segunda-feira, 25 de outubro de 1999

A Different Household

Rio de Janeiro, July 12th 1999
To:    United States Consulate
Mr. Eugene Sweeney
From:            Homero Vasques de Oliveira Ventura, 41-years-old
         L2 Visa Applicant

Dear Consul,
I have been designated by my company, Petrobras Internacional S.A., for a temporary assignment as Financial Manager of Petrobras America Inc. of Houston, Texas for a minimum period of 2 (two) years, effective September 14th , 1999. The representative of my company in Houston have already entered on my behalf with the Petition for L Visas in INS for me, my wife (41-years-old) and two children (14 and 10-years-old). The adjudication of such petition is scheduled to occur from 4 to 6 weeks from July 5th.
However, my family presents some features that will require additional procedures. My mother-in-law Ms. Zulmira Galvão Pacheco, 76-years-old, and my brother-in-law Mr. Antonio Carlos Galvão Pacheco, 45-years-old, form part of my household since my father-in-law passed away, some 7 years ago. Ms. Zulmira has no family left except us. Antonio Carlos is both physically and mentally impaired since his eleventh month of life, when he suffered encephalitis (see enclosed photo). My wife Neusa have custodial care of her brother, being his only sister (see enclosed document). I intend to take them with us for the duration of my assignment and I will provide for all of their living expenses. Even knowing how hard this task will be, we shall do it with all love and care.
Antonio Carlos impairment requires constant supervision. He lives in a wheel chair and his movements from seat to bed and to toilet are carried out with the help of a patient lifter. His vocabulary is restricted to a few words to express some of his feelings. We have here 2 maids that shift position during the week to assist on his care. Such assistance is specially needed by the time of his daily bath that can not be performed either by his mother due to her high age or his sister due to her weak back.  We intend to take a maid with us, since we are not confident that we can provide adequate assistance for Antonio Carlos from a stranger hired in the USA due mainly to difficulties in communication. This maid will also help on household maintenance. I intend to firm an employment contract with this maid in any form provided by the U.S. Consulate. If any other kind of affidavit to grant her return is necessary, I am prepared to firm it, as well.
Since I am afraid that the time left is insufficient for a formal application only by the time of the Notice of Approval by the INS, I am addressing you in advance in order to respectfully request your assistance to indicate what kind of forms have to be filled and what  additional documents  with or without sworn translation will be necessary to obtain visitors visas for Zulmira, Antonio Carlos and, possibly, this maid, in order to accompany me in this temporary assignment to the United States. Should a personal interview be required, please let me know. My best regards, 
Homero Ventura
….. and, some days later, more questions ......

Additional questions to Mr. Eugene Sweeney
1.    Is it possible to contemplate my mother-in-law Ms. Zulmira and my brother-in-law Antonio Carlos with a special Visa or any other kind of document or side-letter that could grant their legal presence in America throughout the whole period of my assignment?
2.   Would they be given a Social Security Number?
3.   Would Ms. Zulmira be allowed to use the Medicare or any other health American program for old people, at least for appointmens with physicians?

Antonio Carlos has a stable health, having not required the services of  a physician for the last 10 years, for God's Sake! His menthal health is granted by the daily ministration of 2 medicaments, namely Gardenal and Tegretol, that have proved to be the right base medication for him for the last 20 years. We know that we could find similar medicines in the USA, with the same active principle but we would rather keep using the same medicaments he is used to get and that have worked so well for so many years. Following this reasoning, we would like to know:
1.    Is it possible to take with us, in our trip to the USA, a considerable quantity of such      medicaments in order to provide tranquility for his menthal health for,  let's say, 6 months
2.   Is it necessary to provide a statement of a physician (translated to English) in order to help the admission of these quantities in the customs?
3.   Is it possible to remit additional quantities of such medicaments by mail, during our stay at the USA?

         As you are aware by our initial letter, we intend to take a maid to help on the assistance of Antonio Carlos. From the small universe of candidates for this job, one of them, the preferred one, deserves our total confidence and should be treated as a member of our family due to essential services provided during difficult moments in the past. Point is that this lady has a legitimate son, now 3.5-years-old. Our religious principles tell us not to separate them from each other for such a long time. We would like to know:
1.    Is it possible to admit this woman and her son in the USA, provided, of course, that all relations should be granted by an employment contract and any kind of affidavit by my part to grant their return to Brazil by the end of my assignment?
2.   Would they be given a Social Security Number?
3.   Should this boy deserve the same educational rights from the American Educational program and be admitted in regular schools in Houston?
4.   Should they have the right to use the Medicaid program or any other regular health American program?