Waiver Granted After Death of “Qualifying Relative”

(Left to Right: Atty. Robert L. Reeves, Rosalinda Obana, and Atty. Eric Welsh) Rosalinda is now a proud permanent resident of the United States, able to travel freely and work legally. She is now on track to be a U.S. citizen. At long last, her American dreams are becoming a reality.

She committed fraud and her “Qualifying Relative” was dead, but this RMZD client was granted her green card nonetheless.

On August 4, 2011, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) granted Rosalinda Obana a waiver of a lifetime bar to admissibility.  USCIS granted the waiver only after Rosalinda’s attorneys at Reeves & Associates, APLC (R&A) argued persistently and persuasively that the waiver was approvable even though Rosalinda’s “qualifying relative,” her U.S. citizen father, had already passed away.  Rosalinda is now a proud permanent resident of the United States, on track for U.S. citizenship.

Rosalinda has lived in the United States since she left the Philippines in December 1992.  Rosalinda’s daughter, Nina, is a naturalized U.S. citizen.  When Rosalinda met with attorneys from R&A in February 2010, she did not have lawful status in the United States, and she was facing a lifetime bar to admissibility.  Rosalinda’s attorneys at R&A explained that Rosalinda’s daughter, Nina, could file a petition for Rosalinda, but that her waiver required proof of “extreme hardship” to a “qualifying relative.”  A petition from Nina (an over-21-years-old U.S. citizen) would be immediately available, but the type of waiver that Rosalinda needed could only be granted if Rosalinda established hardship to a spouse or parent. 

Rosalinda’s father, Desiderio, was the only “qualifying relative” available to Rosalinda for the sake of her waiver.  When Rosalinda consulted with R&A in February 2010, Desiderio was suffering from malignant cancer.  R&A filed all of Rosalinda’s applications and supporting documents as quickly as possible, knowing that USCIS could deny the waiver if Desiderio passed away before the green card interview.  In light of Desiderio’s serious medical condition, R&A convinced USCIS to expedite the green card interview.  Sadly, Desiderio passed away about two weeks before the expedited interview.

At the time of the green card interview, USCIS recognized that Rosalinda’s daughter, Nina, was a valid petitioner, but informed Rosalinda and her R&A attorney that her waiver could not be approved because she did not have a “qualifying relative.”  Rosalinda’s attorneys argued that the waiver should be granted notwithstanding the death of Desiderio.  Rosalinda’s attorneys came prepared to the interview with a comprehensive legal brief explaining how USCIS could grant the waiver even after Desiderio’s death.  The interviewing officer stated that he would take the matter under consideration. 

After the interview, Rosalinda’s R&A attorney (Eric Welsh) met in conference with a supervisor at USCIS to discuss the case.  The USCIS supervisor stated that the waiver had to be denied because Rosalinda’s “qualifying relative” had died.  Mr. Welsh disagreed, explaining that approval was still legally possible.  Mr. Welsh convinced the supervisor to submit the matter to USCIS attorneys for further review.  Thereafter, Mr. Welsh submitted a supplemental brief to USCIS providing extensive legal analysis of the issue of eligibility for the waiver after the death of the qualifying relative.  After further review, USCIS granted the waiver and approved Rosalinda’s application.   

Rosalinda was overjoyed when she finally received the approval notice in the mail.  “It takes a thoughtful individual like Attorney Welsh to help others in their time of greatest need,” said Rosalinda.  Now, she is a lawful permanent resident, able to travel freely and work legally.  She is now on track to be a U.S. citizen.  At long last, her American dreams are becoming a reality.