While I haven't heard anything from the Embassy, I have heard from Congressman Pete Sessions. I emailed him a couple weeks ago and last Thursday I got a letter in the mail from him, thanking me for writing to him about our little situation. He asked me to sign and send back an authorization form so the Embassy will allow him to access my case. Part of the form asked me to "briefly" explain the situation, which resulted in a 2-and-a-half-page explanation, copies of all of our approval/denial forms and print outs of our autoreply emails from the Embassy that say "Your email was deleted before it was read" and "Inquiries regarding visas, the Visa Waiver Program, ESTA, immigration and green cards will NOT be answered. Please visit our website at http://london.usembassy.gov for further information. If, after reading the website, you still have questions, please call our Operator Assisted Information Service for assistance." Oh, and I also included a summary of how 'helpful' the Operator Assisted Information Service has been the two times Cayden called (I feel like I should still call him Cayden in the blog). You better believe I hand delivered that 3-pound packet the very next day.
His letter said, "Once I receive the authorization form, I will follow up with the appropriate officials and try to resolve this matter as soon as possible."
It was all I needed to hear to renew my optimism. Even reading it again now, I can't help but smile.
Many of you have asked, "How can I help? Is there anything I can do?" Well, based on the response I received from Congressman Sessions, writing a letter to your congressman and/or senator might not be a bad idea. Even if they can't do anything, at least we can say we tried, right? I'm not going down without an all out battle.
If you want to send a letter to your congressman, I can't tell you how much we'd appreciate it.
How to Contact Your Representative:
- Find your representative: This handy-dandy website lets you find your representative by typing in your zip code: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ and/or
- Find your senator: This website lets you look up your senators by state: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
- Once you have their names, go to their website and hunt around for their "contact me" link.
- You can either craft a beautiful masterpiece of your own, or you can use this template I just whipped up. Copy and paste from below, or click this link to access the Google Doc I created https://docs.google.com/document/d/1z1fUN19YpI4tLIUFcCqirP0055ip45zn9qIzf5mOGhc/edit
- Shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know you sent a letter. Include your address so I can send you a thank you gift of some sort. I'm serious.
- Sit back and relax. You've done your good deed for the day!
Dear Congressman/Senator ______,
I am writing to express my concern at the way in which the US Embassy in London handled a particular K-1 visa case.
Last October, an American woman named Lauren Parajon filed an I-129F petition on behalf of her British fiance, Kamran Saleem, and the petition was approved in January. In April, when Kamran went to the US Embassy in London for his final interview, he was given a piece of paper that said his K-1 visa was refused under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and that his case needed additional processing.
No one at the Embassy would explain to him why he was refused under Section 221(g), only that he’d hear back within 2-3 weeks. When Kamran called the Embassy’s Operator Assisted Information Service for more information, the operator asked him why he’d been refused, which was exactly what he was calling to ask. It’s been almost 7 weeks with no word, forcing Lauren and Kamran to call off their wedding.
Kamran has never committed a crime, been arrested, or violated an immigration law, leading them to believe his Pakistani last name is the reason for the refusal. While I understand the need to do additional checks for the sake of our nation’s security, I find it hard to believe someone who fought against terrorism in the Royal Air Force for six years is any kind of threat to our country. In fact, he held a TK security clearance with the National Security Agency of America during his military work in the Intelligence field. Kamran worked for the City of London Police and held a management position at Prince William’s charity Centrepoint, the leading homeless youth charity in London. He’s a model citizen, and he wants nothing more than to marry Lauren and become a model American citizen.
Kamran and Lauren have done everything correctly through the immigration process, yet the visa has been refused without explanation. They deserve an explanation for his refusal and a realistic timeframe for the additional processing, seeing as how the 2-3 week range was hugely underestimated.
All too often, the press reports on the high number of illegal immigrants in the US, but rarely do we hear about the flaws in the system or how poorly people are treated when they try to go through the process legally.
If there’s anything you can do to help them out, or to shed some light on the issue at hand, I’d greatly appreciate it, as would they. If you need any other information, feel free to contact Lauren Parajon at email@example.com.
Thank you in advance for your time.
[Your name and contact info]