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The U.S Immigration Authorities, Keeping Lovers Apart

January 2014, 21
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Lonely Women

A long divorced professor, Stephen Heyneman is aged 70 and after his retirement and divorce he realised he was lonely. So he did what is very ordinary in our society today and he posted an advert on an online dating website. He received many replies, but one which caught his eye the most was from a Philippino woman living in a small village on the island of Palawan.

After talking online and getting to know one another Mr Heyneman made the journey to the Philippines to meet the woman who he claims he loved already, in the Philippines with her family in the June of 2011. After the initial meeting when Mr Heyneman returned home to Tennessee he invited his now girlfriend, aged 55, to come over to the U.S for a visit, which she did.

The couple now spend their days talking via video messaging online due to the woman, named Ticoby, having her Visa request denied a staggering three times. The couple are desperate to marry and live together in the U.S.A but the immigration authorities are making it seem impossible.

Ticoby is a qualified nurse, and despite there being a shortage of nurses in America this is not assisting her application. Ticoby could face up to a 20 year wait for her visa, with her age of 55 and Stephen being 70 this is something which they do not want to do. They claim to be in desperate love with each other, Ticoby has the much needed and in demand nursing skills, they wish to marry and spend their twilight years full of happiness together in the U.S.A but the probability of this is looking extremely slim for the internet lovers.

Their initial plan was for Ticoby to arrive in the U.S.A under a Tourist Visa and meet Stephen, his family and experience American life, but this opportunity was denied her when officials rejected her application for a Tourist Visa.

Their second attempt was very lengthy. Stephen and Ticoby printed off hundreds of conversations, pictures of trips together, Stephen with her family and as much photographic proof as they could muster to show their relationship as genuine, then applied for a Fiance Visa. This took nearly 12 months and then Ticoby travelled to the Philippines Capital for 7am to await the decision. Her application was denied. No documentation was asked for, the officials decision was based on three questions to Tibocy and no explanation of the decision was provided, Ticoby was told ‘no’ and then it was next in line, there were 300 people there that day. Ticoby repeated this process again and was again told the same thing.

The couple can now only hope for a change in America's Immigration rules, continue as virtual lovers or accept their fate and move on. Migration into the U.S.A is not an option for Ticoby within the next two decades.

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