What if I Wanted to Return to the United States?

By 22:55 ,

I had assumed my "Porque Voltei?" post would generate some questions and such, and so I'll try to slowly answer questions as they come instead of going along with my original "Por que" series of posts.

One question adam @ Eyes On Brazil brought up is actually something that's been in the back of my mind since I left the U.S. to come to Brazil and which has been the hardest to answer.

This was Adam's comment:

Must be weird to know you could find yourself illegal in a country you feel is your own (which I would assume you would feel after living there practically your whole life). You should add to the list at the bottom, "What happens if I want to go back to the States?"

This is tough because when I left the U.S. my plans were to stay in Brazil for a couple of years get a great job and not give anyone at the consulate any reason to deny me a visa so I could visit my family there and maybe even get a baller scholarship and do my masters in the U.S. Sounds easy enough, right? Hmmm. Not so much.

The reality of the matter is Adam is completely right. I lived in a country for close to 20 years that would not accept me as one of their own simply because of where I was born. Despite my birth certificate, cultural upbringing, dark skin, and open mindedness (tee hee), Connecticut was and is still home to me. I wouldn't go so far as to identify myself as American (ever), but that's another story for another day. Meanwhile, despite my Americanisms, I have been embraced as completely Brazilian here. So how would I expect government officials who follow the rules and regulations of the same country that wouldn't consider me American because of a stupid piece of paper I wasn't allowed to get, even allow me to visit after I left? For once in my life, I feel like I belong and don't have to be afraid to tell my story.

Needless to say, I still plan on trying to get a visa so I can make it to my brother's high school graduation and one of my best friend's weddings (I'm supposed to be a bridesmaid!) in mid 2009, and also so I can have the freedom to travel to the U.S. if I need to for any emergency (God forbid) reason. Do I have a good chance of getting a visa? No, not at all. I have several strikes against me.

1. I was born in Governador Valadares, MG - the city is only notorious for sending the most amount of undocumented Brazilians to the United States and have been blacklisted from visa distribution.
2. I have tonsssss of ties in the U.S. - the most significant being my immediate family.
3. I don't make a significant enough amount of money to up and travel on my own to the U.S.
... and probably much more.

Is it worth a try? Yeah, why not? I can get there, tell the truth, bring letters and proof that I now have ties in São Paulo and swear on my life I really just want to visit my friends and family because they are the only things of value I have there. I could care less about their country and the "opportunities" they have there because let's be honest with each other here... I left because I didn't want to do anything wrong or illegally and because I had exhausted my options on staying there legally - doesn't that say anything about my character? So please Mr. Consulate Man... let me just go see my brother in a marroon cap and gown and wear a hot pink bridesmaid dress.

Fortunately for me, I have been able to enjoy being in Brazil and giving up a lot of the luxuries I had in the U.S., so good question Adam, but for now, it's just trying my luck and gambling on the visa! Anything more long term than that is too long term for my confused mind right now.

beijosss galera.

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