One of the best things about being around for a few years is that I get to see clients go through several steps of the immigration process – going from undocumented to getting status to becoming a lawful permanent resident and then becoming a U.S. citizen. In 2013, just about a year after the firm opened, we met Lisa (not her real name). I say we met her, but she lived up in the Northeast and called us for a consultation. She saw a blog post I wrote about Parole in Place and wanted to learn more.
Lisa came to the U.S. without permission and was married to a U.S. citizen who had served our country in the Army. A grant of Parole in Place would change her and her husband’s lives. Since she entered without permission, normally, she’d have to return to her home country and wait (possibly for years) to return. But a Parole in Place grant would give her a legal admission to the country, without physically leaving, and that would allow her to apply for her green card in the United States.
We applied for Parole in Place and it was granted within a few months. We were then able to file for her green card. When it came time for her interview, she was so nervous that she flew me up to New Jersey to go with her. Thankfully the interview went very well and she was granted her permanent residency. Fast forward a few years and Lisa became eligible for naturalization.
Lisa had her naturalization interview last week. I didn’t go up to New Jersey to be with her, but once again, her interview went well and her case was approved. She should be a U.S. citizen by the end of the month!
When closing out her case, I looked through her entire file and remembered all of the uncertainty Lisa felt and all the bravery she showed as we took her case one step at a time. It took just over 6 years, but we did it – we helped bring her immigration story to a successful end!