Abandoning the American Dream: the story of those who returned to their homeland
For some, a green card is a lifelong dream. And those who carry the American dream in their hearts sincerely do not understand those who won the green card, but did not use this chance. Starting life from scratch in a foreign country is not always as easy as it seems. ForumDaily readers, who were lucky enough to win the lottery, but were not lucky to make the American dream come true, told why they did not work out with the United States.
At home was too good
Julia Maricheva came to America from Russia with her dad and his wife. On the first try, my father won the green card, which he really dreamed of. But Julia never thought about moving to America.
“My life in Nizhny Novgorod was fine with me, but how could I miss such a chance? - Yulia recalls. - We came to California, to Sacramento. For two months I tried to find a job, but nothing worked for me: either the job is not the same, or the wages are very low. Every day I understood more and more clearly that America is not for everyone. After being pushed around for several months, I decided to leave for Russia ”.
In Novgorod, Julia returned to her university and continued her studies. She says that in America her knowledge of English would not be enough for study. If I had been preparing to leave in advance and more seriously, then perhaps I would have tried to start life here from scratch: get an education, find a good job. But these steps seemed unnecessary, because at home everything was not bad at all.
Julia now lives in Russia, having abandoned the green card with a light heart. She says that so far she does not regret anything, because personally her life in her native country is no worse than that of the Americans in their homeland.
For the same reason, Alexandra and Viktor Malyshkovs returned to Vilnius. At home, both had a good job, friends, relatives. Winning a green card was a surprise for the newlyweds and a gift for the wedding: “A week after the wedding, we found out that we won the green card,” says Victor. “The initiator was my wife, I didn't want to argue with her.” Victor and Alexandra are English teachers, so they had no problems with the language. But with the job search, everything turned out to be not so simple.
The young family chose New York to move. Victor immediately realized that he could not undertake physical work, because his health would not allow. And to provide the family with the previous standard of living will not be easy.
In Vilnius, there was an apartment that the family did not sell, but decided to rent, a new car that was put up for sale, but it has not yet found its buyer. Savings melted, housing in a rented apartment was depressing, quarrels began.
“We have come from a life that is too good,” admits Victor. - In the Baltics it was quiet, satisfying, calm, there was no reason to look for a better life. I regret that we played the lottery - we just took someone else's place and flew to the USA in some excitement and ardor ”.
As a result, the family returned to Lithuania, from the new academic year almost all of the student clients returned to Alexandra, and Victor was willingly taken back to the company where he taught English.
Could not accept life
Oksana Pivovarova from Russia won the green card in the lottery at the third attempt and decided with her husband: if the American dream is to come true, then everything should be like in a movie.
“The interview went smoothly, and after 4 months my husband and I, 2 children and 3 suitcases were at the airport,” says Oksana. “First we went to Inglewood, a town in the southwest of Los Angeles County. I didn't like it there, and we moved to West Hollywood. The first problem was rental housing. We left 2 apartments and a house at home. Apartments were rented out. Here there was a feeling that no one was in a hurry to rent out an apartment. Anyway, where did all these films about American workaholics come from? Wherever you go, employees work slowly. For example, a bank manager comes in 50 minutes after the call. And to apply for insurance, we waited almost 4 hours. "
Oksana quickly realized that she was disappointed with the local way of life and way of life. She had no problems with the language, but domestic problems were baffling. Without a credit history, it was difficult to rent a house and arrange a car for leasing, and it was not possible to open a credit card for several months.
“Once here, an immigrant is forced to go through the cruel millstones of natural selection,” concludes Oksana. - He remains alone with his goals and aspirations, and he will only be able to survive if he pulls himself together and concentrates on achieving results. Young people find such tests easier, they adapt faster. My husband and I have surrendered. "
“If there was more money with you, or at least there were relatives or acquaintances who would help with housing and work, they might stay,” says Oksana. “But we realized that no one in America was waiting for us, and decided to leave back to Russia. Here, affordable medicine, including affordable, paid ones. And leaving children alone at home is not as scary as it is in America with its strict laws. "
Oksana also found pluses for several months of her life: low prices for food and clothes made me very happy. But this was not enough to start fighting for a place in the American sun.
First learn the language, then play the lottery
The story of a family from Belarus could have ended differently from the previous ones, if Marina and Yevgeny Filipenko knew English. The couple lived in Texas for 8 months, and all the domestic troubles began precisely because of the language barrier. Filipenko waited a long time for the social security number, which, after winning the green card, had to be sent by mail.
“Without him, they wouldn't take us to any normal job,” says Evgeny. “We had to go straight to the social service, but we were without language and didn't know who to turn to.”
The lack of initiative ended sadly: it turned out that no one applied for the social security number and the process was not even started.
When all the documents were ready, and the husband and wife were able to get a job, life began to improve.
“We started buying something that we never allowed ourselves in Belarus,” says Evgeniy. - The supermarkets have everything your heart desires! Yes, sitting in a warm office and talking to people for several thousand dollars is very good, but every evening, returning to someone else's house, I thought about what if tomorrow I was fired from my job and I could not pay the rent? In my native country, being a programmer, I made very good money, but in the USA I realized that there are thousands of people like me, and at least 5 people apply for one of my jobs. In Belarus I was respected as a worker, but in America they just looked for something to cling to. "
Marina got a job as an au pair. They paid well - $ 15 per hour. But cleaning and washing in the house is not at all what a young woman with a higher education aspired to.
“Without good English, you’re just cheap labor,” concludes Eugene. - Marina tried to learn the language, she even went to school. But self-doubt and fear of saying something wrong took over. "
A serious crisis was brewing in the family, and Eugene decided to return home. In addition, the wife became pregnant and firmly decided that she would not give birth in America, because she was afraid not to understand what the doctor was telling her. Of course, you can find an interpreter - hospitals provide such a service, but the decision had already been made, and the family did not want to wonder if they could cross the language barrier and cope with life in English.
At home, Eugene got a job at his previous job, Marina - too. And after the birth of the child, she took a vacation, which in America the employer simply would not pay. So far, the family does not regret that they gave up the green card and returned home.
It does not look like a fairy tale
Oksana Nycheporuk from Lviv picked up the 2 green card times and only the second time decided to leave. In the US, she was met by a friend, she invited me for a month. The terms were clearly stipulated, and Oksana knew that in a month she would have to take care of herself herself.
“I found a job quickly. The apartment where I lived with 2 girls was 5 minutes from the office, and the issue with the car was not acute. And the neighbors bought cars - there are big problems with public transport in small towns. In New York, San Francisco, Washington, or other cities with buses and subways, you can do without a car. In our Linden, New Jersey, you can't live without a car. And the car is, as a rule, credit and bank bondage. To have enough money to pay for basic expenses and necessary purchases, I had to work from morning to evening. Every month, my employer withheld money for health insurance. I tried to rent a house without neighbors, but pretty soon my salary was cut and I had to look for a room again ”.
Oksana has lived in the USA for 2 years. I was worried that she was so eager to start a new life, went through the brutal selection of the immigration service, endured the humiliation of competitors, spent such efforts, but still decided to return to her homeland. She decided that by the age of 40, she needed to have more than a rented room and a hopeless job. True, she did not cut ends - she plans to come to the United States from time to time so as not to lose her green card.
The main responsibilities of green card holders:
- You must comply with US law.
- You must annually file your income statement in U.S. Internal Revenue Service and the tax authorities of the state where you live. Naturally, pay taxes.
- You should in no way be involved in criminal activity.
The green card is a confirmation that you have the status LPR (lawful permanent resident) and it is indefinite. The same cannot be said about the card itself, which must be changed every 10 years, in the event that you do not want to change this status on the status of a US citizen.
Immigration services can take away your status if you:
- We moved to another country with the intention to settle there.
- Absent in the United States for a long period without good reason or without permission. It discusses the reason for your trip, and the duration, and other life circumstances that could affect your absence or delay in returning to the USA.
- You did not file tax returns or in them you identified yourself in nonimmigrant status.
A few tips for those who are afraid of losing their green card
- If you are a green card holder, you decide to go to your home country, but in the future you plan to return and get a US passport, then you should know that you must be in the US at least 180 days a year, and to apply for a receipt Citizenship You need to live in the US for at least 30 months in the last 5 years. If you have been absent in the United States for more than a year, this equates to the automatic loss of your status in the United States. If your absence did not last more than 6 months, but less than a year, then you will need to prove to the officer that you are permanently residing in the USA, justifying your long absence.
- If before leaving it is difficult to determine how much time you will have to be outside the US, then it is better to insure yourself and arrange it in advance Reentry permitwhich will allow you to be eligible to enter the country after an absence of up to 2 years. After that you will have to go through the procedure for restoring permanent resident status and further obtaining SB-1 visas. And this, as practice shows, is a rather complicated immigration process.
- Ensure your connections with the country. If possible, make your bank account active and take care of your home address. In addition, do not disconnect the phone with an American card. This, like the presence of letters from the bank and credit cards, will be proof of your ties with the United States.
- One of the conditions for maintaining your status as a permanent resident of the United States is the annual mandatory filing of your tax return.
- The presence of real estate in the United States is also a good proof of communication with the country.
- Do not forget the ID certificate, which must be renewed regularly.
Green Card Recoveryы
Restoring a green card after being absent from the USA for a long time is possible. This procedure takes place in the 2 stage. First you need to obtain the status of a US resident returning to the country after a long absence Returning Resident Statusand then get an SB-1 immigration visa for a US resident Returning Resident SB-1 immigrant visa.
Read also on ForumDaily:
How to Recognize Immigration Fraud and Protect Yourself: USCIS Recommendations
USCIS has a tool that makes life a lot easier for immigrants: how to use it
US citizenship: how long do immigrants wait for naturalization
How to transport parents to the USA: instructions for immigrants
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