Plea to help Norwich woman whose family could be torn apart by visa wrangle
- Credit: Archant
A family may be torn apart over visa wrangle which could see them forced to live on separate continents for up to 18 months.
Bredge Vizgirda, who lived in Norwich for 12 years where she met her husband, Sean, said her children would be left traumatised if they are unable to see their father.
The couple, who have been married for nine years and have two children, moved to Qatar four years ago where Mr Vizgirda accepted a job offer at a college.
But two weeks ago Mr Vizgirda, 35, lost his job due to coronavirus cuts which means the family must leave the country within 90 days.
They hope to move to the United States to be with Mr Vizgirda’s family who are from Cincinnati.
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But Mrs Vizgirda, 34, a former Aviva employee, who began the process of applying for a green card before the job loss, has been told it may take up to 18 months.
As a result, the former Wymondham College student may have to move to the UK with her children, while Mr Vizgirda moves back to the US, during this time.
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She said she was told by immigration lawyers she would not even be allowed to visit the US as it could jeopardise the visa.
Mrs Vizgirda said: “It has been a surreal experience and every day we just wake up to more bad news. It feels like we haven’t got anywhere and I feel really scared, frustrated and alone at the moment.
“As expats we have lived with no extended family nearby for four years and we have become a tight unit and a team. It has been a really beneficial bonding experience and we all rely on one another.
“If we are forced to live apart the children will be emotionally traumatised by having their dad separated from them. They love him to pieces and they follow him around like a shadow.
“Sean adores his children and not being able to see them will really destroy him.”
Mrs Vizgirda said they had been contacting various congressmen and senators, who have the power to speed up the visa process.
She added: “We’re not trying to cut corners. We were planning to move to the US in three years, which is why I had started the visa process as that would have given it more than enough time.
“We did not anticipate any of this and we’re not trying to get around the system. We want to do it properly.”
The US Embassy in London has been contacted for comment.