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Timesman | Tanga! Sayang! Okay lang

A US Embassy official in Manila warned the other day prospective visa applicants planning to go to the country whether as tourist, immigrant, or jobseeker not to deal with any processing agencies here and abroad as this is a scam.

US Consular Manager Leon Gendin said in an interview with Mike Enriquez of “GMA 24-Oras” that some travelling agencies are offering services to follow up applications for the United States. “Do not deal with these fixers as we didn’t authorize anybody to represent us in the processing of applications,” he said.

Gendin said the “Walang Sekreto” campaign launched by his office intends to warn would-be US visa applicants not to be tempted by these unscrupulous fixers’ very tempting offers of easy approval of application papers.

“Submit your application online and once we received your request, the Embassy will schedule your appointment with us together with the required documents,” Gendin said.

Processing of visa application and/or approval may not take long provided one is “honest and truthful” in the entire processing period, the Embassy official assured.

He said that financial capability of a visa applicant is not also much of a requirement contrary to what these fraudsters who first ask the bank account of the person seeking assistance.

Usually, eight out of 10 applications daily are being approved by the Embassy because we have efficient staff, Gendin said.

Many times in my past columns, we shared to my readers our experience while still applying for US immigrant visa last November until it was approved in record time this February (only about three months). I received my permanent US resident card or Green Card, Social Security Card, and Identification Card in a matter of one month while already in the US, and lately, a reentry passbook to the US after my 300-day stay.

After all these US privileges granted me, next step will be my application for US citizenship for me to avail of full free medical care and monthly retirement pension.

I am now on my 96 days as “balikbayan” in Davao City after staying four months in the new house of my daughter in Illinois, USA from April until August of this year.

The validity of my Green Card is up to 10 years and renewable after the expiration date. The Green Card is valid for readmission to the US for trip outside the US not longer than one year. If the trip is longer than one year, a reentry permit is required.

Although my 300-day request for this trip is still short of one year, yet this may affect my application paper for citizenship as the US Citizenship Immigration Service might think that I do not intend to make US my permanent residence. And because of this USCIS might deny my application and eventually the cancel of my Green Card.

I am in a quandary whether to give up all these US privileges I have now including my US citizenship application, although its approval is already in the bag.

And this is why the title of this column is “Tanga! Sayang! Okay lang.”

A friend called me “tanga” when he learned that I am thinking of giving up my plan to become US citizen.
I explained to him that at my age, I can’t stay in the US for about a year as a requirement while waiting for the approval of my application because of the cold weather.

I can’t sustain the almost 20-hour flight from Davao City to US and back to my country once a year.
I may not enjoy these added US privileges once approved citing the above reasons.
“Sayang” is what another friend commented.

He’s correct. While other people are doing everything to reach America and get rich, this writer prefers not to avail of the opportunity despite the effort of my daughter and me when were seeking the approval of my immigrant visa. Nonetheless, we did it and we were together in the US even if that was a so short period of time.

Okay lang, as my answer to all why the sudden change of mind. I realized that Mother America is only for rich people and celebrities who have the means to spend and live an extravagant life.
For the young Filipino dreamers who want to change their lives and get rich with the help of Uncle Sam, America is for them.

To this old man who wants to live a simple life as he was when he was still that young, there is no better place than where I am now-doing the house choirs every day, guiding Jin Lorenz on his college years and taking care of our pet dog Coco.

And at the end of the day, few bottles of SMB with my favorite pulutan Sashimi!

I remember Tala when she told me while I was vacationing in her beautiful house in Illinois, USA: “Papa, enjoy your remaining years and don’t think of us anymore. You’ve already done many good things for your family. We’re very proud of you.”


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