When faced with the prospect of losing her visa, an immigrant girlfriend asked her partner whether they should get married. The boyfriend refused to be used as a “visa mule.”
She Moved To The US
This young Indonesian woman, 29, first arrived in the country as a graduate student over seven years ago. Shortly thereafter, she met her current boyfriend, a US citizen and now 30 years old. According to her version of events, the pair have been a steady couple ever since the beginning of their relationship.
Everything Seemed To Be Going Well
Purportedly, the couple first discussed marriage at her graduation. At that moment, both appeared to be on the same page: “I remember asking him if he saw that happening with me because I didn’t want to be in a relationship with no future. He told me he loved me and that we were definitely headed in that direction.”
She Could Face Issues With Her Visa
After almost a decade of living in the US, the girlfriend was faced with an unexpected dilemma. Her employer announced they would outsource her department’s work, jeopardizing her immigration status. Without a job, she could lose her H-1B visa. This is a temporary, work-sponsored visa type awarded through a lottery process. In the last year, over 75% of applicants—all highly-skilled foreign workers—were rejected.
Was Marriage On The Cards?
On the occasion of their seventh anniversary, the girlfriend asked about the possibility of marriage, considering her immigration issues. The boyfriend reacted poorly: “He looked like he was about to vomit.” After questioning, he revealed that he would only marry her once she obtained a green card (a legal permanent residency) without his help.
He Reacted Coldly
“I was incredibly confused because he’d never mentioned this before,” the girlfriend wrote in her online post. According to her, marriage had always seemed like an eventual part of their plan: “We’ve occasionally talked about [it], but we were both busy with our respective careers, so the timing didn’t seem quite right.”
He Questioned Her Love For Him
Now, the boyfriend refused to marry her “because he didn’t want to be used as a ‘visa mule.’” After seven years together, he felt this was the only way to ensure they married out of love and not self-interest. When asked, he also admitted that he was unwilling to move back with her to Indonesia in the case that she was forced to return to her native country.
She Asked Social Media For Help
Distraught, the young women turned to an online forum for relationship advice. “While the visa issues are certainly a problem, I did not date him with the intention of making him my safety net,” she said. “I cannot believe that even after nearly a decade together, he doesn’t know what kind of person I am. … It hurts so much.”
Something is Wrong
Redditors flooded the comment section with support, expressing their outrage at the situation. “That’s really a messed-up thing for him to do. If it’s not clear to him after 7 years that you love him, then there’s something wrong on his end,” reads the most up-voted message. “Immigrant status should not matter; it doesn’t define you.”
Social Media Reacted To The Story
Another user, who lived through a similar experience with their spouse, wrote: “That’s seven years of [your] life tending to [him], and helping each other out through thick and thin. … Same as my wife, should she ever leave me (the universe forbids), I will never be sorry for helping her get her residency.”
Were Some Other Forces At Play?
Other commenters suspected external influences. “This might just be an excuse,” suggested one user. In a reply, another person chimed in: “Seven years is a lot of work to pull the wool over someone’s eyes in order to obtain a green card. Is someone whispering in his ear?”
Obtaining a VISA is Not Easy
After the original post, the girlfriend provided updates that answered several users’ questions and satisfied many well-wishers. Firstly, she reminded US citizens in her comments that obtaining a legal permanent residency is not easy: “I know people who’ve been here for 15+ years who are still waiting for their PR.” At present, even applying as a spouse of a U.S. citizen can mean a 2½ years-long wait.
She Shared More Details About Their Situation
To Redditors asking for more detail in terms of their finances and living situation, she revealed the following: the young woman worked in STEM at a large company with a $300,000 salary, five times what her boyfriend earned as a teacher. They have lived together for six years and shared a bank account for rent and utilities. As the primary breadwinner, she had enough savings accumulated to ‘repay’ her partner for the financial burden of sponsoring her green card.
They Broke Up
As for her relationship, the immigrant girlfriend revealed that they are no longer together. During a discussion, her then-boyfriend confessed to long-held insecurities over the disparity in their incomes: “Apparently, his friends have been poking fun at our relationship, calling me the ‘sugar mommy’ because I take care of most of the expenses.” Because he was not the main provider, the boyfriend had begun to believe that a permanent residency was the only reason she could want a relationship with him.
There Was No Compromising
Because he considered his demands to be reasonable, the ex-partner rejected the possibility of the couple’s therapy to fix their issues. Per her account, “There’s no going back from this unless I quit my job and found another that paid substantially less, which isn’t going to happen.” In short, the couple soon announced their break up to his family, and she moved out.
She Started a New Life
For those worried about the girlfriend’s fate, they will be pleased to learn that there was a happy outcome. According to her final update, her employer offered her a similar role at an office based abroad. “I’ve always dreamed about living in Europe, and I’ve accepted this offer,” she wrote. “[I’m] leaving the US in 2-3 months to start a new life in France. Allons-y!”
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Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.