In many ways, the fact that it’s 2022 and I’m still in Venezuela, having failed time and time again at obtaining a visa to start a new life with my brother in another country is extremely disheartening. I’m about to enter the fourth year since I promised my mom I’d achieve this goal and I haven’t been successful at it.
If things had gone in my favor all throughout 2021 then yeah, I’d be sharing a different kind of update, alas, I did say a year ago that I was going to share this, the most difficult and most important journey of my life with all of you — so it’s time for an update, and the start of a new story arc.
I’m not being dramatic or exaggerating when I say that I have no more cards to play and no more turns left — the game I was playing was effectively over back in November, and I lost, spectacularly.
As a Venezuelan, I’ve exhausted every option for a visa, and there have been severe obstacles that I can’t power through, such as the closure of embassies in Venezuela and the COVID-19 Pandemic. Since day one I was fully aware that this was never going to be easy because of my brother’s situation, but these are things I was not prepared for, I mean, who was?
Mexico is about to impose visas to Venezuelans at the behest of the Biden administration, so my last ditch resource: presenting myself at the border and claim asylum, is not something I can do anymore (I seriously considered this at the lack of other options). I cannot get a visitor’s visa because of the absurd wait times, and I’ve been unsuccessful at obtaining any other kind of non-immigrant visas.
I’ve also lost potential job opportunities in Canada and other countries because there’s no embassy here, and travel out of Venezuela was restricted during the crucial time window for certain applications. I kept trying all these years in other countries too, but I’ve been met with obstacles I just couldn’t overcome.
While my brother is under my care because it is my duty and my responsibility, I’m not his legal guardian or whatever. This is an inviolable promise I made to my mother hours before she died but for all legal intents and consular purposes he is just an adult with no education beyond high school. He’s not my son, and he’s over 21, which makes my case way more uphill and complicated than it should be.
Be that as it may, I’m not giving up in my efforts to start a new life away from Venezuela with him. With nothing left to try I am falling back to that which should be ours by right of blood: the Italian Nationality.
This is not a new approach, but rather, attempt No. 2 at it. I was exploring this option all throughout 2019 and had to pay a bunch of money to get some of the paperwork, only to get this plan shot down due to a lack of cooperation of my father and his brother’s untimely passing. The COVID-19 pandemic just added salt to the wound, and I instead started a different plan towards the end of 2020 and during most of 2021, which ended in failure.
I have one year left on my Venezuelan passport’s final extension (and six months before the international six month rule kicks in) and nothing left to lose, so I’m trying this once more. I have a very high chance of getting this alongside my brother — it is our right by Italian law and by blood, after all. I was informed that things are less strict around here at the Italian embassy, so with paperwork in hand, I will ask for their cooperation.
I’m not doing this because of a desire to cling to some sort of European heritage thing as I’ve never been part of it. My mom, brother, and I were never liked by most of my father’s family, thus we were never allowed to embrace any semblance of Italian heritage by them, to the point that we were not even taught Italian or anything of the sorts. All I have from them is a last name and some very bad memories, that’s it, but that’s in the past, and I have a future to build.
Maybe one day I’ll share some of those bad memories, but it’s best to keep them buried for now. At the end of the day, if I get this then I’d still be me, and I’ll still be the same Venezuelan pariah I’ve always been. Regardless, it is our right, and I really, truly, and honestly, have no other way to get my brother outta here at the moment.
This whole thing, however, relies on my father’s cooperation — namely, all I need from him is a photocopy of either his birth certificate or his Italian passport, I can do the rest on my own. You’d think this would be an easy endeavor, but, yeah. He told me he’ll help.
I’ll have to spend some of our escape funds on apostilles and Spanish -> Italian translations, but I do believe that I have everything other documents required other than the key element to all of this: either a photocopy of my father’s Italian birth certificate or his passport. I’ve already talked with him about it more than once and stressed the importance of this, it’s his turn to pull through.
Naturally, obtaining Italian nationality allows us to apply for our Italian passports. This passport would not be an instant “I win” button that will let me enter and stay in another country, but it would allow us to move around and even stay up to 90 days in the United States per trip, enough time to explore what options we have.
Heck, worst case scenario, I can spend some vacations and meet friends across the world, then I’d have to return to Venezuela if I cannot get a work visa or what have you.
We’ll see, maybe my father will provide me the paperwork so that I can start getting this rolling in a timely manner.
Wish me luck, I’m going to need it, lol.
See you on the next one,