OSSU Supt. Kay Worked Hard

People / Jun. 12, 2008 12:00am EDT

To Get His
By Courtney Bonoyer

OSSU Supt. Kay Worked Hard

To Get His ‘Green Card’

By Courtney Bonoyer

Many people know Brent Kay, who is superintendent of the Orange Southwest Supervisory Union. What they might not know, however, is the work he had to do to be here. Kay, who held a similar job in Canada, after originally being in business, recently received his U.S. "green card" after a long wait.

Kay decided to become a superintendent because he believes all kids should have an equal education and he wanted to "help kids become contributing members of the community." He said he moved here from Ontario with his wife, Rhonda, in 2002 because he felt "Vermont is similar to Canada and everyone is very down-to-earth." Both had been here on a visa until April of this year when they finally received their green cards. It took them five years to complete that process and will take another five years if either wants to become a United States citizen. Having a green card allows Kay and his wife to work and pay taxes in the states legally; however, they aren’t allowed to vote.

In order to get their green cards, Kay and his wife had to complete many different, complex steps. First, they had to find a lawyer who specialized in emigration to help them out with the whole process. According to Kay, "everything had to be done very carefully and very legally." One mistake could add years on to the amount of time it took to get their green card. Next, they had to submit to a criminal records check and then undergo physical and mental tests done by federal government recognized doctors.

After that, they had to obtain labor certificates and have their jobs posted state-wide and nation-wide in newspapers that got the most readers in order to see if any United States citizens wanted and were qualified for those jobs. If there were, there was no guarantee that Kay and his wife would lose their jobs, but it would make it a little harder to keep them.

To make things even more complicated, Kay had one type of visa and his wife had another, and the one she had made it so she couldn’t get a green card. She had to apply for another one and a permanent change of residence first, then was told she couldn’t leave the states until it went through. She ended up missing a family reunion because of it.

Although it was a very long and complicated process, finally all of their hard work has paid off.

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