When I stepped out of the United States on Feb 20, I was not thinking about what is coming in the next few months. I have a return flight in two weeks and I was excited to come to Bangladesh to meet my family and friends.
I came to Bangladesh for my H-1B visa interview. I was pretty chilled and I was not considering something exotic by any means. I guessed that they might give me the so-called administrative processing (AP), but it should not last that long. In my mind, my case is as straight as a ruler, so they should not stop me for long. But what I didn’t count is the uncertainly of nature.
I got approved immediately during my interview. However, two days later I was asked to submit a few additional stuff. Ok, fine. Submitted, done! Now the drama starts! I am waiting and waiting and the time of my return flight is here. I pushed it by two more weeks. I was growing impatient every day and now the biggest thing hit me hard. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the United States suspended all routine visa processing for uncertain time and now, I am truly stranded! My wife is living all by herself in the time of pandemic and almost in the epicenter of Pennsylvania and here I am stuck in my home!
The next thing I know I have to come back. We started lobbying through a friend in the ministry of foreign affairs with the official in the US Embassy in Bangladesh. My friend is trying his level best, but so far, no luck. Meanwhile, the biggest surprise struck me- President DJT tweeted that he will suspend all legal immigration for an uncertain time. My bone froze and I felt like my earth is shattered. We (my wife and I) built our American life in the last 7.5 years through tremendous pain, diligence, and a lot of sweat and blood. Our good days are appearing and we are almost closing to the finishing line- getting GC and becoming more secure to do many other stuffs that we planned for years. And now, this uncertainty! I couldn’t control myself, cried out loud and for the first time in the last few weeks, I felt helpless. I called my beloved wife and she acted bravely. She contacted the local congressman office and managed the staffer to write a letter for my case to US Embassy in Bangladesh. However, the tension was rising in the air regarding DJT’s EO and I couldn't sleep at all for two nights. After two days, he signed the EO with a temporary suspension of the overseas green card program. But with a nerve chilling anecdote.
It states that the Labor, DHS, and State Dept. will provide a recommendation to the WH regarding the non-immigrant visa such as H-1B, etc. DJT’s supporter base is trying to build up pressure on him to put a halt on the H-1B program. I am not sure what will happen in the next 3 weeks. Will they doom my life?
Never thought about the circle of drama that is unwinding now. If I learn something from this drama, it is nothing but always appreciate the “present” and don’t take anything for granted.