The process of being granted permanent resident status is always difficult and stressful. And some cases have more challenges than others. But cases are rarely impossible. As one recent Reeves Miller Zhang & Diza happily learned, a green card is still possible despite entering the U.S. under an assumed name.
Many people from throughout the world are desperate to come to the United States. They genuinely believe that entering America will lead to a better life because of the employment opportunities, the education system for their children, etc. With all the benefits that the United States has to offer, the decision to migrate to the U.S. often becomes an easy one. The hard part then becomes actually getting to the U.S.
For one Reeves Miller Zhang & Diza client, who we will refer to as Angela to protect her privacy, entering the U.S. proved to be ‘almost’ impossible. She was denied a tourist visa multiple times, did not have any family members of prospective employers in the U.S. that could petition her, and she was feeling hopeless in the Philippines, her native country. Angela was then advised to seek the help of a travel agent who could assist her in getting a tourist visa under an assumed name.
Angela knew this was wrong. She may not have known the specific law she was violating or that she would have a lifetime bar from ever obtaining permanent resident status in the U.S. (green card) because of this fraudulent act, but she still knew that her actions were not right. But she did it anyways. She was so desperate to come to the U.S. so that she could work and support her family. She decided to take advantage of the opportunity to come to U.S. and deal with the consequences later.
After years of residing in the U.S. without valid immigration status, Angela finally decided to do something about it. She knew that being married to a green card holder and having U.S. citizen children would help, but she also knew that her entry to the U.S. under an assumed name would complicate her case. Regardless, Angela decided that it was finally time to speak with an experienced immigration attorney so that she could legalize her status in America.
Angela consulted Reeves Miller Zhang & Diza about her case. She met with Attorney Devin Connolly, a senior partner of the firm, and told him her complete immigration history. Attorney Connolly explained to Angela and her family that she was indeed eligible to apply for her green card based on a petition from her U.S. citizen son, who by this time had already turned 21-years-old. He also explained, however, that Angela’s case did present some challenges because of her entry to the U.S. under an assumed name.
Attorney Connolly informed Angela that she was eligible to apply for her green card in the U.S. through a process called “adjustment of status.” While this would simplify the process since Angela could receive her green card in America and not be required to return to the Philippines, she would still need a waiver of her inadmissibility. Attorney Connolly was very honest with Angela about the process of applying for a waiver. He told her that waivers can be difficult, but that they can definitely be granted if properly prepared.
Attorney Connolly and Angela began working on proving that Angela’s husband would suffer an “extreme hardship” if her request for a waiver was denied. They prepared declarations from Angela and her husband about their close, loving relationship and about how Angela’s husband would suffer emotionally if he was separated from his wife. Attorney Connolly also presented evidence of why it was not feasible for Angela and her husband to simply both move to the Philippines. This evidence included difficulties in them finding jobs in the Philippines due to age discrimination and concerns about their safety due to extrajudicial killings. Finally, Angela’s children also provided declarations about what a wonderful mother Angela had been throughout their lives. It is true that any hardship the children would suffer upon their mother’s deportation was not a factor, but this helped to establish that Angela was a person of good moral character despite her one prior fraudulent act so many years ago.
Reeves Miller Zhang & Diza is now pleased to announce that Angela was granted her waiver and she is now a proud green card holder in the U.S. Angela is no longer concerned about being deported or separated from her family, but rather is looking forward to the day when she will be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship!