Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Marcus Huff
Staff Writer 

Denied: immigration status for fiancée

Worland exchange teacher lived in China, had plans to marry

 

February 17, 2017



WORLAND – For Roscoe Lee Snider, a Worland resident and former English teacher in China, the plan seemed simple: follow official procedures and bring his Chinese fiancée (an English translator) to the United States to be married and live under the rule of law.

This week, Snider found out that the sometimes the easiest ideas can become complicated, when the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a component of the United States Department of Homeland Security, denied his request without explanation after an almost year-long application process.

“I feel like I’ve been denied access to my wife,” said Snider, from his home here in Wyoming. “It seems like people who can afford an immigration lawyer can just make it happen, but that’s not going to be the case for me. It’s frustrating.”

Several years ago, Snider made friends with a woman from Sichuan Province, China. In an effort to visit her country, Snider reached out to the Enfly Corporation, who has a major contract in China to provide English teachers to students and adults.

Traveling to China was not a problem, and Snider soon found himself settling into an apartment in Cheng du Province and teaching conversational English to 40 junior high students for a 10-month period.

During his time in China, Snider met Limin Lan, an English translator for an engineering firm, recently injured in a bicycle wreck and wheelchair-bound. The two became friends, with Snider taking her out to explore China, and eventually the two fell in love, with Lan’s family approving and accepting Snider as a future son-in-law. The two had plans to marry in the U.S. and start a new life in Wyoming.

Returning to Wyoming, Snider began the immigration procedure to bring Lan to the country in July 2016, filing all of the initial paperwork and establishing an account with the USCIS. Soon, he found out that receiving feedback and updates was a frustration.

“Customer service [for the USCIS] is run through a third-party vendor, so you never really get anyone from the agency,” noted Snider. “At one point I was on hold [on the phone] for three hours to speak with an agent before the line just went dead.”

Growing frustrated, Snider began contacting the agency regularly in August 2016, trying to determine the status of his request. “I’ve never seen bureaucracy like this. It was easier to just go to China,” said Snider.

After six months of trying to get an answer, Snider received an email this week, notifying him in a single sentence that his request had been denied.

“There’s no record as to why we were denied, no explanation, nothing,” said Snider. The agency that processes requests for USCIS reported to Snider that a written denial would arrive in the mail before March.

“Limin and I have known each other for a few years now, and established a real relationship. Her family is my family,” said Snider. “This isn’t some deal where I’m just trying to get a lady a green card.”

Still awaiting his denial letter, Snider has plans to try and contact state representatives and senators, to see if he can explain his situation, and seek some relief.

“It would have been easier to just get married in China and bring her over,” said Snider. “I guess I’ll wait for their [USCIS] response, then figure out what to do.”

 
 

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