Thursday, January 3, 2019

So You Want To Be a Citizen, Blah, Blah, Blah

Trish is back on U.S. soil and she brought the world’s cutest carry-on bag with her. Well, actually, I’m not sure who carried Nathan. It could have been Rachel, his mother. But I do know that Trish, Rachel, and Nathan are all in Florida on what is surely the most official business of Nathan’s entire seventeen months of living! They are here seeking U.S. citizenship for Nathan. Unfortunately, his citizenship will not be based on his cuteness level, so his mom and Nana have come prepared.

If you’re ever in need of some bedtime reading, you can check out the U.S. Department of State’s web page for “Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship by a Child Born Abroad”. It’s a riveting read--compared with say, the phone book, or the list of ingredients on your shampoo bottle. If you’re interested in learning about Nathan’s particular situation, you can skip to the section titled, “Birth Abroad in Wedlock to a U.S. Citizen and an Alien”. In this case, it means that Rachel, a U.S. Citizen, married Brandy, a Honduran, and little Nathan was born in Honduras.

There’s a bunch of other stuff about year of birth, blah, blah, blah… But wait! Those “blah, blahs” are important because the rules vary from one case to the other. The “blah, blahs” clearly state that since Nathan was born on or after November 14, 1986, in order for Rachel’s citizenship to guarantee Nathan’s, she would have had to live in the U.S. for five years prior to Nathan’s birth. Whew. She did that. No problemo, right? Wrong. If you read further down in the “blah, blah’s,” you see that at least two of those years would have to have been when she was fourteen or older. And that is a problemo! Rachel has lived in Honduras since she was nine.

Fortunately, there are some more obscure “blah, blahs,” and that’s where Trish comes in. Trish, meeting all of the requirements, may be able to pass citizenship along to a child in her direct lineage. Now, it’s not an automatic thing, but it’s the best available option. So far, it has involved filling out a slew of forms and having Rachel and Brandy pay the required fees. The application was received by the embassy and now Nathan, Rachel, and Trish are there for an in-person interview at the U.S. embassy in Tampa. Nathan was granted a Visa so that he could make this trip.

Trish has no idea what questions will be asked, but they’ve already provided things like birth certificates, marriage licenses, etc… They also had to show documentation for each time Trish has entered or exited the U.S. over her lifetime. (That’s why Trish is a better candidate than Allen, the former missionary kid, who did much more international traveling as a child!)

Once Nathan’s citizenship is approved, Rachel will apply for his U.S. passport. At a later time, this process can be repeated for RJ and Abby to obtain citizenship. It should be a little easier since they’ve already gathered the necessary information on Trish.

While in the U.S., Rachel is going to be doing a little traveling to meet with supporters of her ministry and do fundraising. Since she grew up in Honduras, Rachel doesn’t have as many U.S. connections as Allen and Trish. Obtaining citizenship for Nathan will allow her to make future trips to visit churches and share her ministry with interested people. Trish will be visiting relatives, doing a little chauffeuring for Rachel (who doesn’t have a U.S. driver’s license), and doing her regular work over the internet.

The embassy interview is January 9th. Prayers are appreciated!

 - posted by Christi

1 comment:

Dandelion said...

Are you sure "cuteness" isn't a factor??? Well, it should be! Who could possibly say no to this adorable little guy?