Love in limbo when Lowcountry attorney's girlfriend can't get tourist visa
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) —
A Lowcountry man says the government is writing his love story, and this latest chapter is a tough read.
He says the government is not allowing his new girlfriend into the country on a tourist visa.
Jonny McCoy traveled to Brazil, met the woman of his dreams, and knew she had to meet his mom and dad. He took all the legal steps to get her into the U.S. legally -- only to have the government dash his hopes.
"Not only did they not look at any of her documents, they had already printed out her denial letter," McCoy said.
A day after Valentine's Day and still no valentine for McCoy.
"We were there for a week or so and I met her on her birthday at a samba lesson type thing. It was a low key night on the streets of Rio de Janiero," he said.
A vacation to South America quickly turned into a fairytale for this Lowcountry lawyer. He says it was love at first sight when he met Patricia Felix from central Brazil.
Now he wants what any other couple wants -- to have her to meet his family.
"I wanted to bring her here to show her everything about me -- my house, my dog, the river," McCoy said.
But the U.S. Embassy in Brazil denied her tourist visa even after he sent a sponsorship letter and sworn affidavit of when she would return to Brazil. He says they told her she would try to stay in America illegally.
He believes it highlights a major problem with the U.S. immigration system.
"At the outset, you're almost encouraged to exaggerate on your application and what we did was blunt brutal honesty," he said.
He still has one option left but he says the government is forcing his hand.
"The good news is I am left with one alternative and that is the fiancé visa, but the bad news is it limits my ability to write my own romantic love story with my hands. The government is telling me how I have to do it," McCoy said.
McCoy's experience is not an effect of President Donald Trump's travel ban. McCoy says he's talked with a few Congressmen about the issue.
They tell him the tourist visa system is flawed and fixing it will take years -- or longer.