If you follow us on social media (and I hope you do! See the buttons on the top right for more info), you know that we celebrate our clients’ victories every month. This past month has been extra-special, though, and I’d like to talk a little about a few of the cases behind the numbers.
We had three immigrant visas approved in July. Each one is significant because most U.S. consulates and embassies are extremely backlogged and short-staffed, making wait times awful. One, though, in particular stands out. We were hired in January 2020 to assist a lovely U.S. citizen with trying to get her Iranian husband to the United States. Under the Trump Administration, her husband was subject to a discriminatory travel ban simply because of where he had been born. A waiver was available, but it was difficult to obtain. One of the first things that President Biden did in January 2021 was to overturn this particular travel ban. The client had his interview in early February and finally, nearly six months later, his visa was approved and he’ll be here to see his wife in just a few days.
The ten approved green cards for our VAWA clients are also all special. VAWA recipients have been approved for this special type of status because they endured extreme cruelty by their U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse. Working with these clients is so meaningful because we get to see them go from a really dark moment in their lives to one of the happiest moments they could imagine. I love watching the relief come over our clients as they realize that their spouse (or former spouse) no longer has any control over them or their future in the United States. For one family of three, the journey was extra-long. USCIS miscategorized their cases when we filed and their cases were denied. We got them reopened, but then the file just seemed to sit on a shelf. Finally, after nearly three years, they’re all permanent residents. There was also a VAWA recipient who told me that he’s going to have to change the way he thinks about himself – after 17 years in the United States he no longer has to think of himself as “second-class.”
We also had our first NACARA grant as a firm. NACARA is the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act, which is an old program requiring applicants to have been in the US since 1990. Our client was born in 1990 and has been in the US since 2000. However, because his parents were granted relief under NACARA, he also became eligible. Getting this grant was a huge relief to his family. He has a U.S. citizen wife and three U.S. citizen children, including one with special needs. I am so, so happy that they get to stay together as a family in the U.S. without worrying about his lack of paperwork or constantly fearing deportation.
It was a busy month, but an excellent month. We love celebrating our clients and their successes and are so honored that we get to be part of the process!