Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Illegal alien

When I came to New York in January it was with the intention to stay for six months. At least officially. I quickly got offered to stay over the summer to continue my research and to work with the amazing PhD students and my fellow researchers here. Since I have no teaching in Stockholm over the summer, I happily agreed. We have planned this since March or April and I wrote the people in charge of my visa about a month and a half ago informing them that I needed it renewed, at least from July 1st to September 1st. They needed more paperwork, which we supplied them with a couple of weeks ago. Today I realized that I still haven't heard back and that my visa runs out in a week. I am really worried about it it because if it does run out it will have enormous consequences for me. I emailed the person in charge twice but haven't heard back. I'm on a J1 and when you have been on one, and it's done, you cannot get one again for another two years. Period. There is also a 2 year home requirement but that's a different rule and that can be bent if you have the right connections and paperwork. I could potentially go on another visa but there is none that would fit my situation since H1s are reserved for actual faculty (I'm a visiting professor) and is very expensive for universities. I would basically have no option to stay here. I'm freaking out a bit and pray to the administration gods that things will go through before next week. Wish me luck.

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