Jessica Breitschwerdt

Pouya’s parents attend my free ESL class (at my church), they liked me and introduced me (via Skype) to their son, Pouya, who lives in Spain. We fell in love and because the travel ban was in place we spoke to several lawyers and they all said to get married and start the immigration process. As we went through the immigration process I flew to see Pouya as often as I could with my teaching schedule. Pouya had his interview in Madrid on April 3, 2019 and was grilled about his education and work history with little to no attention given to our relationship. He was refused a CR-1 visa based on the travel ban and put in administrative processing. I recently found out that I am pregnant and now worry that if Pouya does not receive a waiver, he will not be here for the birth of our child.

How has the ban impacted you financially?

I fly to see my husband every 2.5-4 months (I saw him 6 times last year)- this places a major burden on us as we both make just enough money to support ourselves. We have the added stress of each having different apartments/living expenses- we therefore are unable to save any money for the future.

How has the ban impacted you emotionally?

Pouya and I have both coped with depression through this process and extreme anxiety from all the stress of the process and the many unknowns for our future. We have been sad from all the events we have missed out with each other and with our families (birthdays, anniversaries, weddings). Also frustration (not with each other- but with our situation) from trying to keep a strong and healthy marriage with only the use of video chat and with two different work schedules and a 6-hour time difference.