substantial Muslim population, he is being investigated for potentially being a terrorist. They sent his information to several spy agencies for deeper investigation. 4 weeks to 6 months, if they approve him to return. Between that and the quota system used for Indian nationals, it's been a fiasco. We are debating me giving up my US citizenship and moving to India. They will quickly give me citizenship, but will only let me hold one passport.
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Feb 22, 2012 11:14 PM GMT
    mocktwinkie said
    zackmorrisfanclub said
    DCEric said
    zackmorrisfanclub saidWhy didn't the Japanese woman apply for citizenship through the normal channels during the last 13 years she has lived in the US illegally? And I'm not saying this in a rude or condescending tone - I'm just wondering aloud (I'm not a US citizen - perhaps someone can explain this with respect to US immigration law).


    Because the US immigration system is designed to make immigration easy for Europeans, and difficult for just about everyone else. I know, my partner is currently stuck in India, fighting just to get a visa to come back.


    Is there is a different process for people immigrating from Europe versus anywhere else in the world? Here in Canada the process is the same for everyone (basically - although it seems easier for immigrants from other member countries of the Commonwealth).


    No, he's full of shit. Anyone who gets around in the US knows that european immigrants are almost unheard of -- the ratio with immigrants from more third world countries is like 1/100, if even that. I can venture out on any given day and interact with dozens of different non-European immigrants speaking with an accent and very, very few European immigrants speaking with a distinguished accent which would make them recognizable if they were there. Unless he would have us believe that Europeans can instantly erase their accent upon arriving whilst the others keep theirs for years?

    The reality is just the opposite of his assertion.


    Its not how many. It's the ease of which they can get in... and the other gentlemen was right, Western European is what I meant to say. Further as person who works on international development, the "Third World" ceased to exist just over 20 years ago. Please update your terminology, and correct me once you have actually dealt with the immigration system in this country, as opposed to walking down the street listening for accents.
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    Feb 22, 2012 11:22 PM GMT
    DCEric said
    mocktwinkie said
    zackmorrisfanclub said
    DCEric said
    zackmorrisfanclub saidWhy didn't the Japanese woman apply for citizenship through the normal channels during the last 13 years she has lived in the US illegally? And I'm not saying this in a rude or condescending tone - I'm just wondering aloud (I'm not a US citizen - perhaps someone can explain this with respect to US immigration law).


    Because the US immigration system is designed to make immigration easy for Europeans, and difficult for just about everyone else. I know, my partner is currently stuck in India, fighting just to get a visa to come back.


    Is there is a different process for people immigrating from Europe versus anywhere else in the world? Here in Canada the process is the same for everyone (basically - although it seems easier for immigrants from other member countries of the Commonwealth).


    No, he's full of shit. Anyone who gets around in the US knows that european immigrants are almost unheard of -- the ratio with immigrants from more third world countries is like 1/100, if even that. I can venture out on any given day and interact with dozens of different non-European immigrants speaking with an accent and very, very few European immigrants speaking with a distinguished accent which would make them recognizable if they were there. Unless he would have us believe that Europeans can instantly erase their accent upon arriving whilst the others keep theirs for years?

    The reality is just the opposite of his assertion.


    Its not how many. It's the ease of which they can get in... and the other gentlemen was right, Western European is what I meant to say. Further as person who works on international development, the "Third World" ceased to exist just over 20 years ago. Please update your terminology, and correct me once you have actually dealt with the immigration system in this country, as opposed to walking down the street listening for accents.


    Third world ceasing to exist 20 years ago? lol. That's a first! Despite being used interchangeably with "developing world/nations" ainstream sources do not consider it an outdated term, even if you do.

    On the point itself, this is not just about walking down the local street, it's about exposure to a lot of people and places. Anyone who has a great deal of access to a lot of people and travels extensively knows that your assessment is flat out not reflective of reality. Non-Europeans make up the VAST majority of new immigrants in this country and your comments insisted that the opposite is true.

    I personally know cases where spouses of western European descent are having much difficulty becoming a citizen. If this was a real demonstrable issue, it would be far more reported upon.

    Moreover, what the hell makes you think that some prospective boyfriend of yours from India should randomly be given access based on you wanting to have a relationship with him?
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    Feb 22, 2012 11:35 PM GMT
    zackmorrisfanclub saidWhy didn't the Japanese woman apply for citizenship through the normal channels during the last 13 years she has lived in the US illegally? And I'm not saying this in a rude or condescending tone - I'm just wondering aloud (I'm not a US citizen - perhaps someone can explain this with respect to US immigration law).


    Situations vary. My ex (from Brazil) went the asylum route: claimed it was too dangerous for gay guys to to go back to Sao Paulo icon_rolleyes.gif.
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Feb 24, 2012 12:07 AM GMT
    mocktwinkie said
    DCEric said
    mocktwinkie said
    zackmorrisfanclub said
    DCEric said
    zackmorrisfanclub saidWhy didn't the Japanese woman apply for citizenship through the normal channels during the last 13 years she has lived in the US illegally? And I'm not saying this in a rude or condescending tone - I'm just wondering aloud (I'm not a US citizen - perhaps someone can explain this with respect to US immigration law).


    Because the US immigration system is designed to make immigration easy for Europeans, and difficult for just about everyone else. I know, my partner is currently stuck in India, fighting just to get a visa to come back.


    Is there is a different process for people immigrating from Europe versus anywhere else in the world? Here in Canada the process is the same for everyone (basically - although it seems easier for immigrants from other member countries of the Commonwealth).


    No, he's full of shit. Anyone who gets around in the US knows that european immigrants are almost unheard of -- the ratio with immigrants from more third world countries is like 1/100, if even that. I can venture out on any given day and interact with dozens of different non-European immigrants speaking with an accent and very, very few European immigrants speaking with a distinguished accent which would make them recognizable if they were there. Unless he would have us believe that Europeans can instantly erase their accent upon arriving whilst the others keep theirs for years?

    The reality is just the opposite of his assertion.


    Its not how many. It's the ease of which they can get in... and the other gentlemen was right, Western European is what I meant to say. Further as person who works on international development, the "Third World" ceased to exist just over 20 years ago. Please update your terminology, and correct me once you have actually dealt with the immigration system in this country, as opposed to walking down the street listening for accents.


    Third world ceasing to exist 20 years ago? lol. That's a first! Despite being used interchangeably with "developing world/nations" ainstream sources do not consider it an outdated term, even if you do.

    On the point itself, this is not just about walking down the local street, it's about exposure to a lot of people and places. Anyone who has a great deal of access to a lot of people and travels extensively knows that your assessment is flat out not reflective of reality. Non-Europeans make up the VAST majority of new immigrants in this country and your comments insisted that the opposite is true.

    I personally know cases where spouses of western European descent are having much difficulty becoming a citizen. If this was a real demonstrable issue, it would be far more reported upon.

    Moreover, what the hell makes you think that some prospective boyfriend of yours from India should randomly be given access based on you wanting to have a relationship with him?


    1) Thank you for answering your own question.
    2)It is reported on. It's called immigration reform, and alternatively illegal immigration.
    3) Because I've been living with him in the US for the last seven years and am in a Civil Union with him. Then the government sent him packing. I think that qualifies as more than "prospective".
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Feb 24, 2012 12:09 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    DCEric said
    No, because he is from a country with a substantial Muslim population, he is being investigated for potentially being a terrorist. They sent his information to several spy agencies for deeper investigation. 4 weeks to 6 months, if they approve him to return. Between that and the quota system used for Indian nationals, it's been a fiasco. We are debating me giving up my US citizenship and moving to India. They will quickly give me citizenship, but will only let me hold one passport.


    Yeah, that's one of the meanings of "Administrative Processing" - security clearances. He's in MANTIS right now apparently.

    What visa is he trying to obtain to come back here with?

    You and he both have my sympathies. This entire "system" is a boondoggle where the inmates have seized control of the asylum.



    He'll be back on his H1-B, assuming he isn't let go (by his US employer) before the government gets around to issuing the visa.