Saigon woman ISSUED visa to visit dying father in US

The title of this post is the positive version of the title of a heartbreaking article I read on US Thanksgiving Day.  I can’t say it’s a happy ending because a daughter’s father is going to die very soon but it is good news for both father and daughter.  Here’s the sad story in a nutshell:

Nguyen Thi My Linh, a 31-year-old woman from Saigon, has applied for a U.S. visa four times to fulfill her dying father’s last wish to see her. Linh’s father, My Nguyen, was diagnosed with terminal cancer in June and his doctors in California said he’s no longer well enough to travel to Vietnam.

(Here is the original Vietnamese article, which appeared the day before: Cô gái Sài Gòn 4 lần bị Mỹ từ chối cấp visa để gặp bố ung thư lần cuố)

As the article points out, this is not the first time the US Mission (Embassy or Consulate) in Viet Nam has said “no” to a visa application in very compelling cases this year alone.  When it involves a parent who has weeks, if not days, left to live, however, it becomes a human rights issue rather than one of just common decency and fairness.

A letter from U.S. doctors to the US Consulate regarding the condition of Linh’s father. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Thi My Linh (Source:  VNExpress International)

The good news is that Ms. Linh received a visa this week and will finally have the opportunity to visit with her father in California before he passes.  The fifth time was the charm.  Thanks to those who quietly yet persistently advocated on Linh’s behalf and thanks to the US Consulate for doing the right thing.  I sincerely hope this will serve as a precedent for future cases of this nature.