Thursday, January 10, 2008

F-1 Application Status

"[Kip] I have good news and bad news ..." The Chief of the Non-Immigrant Visa Unit said. My heart was literally somewhere in my throat at the end of that sentence. He handed me my passport, I looked and there was no Visa renewed. He then handed me all my other documents, I-20, Letters from my school and my program director, transcripts and a diploma from Syracuse and another form explaining why I did not get the F-1 visa renewed. Of course he was talking to me while all this was going on. Whether I was listening or not is the question.

"The bad news is ... we are unable to renew your visa today." He continued. "We are still conducting some additional administrative processing ... and this may take up to two weeks. The good news is, we expect to renew your F-1 visa ..." I didnt hear what he said after that as I was busy taking a deep breath to reset my heartbeat and push that four-valved organ back to its place.

Then he said, "Here are your options. You can stay here in Juarez and wait or (I was waiting for 'You can go back to Kenya') you can go back to Baltimore on parole." I didnt care what all that meant, so I immediately said "I want to go back." So he told me to wait while he wrote a letter to the officials at the port of entry.

See this US Center for Immigration Services (USCIS) section that explains Emergency Travel. Scroll down to Advance Parole or Re-entry Permit or Humanitarian Parole.

The letter reads "This [is] to inform you that Kenyan nation [my full names and DOB] has applied at the US Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico to renew his F-1 student visa." It then continues " ... we are conducting additional processing that will take up to two weeks. ... we expect to issue an F-1 ..."

The rest is not relevant. Basically, I can "come back to the US" but they will call me after this routine is done so I can come get my visa. Coming back there is another story since I still have to be scrutinized at the port of entry. The USCIS states clearly that "Admission into the U.S. is not guaranteed. In all cases, the alien is still subject to immigration inspection at a port of entry to determine whether the alien is admissible into the country."

Maybe I will see you, maybe I wont. But now that I have all my documents, I think I should check out Juarez.

Before I venture though, I need to change my flight back to Charm City. This will be the 7th time I am changing my flight. Please fly Southwest next time for me? Awesome.


Jim said...

Hang in there, we are following your progress with interest!

fbg said...

Dude, that's great, but not awesome. Hopefully you'll be back to stay real soon. I an hope to be back soon too, to see you and the rest of the gang. By the way, when you had to choose a foreign country from which to apply for your visa, did Austria never cross your mind? :-P

RM said...

This is ridiculous man, ridiculous.

lily said...

mr kip! this is ms lily from the ark... im here in the dominican republic doing peace corps things and my dad emailed me a link to your blog. what a saga! espero que todo este bien contigo, por lo menos veo que has aprendido mucho espaƱol! que tengas mucha suerte con todo


Arpi said...


I'm so sorry for this headache you have had to endure. I just read your blog. Hang in there, I'm thinking of you and planning my next duck pin bowling night and expect you to be here!


kipchirchir said...

- Thank you all for your comments! Lily, how have you been? How is peace corps? Thanks for your best wishes. How do I get your email address? I am back in the US, but only for 14 days!

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