A Green Card Is Still Possible Despite A Deportation Order

dreamstime_m_87999066An outstanding order of deportation may make you ineligible for your green card.  But that just means you need a different strategy.  For one RMZD client, she now has a green card after reopening her case and having the deportation order vacated.

It will be a very merry Christmas for Vanessa and her family this year, as they are finally able to travel back home to the Philippines for the holidays.  They can all travel now because Vanessa, whose name has been changed for purposes of this story to protect her privacy, has finally been granted permanent resident status (green card) after entering the U.S. more than 25 years ago.

Vanessa’s immigration story began way back in 1990 when she entered the U.S. with a tourist visa.  She did not intend to permanently move to the U.S. when she left home, but after arriving, she changed her mind and decided the United States was where she wanted to spend the rest of her life.  Vanessa looked for a way to legalize her status in the U.S. and was advised to file an application for asylum.  Her application was unfortunately denied though, as were all appeals.

Despite her unsuccessful efforts to get her green card, Vanessa refused to ever leave the U.S.  She had a good job here earning a livable wage, she was married to a U.S. citizen, and she had given birth to multiple children who were U.S. citizens.  Vanessa and her friends and family thought she was entitled to a green card based on the above, but sadly, they were mistaken.  The issue in Vanessa’s case was that she had an outstanding order of deportation.  This outstanding order of deportation made her ineligible to apply here in the U.S.  Vanessa was eligible to depart the U.S. and apply for an Immigrant Visa at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, but she knew that her return to this country was not guaranteed.  Vanessa was not willing to take the chance of being stranded outside the U.S., separated from her husband and children.

But Vanessa refused to give up!  She consulted with Reeves Miller Zhang & Diza and Attorney Devin Connolly explained a way that Vanessa could obtain her green card without ever leaving the U.S.  Attorney Connolly explained that Vanessa was ineligible for her green with an outstanding order of deportation.  However, if we were able to reopen her court case, she would then be eligible for her green card based on her marriage to a U.S. citizen.

Attorney Connolly immediately began working on a request to reopen Vanessa’s case.  He reached out to the Department of Homeland Security in an attempt to convince them to file a joint motion.  Attorney Connolly discussed Vanessa’s family in the U.S. and how much they depend on her, her stable employment history, and her good moral character.  The government agreed to reopen Vanessa’s case, clearing the way for her to finally receive her green card.

It is now official – Vanessa is a permanent resident of the U.S. with a green card to prove it.  It took her a lot longer than she would have hoped, but after all of these years, she is focusing on the future and looking forward to becoming a U.S. citizen in three years.  But even before U.S. citizenship, Vanessa will be able to live and work in the U.S., and yes, also travel and visit family and friends in the Philippines.