“We were in the US on my E3 visa – we have been there for over two years. My partner is on an E3D visa. We were renewing my E3 visa in March in the UK and became stuck due to Covid.

We had to make it back to the US as soon as possible as my husband’s EAD was due to expire in September. We were able to get back at the end of May and applied for the EAD immediately upon entering the country.
A couple of weeks later Trump announced the ban of many international visas which resulted in furloughs at USCIS and increased processing times.

We were told that we might have to wait up to a year for my husband’s EAD to be approved.

At this point I’d also found out I was pregnant. My husband’s work said he would lose his job if the EAD hadn’t arrived by November but that was also the time I was no longer able to fly. We would also lose our health insurance.

It was too much of a risk to stay in the country as potentially my husband wouldn’t be able to work for 12 months and I don’t get paid maternity leave.

My husband’s work agreed to let him work from Australia (as we are both citizens) and we decided to come back as it really felt like the only option.

We were planning on remaining in the US for at least three more years but due to the issues with the USCIS we had to give up on that dream.

We were so lucky our flight wasn’t cancelled and we have been placed in the Hilton which has great rooms and amazing food. We are happy to be back but it feels very bitter sweet.”