RapidChat: Juan Carlos Angulo on the process of petitioning permanent U.S. residence

It’s been a long process since Juan Carlos Angulo first moved to Michigan from Mexico City. Three years later, Rapid Growth follows up with him on his demanding journey from work visa to U.S. residency. 
Rapid Growth: Will you soon be applying for permanent residency?

Juan Carlos Angulo: Since we last spoke, Christina (my wife) and I have been going through the process of petitioning permanent residence for myself. It’s been a long process, but our 10-year residency application was approved and now we are thinking ahead for the next steps which would be citizenship. 

RG: What goes into the application process?

JA: Well, it’s important to understand that there are various ways to apply for residency (family-based, employment-based, humanitarian, and the diversity lottery). My application was done through the family-based in which my wife sponsors my petition. For the most part it is simple; you fill in an application and you are asked to provide a series of documents proving that your sponsor is a U.S. Citizen and that (in our case) the marriage is legitimate, for which there is no specific documentation required other than as much evidence you can gather of your life together (i.e. from bank statements, health/life insurance, bank account and bills to pictures, letters, and friends and family affidavit of support letter).

After that, it’s a long wait to get your picture and fingerprints taken and after another long wait, you go for an interview where an officer asks you questions and then ultimately decides if your application gets approved or not. Luckily for us, our application got approved.

RG: Leading up to this point, what have been some of the hurdles you and your wife have had to overcome?

JA: Well, I guess one of the hardest things was the stress around not knowing if our application was going to get approved which would ultimately affect our place/country of residence, employment, and our life together including our home and our house full of pets.

RG: Now that you won’t be reliant on a work visa, how does that impact your work opportunities within the U.S.? 

JA: One of the great things is that now that I am a resident. If I were to seek for new opportunities, the companies that I would apply to would not need to sponsor me for a work visa anymore—so that opens a lot of doors for new opportunities.

RG: What are your thoughts on President Trump's new ban on immigrants from entering the U.S. if they are “too poor” to afford healthcare?

JA: To me, the concern is really more an issue of trying to limit or deter legal immigration. There is a popular opinion that legal immigration is good and an understanding that increases economic growth. Making it difficult for immigrants if they don’t meet income standards is not what this country was built on – 

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.”
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

RG: With the potential for President Trump to serve another four-year term, are there things are you still fearful of with going through the process to obtain your citizenship?

JA: Well, I don’t think that a second term would have much impact in our applications at this point, thankfully. But we have to keep thinking about the ones that are seeking new opportunities or fleeing hardship. And [we need to] continually remind ourselves that this country was built on immigration, and that fact doesn’t make it any less great.

RG: What is your advice to others — they themselves, or those who know of a loved one — who are going through the immigration process within today’s police climate?

JA: Make sure they’re aware of all new laws, processes, forms, and etc. ... because it’s a really tricky process. Or hire a lawyer to assist you with such a big task.

Jenna K. Morton is the RapidChat correspondent for Rapid Growth Media
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