About This Episode
Visa Dream tells the touching story of one family's experience gaining entry into the United States. Representatives from the U.S. Consulate demystify the visa process and illuminate the reasons why they approve some applications - and deny others.
The film's main characters are Ramon and Aurora Chavez, an elderly couple living in Jalisco, Mexico, who have not seen their children in 16 years. They are a family divided, connected only by photo albums and phone calls. The daughters may not visit Mexico because they do not possess the necessary documents; going there would mean forever leaving behind their spouses, children, homes and lives. One daughter tearfully explains the hardships many immigrant families endure as a result of this prolonged separation. Ramon, the patriarch of the family, would rather live in Mexico but he longs to reunite with his family, who live 2,500 miles away in Los Angeles. In order to visit, they must secure a tourist visa, an expensive and difficult proposition. Previous attempts proved unsuccessful but the Chavezes decide to try again after years of postponement.
A camera crew follows them step-by-step through the application process, which begins at the U.S. Consulate two hours away in Guadalajara. There, visa document specialists and a U.S. Consulate officer describe their roles, detail the reasons why certain individuals receive visas while others do not and explain what their interview questions aim to reveal. Visa Dream's closing moments capture the tension as the family eagerly awaits the results of the interview. Jubilant scenes follow as the family responds with shock, tears and excitement when they hear the decision. The film concludes with Ramon and Aurora's first trip to California and the heartwarming reunion with their children and grandchildren.