Updated 7 years ago

My friend is in a situation. We will call her Bea for the sake of argument. Bea was a student from a foreign country, she came here to study and fell in love. "How sweet" right? Well, she forgot to renew her student visa in the euphoria of new found love, I wretched at the sound of it. She recently asked me how she could get legal again, it should be no big deal right? Never mind that more than a year had elapsed, she's a good person, never intentionally hurt anyone, and could potentially be a great asset to American society, so who would say no to her? It turns out the ICE could....



Apparently, if you do not renew your temporary visas on a regular basis, according to the rules set up by your host country they can actually detain, then deport you. The loving couple (and they really are lovely) are now contemplating marriage to get around this...issue. Perfect. Lets tie the knot and bind our lives together till the day one of us dies or is murdered by the other, this IS texas afterall. Guns, guns all around and ne'er a target to shoot.  The only upside to this siutation is that I now know for sure this is not some random fling for them. I advised them of some of the questions they'll be asked (how long have you known each other, do you have a means of support, how did you support yourself while you were here illegally), what kind of documents they'll need (government issued ID, Letters of Offer, tax receipts) and steered them towards a good immigration lawyer for consultation. Afterall, not following the rules got them into the situation maybe knowing what the rules are will help them out of it. They made me feel very old when they told me their tale, in fact I might have found my first grey hair....

My situation is somewhat different. The visa I'm under has very strict terms and conditions under which I must abide (an illegal immigrant has a better chance at becoming a US citizen than I do and bully to them for it, I figure) and I have to renew on an annual basis (well, the version I have is good for 3 years, but that's another story). Will I ever become a true expat and leave Canada behind? Not even if hell froze over, I've lived there and quite like the cold, thank you very much! Will I ever become well and truly indoctrinated into some of the silliness that can be part of American culture? I've avoided most of it for 6 years no and have no intentions of stopping. Will I ever fail to renew my visa? I'm not in love and have no intentions to be for as long as I live in Texas.

Keep up your visa kids. Don't freaking leave home without it!

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