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VWP visit for medical reasons

VWP visit for medical reasons

Old Jul 17th 2020, 7:20 pm
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Default VWP visit for medical reasons

Wondering if anyone can advise.
I have cancer and now a bone marrow transplant is very likely to be needed. Doctor advised that siblings are the best match and fortunately I come from a large family with half a dozen siblings so my chances of a match are higher than average. All siblings live in the UK. I am reluctant to travel to the UK for this procedure for various reasons, not just COVID ones. I have looked at the VWP rules and 'medical treatment' is a valid reason for using the VWP. But that would be for the traveler, not my treatment. Would providing a bone marrow transplant still come under that? Costs will all be met by my insurance and us and whichever sibling is found to be a match will be staying with us. It would be a quick 'in and out' as they all have jobs and families back home so can't spend a prolonged period of time here and none of them has any desire for sightseeing, just the required time for the procedure and some recovery afterwards. Nowhere near the 90 days, not even close.

Currently non-residents and non-citizens cannot enter the US from the UK unless they quarantine somewhere for 14 days beforehand. What if we don't have that long? Is it even worth contacting the embassy to see if an exception can be made for this purpose? Has anyone heard of exceptions being granted for humanitarian reasons? Is the embassy where I would start or would I call somewhere else? I'm not really sure what I should be doing first.
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Old Jul 17th 2020, 9:08 pm
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Default Re: VWP visit for medical reasons

I am sorry to hear of your diagnosis/ condition, but with all due respect you are trying to choose a route with several substantial hurdles (FWIW I don't think that providing a marrow donation will fall under the VWP waiver, unless you are unable to travel), when objectively there is an easier alternative, unhindered by visas and national government restrictions, that you are the one who travels. I am highly sceptical that travel to the US by one of your siblings will be possible, but if exception can be found, and a waiver granted it may take time, that I suspect you don't have.

You should get advance approval from your insurer to meet the cost of treatment (marrow transfusion) in the UK.

ETA: You might also want to look here, and perhaps Google-up some other similar information yourself.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jul 17th 2020 at 9:27 pm.
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Old Jul 18th 2020, 6:21 pm
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Default Re: VWP visit for medical reasons

Thank you for your reply.

The dilemma is that I’m not unable to travel in terms of legality. I have a British passport and a green card so I can travel to the UK and return to the United States. That much is clear. But it would be against all medical advice right now to get on a plane and travel due to my weak immunity. It would be exhausting and may even do more harm than good. It would certainly undo a lot of progress I have made so far. I doubt that when I get there I would be in any fit state to receive the transplant. And then the is still the journey home to get through.

I am thinking I am going to have to pin my hopes on a match being found in this country.

I will also look into bone marrow transportation. Not sure if it would work here with a UK donor due to CJD.
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Old Jul 18th 2020, 6:38 pm
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Default Re: VWP visit for medical reasons

Originally Posted by steph0scope View Post
..... Not sure if it would work here with a UK donor due to CJD.
Not sure, it might do - it's not a general transfer of blood and tissue, it's a 1:1 personal/ within-family tissue donation. I am sure that a blood/ tissue transfer company would be able to advice whether CJD would be an issue, and what, if any, waivers might be required.
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Old Jul 18th 2020, 6:42 pm
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Default Re: VWP visit for medical reasons

Originally Posted by steph0scope View Post
Thank you for your reply.

The dilemma is that I’m not unable to travel in terms of legality. I have a British passport and a green card so I can travel to the UK and return to the United States. That much is clear. But it would be against all medical advice right now to get on a plane and travel due to my weak immunity. It would be exhausting and may even do more harm than good. It would certainly undo a lot of progress I have made so far. I doubt that when I get there I would be in any fit state to receive the transplant. And then the is still the journey home to get through.

I am thinking I am going to have to pin my hopes on a match being found in this country.

I will also look into bone marrow transportation. Not sure if it would work here with a UK donor due to CJD.
I think you would have a very strong case on compassionate grounds, to have a donor travel to the US.
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Old Jul 18th 2020, 7:28 pm
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Default Re: VWP visit for medical reasons

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
I think you would have a very strong case on compassionate grounds, to have a donor travel to the US.
I could potentially see this if OP was a USC, but not so certain as OP is only a LPR.
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Old Jul 18th 2020, 11:37 pm
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Default Re: VWP visit for medical reasons

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
I think you would have a very strong case on compassionate grounds, to have a donor travel to the US.
I think so too.
How would she go about this? Would her congressman be able to assist here?
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Old Jul 19th 2020, 12:08 am
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Default Re: VWP visit for medical reasons

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
I think so too.
How would she go about this? Would her congressman be able to assist here?
no idea but it would be good to start there...also the press loves stories like this.
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Old Jul 19th 2020, 2:16 am
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Default Re: VWP visit for medical reasons

Thank you for your help and ideas. My N-400 application has been sitting with USCIS since autumn of last year so hopefully I will be a USC soon. That might change things. When I had my most recent appointment at the hospital I didn’t tell the doctor that all siblings are overseas however he is aware that I am here because my husband is a USC so I assumed he would assume that my siblings are not here. But one must never assume, I suppose.

I think I will write to one of our senators.
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Old Jul 19th 2020, 2:19 am
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Default Re: VWP visit for medical reasons

Originally Posted by steph0scope View Post
Thank you for your help and ideas. My N-400 application has been sitting with USCIS since autumn of last year so hopefully I will be a USC soon. That might change things. When I had my most recent appointment at the hospital I didn’t tell the doctor that all siblings are overseas however he is aware that I am here because my husband is a USC so I assumed he would assume that my siblings are not here. But one must never assume, I suppose.

I think I will write to one of our senators.
I have no idea how urgent this is...but I would also contact your local tv station..nbc etc

In the early 2000’s my daughter’s best friend needed a bone marrow transplant. Daughter couldn’t be a donor because she lived in the UK during mad cow disease.

I wish you all the best

Last edited by Jerseygirl; Jul 19th 2020 at 2:22 am.
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