15 Dec LOOKING BACK IN ORDER TO LOOK AHEAD, PART 2
In a continuation from last week, we review a few more cases that remind us why we do what we do. The ability to help others brings us untold joy.
In 2006, “Maria” filed an application for a green card as a derivative beneficiary of her husband’s employment-based visa petition. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services then revoked her husband’s petition, claiming that the employer had submitted fraudulent information. Even though Maria and her husband both strongly denied any knowledge of fraud, USCIS denied both of their green card applications. A few years later, Maria filed another application based on the petition from her U.S. citizen son. But USCIS denied the second application, saying that she was inadmissible for having provided false information in connection with her previous application related to her husband’s employment. Although severely disheartened by two prior denials, Maria chose to press on and retained Reeves Miller Zhang and Diza (RMZD). RMZD filed a third application on Maria’s behalf and successfully argued that Maria was not responsible for any alleged fraud on the part of her husband’s employer and that USCIS had failed to demonstrate that the elements for fraud/misrepresentation had been met. After two prior denials and nearly 11 years of fighting to obtain permanent residency, Maria’s feelings of doubt and uncertainty subsided when she opened her mail and found her green card.
In year 2017, we have experienced USCIS’s heightened scrutiny over petitions for nonimmigrant workers such as H-1Bs and L-1As. Boilerplate Request for Evidence notices are routinely issued even on thoroughly prepared petitions. Small companies are facing increasing difficulty sponsoring their foreign workers.
In April 2017, “ABC”, a small real estate management consulting firm hired RMZD to file an H-1B petition for their Financial Analyst. USCIS issued a RFE subsequently, asking ABC to establish the offered position to be a specialty occupation. Our attorneys conducted in-depth legal research, provided accurate guidance to the petitioner and the beneficiary, and compiled a strong response. The case was approved within 30 days after USCIS received the response.
“John” was fighting deportation because he had lied to get his latest entry visa. We were able to prove that John deserved forgiveness for his misrepresentations to the U.S. consulate in Hong Kong, based on the hardship that his US citizen wife would suffer if he had to leave and that his misrepresentation was an anomaly because he is a good an honest person who made a mistake for which is very sorry. He is now the proud holder of a green card.
A green card was recently issued by USCIS to “Alice” whose conditional residence expired more than a dozen years ago. She had hardly any joint documents from the marriage her conditional residence was based on, as she and her husband separated in 2005 and he died in 2013. Overcoming an official Notice of Intention to Terminate her conditional status, we were able to tease out maximum meaning from the few documents she could provide, including sworn statements about the wedding from members of both families, and we proved that she did enter into her marriage in good faith. The application for waiver of the joint petition to remove conditions was approved.
And in another court case, RMZD was able to obtain “Michael’s” release from ICE detention, with his green card intact, despite a recent drug conviction for which the judge ruled him deportable back to his home country. We presented overwhelming evidence that our client’s U.S. citizen family was rallying behind him, and convinced the court that, for the sake of his young children, he had turned over a new leaf during his time in detention. Now Michael can make a fresh start without the threat of his prior misdeeds costing him the right to remain in the United States.
We are also pleased that we were able to obtain a conditional green card for a newlywed who had entered the U.S. 15 years ago with a false passport and who is almost 30 years younger than his U.S citizen husband. Despite the interviewing officer’s obvious discomfort with the couple’s age difference, and suspicions about them as a same-sex couple, we were able to show that theirs is a real marriage and that “George” should be forgiven for his fraudulent entry because of his own good character and the hardship that his elderly husband “Edward” would suffer if George had to leave.
Our stories are a reminder that one should never give up on pursuing the American Dream. With hope and competent immigration counsel, seemingly impossible situations can be overcome. Anyone with an unresolved immigration problem should consult an experienced and knowledgeable immigration lawyer in 2018 to finally resolve their immigration problems.