My name is Ethan Alarcon and I am 25 years old. This is my short story:
I recently lost my job due to being "ineligible" for a non immigrant visa.
As you can see in the picture, this is the slip they gave me at the
consulate after they denied me.
If you can't make it yourself, it reads:
"Dear Visa Applicant:
This is to inform you that you have been
found ineligible for a non immigrant visa under Section 214(b) of the
U.S Immigration and Nationality Act. A denial under Section 214(b) means
that you were not able to demonstrate that your intended activities in
the United States would be consistent with the classification of the non
immigrant visa for which you applied.
While non immigrant visa classifications each have their own unique requirements, one requirement shared by many of the non immigrant visa categories is for the applicant to demonstrate that he/she has a
residence in a foreign country which he/she has no intention of abandoning. Applicants usually meet this requirement by demonstrating that they have strong ties overseas that indicate that they will return to a foreign country after a temporary visit to the United States. Such ties include professional, work, school, family, or social links to foreign country. You have not demonstrated that you have the ties that will compel you to return to your home country after your travel to the United States.
Today's decision cannot be appealed. However, you may reapply at any time. If you decide to reapply, you must submit a new application form and photo, pay the visa application fee again, and make a new appointment to be interviewed by a consular officer. If you choose to reapply, you should be prepared to provide information that was not presented in your original application, or to demonstrate that your circumstances have change since that application."
My goodness. I have never in my life been as this upset with a tiny piece of paper.
So this is what transpired before this "interview".
I was working for an American/Mexican company established in Tijuana.
This company makes dust covers for a significant range of home
electronics like pianos, amplifiers, TVs, etc.; it sells these online
through Amazon, eBay and some other websites. My position there was of 'Executive Assistant'.
It's a small company so I was in charge of processing paychecks for the other employees, paying bills, customer support, and processing all orders that came in and so on. The owner was looking to expand his
company even further so he hired someone who could help him do that, someone double my age and with x10 more experience, and also do the things that I did. This person was my replacement- an upgrade if you will.
So where does this leave me? Well, as 95% of the orders were made mainly from US customers, all of these had to be taken across to San Diego and delivered to the Post Office for shipment. Since I couldn't
cross, my boss (the owner) was the one who would deliver these every 2 days or so. Before my replacement was hired, I had already started the visa process so I could do this delivering duty and increase my income. So, when the new person came in, the only way I could stay in the company was for me to get my visa approved, and at least have this delivering thing done among other minor things like picking up materials for the company and so on. And with time as the company grew with the expected expansion, I would regain my former income and some more duties in the company. As you now know, this didn't happen.
I waited a month for the visa 'interview' and payed $3120.00 pesos (150.00 US). Which is quite a bit for the average Mexican. When the day finally came I was very confident because I had everything I needed to pass this interview. Well, the interview lasted no more than four minutes.
A month, for four minutes.
What happened? I was expecting this interview to take place in a room with a highly qualified immigration person. I was expecting this person to ask me some real questions that would prove my intentions for
crossing. I didn't get any of this. It didn't take place in a room, it took place in a waiting hall with lots of crystal booths; the kind that you see in banks. You wait for your number to be called out and you proceed. It honestly felt like I was at a seven eleven.
When I was called to one of these booths, the lady there just asked me for the respective papers and documents. There were none of the real questions I was expecting.
How old are you? Who do you live with? Where do you work? How
long have you been working there? What was your job prior to this one?
That's it. Like I mentioned it didn't take more than 4 minutes. I wasn't asked why I wanted to go across. I wasn't asked how much money I was making. I wasn't asked if I owned a property. So if I had all of these
things, why didn't I speak up?
Well, you are told to only answer questions. And many people from experience have said that the immigration person doesn't take it kindly if you speak while they are not questioning you.
The big cherry on top was the slip they gave me. A total joke. It seems to me the requirement for a person to get approved is just the mood of the 'consular officer'. There's people there in the US who
overstay their visa and well, there they are making good money. They're breaking the law and they get away with it. I just wanted to go to the US to KEEP my job, not to get a new better one. Nothing else besides that. Except visit my friends there so they aren't the ones who always have to visit me.
Ethan, why don't you reapply?
Well, I no longer have a job. I'd be just throwing another 150 bucks in the trash.(yeah if you fail obviously they don't give you your money back.)
So, right now I am back to giving private English lessons. However that doesn't earn me nearly as much as before and I'm mainly living off of my savings.
Ethan, why don't you just get a full time job with minimum wage like everyone else?
I might. But, my plan is to get a new car with credit and work as a driver for a company like Uber or Cabify (chinese ride share company DiDi just came to mexico so when it comes to my city I'm hoping on switching to that one).
I know the risks of working as a driver, especially in a city like Tijuana. I would be working 12 hours a day, 6 days of the week and be prone to meet a whole bunch of disrespectful people, of course. Heck, I might even get mugged.
But thing is, I like driving. I like to meet new people. I like to see different cities and different parts of a city. I like to see how other people fare in life. I like to listen to them.
If you don't have a job how would you get credit for this car?
Well, my dad would help me on that one. He would use his credit to get the car and put it on my name. I would just give him money each month to pay the car.
What model are we talking about here?
I've done a lot of careful research on this one. A LOT.
Given my country's current state of gas prices and economy I decided that the best option is a Toyota Prius C. It's like the little brother of the normal Prius. Here's why:
The majority of people here that work as drivers for Uber, get cars that are cheap to pay monthly (around 250 US dollars). Cars that generate income faster in the short term . However, these cars in the course of 1 year start to present subtle mechanical problems. By the time they finish paying the car (generally 3 years), it might need a new transmission, engine, and odds are they already changed the suspension more than 2 times in the course of those 3 years.
With a hybrid car, I would be making a mid-long term investment. I would be paying 300 or 350 US dollars a month. What helps a lot in this is the gas that I would be saving. The average Uber driver here in the city spends around 8,000 mexican pesos (400 US) of gas a month. With a hybrid I would be spending 5,000 mexican pesos (around 250 US) potentially less. These cars also are extremely reliable and this particular car is built for the city. The worst that could happen is if a battery cell needed to be replaced; these are very much affordable and inexpensive to replace. And would be contaminating much less!
And yes I am taking in mind the annual insurance. They're almost the same as any other non-hybrid car. Just a little bit more expensive. And of course I would be paying the car for 5 years but hey, that's the difficult part that I will gladly deal with.
Do you some have money to start?
Yes, I have around 1,500 US in my savings account. I need at least 3,000 more to cover the initial car payment and the annual insurance. I will get a new phone and data plan with the money that I'm currently making.
Do you REALLY need help from the Internet?
I do and I don't.
See, I could get the money that I need by myself. But it would take me a very long time.
It would really, really help me out to get this money through a campaign. If only three thousand people read this and out of the kindness of their heart donated just one dollar, it would complete the campaign just like that.
This is not an endgame job for me, it shouldn't be. I love to write (way more than driving), in the near future I'd like to write a book. Something that I think many people would like; It's one of my lifetime goals. But for that to happen, I still need to sustain myself in the meantime.
If you took the time to read this I REALLY appreciate it even
if you can't or just don't want to donate. I hope you learned something about the reality of what goes down when you apply for an american visa and how unjust it is for many honest people.
May you have a wonderful day!