Green Card . . . After 26 Years

avoid-pitfalls-when-becoming-a-us-citizen

dreamstime_9261765Our client waited, and waited, and waited for her green card.  She never imagined it would take as long as it did, but after more than two-and-a-half decades of waiting, she was finally issued her green card.

When Ms. Rosa Dela Cruz was petitioned by her United States Citizen step-father in 1986, she had no idea of the long ordeal that awaited her. She entered the U.S. in 1985 when she was 15 years old.  However, before she could file for her greencard, her step-father passed away. She made several attempts to change status but was denied due to the death of her step-father. However, months turned into years with her prior   attorney who was unable to make any progress with her case.  Finally, in March of 2010, Ms. Dela Cruz came to Reeves and Associates (R&A) for second opinion. R&A advised her that she qualified to become a lawful permanent resident based on her deceased step father’s petition under the law that was passed a year ago. Rosa was living as an undocumented alien in the United States for the past 26 years.

In 2009, Congress amended the Immigration and Nationality Act to allow aliens to obtain their greencard after their petitioner’s death.  Reeves and Associates were able to prove that Section 204(l) of the Immigration and Nationality Act was applicable to Rosa because she was a named beneficiary of an approved petition in 1986. In addition, Rosa has continuously resided in the United States since 1988, when her step- father passed away.

The Service did not act quickly on Rosa’s application because the law was new and that Rosa was over 21 years old (aged out). Her category was changed from an immediate relative to that of an unmarried daughter of a United States citizen over 21 years old.  Attorney Flomy Javier Diza, a partner of Reeves & Associates continuously follow up on the status of Rosa’s greencard application pending with the USCIS. He coordinated with his colleagues in the Firm and with the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association to persuade USCIS to grant permanent resident status (a green card) to Rosa. USCIS capitulated and approved Rosa’s application for permanent residency in October 2011.

Attorney Diza said “many times applications filed with USCIS simply go unadjudicated”. At Reeves and Associates, we are very aggressive in pursuing clients’ rights where their cases are unreasonably delayed.” Rosa said “After 25 years of waiting, it is official!  I am still in awe and words cannot express the excitement I have.  Thank you Atty. Diza for all the efforts you and your paralegal Mamata made in handling my case.  Thank you for conferring with your colleagues when there was an issue with my case.  And please, thank Atty. Reeves as well for accepting my case in March 2010.  I know I came to the right Immigration office.