Monday, March 21, 2011

Bakersfield College or bust! Go Renegades!

Ok, so we've kind of got things figured out. I called the number that the immigration department gave us for if we have any questions (we have several, Immigration), and I spoke with Eric. Actually, I mostly listened to Eric, who seems to have been trained to not let people with questions actually ask their questions.

Well I laid it all out there. I said "you guys said this, and then someone else said that, and what's really the story?" Only, I'm sure I sounded a little more grown-up-ish...or maybe not. Probably not. And he said, "He can be out of the country for up to one year without needing a re-entry permit." And I said, "and that won't affect his residency status at all?" And he said, "no." And I said, "will it look bad? Will someone think he is abandoning his residency if we are gone for extended periods of time?" And he said, "no, he is allowed to be out of the U.S. for up to one year without needing any special permission. So as long as you're not gone for more than a year at a time it will be fine."

Ok, Eric.

But, here's the other thing. Ecuador DOES allow dual citizenship (I had to read Ecuador's constitution to find that out. Their embassy's information is from 1998). So that means that Ismael can become a citizen of the U.S. in only three years! Why he would ever want to is beyond me...the government of this country has gone to great lengths to make it appear that they don't want him here that badly. But he can be, and if he's going to apply for citizenship in February of 2014, then one qualification is that he has to have been physically present in the U.S. for 18 months of his three years of residency.


Is what I thought at first. I thought this was going to mess up all our plans of missionarying around in Ecuador. But...after listening to the counsel of Ismael's wise mother-in-law, I realize this can be a great opportunity. We spend some time in Ecuador, then come back in time for Ismael to do a semester of college here. Then back again, and back here in time for another semester, etc. This way, we're here long enough for him to qualify for citizenship after three years, we're establishing his intent to live in the U.S., and he's getting lots of units out of the way before we even live here permanently. So it's a win-win. Win.

So that's the new plan. Ecuador until January. Then some college education. Then some more Ecuadoring around. Then some more college. You get it.

Well, please pray that Eric was, in fact, correct and that our extended trips to Ecuador will not affect Ismael's residency status. Please also pray that he will excel in his classes at college. And please pray that we will be able to do something awesome for the University Project whether we're there or here.


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