The holiday season has arrived and we at RMI take this chance to wish everyone in the Vietnamese community a peaceful and joyful Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year.
This is the 28th year that RMI has been of service to Vietnamese at home and abroad. There have been many changes since 1987, most of them changes for the better. Letters of introduction are no longer needed to get on an interview list, and the Vietnamese government no longer has the ability to decide who is allowed to have an immigrant visa interview.
RMI is in daily contact with the American Consulate General in Saigon and the Consulate continues to be very helpful and cooperative. RMI inquiries to the Consulate are normally answered with 24 hours.
The first Thanksgiving in America took place in 1621, when 52 settlers from England decided to prepare a feast to celebrate their first year’s harvest. They invited their local American Indian neighbors to share turkeys, ducks, and geese, and the Native Americans brought deer, clams, oysters, lobsters, and fish.
It is never easy to move to a new land and people who immigrate as adults often dream of returning to their birth place. It is the children and grandchildren of the immigrants who benefit from this re-location.
Thanksgiving is the holiday when we can remember our immigrant parents or grandparents who followed their dream of going to America in search of economic, political, or religious freedom and in search of the opportunity to create a better life for themselves and their descendants. Thanksgiving is a day on which we take special care to give thanks for this land and its freedom.
Some conservatives worry that immigrants won’t assimilate into American culture. One writer suggested that all immigrants and their children should be taught the music and words to “God Bless America”. It is a song written by a famous immigrant to America named Irving Berlin. If you don’t know the words to “God Bless America”, you can look them up on Google. And who founded Google? An immigrant to America named Sergey Brin.
Q.1. Are there any publications to help new immigrants adjust to life in the US?
A.1. USCIS has published an updated Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants. The guide contains practical information to help new immigrants settle into everyday life in the United States, including how to find a place to live, how to get a Social Security number and how the U.S. system of government works. It’s now available in Vietnamese at the USCIS website.
Q.2. What happens if a permanent resident returns to Vietnam and because of illness must stay there after his re-entry permit expires?
A.2. If he had to remain in Vietnam due to circumstances beyond his control, there’s a good chance he can get a Returning Resident visa from the Consulate, and he will be allowed to keep his Permanent Resident status.
Q.3. I’ve heard that some native-born Americans choose to give up their US citizenship. Why do they do that?
A.3. A small number do it for ideological reasons. Most do it to avoid paying US taxes. American citizens must pay tax on their worldwide income.