Instead of fleeing to the US, her loved ones now face the grim reality of returning to the war zone. William Weeks served in the Marines. He later met a Ukrainian woman, Aliana, got married and they moved to League City. Now Aliana is trying to bring her mother and sister to the United States.
“I feel like I lost a part of me because I was like, ‘My family over there, they have a war in the country,'” Aliana Weeks said. “You can’t come back at the moment.”
Speaking from Europe and Galveston County, the Weeks shared the struggle of getting loved ones from Ukraine.
“We had to wire money to some of their friends so they could travel in the vehicle to try and get out of the country,” William Weeks recalled.
They met their loved ones in Romania days ago. Although they were happy to see her, Aliana’s sister Anna Savchuk struggled with leaving loved ones behind.
“There are all my friends, all my family. There is my husband and I have to leave my country, my homeland,” Savchuk said.
After dating, they applied for a tourist visa.
“I thought there was no problem,” said William Weeks. “At least go to the embassy and try to speak on their behalf.”
After days of waiting, they were rejected. They were told they did not have enough connections to return to Ukraine.
“I’ve written to my senators. I’ve written to my representatives,” Weeks explained. “I didn’t hear anything back. I have exhausted all means to legally obtain visas for them to enter the United States.”
Weeks wants to leave on Friday. His in-laws are staying in Romania for another week. After that they return to Kyiv. A journey that brought the family together days ago now faces the reality that they will not be leaving together.
“Our son just lost one of his grandparents this December and I just don’t want him to lose another one,” Aliana Weeks said.
If you’re scratching your head as to why the family can’t get a tourist visa, immigration experts say it’s not that simple. They are good to try and get because they are available quickly. But you must show connections to your home country and plan to return. However, it can be harder to get during a war because the reality is you may not return.
There is always the refugee route. However, this means that you have no plans to return. Obtaining it can take months or years. You must also apply to move to other countries. When ABC13 asked the family why they didn’t just want to flee to another European country, they said they didn’t want to be a burden.
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https://abc13.com/galveston-marine-ukrainians-escaping-family-trapped-in-warzone-russia-ukraine-crisis/11640871/ Galveston County family fear Ukrainian loved ones will return to war zone after visa denial