Vietnamese woman granted visa to see dying daughter in US after family files petition

By Vi Vu   August 30, 2017 | 08:02 pm PT
She was initially denied a visa, but the petition and a special request sent to President Trump reversed the decision.

U.S. immigration officers have reversed their initial decision not to grant a Vietnamese woman a visa to visit her dying daughter in San Jose.

Nguyen Thi Hoa has been given a temporary visa and will be with her daughter Trinh Phan in the coming days, the Mercury News reported, citing a family update on Tuesday.

Phan, 33, was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer last month and said she wanted to see her mother one last time before she died.

But Hoa’s visa request was denied by the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Vietnam because immigration officials feared she would stay in the U.S. for good, the family told the newspaper.

The decision was reversed after the family started a petition online calling on the consulate and President Donald Trump to issue Hoa a visa.

“They claimed that Trinh’s mother was unable to convince the consulate that her only desire to enter the United States was to visit her dying daughter,” said the petition, which has collected more than 16,000 signatures.

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren in San Jose, who personally received a letter from the family, last week also sent a letter to Trump, asking him to issue a visitor visa or humanitarian parole for Hoa, the Mercury News said.

The 57-year-old mother filed her second visa application late last week.

Her daughter left Vietnam for the U.S. in 2003 and has not seen her since 2012.

This is not the first time U.S. visa controversy has grabbed headlines in Vietnam.

In May, Pham Huy, a high school student from the central province of Quang Tri, almost missed his chance to attend an international science fair in California after his visa application was rejected twice, even after special requests from the province’s foreign affairs department and Vietnam’s education ministry. The denials were reportedly due to personal reasons.

The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi only contacted him for a special interview after various local media outlets covered the issue.

The student left Vietnam on the opening day of the event and was later named among the winners, receiving a $1,000 prize for a prosthetic arm he had designed for disabled people.

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