Sunday, March 13, 2011

Cancelled workshops in the USA

After leaving here on Wednesday evening, full of excitement and happy that the day finally arrived, I travelled a full 24 hours to get to Chicago.
I went through passport control with no problems, but then to be asked again at the customs why I came into the US and what my reasons were for coming?  From there onwards it became a problem that I wanted to give workshops in the US . I was detained, questioned and sent back home the same evening, I will leave out the awful details of how I felt!

Here is an extraction of the waiver condition which let me to believe that I did the correct thing.

"The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is administered by DHS and enables eligible citizens or nationals of designated countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without first obtaining a visa."
I qualified and received my ESTA waiver approval.

I am home again feeling terrible at having put Portia, and all the participants through this dissapointment, and the cancellations which had to be made as a result of this.
I will try and sort out the issues with the US embasy and try to get the appropriate visa. I hope that we can reshedule sometime in the near future.

I have been in contact with all the participants that I have e-mail addresses of, should there be anyone who has not received a mail from me, please let me know.
I want to again express my sincere apologies to all of you, and I hope that I can make it up to in some way with my possible next visit. I want to thank each and everyone who has responded in such an understanding and kind way, this is what has made the whole event somewhat more bearable.

Thank you again,


Ellen said...

OMG, Astrid, I am so sorry that you had that horrid experience. Your emotions must have been spinning out of control. Not to mention exhaustion.
I hope this issue is resolved and you can come back to the states.

Astrid Riedel said...

Hi Ellen, I hope to come back, I hope that the Embassy will allow me a new visa.

regards Astrid

Jolene said...

How frustrating! Of course, lots of beadmakers come here to do workshops, so this doesn't make any sense at all.

I'm sorry you had this experience and hope you can return soon.

Astrid Riedel said...

I hope so too :)

glasswork said...

Oh nein, was eine Entäuschung für dich und auch für die Kursteilnehmer!

Beadroe said...

I commend you for handling a awful situation so graciously. If I had been one of the lucky ones to even try to take a class from you I would be devastated that you were treated that way. Looked to me you had done everything right. I hope it does not stop you from becoming a regular visitor and teacher to the US.

Astrid Riedel said...

Thank you, I hope that I don't have too many problems getting a new visa.

Bobbie Pene said...

How awful for you. Could the customs people not make a few phone calls to the people who organised your workshops and validate your stay in America? I just think that is a real disappointment and you would surely have had your traveling confidence knocked down somewhat.

Daniela Ellenberger said...

I feel so sorry for you, and hope you can get another visa to travel again to the us.
Kopf hoch.

Astrid Riedel said...

It wasn't about validating my stay in the US but the fact that I was being paid and should have a proper business visa and apparently not the ESTA visitor and bussiness visa!
I am phoning them this morning and hope that I can sort this out, hold thumbs for me:)

LiseF said...

I am really sorry for you and your students. I hope that you will get your business visa very soon
Take care
Lise F.

Astrid Riedel said...

Have got an appointment wednesday morning 8am:)