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Creating jobs? Still keep humiliated at the U.S. embassy abroad.
36 points by golubevpavel on Sept 9, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 33 comments
I'm a foreigner. I'm running my own IT company in San Francisco, CA. I established it in in 2011. We made over $5,000,000 in 2 years. And sent significant checks to IRS. And created new jobs. And enhancing economy.

But keep humiliated at the U.S. embassy abroad.

Last time my wife was getting a visa in June, only 2 months ago. Her interview lasted 4 hours, not including 2 hours of line. So after 6 hours she ran out of the embassy, fell on my shoulders and started crying and I could not stop her crying. Then we she calmed down, she just said "Never, never I will go to this awful country, I hate it!" During the interview little girl was accused in lying, they threatened her with jail (Stop lying us, you will go to jail now), they were behaving disrespectfully, they laughed at her. And eventually her visa was approved. She got her L2 visa

So after few days she calmed down and we moved to San Francisco to develop my business. We both felt in love with this city, got a car, rent an apartment, bought furniture, I leased a new office, hired new employees. We almost forgot about that terrible fact. But 2 weeks ago my wife went back to Belarus to see her parents. And the nightmare has began all over again.

I was waken up tonight with a phone call from my wife, calling me after her embassy interview, crying again. Same story! Again consul looked at her Belarussian passport and laughed at her. While laughing he said to his colleague: "Hahaha, they can't even fake documents in proper way". Then he told her, that she was lying and did not want to listen to her. And eventually rejected her visa.

And what do I have to do know?




Some people think, that the whole story is made up. Please let me answer your questions, so that you have no doubts it's 100% genuine.

Q: Your wife went to see her parents. Why you say she is scared and alone in unfamiliar city.

A: Becuase there's no way to get a visa in Belarus. You have to go to Moscow.

Q: The story is made up, because emabassy in Belarus is not issuing visas.

A: Right. That's why if your parents live in Belarus, you have to go to another country, like Russia, to have an interview and then stay about a week in a hotel, waiting for your passport. You can't go back to Belarus, because they keep your passport at the embassy and not giving it back to you right away, even if you passed interview and your visa was granted.

Q: Why did you apply for a new visa if your previous was issued only 2 months ago?

A: Both L1 and L2 visas are linked to your blanket petition. Petition is another document, issued by USCIS for 1 year. You can't get a visa, which expiration date is longer than your petition expiration date. My petition was approved in August 2012, but I received it in fact only in spring (after more than 6 months). And then, when I received it, it took several more months to make final preparations for the movement, so we were able to get a visa for her only in June (which expired in August according to petition expiration) and moved to the U.S. right away after that. And again, petition has been extended already, but I only received it in August, even though it has been extended since April.


1. Immaturity at US Embassies is unfortunate and it happens. Sometimes sadistic immaturity. I hear reports of this from my clients. I'm not saying all State Department people are like that. Probably just a few. But there are enough to make the USA look like a club populated by petty teenaged tyrants.

2. Get an immigration lawyer to help you. It may be futile but at this point you don't have a choice.

3. My operating hypothesis is that citizenship is merely a business problem to be solved for an increasing number of people. The 19th/20th Century notions of Motherland/Fatherland and (gasp) Homeland are increasingly outmoded for people like you. If you want to disrupt something, disrupt passports.


Indeed, I hired a lawyer from the very first moment, long before I submitted my first paper for review. She says, that everything will be fine and she can handle it. But still my girl is alone in unfamiliar city and she must be scared and I can't imagine what's in her mind right now.


But still my girl is alone in unfamiliar city and she must be scared and I can't imagine what's in her mind right now.

She is an adult (I hope). Don't treat her like a 12 y/o, otherwise you condition her into showing that same level of emotional stability.


To disrupt a passport you basically have to disrupt the whole political system of the world first. It might be possible, but not in our lives, I'm afraid.


By insisting to be there you're only asking for it. You enforce the high-demand/bad-attitude relation. Find another place for business development, job-creating, and tax pay. One that might actually be grateful and respectful for what you do.


It's not me, who _needs_ to run a business in the U.S.

It's U.S., which _needs_ more income to its federal budget and more jobs to be created.

My business is completely online and can hire people to serve it anywhere.


What do you care about the US' needs? If you can run a business anywhere, then do so somewhere a little less strict surely?

I know the UK could do with your business, we are too busy giving money left right and centre to people who can't be bothered to work - it is only a matter of time until the pot empties.


I think you are making a very good point.


this story is made up, folks. immigration 101: L2 visas are granted for 1-year initially and then for 2-years afterwards. so the OP's claim that his wife went back to the embassy after just 6-weeks of getting her visa is nonsense.

also, we're supposed to believe that his Belarussian wife, who went to visit her parents in Belarus, who has a Belarussian passport is now alone and in an unfamiliar Belarus? (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6353620)

this makes zero sense on all levels. There's never a state dept official that's this stupid and unprofessional. they can be rude nut never this far. saying a passport is fake by just looking at it and accusing someone of lying like that would never happen. I've had my fair share of interactions with state dept officials


L2 visas are granted together with L1-A/B visas which are 3+2+2 or 3+2 years respectively, not 1 year initially.

And you cannot get a US visa in Belarus: "We apologize for the inconvenience, but due to the decision by the Belarusian government in 2008 requiring the U.S. Embassy to reduce its diplomatic staff from 35 Americans to 5, the Embassy was technically forced to suspended full visa processing services indefinitely. Residents of Belarus whose applications do not fall under the above categories should make arrangements to apply for a nonimmigrant visa at another post."


Is this 3+2+2 time new or something? My dad got 2 separate L1's (separate companies different years) and first one was always 1 year. My uncle just got his 2 or 3 years ago, and was also granted a 1 year L1.


It looks like L1 visa has different rules for citizens of different countries. If your dad is from Mexico, that might be the reason why he got it for 1 year. For citizens of Belarus it's 3+2(+2).


I'm sorry, but you are wrong. L1A are granted for one year and then you have to renew it on a yearly basis.


as someone who dealt with L1/L2 visas for myself and my wife and someone who knows OP, his wife and his story in person, i can assure you that this story is absolutely TRUE. period.

getting visa in US embassies abroad after having it approved in US is a complete MESS. This is well known fact for almost anyone who dealt with it. There are tens of scary stories that international founders (including YC founders) could share about that.

Also stating that someone is lying without clarifying details does not make one look smarter (although might bring some quick carma here)

my contact info is in profile. Vlad Gurgov


The process of getting a visa is a complicated beurocratic mess, it's not that simple as you are saying.

Both L1 and L2 visas are linked to your blanket petition. Petition is another document, issued by USCIS for 1 year. You can't get a visa, which expiration date is longer than your petition expiration date. My petition was approved in August 2012, but I received it in fact only in spring (after more than 6 months). And then, when I received it, it took several more months to make final preparations for the movement, so we were able to get a visa for her only in June (which expired in August according to petition expiration) and moved to the U.S. right away after that.

And again, petition has been extended already, but I only received it in August, even though it has been extended since April.

And there's no consulate in Belarus. You have to go to Russia to pass interview and stay there in a hotel for about a week to wait for your passport to be returned.


If you were already in the country while your visa was approaching its expiration, why couldn't you have set up an INFOPASS appointment at a local USCIS office?


From wikipedia:

Application to an L-1 visa begins with the filing of a petition with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) on Form I-129, along with supporting documentation showing that both the U.S. company and the foreign parent, subsidiary, affiliate or branch meet the qualifying factors set forth in the law and regulations.[6] Notice of approval of the Form I-129 is given by the USCIS on a Notice of Action, Form I-797, and using this as the basis of the application, the alien may apply for visa issuance at a consulate or embassy of the United States in the country having jurisdiction over their residence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L-1_visa


Agreed. This is absolute nonsense. You don't go back for another visa every time you leave the country with an L-2.

Shame on OP, not only for lying, but doing such a piss-poor job at it.

Shame on HN for blindly upvoting this garbage. I thought we were better than reddit.



Just commenting on the L2 and visa matter...

L2 is just the status that you are in (similar to H-1B).

How long you can stay in the US is determined by the date on the I-94. How often you can re-enter on a visa depends on the single/multiple entry on your visa stamp. If you happen to have a single entry visa, then of course you would need to make another consular visit to get a new visa if you wanted to come back to the US.

Remember, the I-94 date trumps whatever duration you have on your consular visa stamp. If the date on your I-94 says leave tomorrow... then, in most cases, that is the best course of action to take.


Not only that, but the U.S. Embassy in Belarus does not process immigration visas, nor has it for several years...

http://minsk.usembassy.gov/non-immigrant_visas.html


Right. That's why if your parents live in Belarus, you have to go to another country, like Russia, to have an interview and then stay about a week in a hotel, waiting for your passport. You can't go back to Belarus, because they keep your passport at the embassy and not giving it back to you right away, even if you passed interview and your visa was granted.


dangit, I wanted to hear about the business.


USA is one of the most shitty "partner" to rely if you're a foreigner. So in the first place, why SF? There are lots of great places in Europe to do business.


Huge part of Silicon Valley and US economy depends on immigrants like me.

I agree. There are many other great places to do business. Do you think I should suggest and recommend foreign entrepreneurs (who are ready to invest their money and time in american economy) to invest in other great places?


"Hahaha, they can't even fake documents in proper way" - what kind of documents was he looking at? As far as I know the only document required for L2 visa is a marriage certificate and in my case no one actually looked at it. So I really doubt the described situation actually happened.


They looked at her passport and a marriage stamp in that passport.


I see no reason for them to say that. Given that she have already had L-2 visa issued and she should have had a marriage certificate with her.

And may I ask why did she go to Moscow for a visa and not to Kyiv?


It's a common practice to say things like that in the embassy. She went to Moscow, Russia, because US embassy in Minsk, Belarus is not issuing visas and Belarus citizens have to go to another country to get a visa. Kyiv is not a part of Belarus. It is a capital of another country Ukraine. So it does not matter where she goes, to Kyiv or Moscow. Both cities are not part of Belarus.


"So it does not matter where she goes, to Kyiv or Moscow. Both cities are not part of Belarus." - it does matter. Kyiv is cheaper to stay and US consuls are usually more friendly.


what's you company?





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