Couple faces Green Card delay: 'There's no ETA'

Ryan and Anjie Lee thought the hard part was over. The couple got engaged just before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out but were forced to wait years for a fiancé visa to be approved, with Ryan in Minnesota and Anjie stuck in the Philippines.

FOX 9 initially brought you their story back in March of last year.

Finally reunited in 2023, they got married at the Como Zoo Conservatory in January, but their joy soon soured after facing major issues getting Anjie's Green Card processed.

Despite filing the correct forms and evidence more than six months ago, they are being told it could take 19 months for Anjie to be approved. The couple also had to pay for and submit a $400 medical exam twice.

"They asked for it again, even though they received the original one and it was online, and we had a digital copy on their website…they didn't care that they had already received it. They asked for it again," said Ryan.

A director from Senator Tina Smith's office even said in an email to Ryan provided to FOX 9 it was a "huge error" on the part of Immigration Services, but that it wouldn't change the outcome of their case.

As they wait, Anjie is unable to work or visit her family in the Philippines.

"I really miss them because I am not allowed to travel out of the country now, so I just don't know what to say. I really feel depressed," said Anjie.

For Ryan, one of the most frustrating parts has been the lack of information. He believes the immigration process needs major changes.

"There's no ETA as to when this is going to be resolved. We don't have any information at all, and they don't provide it."

A representative from Senator Smith's office says Ryan and Angelica’s experience with USCIS highlights the difficulties and frustrations many individuals encounter within the immigration system.

"The immigration system has many challenges, and Senator Smith’s office acts as a liaison between Minnesotans and the federal government. Our staff can help answer questions, find resources, or resolve problems if possible but aren’t able to have a final decision changed. Assisting constituents in navigating challenges they’re experiencing with federal agencies is one of the most important services our office provides."

FOX 9 also reached out to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. In a statement, they said as a matter of practice, and due to privacy protections, USCIS does not share, confirm, or deny immigration information about specific individuals.