Silent treatment from the USCIS

Knock, knock. Anybody home?

It’s been almost 13 months since our I-129F application was acknowledged by the USCIS (the multi-step processing takes an average of six months). If they needed more information—evidence of relationship, legal or financial capacity to marry, anything—we would’ve gladly given it to them, no questions asked.

Almost every day I get asked about the status of our visa application. I mostly reply with a shrug, and sometimes with a tinge of embarrassment, with, “No, we have not heard from them yet.”

Somebody from the US remarked that it might be because of the fact that I am a Filipina that this process is taking so long. Marriage of convenience? I know that there are women (and men) who see marriage to an American as a business opportunity. Perhaps in the minds of some officers, somebody from a developing country getting hitched to an American is like winning the lottery, with having blond-haired, brown-eyed kids as a potential bonus. Maybe she’s a mail-to-order bride.  Fraud alert!

Yes, I get your paranoia.

Yet financial gain has never played a factor in any of my major decisions. I lead a fairly simple life of contentment. Luxury, for me, is being able to get away from the frenetic pace of life in Manila once in a while, to relax and breathe fresh(er) air. I take the public transportation to work. If a thief ransacks my bedroom, he would regret wasting his time. Nothing to steal from my room, buddy, unless you want paraben-and-SLS-free bottles of shampoo and conditioner, for which I paid good money.

If I had the chance to argue my case to any USCIS-Vermont officer, I’d explain, “If I wanted to enjoy life in the land of the proverbial milk and honey in the 21st century, I would’ve done it more than 10 years ago when I received my first multiple entry visa. (I am holder of a valid visa that allows me to visit the US anytime up to 2021.) I’ve been in and out of the US nine times already. I’ve stayed for as short as 2 weeks to as long as one and a half months. I have two sisters, both American citizens, who have been singing ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ for decades now. Never have I been tempted to ask any of them to take me in so I can stay there for good.”

It’s been a challenge trying to stay hopeful when all you can see is a closed door, with no hint that there’s somebody standing on the other side. Yes, I still believe in the Lord’s perfect timing. He knows when, how, and why the processing of our visa application has been taking forever. There are just some days when I wonder if I am being a victim of prejudice and racial stereotyping.

We don’t have a lawyer but thankfully, the Lord is on our case. If not for the hope we have in Christ,  we probably would’ve taken matters into our own hands and made decisions we’d later regret.

Waiting will not be in vain, because ultimately, it is waiting on the Lord.  We’ll be okay.

8 Responses to “Silent treatment from the USCIS”
  1. Maricar says:

    We will continue to hope and wait upon the LORD, Beng! Praying with you and Darren!

  2. blissfuldrifter says:

    When you look back to this period in your life, you will see that the waiting time was short compared to the many years you will be spending with Daren. 😀

  3. Chic Pinay says:

    Hello Ms Beng!

    Glad you’re blogging again. You articles always inspire me. And on waiting, I would say, i’m in good company. I wonder if God’s clock needs a new battery, I’m willing to share. Life is more than a roller coaster ride for me. Glad i’m still standing, breathing, and blogging too,


    • Beng Alba says:

      Hey Chic Pinay, imagine how far we’ve known each other as blogger friends. 🙂 Let me encourage you to keep on waiting, sis. The peace from God while waiting is reward enough. 🙂 I will save your blog address.

  4. kcel says:

    HI ms. Beng :)) pwede ko pa ba malaman yung Biography niyo 🙂 Thankyou po! :))

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