Sometimes, we only focus on the finish line, failing to pay attention to the milestones that cross our path along the way. Every case has a series of steps – be it work card production, processing through the National Visa Center, or simply getting through the mailroom – that we often take for granted.

Yet, when an application gets stuck in one of these routine or small places, it feels like you’re mired in quicksand and all of your energy gets sucked into an unexpected place. Sometimes, clients don’t know that their case is stuck, but we work behind the scenes, regardless, to move things along.

This week, we had a small victory with the National Visa Center (NVC). They wanted to charge our client $455 to resubmit their visa application fee since it’d been over a year since the fee had originally been paid. However, the NVC knew that our client had also filed a provisional waiver during that time. We argued that our client shouldn’t have to pay the $455 again and today, the NVC told us that they agreed. We never told our client that the NVC wanted more money, or that we were reaching out to the NVC about this issue, but doing the advocacy work was the right thing to do.

Another small victory happened last week when a case file was shipped back to Atlanta, where it should be, for a green card decision. Our client had two cases pending – an asylum case and an adjustment of status case. The green card interview had already been conducted, but the asylum case was going to take another year, minimum, to work its way through the system. After consulting with the Arlington Asylum Office, we were able to withdraw the asylum case and get the file transferred back to Atlanta so a decision can be made on the green card. When USCIS has a reputation for moving slowly, it was a small victory, indeed, to have this part of the case work out the way it should. Hopefully, the Atlanta officer will be able to make a decision on the green card soon!

So, yes, while the ultimate goal may be to become a permanent resident or U.S. citizen, sometimes the little things of just getting a file where it should be can warm an attorney’s heart. It’s all part of the bigger puzzle, it’s all part of the process. Without these small victories, we can’t win the bigger battles!