Help Angelica Stay Home

Hello friends-

If you know Angelica Pereira, you know she is and extraordinary human. She is kind, intelligent, confident and very talented. But what I think is more admirable, is that she is authentic and very proud of who she is. Angelica has worked very hard to earn everything she has accomplished in life. Please read Angelica’s story and if you can, let’s help her by alleviating some financial burden while she continues to fight to be able to return home.

Angelica's journey: 

I am a violinist for the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. I came from Colombia initially to study at Oklahoma City University, and I have been in the USA for 12 years. My entire career has been built in this country. Here is my professional biography to give you context:

Colombian violinist Angelica Pereira began her musical studies at the age of 4. She traveled to the United States under full scholarship to study at Oklahoma City University in 2008, graduating from both her Bachelors and Masters degrees with honors. Ms. Pereira is the only Hispanic and youngest member of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic since 2009. Additionally, she performs with local symphony orchestras such as the Norman Philharmonic and Lawton Philharmonic. Ms.Pereira is the principal second violin of Oklahoma Virtuosi chamber orchestra, Concertmaster of the Oklahoma Composers Orchestra, and is the second violinist of the newly-formed CRUSA String Quartet. Ms. Pereira has been faculty of the after-school music program El Sistema Oklahoma since 2013. She also holds a violin private studio and is the second violin of the faculty string quartet at Oklahoma City University. Ms. Pereira has been awarded with various honors such as the Oklahoma NextGen Under 30 (2017), Most Outstanding Music Artist by the Hispanic Arts Council of Oklahoma and Most Outstanding Music Artist 2016 by The State of Oklahoma - Citation of Recognition (2016), Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities, and has been the winner of music competitions such as the Oklahoma Community Orchestra Young Artist Concerto Competition (2012) and the Ladies Music Club of Oklahoma City Competition (2009-second prize and 2010-first prize). In the summer of 2010, she took over as concertmaster and was awarded “Outstanding Orchestra Member” at Opera in the Ozarks in Eureka Springs, AR. Ms. Pereira was a member of YOA (Youth Orchestra of the Americas- now OA) under the artistic council of Placido Domingo, Gustavo Dudamel, James Ehnes among others. With this orchestra Ms. Pereira performed in Mexico, China (2011-2012) and all countries in Central America, where she was Principal Second Violin (2013), recording a 2015 Grammy winner album with pianist Gabriela Montero. In May of 2017, the newspaper El Nacional de Oklahoma published a personal chronical about Ms. Pereira called “Mi Musica, Mi voz” (My music, My voice) about her professional journey, and how success can be built with determination, perseverance and passion.

I was on an H1B work visa since 2018 and it expired this past August 10th. I started pursuing permanent residency petitioning for an EB1 (exceptional abilities) green card with the support of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, which got denied on August 27th. I was able to stay in the country past August 10th as the response from the EB1 petition was pending. Once I got the denial response, my attorney advised me to immediately purchase a plane ticket to leave the country to demonstrate that I have no intention to overstay unlawfully. The soonest I was able to book a plane ticket was for September 11th. I am leaving my home in OKC, and my job positions at El Sistema Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. No matter how difficult and heartbreaking this decision is, especially under the risky circumstances of a global pandemic, I am willing to obey and respect the law. (UPDATE: My flight on September 11th got cancelled by the airline due to flying restrictions to Colombia. All I am in control of, is to keep demonstrating I do not mean to break the law. Please check on the updates tab of the GoFundMe as I will be sharing how my case develops).

The idea was to pay expedite processing to be able to do all the filling in plenty of time before the H1B's expiration date. With COVID-19, all expedite processing was suspended for many months, and when it was reinstated, my expedite filling was put in place, and this is how I got an RFE (request for additional evidence) as first response. The RFE was filled, but as I mentioned, the final response was a denial. The last hope to get an approval on my green card petition is a "motion to reopen/reconsider", a way to appeal the decision taken, but I cannot be in the country to wait for this decision as it may take a long time. (UPDATE: there have been other legal options presented to me in the last days. Please check those on the updates tab of the GoFundMe.)

The denial of my green card petition has put me in an extremely concerning financial position. I have worked to earn everything I have, and I was counting on this green card approval to continue to work and pay for my mortage and living expenses. As of now, that option is no longer a possibility. It is very uncertain how long I will need to be in Colombia waiting on the appeal response if I leave, or out of work if I stay. All the unexpected expenses of any further legal action that could be taken are a huge strain to me. (UPDATE: The O1 visa is $6000 and a new process for the green card is $8.000-$10.000). That is the reason why my dear friend Viviana Libreros has put this GoFundMe in place so that anyone that is moved by my story can contribute.

I truly hope that the denial decision can be reconsidered so I can return permanently to my home in OKC, and to this loving community that has always supported me. I am leaving in hopes of being able to come back soon to the life I have built here with hard work, dedication, and abiding all the laws and regulations that have been asked of me. Being 12 years in this country, living my entire adult life here, growing personally and professionally, and contributing to the Oklahoma City community the best way I know how, makes the USA my home. 

Thank you all so much for your compassion, kindness and support!

--
Angélica Pereira
Strings LTA/Conductor/Violin Instructor - El Sistema Oklahoma
Violinist/Librarian - Oklahoma Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra
Violinist - OKC Philharmonic

Donations

 See top
  • Frederic Mercer 
    • $180 
    • 8 d
  • Nancy Ford 
    • $50 
    • 8 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 20 d
  • Alfredo Melchor Jr 
    • $8 
    • 25 d
  • Anna Tummelson 
    • $81 
    • 27 d
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Viviana Libreros 
Organizer
Oklahoma City, OK
Angelica Pereira 
Beneficiary
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