Tags: American Embassy Accra, denied a visa, documentation ignored, Gracie, State department, torrential rain
Last night the rains were torrential. When the dog barked and woke me up, I could hear the rain beating on the roof. I called Gracie back upstairs, and she came but was unsettled. She doesn’t mind rain or thunder so I figured she had rung her bells to go out, and I hadn’t heard. The barks were her next hope of waking me. We went downstairs, and I opened the back door. The rain was in sheets and so heavy I could barely see the yard. Gracie poked her head out then right back in again. I insisted she go out, and she did for far longer than I expected. I had translated well Gracie’s barks. When she came inside, she was soaked so I used a towel to dry her. It was 1:30. We both went upstairs. Gracie jumped on the bed and immediately fell asleep. I did not so I started reading and did so for about an hour before I could fall back to sleep. It is still raining but only slightly. Gracie is asleep.
Yesterday Grace, my former student, not to be confused with Gracie, called and said she had been denied a visitor’s visa. I was devastated as I have been so excited about Grace coming to visit in August. For her visa, we had researched everything she needed to bring to the embassy for the interview, including a letter of invitation from me. She even brought a picture of the two of us together plus a deed to her house, copies of her bank account and several other pieces of documentation proving she has ties to Ghana and will return. Not a single piece of all that documentation was read. She was asked a few questions including whether I lived alone and whether she was married. She is and had a letter from her husband supporting her vacation. Visa denied ten minutes later. No reason was given. I am so furious I can’t speak without spitting. I wrote a letter to the embassy with a copy to the State Department visa section, but I suspect that was an exercise in futility. I spent the morning going from US official site to site, made a few phone calls and listened to each menu none of which addressed my need. I’m stymied. We had all our ducks in a row, and the woman at the embassy didn’t care or even notice. I’m not stopping until I find a way for Grace to be heard!
Okay, I feel a bit better for having ranted a bit, but I just don’t get it. We did everything right, and it didn’t matter. Grace and I are but small voices crying in a sea of bureaucracy, and I am bound and gagged by red tape, compliments of the American Embassy in Accra. (Okay I admit those last two might have been a bit over the top!).