NewsFront RangeDenver


'It was difficult': Denver man reunited with Filipino wife after daunting immigration battle

Posted: 4:03 PM, Jul 08, 2024
Updated: 2024-07-09 08:07:42-04
bo immigration story8.png

DENVER — A Colorado couple separated by more than 7,000 miles of ocean and land are finally reunited after a daunting immigration battle that threatened to drag on for years.

Bo Ramsey, a U.S. citizen, and his wife Riza are now enjoying life together in Bo’s home city of Denver after Riza legally immigrated from the Philippines, where the couple met.

But her journey to get to Colorado wasn’t without its stumbling blocks.

Denver7 shared Bo Ramsey's story back in November of 2023. He and Riza had been stuck in red tape for 18 months.

“Yeah, it was difficult. I mean, it was a couple of years of really just placing my life on hold, not being able to move forward, because you never knew when my wife was going to be coming back, and when we were going to be reunited,” Bo said.

Denver man's wife caught in years-long immigration visa backlog

Bo moved to the Philippines in 2016 for work and met Riza in 2018. The two married in 2020, after Bo fell in love with Riza and his new Filipino life.

The couple didn't plan to leave until the pandemic hit the country particularly hard. At that point, the Ramseys decided to move to Bo’s home in Denver.

"We figured we would have a better quality of life if we came back," Bo told Denver7 in November. "So, in September 2021, we started to process to get an IR1 visa, a marriage visa. It started with me petitioning to sponsor an alien relative."

Bo Ramsey


Denver man's wife caught in years-long immigration visa backlog

Rob Harris
8:33 PM, Nov 01, 2023

In July 2022, Bo accepted a job with Frontier Airlines in Denver and returned to Denver. As Riza's immigration process started, Bo was hopeful it would move quickly enough to prevent them from being separated for an extended period of time.

"We didn't think it was going to take that much longer. And so I came back and left her there," Bo said in November.

Riza's petition was approved sometime after Bo returned to the United States. However, she couldn’t move to the U.S. until she had an interview with the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, which took even more time for Riza to set up due to a backlog of applicants.

Bo was growing disenfranchised by the process and in March of this year, decided to return to the Philippines to be with his wife and hopefully expedite the process.

“I just said, ‘There's no change here. There's no end in sight,’” Bo told Denver7 in June. “So, I found somebody to watch my dog, packed everything in storage, ended my lease, and went back to the Philippines in the middle of March.”

The bold decision to uproot his life again and return to the Philippines may have been what was needed because three weeks after he got there, Riza’s visa was approved.

“And at that point, it was like a mad scramble to make sure that we had everything that we needed,” Bo said of the medical and embassy appointments they needed to make to get the final approval.

bo immigration story7.png

In early June, Bo returned to Denver with his wife in hand after they tightened up some loose ends in the Philippines.

“We closed shop on the condo that we had in the Philippines and our life there, and now we're all reunited here,” he said.

Bo said Riza is adjusting well to her life in Colorado despite a few surprises she encountered early on.

“She loves it. She hasn't had a bad thing to say about it. I think the biggest surprise to her has been how hot it is because, coming from the Philippines, she just thought it wasn't going to match, and obviously, it's a different type of heat,” Bo said.

Bo said Riza was taken aback by the welcoming community in Colorado.

bo immigration story4.png

“She's been pleasantly surprised just how nice everybody's been. I know generally people in Colorado are great, but you know, there are a lot of personalities out there, and I swear every person that she's interacted with has been great,” Bo said.

Although it was a happy ending for the couple, Bo expressed frustration with the cumbersome immigration system, highlighting the challenges faced by couples in similar situations.

“I don't think there's a lot of narrative on the problems surrounding the proper immigration processes. How difficult that process is when people try to do it the right way,” Bo said. “If you just look at it ethically and morally, a U.S. citizen living abroad, that has been married for years to a foreign national, that decides to move back to the U.S., it shouldn't take almost three years for something like that, and those families shouldn't be separated.”

After nearly two years of immigration red tape, Denver man reunited with Filipino wife

D7 follow up bar 2460x400FINAL.png
The Follow Up
What do you want Denver7 to follow up on? Is there a story, topic or issue you want us to revisit? Let us know with the contact form below.