Bureaucracy is an art form

Seriously folks, we just spent 5 hours at Federal Plaza waiting for the kids to have their interviews to garner them Green Cards. One would think it was straightforward, they don’t have to prove marriage to a US Citizen or anything. Wrong!!

After waiting a ridiculous amount of time they called us in. We had the most anal retentive interviewer, no funny bone, had to repeat everything the same for each of the four kids. Every. Single. Time.

He asked me in front of the children how much tuition I paid for each – what a chutzpah. Why do the kids need to be privy to that information? But because it’s the government asking one answers.

Then they tell us that when the kids initially entered the country as visitors they did not obtain a B-2 visa at the border. Canadian passport holders who enter the US from Canada never fill out any papers whatsoever. NEVER. In all the years I have been crossing and my ex has been crossing and all my Canadian friends have been crossing, no one has ever filled out a B-2.

So they are basically saying that the kids entered the country illegally as there is no record of their entry. Could you believe this?? My boys have a Nexus card that enables them to go across the border in the fast lane. This is something their father did for them as he is the one that has to cross back and forth over the border. I have their passports and all their other documents, I didn’t need the Nexus card.

The supervisor sat there and told us the kids cannot just cross the border like that and we must be wrong. She honestly believed that – but this isn’t crossing from Mexico or somewhere else. She had never heard of the Nexus card.

So suffice it to say, we don’t have the Green Cards for the boys, we have to wait a few weeks to receive a letter from Immigration asking for copies of the Nexus cards, we have to provide those by date specified, and then we wait to see IF they will actually approve the applications or not. Yes, I guess they could say NO. Why? I have no clue….. these are kids and not security risks. We provided wodges of documentation. Everything they asked from us was provided in quadruplicate. I am a resident, their step father is a citizen, their father has given the correct permissions for them to be here – it is just so darn frustrating.

Stupid B-2 visa – has anyone from Canada with a Canadian Passport ever had to fill one in when entering the states at a vehicular border crossing?

17 responses to “Bureaucracy is an art form

  1. Time for an immigration lawyer? No fun and I hear you that the gelt is tight, but I shudder to think of the dire consequences of major screw-ups and idiot officials.

  2. Tourist Visa Eligibility Requirements: Foreign nationals who wish to visit the United States for leisure or tourism are normally eligible to receive a B-2 Tourist Visa. B-2 Tourist Visas are “visitor visas” and are required for citizens of countries that are not included in the Visa Waiver Program. However, even citizens of countries included in the Visa Waiver Program are required to hold a valid B-2 visa if they plan to stay in the United States for longer than 90 days, change status to another nonimmigrant visa, or adjust status to permanent resident (Green Card) after entering the country

    I guess they should have gotten a B-2 Visa.

  3. I’m not surprised about the Nexus card thing. It’s a complaint about TSA agents too – people try to go through security and get harrassed because they don’t believe that it’s legitimate. Ugh. Stupid bureaucrats.

  4. Oy! What a mess. May it get cleared up for you soon!!

  5. In addition to all the inappropriate/incorrect statements that you mentioned, why on earth did she ask you about school tuition? That has absolutely nothing to do with immigration.

  6. I am a longtime reader – hardly ever comment but that is REDICULOUS!!! I happen to be a dual citizen (american and canadian) but have never ever ever heard of any of my canadian friends filling out a B2! In addition how is it possible that they never heard of Nexus. I myself have a nexus card – but how uneducated are they?? Could you not go to the internet and show them in their office what Nexus is? This is absolutely rediculous the process you are going through!

  7. Aren’t they back and forth to Canada more frequently than every 90 days?
    G-d willing, all these posts will help someone else googling for info.

  8. I have been back and forth many many times; never heard of a B-2!

  9. Bureaucracy isn’t an art- it’s a science that allows people to quash their emotions, bury their empathy, and follow rules. I’m sure this INS person has had to stare down crying and pleading people who are going to be deported to hellish places and tell them that their applications were denied for reasons ranging from legitimate to stupid technicalities. You were probably an easy case for him. But he’s not the one who makes the rules and has no authority to override them.

    For that you need a senator. If you have the ear of a senator’s aid a phone call will get your issue resolved very quickly. Sorry, but that’s the way huge and overburdened government agencies dis/function.

  10. I am so sorry that you have to go through bureaucratic ordeals yet again.

  11. So sorry. 😦 😦 Hope this works out soon.

  12. Yeah, I never heard of a B2 either, and I’m a dual citizen/frequent border crosser. No doubt they are “invoking” this requirement *because* you’re applying for the green cards, i.e. there’s much more scrutiny because you want permanent residency for your kids.
    Although the obstacles are frustrating..I don’t think they are at all unexpected, in these kind of situations you have to conform to the “letter of the law”, even if you didn’t know what was required of you.

  13. I have had such problems with the nexus card its crazy. The lady at the border made me nuts because to quote her ‘ ive never heard of jews, you look middle eastern, so ur probably muslim, and iv never seen that sorta card before’. Thank G-d i had my passport with me as well!

  14. I was nearly denied for the same reason. As there was no proof to show that I arrived in the country legally. they were about to throw me out. But then BH I remembered that I flew in once and BH my dad still had a copy of the ticket reservations in his email.
    I hope u all past this test asap

  15. Yes, you have a form that is stapled into your passport when you first enter the country. It has to be kept stapled into your passport at all times. I had it when I moved to Canada from the US and my husband had it when he came to the US. I-94. It is your most important immigration document. Google it. That number is linked to your Green Card application.

    This is why you need an immigration lawyer. Only they know all these legal details.

  16. I second the opinion of talking to your senator. When I went through this I also did not have the money to get a lawyer so my husband call the senator’s office in our state. They had a person in charge of immigration issues and he was extremely helpful. We did everything on our own but almost at the very end of the process they lost all our paperwork (we had moved states) so they wanted us to resubmit everything. The senator’s employee located our documents (I don’t know how) and got us an appointment right away to get my citizenship approved. We were very grateful and it was free of charge.

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