Margaret W. Wong & Associates LLC is a full-service immigration law practice that provides legal advice and representation to people and companies in the United States. The firm has over 80 years of combined legal experience among its attorneys and serves its clients from offices in Cleveland, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Nashville, Columbus, Minneapolis, and Raleigh. Contact us here to schedule a consultation to discuss your needs.
TABLE OF CONTENTS (CLICK ONE TO VIEW THE STORY):
Ghanaian Daughter Files I-130
22 Years After Illegal Crossing
Chinese Client Overstays-Married
6 Months I-130/I-485 Approval
Illegal Couple From India
Denied Asylum- I-130 Approved
16 Years Without Status
Russian Woman Overstays Remarries
Gay Filipino Woman Marry
Skipping K-1/K-3 Visas
Petition of Alien Relative
Vietnamese Couple Grandfathered
LA Marriage-Based GC
Never Switch Horses Midstream
I-130 for Indian Student
Removal Proceedings Terminated
Daughter Files for Parents
I-130 for South Korean Man
Son I-130, Father USC
I-130 for Happy Couple
Alien Relative Gets I-130
Consular Processing Approval
Motion to Terminate
Sister's Death Not End to I-130
Chinese Mother Reunites 4 Daughters
Dropout of Med School
Husband and Wife Reunite
I-130 Confirms Parent Relations
Economics Masters Holder
USCIS Ruling Incorrect
I-864 to Allow I-130 Interviews
Eligible for Visa - Now GC
I-130 Expedites GC Process
Adult Child Petition for Parent
Stealthy Process: Affidavits
Firm Pushing Petition
Tough Historical Standing
Conditional Green Card
Two Months GC and Work Permit
Expired K Visas
Good Interview Preparation
I-130 Approved Then I-485
Italian Visa Waiver
Visa for Wife and Husband
I-130 Save Ghanaian Nationals
Marriage During Deportation
Canadian Permanent Resident
Firm Speeds Up Process
GC in a Week!
Stepson= Immigration Opportunity
Permanent Residence Approved
Wife Visa With USC Family
Complicated History Sorted Out
Out of Detainment
I-130 Saves Gambian Client
Deportation Threats to GCs
Tanzanian GC Through Wife
I-130, I-485, and I-765
Tedious Process for Venezuelan
Mother Benefits From USC Son
Long Struggle for GC
Live in US for 30 Years
Patience for GC
Quick Approval for Parents
Arduous Application Process
GC for Overstayed Parents
Daughter Stay With Parents
Couple in Canada Visa Approved
CIS Proved Incorrect
Complicated Case- Green Cards
Saudi Arabian Sponsored by Husband
Mother-Daughter Duo Triumphs
Woman From Ghana Overcomes Entry With Fake Documents; Daughter Successfully Files I-130
Mrs. O, a national of Ghana contacted our office. She had entered the U.S on a fake passport and married under a fake name. She was seeking to obtain legal status and adjust status under her real name. We advised her on the necessary steps and proceeded to handle her case. We quickly put together and filed an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative with her adult daughter as the Petitioner. About two weeks after filing her I-130 application, we filed her I-485 application to adjust. Within a week, Mrs. O had received her fingerprint notice. She attended her fingerprint appointment, and within 2 months, her I-130 application was approved. Mrs. O currently has legal status under her real name and is waiting to adjust her status to that of a permanent resident as her I-485 is being processed. We say “Congratulations” to Mrs. O and the hardworking team at Margaret Wong & Assoc., Co. LLC who worked to ensure Mrs. O could obtain legal status. Once again we say Kudos.(Back to Top)
22 Years After Mother & Daughter from India Crossed Border from Mexico Illegally, Mother's Marriage etc Permits Green Card; Daughter Must Wait
Client and her daughter were natives and citizens of India who came to us in 2014 for help on adjusting status (obtaining lawful permanent residence otherwise known as a Green Card). We immediately filed different FOIAs to obtain their immigration A-files to understand what happened with their immigration cases. We discovered that client and her daughter, who was 4-years old at the time, came to the U.S. in 1994 by walking through the Mexica/Arizona border. They were picked up by immigration officers and released. They improperly registered her name with a wrong spelling. An Order to Show Cause was issued charging her with entering without inspection. Their assigned A-number had the wrong spelling. Also they failed to attend their deportation hearing which resulting in the Immigration Judge ordering deportation in absentia.
Client is married to a U.S. citizen man. We helped the husband file an I-130 for his wife and daughter, which were approved within 6 months. We also discovered that the husband was the beneficiary of a labor certification filed for him in April 2001. Because he and his wife were married before that time, she is grandfathered under the provisions of INA Sec. 245(i) to adjust status. We filed a motion to reopen to rescind the prior deportation order for the wife, arguing that her 245i(i) status and I-130 approval makes her immediately eligible to adjust status. The motion to reopen was granted and proceedings were terminated. We filed for adjustment of status at USCIS, which granted her lawful permanent residence on the same day as the interview. After 22 years in the U.S. client is finally able to continue to reside with her family with legal status.
Although the daughter’s I-130 was also approved, she is not considered an immediate relative, and must wait for her F1 preference category to become current until she can also file for a motion to reopen and adjust status just as her mom did.(Back to Top)
Client From China Overstays; Once Marriage Proved Legitimate, Wins Green Card
Our client hired us to assist her in her immigration issues and to file an I-130 petition for Alien relative and I-485 petition to adjust status. Client was worried because she had overstayed her visa period. She had begun a life in America, falling in love and marrying an American. As such client wanted to make America her new home. We were glad to be retained. We quickly filed I-130 and I-485 applications for our client. The application was received and processed by the USCIS. After two months, we received a request for additional evidence to show our client was indeed genuinely married to her husband.
We quickly responded with documents that proved beyond doubt that she was in a real marriage. Two months after responding, we received an interview notice for our client. We prepped the client for this interview and our attorney went with the couple to the interview. Her Green Card (Adjustment of Status) got approved after the interview. Once again we had a happy client and family. We say congratulations to this client and her husband as well as to Bao the attorney, and the entire team that worked to make this case a success!(Back to Top)
South Asian Woman Marries USC, I-130 & I-485 Approved in 6 Months
Mr. and Mrs. K, Indian natives, came to our office in late 2015 requesting we assist them to file an I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and I-485, Application to adjust status. Mrs. K. had previously been in the US on an H-2B visa, but then returned to India after her divorce from her prior husband. Mr. K is a U.S. citizen. Mr. and Mrs. K were married in India in 2015. Our office filed an I-130 and I-485 which were approved within 6 months. Mrs. K is now a Conditional Resident.(Back to Top)
Illegal Couple from India Secure Green Cards through I-130
An Indian couple came to us for help in 2011. Both came illegally and had removal orders and were on order of supervision. Because the husband's sister previously had filed an immigrant visa petition (I-130) and it was approved and the priority date had become current by that time, the clients would be able to apply for adjustment of status as soon as their removal cases were terminated, as they were eligible based on the 245(i) rule. Our dedicated team immediately started the complex processing of negotiation with the Office of the Chief Counsel (OCC) that had jurisdiction over the cases. By preparing and filing joint motions to reopen and terminate client's old deportation proceedings, our team was able to gain the agreement from the OCC. After the BIA signed off on the order to officially terminate client's removal orders, we diligently submitted application to adjust status for the clients. The Green Cards were approved 10 months later after our clients successfully passed the interview accompanied by our attorney.(Back to Top)
Chinese Man Flees Forced Sterilization, Asylum Denied, Wins Green Card Through Sister's I-130 22 Years Later
Mr. F, a native and citizen of China, entered the United States in or around 1994 without inspection, and stayed here ever since. He fled China in 1994 to avoid forceful sterilization, and came to the U.S. to seek asylum. He filed for asylum in or about August 1994. However, his application was denied by the immigration judge four years later, in 1998. He was granted voluntary departure. In 1999, the Board of Immigration Appeal denied Mr. F’s appeal due to failure to file a timely brief. On April 27, 2001, Mr. F’s sister, filed an I-130, petition for alien relative which was approved.
Mr. F hire our office in 2015 to apply for adjustment of status based on his sister’s petition. Our office diligently worked to reopen Mr. F’s removal proceedings with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) in order to allow him apply for Green Card, adjustment of status under section 245 (i). Our professional team was able to reopen and terminate removal proceedings and applied for Mr. F’s adjustment of status with USCIS. This case was handled by attorney Fabiola Cini.(Back to Top)
India Man Obtains Green Card After 16 Years Without Lawful Status
A man from India came to our firm for a consultation after living in the U.S. for 16 years without lawful status. He and his lawful permanent resident (LPR, otherwise known as “Green Card” status) wife had been together for 11 years with two U.S. citizen children. Although they had a traditional ceremonial marriage, they never registered their marriage with the state. Our client’s parents were U.S. citizens.
Our client told us that he had a prior deportation order and was scared to move forward with any immigration matter. He also told us that a labor certification had been filed for him in April 2001, but the same company had never sponsored him for an I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. After reviewing the paperwork, we advised him that he qualifies to adjust status under INA Section 245i if we could reopen his case and terminate the deportation order. INA Section 245i is a statute that protects individuals who were beneficiaries of a visa petition or labor certification filed before April 30, 2001 to apply for their Green Card in the United States without having to go back to their home country.
The client’s LPR wife and U.S. citizen parents all filed I-130 petitions on his behalf. His parent’s I-130 was approved without interview, and his wife’s I-130 was approved at the interview with USCIS. Because his wife was only a LPR, he had to wait for the priority date to become current before filing for his Green Card based on his 245(i) status. When the priority date became current, we immediately and successfully filed a request to the Office of Chief Counsel asking their office to join with us in a motion to reopen and terminate the deportation order so that we could file to adjust status with USCIS.
Unfortunately, just after the case was reopened and the Immigration Court terminated deportation proceedings, the visa bulletin retrogressed for the client’s family-based preference category. Our client’s wife however filed an N-400, and naturalized as a U.S. citizen, which allowed our client to upgrade his I-130 petition as a beneficiary of an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen. As soon as our client’s wife obtained her naturalization certificate, our office filed an I-485 Application to Adjust Status. Our client was scheduled for an interview within 2 months of filing his I-485, and he received the Green Card approval 3 months after his interview.(Back to Top)
Russian Woman Overstays, Remarries, Fights to Stay in USA
Mrs. E, a Russian, came to our office to seek legal advice regarding her immigration case. She came to the U.S. with a J-1 visa, and had married a U.S. Citizen. Her then husband had petitioned for her to become a legal permanent resident. She had filed an I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) and I-485 (Application to Adjust Status) concurrently. Unfortunately, she was not found credible at her interview with USCIS. Furthermore, she had admitted to lying about her marriage. Her marriage ended not long after that, and she was placed in removal proceedings. She had hired an attorney to represent her during these proceedings. Unfortunately his advice was ineffective and she was granted voluntary departure, and waved an appeal. She was not informed that failure to leave U.S. in a reasonable time made her subject to civil penalties. She did not leave the U.S. Also, she met and married the companion of her life, so she could not leave now. Although her husband was a U.S. citizen, and made her eligible to file for Green Card, she faced serious consequences. We analyzed all possible options. It was time for damage control. We filed for a motion to reopen and terminate her proceedings, asking for the Immigration Judge’s discretion. In the meantime, we file an I-765 Application for Work Permit, which was approved in 65 days. Her case continues, as we await the judge's decision, but we are confident she is going to succeed.(Back to Top)
Gay Philippine Women Marry in USA, Win Legal Permanent Residence for Wife
In July 2015, Margaret W. Wong & Associates was retained to represent a same-sex couple in their case. Ms. I. is a native of Philippines and a US Citizen. Ms. H., a native and citizen of Philippines came to the USA in early 2015 on a visitor visa. They were married in August of 2015 in the US (Philippines does not recognize gay marriage) and retained our office to assist them with a family based petition in order for Ms. H. to adjust status to permanent resident in the U.S. The applications (I-130 Petition for Alien Relative & I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) were immediately filed, and in early December 2015 USCIS approved the case. An I-765 Application for Employment Authorization was also filed, and approved. Ms. H. is now a legal permanent resident of the US.(Back to Top)
U.S. Citizen brings Chinese Spouse through Consular Processing, Skips K-1 and K-3 Visas
“Bob,” a U.S. born citizen, met a Chinese woman online. The two corresponded for a while long-distance. Then he proposed to her, and hired Margaret W. Wong and Associates to help him bring her to the U.S. lawfully.
USCIS offers K-1 visas for fiancees of U.S. citizens and K-3 visas for spouses of U.S. citizens. We were planning to file a K-1 visa for Bob and his girlfriend. Suddenly, Bob emailed us and let us know that he couldn’t wait any longer – he was traveling to China to marry his girlfriend.
When he returned to the U.S. as a married man, we looked into his options. He could either 1) file an I-130 Immigrant Petition for his wife, and then file for a K-3 nonimmigrant visa so she could come here while she waited for her Green Card, or 2) we could simply wait for the I-130 approval and process her Green Card directly through the consulate in China. That way, she would enter the U.S. as a permanent resident.
While the K-3 visa is a nice thought, in practice it often isn’t very practical. We considered processing and wait times, and determined that the second option (I-130 approval and immigrant visa processing through China) would be just as fast as getting a K-3 visa!
We immediately filed an I-130 Immigrant Petition for Bob’s wife. It took around four months to be approved. Upon approval, our Chinese-speaking paralegals assisted Bob’s wife to navigate the process through the National Visa Center and the consulate in Guangzhou. She received her immigrant visa, and flew to the U.S. recently to join Bob, just in time to celebrate their one-year wedding anniversary.(Back to Top)
Petition of Alien Relative: I-130, I-485, & I-765
Mrs. H had originally entered the United States from Mexico in 1985 without inspection. She obtained a Work Visa in 1987 and remained in the United States until 1992. Shortly after she again returned to Mexico until December 1995. Again, she returned to the United States in January 1996 and has remained in the United States ever since. She has never been in any removal proceeding by USCIS and has three children, all of whom are United States Citizens, and one is serving in the United States Military.
Mrs. H retained Margaret Wong & Associates, LLC, in March 2012. Our team filed an I-130 Petition For Alien relative, I-485 Application to Register Permanent residence or Adjust Status, and an I-765 Employment Authorization Document Application on October 2012. In January 2013, Mrs. H’s I-765 Work Permit was approved with later following her approval for her I-485 Permanent Residence in July 2013. This whole process took nine months to complete, and Mrs. H. is very happy to be with her family!(Back to Top)
Husband and Wife from Vietnam Grandfathered under 245(i)
Mr. and Mrs. L, of Vietnam, first entered the U.S. as F-1 students over a decade ago. After school they overstayed and began working without authorization.
In May of 2013 they approached our office for help. Mrs. L had an approved I-140 Immigrant Petition based on an offer of employment, but they could not file their Adjustment of Status (their final Green Card papers) because they were out of status. We interviewed the couple, and with a little digging found that Mrs. L’s uncle had filed an I-130 Immigrant Petition on behalf of her father over 20 years ago, when Mrs. L was still a teenager. We were excited. This I-130 petition would allow Mrs. L to qualify for a section of law called 245(i). Using her father’s I-130, Mrs. L would be “grandfathered” under 245(i) and could still apply for her Green Card, even though she had been working in the U.S. without status. It would also allow her husband (who was also out of status) to apply with her as a derivative.
Our excitement soon faded when we learned that no member of the family had kept any paperwork regarding the old I-130. So we filed a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) on the father to see if USCIS had any record. They did not. Then we filed a FOIA on the uncle. Again, nothing. We contacted the National Visa Center. Finally, we discovered something! The NVC wrote back with some basic information about the case, but told us that, unfortunately, any paperwork had been destroyed (they don’t keep records forever). Would this email be enough to prove Mr. and Mrs. L qualified for 245(i)?
Fortunately, it was. Attorney Francis Fungsang attended the clients’ USCIS interview with them in July of 2014. He made a strong case for the clients, and advised the USCIS officer on grandfathering procedures under 245(i). A month later, Mr. and Mrs. L received their Green Cards and are now lawful permanent residents!(Back to Top)
Marriage-Based Green Card Approved in Los Angeles
Mr. C is a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in China. He retained out firm to represent him, his new wife Mrs. W, and his stepson in obtaining Green Cards for the new members of the family.
There were a couple of issues in their case. First, Mr. C had been married twice before to women from China. Both times he had obtained Green Cards for his wives, and later divorced. This could raise a question as to the validity and purpose of this third marriage. Second, Mrs. W and her son had come to the U.S. on visitor visas and then decided to remain here permanently (remember, visitor visas are to be used ONLY if there is no intent, upon entry, to remain permanently).
Attorney Rebecca Tseng in our California office carefully prepared the family for their USCIS interviews. Upon meeting them, she reported that she instantly felt that this was a genuine and caring marriage, and that Mrs. W had originally entered the U.S. for a temporary visit – not with marriage plans. But love took over and Mr. C and Mrs. W soon realized that they did not want to be separated again.
The next task was to show this to USCIS. Attorney Tseng prepared the clients with lists of the potential questions the couple might be asked, and gave them an overview of what to expect at the interview. As it turns out, everything went very well. The officer noted that Mr. C and Mrs. W seemed anxious, and when Attorney Tseng pointed out that they were going to the airport immediately after the interview to pick up Mrs. W’s parents and sister for a visit the officer laughed, offered his empathy to Mr. C (who was about to meet his in-laws for the first time) and quickly concluded the interview with an approval!
The happy couple will be spending their holidays here in California along with a house full of visiting relatives. Mrs. W and her son’s Green Cards are truly a great holiday gift!(Back to Top)
Never Switch Horses Midstream — Unless the New Horse is Margaret W. Wong & Associates
Our client, Mr. A, approached us in early 2010. He had a real mess on his hands, and was not happy with his current attorney. It seems that Mr. A had previously been ordered deported in absentia. His prior attorney’s efforts to reopen the proceedings had failed, he had a prior fake SAW application (Special Agricultural Worker), a criminal history, and a case to reopen his deportation proceeding pending with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals with a brief due in less than a month.
Our office immediately set to work obtaining the administrative record of Mr. A’s 11th Circuit case, filing substitution of counsel and requesting an extension for the brief. We also filed a Motion to Reopen with the BIA and asked the 11th Circuit to put their proceedings on hold until the results were known. In October of 2010 the Motion to Reopen was denied. Things were looking grim, because the 11th Circuit case initiated by the prior attorney wasn’t a strong one.
Fortunately, Mr. A’s U.S. citizen spouse had filed an I-130 Immigrant Petition on his behalf. This petition was approved in June of 2011. It took a lot of effort on the part of Attorney Scott Bratton and the support staff at our office, but Mr. A’s deportation proceedings were finally reopened and remanded to an immigration judge. His proceedings with the 11th Circuit were closed. Mr. A’s Application to Adjust Status and register his permanent residence was filed before the immigration judge and approved in September of 2013.
There is a saying: never switch horses in midstream. But if your immigration case isn’t going well with your current attorney you ALWAYS have the right to switch to another one. Your old attorney will owe you any portion of fees you’ve paid him that he hasn’t earned. In Mr. A’s case, switching horses and hiring our firm was an excellent decision. We’re please we were able to help Mr. A put his immigration troubles behind him.(Back to Top)
Spouse’s Last-minute Naturalization Saves the Day
Our client, Mr. A, is a native of Ghana. He came to the U.S. in 1998 on a visitor visa and overstayed. In July of 2010 Mr. A and his wife, a U.S. lawful permanent resident, were riding a bus when an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer boarded and began asking passengers about their immigration status. Mr. A admitted that he had overstayed his visa, that his wife had filed an I-130 Immigrant Petition for him, and that he had no other immigration status. Mr. A was arrested and taken into ICE custody. He was released under bond and served with a Motion to Appear (MTA) in deportation proceedings.
Does that sound unfair to you, that an ICE officer can get on a bus and choose passengers based on their race, appearance or accents and begin asking them questions? We thought so. Keep in mind that passengers are unlikely to feel that they are free to leave the bus if they choose, or to decline to speak with the officer. Many immigrants come from countries where random interrogations like this are common and one wouldn’t dare to deny an officer in uniform, but here in the U.S. we like to think that this doesn’t happen…
We notified the immigration judge that we were preparing to file a Motion to Suppress Mr. A’s statements made on the bus, arguing that Mr. A’s interrogation was unlawful and any answers he gave should not be admitted as evidence against him. The judge refused, saying he would only accept the motion if we also filed an asylum and withholding of removal application. We were reluctant, because Mr. A’s asylum and withholding claims were not very strong. But in order to get the Motion to Suppress across, we did end up filing them.
In the meanwhile, the I-130 Immigrant Petition Mr. A’s wife had filed on his behalf (handled by another attorney) was denied. And then things got interesting. Mr. A’s asylum was also denied, as was his application for withholding of removal. Things were looking grim. How could we keep Mr. A in the country long enough to find a way to get his Green Card? We filed a Second Circuit appeal and a Motion to Reopen on Mr. A’s cases, in an effort to keep him in the country. Attorneys from our office began making phone calls to Mr. A’s deportation officers, pleading with them not to take Mr. A back into custody.
It’s always darkest before the dawn, as they say. Our office assisted Mr. A’s wife in obtaining citizenship. Now Mr. A was an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, and could qualify immediately for his Green Card. Last month our opposing counsel in Mr. A’s deportation case let us know that she would not oppose our motion to terminate his proceedings, now that he was eligible to adjust status. Currently, Mr. A’s Green Card application is safely pending. After having been through so much over the past four years, with all the ups and downs and the non stop struggle just to keep Mr. A in the U.S. and out of ICE detention, it’s nice to sit back with him and wait for his Green Card approval!(Back to Top)
I-130 Approved for Indian Student
Our client, an Indian student in her early 30s, had recently married a US Citizen when she retained our office. She had maintained her F-1 status while she had been in the United States. However, one night while she was helping a friend with the gas station he owned, she was charged with selling alcohol to a minor. She paid the fine shortly after.
We filed the I-130 Immigrant Relative Petition along with the I-485 application to adjust status to legal permanent resident with USCIS. Before our client went to her interview with USCIS, we told her to gather documents proving she and her husband were a real couple and as well as regarding the criminal charge, like the certified judgment entry. We prepared her for the interview and accompanied her the day of. She was recommended for approval by the USCIS officer and received her Green Card within a month.
Our client and her husband are grateful for the guidance and advice provided by Margaret Wong & Associates throughout this process.(Back to Top)
Removal Proceedings Termination Permits Status Adjustment
We were hired to represent our client in removal proceedings. While she was in removal proceedings, we helped her son naturalize. Since our client had legally entered the United States many years ago, she would be eligible to adjust status upon approval of an I-130 filed by her son. We were able to secure continuances in her court case to obtain an I-130 approval. We then were able to get her removal proceedings terminated so that she could adjust status with USCIS. We were able to get a fast interview. The interview went very well and soon thereafter our client was informed that her case had been approved. Scott Bratton handled the case.(Back to Top)
After waiting for years, 21 year old daughter files for Chinese parents
Timing is everything, especially in immigration cases. Our clients, a Chinese couple in their 40s came to us in 2011 to help them file a Motion to Stay. The couple had a 20 year old daughter who was a US Citizen and we decided that we needed to buy time until she turned 21 and would be able to file an I-130 family based petition and I-485 application to adjust status for them. In the meantime, we filed a motion to stay and gathered all the documents and prepared the forms for the I-130/ I-485 application. This waiting period was tough for the family. The mother was nervous that she would be picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and wasn’t sleeping well.
However, our patience paid off. Once the couple’s daughter turned 21, we filed the I-130/I-485 applications. We then prepared the family for their interviews with USCIS and made sure that there would be a Cantonese interpreter present at the interviews. An attorney from our firm accompanied the family to interviews, and both the mother and the father were recommended to be approved for Green Cards by the immigration officer. Within a few months of the interview, the couple received their Green Cards. After this lengthy and frustrating process, they were relieved to have their Green Cards and a sense of stability in their lives. The couple and their children are grateful to the attorneys and staff at Margaret W. Wong & Associates for their patience and persistence throughout this process.(Back to Top)
I-130 Approved for South Korean Man
Mr. H of South Korea first entered the U.S. on a visitor visa in 1999. He decided to go to school and changed status to an F-1 student visa. While in college, Mr. H had a couple of lapses in judgment – one arrest for DUI (driving under the influence) and one for public indecency. Mr. H overstayed his student visa and eventually met and fell in love with a U.S. citizen. They were married in 2012, and our office filed their combined I-130/I-485 Adjustment of Status package with the USCIS. Everything went smoothly, and the couple was scheduled for an interview with an immigration officer in October of 2012.
While we were preparing our clients for the interview, Mr. H privately admitted that his wife was not aware of his arrests while in college. He was embarrassed by his behavior, and even though it had all taken place over a decade ago he would prefer that she never find out. He was concerned that the immigration officer might bring up the arrests and that it would be a shock to his wife. This put us in a tough spot. We’re not enthusiastic about the thought of one spouse hiding something from the other. We told Mr. H that we could pull the officer aside before the interview and tell him that the wife was not aware of the arrests, but we couldn’t guarantee that she would be completely shielded from the information. Fortunately Mr. H decided to come clean to his wife before the interview. Apparently the news was not as upsetting to her as he had thought it would be. They did just fine at the interview. The immigration officer did ask Mr. H to obtain original or certified copies of his arrest records and disposition before approval, though. Once the records were provided Mr. H’s Green Card was quickly approved!
Our lesson from this: we attorneys are like doctors. We’re here to help you, not to judge you. Do not be embarrassed to tell us anything and everything about yourself that might have an impact on your case – in fact, we need you to be honest so that we can represent you adequately. If you have been arrested, let us know. You might be surprised to hear just how many clients we see who have been arrested in the past! Get records of the arrests that show ALL of the details – what the arrest was for, what you were charged with and what the outcome was. Be prepared to show original documents or certified copies – know ahead of time where and how to get them.
A criminal history can have serious consequences in an immigration case, but if you are honest and give us all of the details we can help you through it.(Back to Top)
Son’s I-130 approved after his father becomes a US Citizen
Our client from Nigeria, a lawful permanent resident, came to us after having filed an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative for his son which had been pending for four years. Soon after, the I-130 was approved. His son had been deported in the meantime and we had to prepare a Form I-192 Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant so that he would be able to come back to the United States and eventually apply for his own Green Card based on the approved I-130 filed by the father. Our waiver application was approved and the young man became eligible to become a lawful permanent resident with an approved I-130. As soon as the young man’s father became eligible to naturalize, we helped him to do so because it would significantly speed up the processing of his son’s application, changing the son’s visa category for the better. Once the father naturalized, the son’s application would be categorized as First preference F1 Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens instead of Second preference F2B Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Lawful Permanent Residents, significantly speeding up the processing time. Thanks to our expertise and diligence in this matter, the young man was able to get his Green Card in only about four months.(Back to Top)
I-130 approved for happy couple
Our client, an American citizen, sought our expertise on filing an I-130 petition for his wife, a Lebanese woman, in the fall of 2012. We advised our client on which documents to collect and assisted the couple in filling out the I-130, G-325A, and I-864 forms. Within six weeks the application was filed with USCIS. After preparing the couple for the interview with USCIS, an attorney from Margaret Wong & Associates accompanied them to their interview in the winter of 2013. By the spring, the I-130 was approved and our client’s wife received her Green Card! The couple is happy to be together and thanks Margaret Wong & Associates for their advice and guidance through the immigration process.(Back to Top)
Alien relative gets I-130 approved
This success story is essentially a love story. Our client, a young man from El Salvador, came to our office wanting to straighten out his immigration status. He had entered the country illegally several years before and unbeknownst to him an immigration judge had ordered his removal. He had lived a quiet, hard-working life in time since arriving. He had helped build up a successful restaurant business and always paid his taxes. He had met the love of his life and become a father. His girlfriend already had a son from a past relationship and our client had come to view this boy has his own flesh and blood. They were very close. With a new baby in the picture, our client decided to make sure his future was secure by dealing with his immigration past.
During the process of dealing with his case, our client revealed to Ms. Wong some very good news. He had just proposed to his girlfriend and she had said yes. No matter what happened to him, she wanted to spend the rest of her life by his side. Ms. Wong immediately asked – is your fiancée a US citizen?! He told her yes. Before the celebrations were over, Ms. Wong had our client and his new wife filing an I-130 petition for an alien relative. We filed the paperwork in December, 2012. Due to our client’s immigration case, USCIS requested an interview with the couple. The interview occurred in late February, with one of our attorneys present. The officer could clearly see that these two people were very much in love. We received the approval in the mail in early March. With this approval many other options opened up for our client. Most importantly, he and his family are very happy together.(Back to Top)
Consular Processing Approval
Our client, a young Chinese lady, came to see us in May of 2011 and wanted to know if she could do anything to help her ageing father who living alone in China was a constant worry for her. The young lady’s parents had divorced long ago and her mother was now also living in the US as a citizen. All too aware of the issues surrounding caring for an aged parent, Ms. Wong put our best National Visa Center team in New York on the case. We filed an I-130 petition the day after meeting with the client and received the approval just over a month later. Recognizing the need for a joint sponsor on the case due to the low level of our client’s income, Ms. Wong approached the client’s mother. In spite of the breakdown of her marriage, after speaking with Ms. Wong about the case, she was only too happy to help.
As our client is over the age of 21 and her father qualified as an immediate relative a visa would be immediately available as soon as we could secure an interview. The only delay in our case came about after our client had to leave the US to visit her father in China for several months. This time, however, allowed our client to gather the required documents for the Packet 3 and 4 visa application. When she and her mother returned to the US we picked back with the case immediately and filed the visa application in March of 2012. Within three weeks we were informed of the interview date for the end of April. After successfully completing the interview our client is now reunited with her father here in the United States where he lives as a permanent resident.(Back to Top)
Motion to Terminate
Our firm represented a woman who was applying for adjustment of status to get her Green Card based on a petition from her U.S. Citizen husband. She had previously been arrested by immigration and was considered a fugitive on an order of supervision. As such, she was very worried that she would be arrested during her Green Card interview even though she is eligible to adjust status. Our staff filed her application to adjust status, and also decided to file a Motion to Reopen and apply for asylum as a protection for the client in case there was a problem at her Green Card interview. Luckily, the client was not picked up by immigration during her interview, and after submitting many supplemental documents to support her application, she just had to wait for a decision. One of our attorneys pushed the USCIS officer for a decision multiple times, and finally the Green Card application was approved. We then filed a motion to terminate the client’s removal proceedings based on her approved Green Card application.(Back to Top)
Thorough Conversation Reveals Sister’s Death Not End of Client’s I-130
Our client was the beneficiary of an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative filed by his U.S. citizen sister in October 1997. The I-130 was approved in February 1998. Tragically, in 2005, our client’s sister died of lung cancer. Our client did not seek our help until 2011 when he feared all hope might be lost of staying in the United States. At this point in time, had his sister lived our client would have been automatically eligible for a visa application under the 245 (i) exemption. After meeting with him and discussing his life and family, Ms. Wong fixed on a course of action. She determined that the client had another qualifying relative, a U.S. citizen brother, through whom he could continue his application. Along with our client’s application for permanent residence (Green Card), we filed the required I-864 form to substitute the sponsor and request that the previous I-130 approval be re-instated.
We filed in September, 2011 and our client had his Green Card interview in December. At the interview the officer asked for proof that our client had resided continuously in the US since the date of his sister’s death. Once again, Ms. Wong determined the strategy and requested social security statements from our client. These documents showed that our client had been present in the US and this satisfied USCIS. In late January 2011, we received notice that the I-130 would be reinstated and in early February our client at last received his Green Card.(Back to Top)
Chinese Mother Reunites Four Daughters
In 2008, a Chinese, legal permanent resident (Green Card holder) of the United States came to our office seeking our help to bring her daughters to the United States and to secure status for her daughters already living here. Our client left China in 2006 after living through years of torment and tragedy. After having four children, all girls, with her husband, two of which were raised by relatives to avoid the notice of the government, her family lived in constant fear of persecution under the one-child policy. Following the sad and untimely death of her husband, our client found a new love with an American citizen and left China. After securing permanent residency through marriage, she came to the US with her two youngest daughters. When she came to our firm our client had already started the process of becoming a US citizen. Her hope was that she would eventually be able to reunite with all her children. Our firm immediately filed I-130 petitions for her children here in the US. She later informed us about the fact that she had two more daughters remaining in China.
While waiting for the priority date to open up, our firm helped our client secure her United States citizenship. Recognizing that this altered the status of the applications of her daughters under the age of 21, who now qualified as immediate relatives and therefore could adjust their status without waiting any longer, we informed USCIS and secured their permanent residency within a few months. We then began the process of bringing our client’s remaining children to the US. We filed packet 3 and 4 applications in November, and with their consular interviews scheduled for early next year, we have no doubt that after many years of struggle this family of wonderful women will finally be reunited, permanently, here in the United States.(Back to Top)
Client Forced to Drop Our of Med School; Eight Months of Debate Gets Her Back in
Our client is a medical school student who was forced to drop out of school because she was not a lawful permanent resident. In 2000, while still in the home country, our client’s father divorced her mother and married a visiting U.S. citizen. Our client came to the U.S. with her father and sister with “conditional permanent resident” status. When her father filed his petition to have the conditions removed, the government denied his petition and revoked his status (and his daughters’ status). When he tried again, the government accused him of marriage fraud (he had never lived with his U.S. citizen wife after coming to the U.S.) The government again told him and his daughters that they have no status and must leave the U.S.
Meanwhile, our client was showing that she is a brilliant student. She came to the U.S. at age 15, learned English quickly, graduated number one in her high school, got a full scholarship to a major university, and was later accepted to medical school. After completing her first year of medical school, the school asked her to withdraw from school because it said she was not a lawful permanent resident. She came to us for help. We interviewed her relatives, developed family and expert affidavits, and assembled many dozens of documents. We filed an I-751 Petition asking the government to recognize that her father’s marriage was genuine OR that our client would suffer extreme hardship if she left the United States. The USCIS sent her a Notice of Intent to Deny. We responded with additional expert affidavits and provided many legal arguments to show that the government was incorrect in its reasoning.
Finally, after eight months of deliberations, the government called our client to notify her that her Petition has been granted and she will be receiving her Green Card in the mail soon. Our client is again applying to medical school, and within a few years, she hopes to be caring for the medically-underserved people in her state. By that time, she will also be eligible to be a U.S. citizen.(Back to Top)
Husband and Wife Reunite
A native of India wanted to bring his wife to the United States. He was confused about the process and sought the help of Margaret W. Wong & Associates. After he finished his consultation, he retained the firm. The lawyers and staff at the firm began working hard and fast to complete Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Once that form was approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, it was forwarded to the National Visa Center. The lawyers and staff at the firm quickly obtained the necessary documents and soon his wife was on her way to the U.S. Embassy in India for her interview. A package was sent to her to have her prepared. She was given her immigrant visa and now the couple is living happily in the United States. Margaret W. Wong & Associates was glad to assist in reuniting him with his wife.(Back to Top)
Client Receives I-130 Approval to Confirm Parent Relations
Our client, once a citizen of Lebanon who is now a Legal Permanent Resident, needed to formally establish the relationship between himself and his parents via I-130 Petition of Alien Relative. This seemingly complicated process was made easy by Margaret Wong and Associates; William Low, the case attorney, accompanied the client during the I-130 interview. Because of excellent case work and William Low’s experience, our client’s I-130’s were approved at the interview.(Back to Top)
Green Card and I-765 Attained for Economics Masters Holder
In 2011, a college graduate from Macau retained our firm to help get him a Green Card. He was on an F-1 visa but graduated in May 2011 with a Masters in Economics. Around the same time, he also married his USC girlfriend. In September 2011, we filed the I-130 petition as well as I-485/I-765 applications. His I-765 employment authorization application was approved in December 2011, which allowed our client to get a Social Security Number. His interview was in late March 2012. Our Attorney prepped the client and his wife for the interview and also attended the interview with the young couple. Despite the fact that the couple had very little assets or finances together, our Attorney was able to help the couple prove it was a real marriage. Their case was recommended for approval by the Officer. We received the approval notices about one week later. Our client is very happy that our firm was able to help him achieve his goal of getting his Green Card.(Back to Top)
USCIS Ruiling Proved Incorrect, With Client's I-130 Approved
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had denied an I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, filed on behalf of an Indian national by his sponsoring relative. The Indian national and his relative contacted Margaret W. Wong & Associates seeking help. The attorneys and staff members of the firm filed a Motion to Reopen for USCIS to review the case once more because it had been denied by USCIS error. USCIS acknowledged its mistake and forwarded the I-130 petition to the National Visa Center for further visa processing. The client was ecstatic and called the firm to convey this joyous news. The attorneys and staff members at Margaret W. Wong & Associates were pleased to help this individual like the countless others that seek the firm’s aid in the immigration process.(Back to Top)
After I-130's Denied for Children Because of Age, Firm Files I-864 to Allow I-130 Interviews
In May 2010, our office was retained by a Chinese man, who was a beneficiary of an approved I-130 from his U.S. sister with a priority date of August 2000. His wife and two children were derivative beneficiaries, however the children turned 21 before the priority date was current. Their visa priority date became current on June 1, 2010. The following day we filed a request demonstrating that although the two children were “aged out” and now over 21, they should still remain as children under CSPA and be eligible for an immigrant visa as a derivative of their father’s approved I-130. In that request, we asked that the Immigrant Visa fee bills be sent to our office so that the family could adjust status in the United States. The I-864 Affidavit of Support and the IV fee bill were filed in August 2010. The following month, we filed packet 3 and packet 4 visa applications so the family could come to the United States as Green Card holders. By January 2011, we still had not received any word from the National Visa Center. Upon finding out the case had been translated to the Guangzhou Consulate, we refilled the Packet 3 and Packet 4 applications with the consulate directly. After some time, the interviews were scheduled for early 2012. By mid January, we received the word from our clients that family passed the visa interview process and is now making plans to immigrate to the United States.(Back to Top)
Client Becomes Eligible for Visa; Is Applying for Green Card and I-130
Our client did not seek our help until 2011 when he feared al hope might be lost of staying in the United States. At this point in time, had his sister lived our client would have been automatically eligible for a visa application under the 245 (i) exemption. After meeting with him and discussing his life and family, Ms. Wong fixed on a course of action. She determined that the client had another qualifying relative, a U.S. citizen brother, through whom he could continue his application. Along with our client's application for permanent residence (Green Card), we filed the required I-864 form to substitute the sponsor and request that the previous I-130 approval be re-instated.(Back to Top)
Firm Using I-130 to Expedite Green Card Process for Client
A couple from China retained our firm in April 2011 in order to obtain a Green Card for the husband. The I-130 Petition for an Alien Relative, I-485 Application to Register Permanent Status and I-765 Work Authorization were submitted right away on the same month of April. The husband's work authorization card was approved in July 2011. Attorney Francis Fungsang attended the I-485 interview in October 2011 in which the client's Green Card was approved. Since the Green Card is based on a marriage, there is a conditional period of 2 years. In 2013, our firm will work with this client to get the conditions removed so he can become a legal permanent resident.(Back to Top)
Client Receives Green Card Through Daughter's Citizenship
Our Uruguayan client approached us in order to become a permanent resident and receive her Green Card. She has been living in the U.S. for ten years, and would like to continue to reside in the states, so that she can continue to receive the best medical attention possible for her condition. Because her daughter was 21 years old and a U.S. citizen, we applied for our client's permanent residency by having her daughter petition on her mother's behalf. We were successful in our efforts, and our client was able to obtain her Green Card and continue to receive the proper treatment for her illness.(Back to Top)
Adult Child Petition for Parent
A client from Macedonia engaged us in January 2011 to help her get a Green Card. Her husband's and children's conditional residency status had been withdrawn in 2005, but a daughter married a U.S. citizen in 2006 and became a citizen herself in 2010. We filed a Petition for Alien Relative and Application for Adjustment of Status. The client's work authorization was approved in 90 days; and her Green Card followed a month later.(Back to Top)
I-130 Approved In Stealhy Process: Affadavits
In late September 2010, a young out-of-status Indian client from Tennessee asked us to help his new LPR wife file an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. Because the marriage was arranged by their families and the couple met each other only two weeks prior to their recent marriage, the couple had nothing but a marriage certificate and a few pictures to show their marriage was bona fide. Wishing to avoid an I-130 interview which might subject our client to arrest, we developed numerous affidavits from his wife’s family and his family. The sworn documents explained the marriage, the lack of documents, and the couple’s plan to make a life together. The I-130 was filed in November 2010 and was approved with either an RFE nor an interview in April 2011.(Back to Top)
Petition for I-130 Pushed Through by Firm
The petitioner filed himself the I-130 petition for his spouse and step-daughter in August 2008. The Service issued a Notice of Intent to Revoke after the Consulate interviewed the visa applicant and determined the marriage was to circumvent the immigration law and for immigration purpose only i.e. they could not establish bona fide spousal relationship existence. The petitioner came to us. We conducted a detailed review of his documents submitted to the Service and to the Consulate. We obtained a detailed statement from the beneficiary and petitioner regarding the interview, the independent documents establishing their spousal relationship. In preparing the rebuttal to the NOID, we directed the petitioner to obtain affidavits from individuals in China who had firsthand knowledge of the materiality of the marriage, photos taken since their courtship, remittances, plane tickets and email correspondence, and federal tax returns, basically the complete history of their relationship to date. With these documents, we prepared a detailed brief with independent documents to establish the validity of the relationship and genuine marital relationship between the parties. Significantly, we provided a detailed examination of their prior marital relationship with their former spouse, how and why the marriage broke down, their subsequent acquaintance, how their relationship developed over the years, planning of the marriage, and the intervening events up to the consular interview. We further identified the hastiness of the consular interview that the negative views formed by the consular officer was not supported by the events and short duration of the interview. With all the evidence produced, we successfully overcame the intent to revoke and the Service reaffirmed the approval earlier made, and they sent the decision back to the NVC for continuation of the consular processing. The Consulate contacted the beneficiary for an interview in August and the IV successfully issued. The beneficiary and her daughter are now happily reunited with the petition in the U.S. to make their household whole again.(Back to Top)
Client Gets Green Card With Tough Historical Standing
In December 2006, just prior to, and right after their marriage, our clients started consultation with our firm to get permanent residency for the husband, a Canadian, allowed to stay in the United States with non-immigrant working visa. We filed I-130 and I-485. It was not easy to get his conditional Green Card because by honest mistake he forgot to disclose to us the criminal conviction of an incident that took place 26 years ago when he was living in the United States as student. Non-disclosure of the conviction became a major issue for possible denial for misrepresentation. We submitted the criminal records after the Court located the documents in the archive. In April 2008, conditional Green Card was approved valid for 2 years. Our clients have expressed loyalty to our firm. They came back to us in January 2010 to file for I-751 with his Green Card expiring in April 2010. We filed I-751 in March 2010. The petition was approved after 2 months ½. We believe that the supporting documentary evidence we submitted was sufficient and convincing to prove bona fide marriage.(Back to Top)
Husband Under Foreign Student Status Receives Conditional Green Card
Clients in general are after quick, efficient and excellent legal service on immigration matters. Husband is the beneficiary of USC wife's petition for Green Card. As foreign student, he is allowed to stay in the United States pursuing doctorate degree in the final year of his student visa. Considering the various issues concerning US visa expiration, plan to get married to his USC fiancée for years to start a family in the US and dictated by economic necessity to find a decent job and work in this time of recession, we filed the I-130, I-485 and the ancillary request for employment authorization I-765 about seven (7) days after their marriage in February 2010. In March, 2010, CIS requested for additional evidence to which we promptly filed our response within ten (10) days from receipt of the notice. Employment authorization was approved and after interview in May 2010, conditional Green Card was issued.(Back to Top)
Work Permit and Green Card Issue in Just over Two Months for Immigrant Wife from China
Wife, the beneficiary of USC husband's petition for Green Card, was born in mainland China but, had lived and worked in Singapore for the last 7 years. She has been traveling to the United States since 2006 with visitor's visa. After her last entry with non-immigrant visa as an Artist, she overstayed and got married. She last entered with J-1 visa. We filed I-130, I-485 and I-765 but we needed to clear the issue of whether or not she was subject to 2-year foreign residency punctuated by discernable issue of intent to adjust status by marriage to a US citizen. Case was filed in February, 2010. After interview, work authorization and conditional Green Card were almost simultaneously approved after 2 months and 23 days.(Back to Top)
Expiration of K-3 and K-4 Covered by Quick Green Car Work for Vietnamese Family
The client came to the United States as one of minor dependents of Vietnam refugees. In 1999, while still a permanent resident, he went home to Vietnam and got married. Their marriage for immigration purposes is a preference category that the Vietnamese wife will have to wait for at least 5 to 6 years to become eligible to migrate to United States. In 2002 however he became a US citizen passing the CIS citizenship test despite deficiency in English Language. He filed for temporary non-immigrant visa (K-3) for his wife and minor son (K-4). Visas for his wife and minor son were issued and both came to the United States in February 2003. Our clients thought that the K-3 visa was an immigrant visa and that the Green Card process had stopped up to that stage. On the contrary, the K-3 and K-4 for his wife and son had expired in 2005 and thus they went out-of-status and became vulnerable to removal from the United States. In April, 2008, we filed immediately the applications for Green Card and employment authorization. The case was approved in 7 months.(Back to Top)
Good Interview Preparation Results in Green Car Possibilities
One of our clients, a Chinese national had a legal entry in 2002 as tourist (B-2 visa). His wife entered a year later and was granted asylum status. An I-730 was filed and approved for him as a derivative but the petition was sent to China rather than staying in the United States. When he filed for his Green Card, it was denied and he was placed in removal proceedings. Our firm filed a motion to reopen I-730 petition. We also filed an I-130 for him since his wife was a Legal Permanent Resident. She also is applying for citizenship which once granted and she is sworn in, he would be considered an immediate relative of a USC and get his Green Card with an approved I-130. Our Attorneys prepared the client, attended the interview and assisted the clients in developing their love story about how the two came to the US at different times and lost each other and went incessantly looking for each other. He also assisted the clients in telling the story about when she got ill with cancer and how he cared for her and focused all of his attention on her. About 10 minutes before the interview, the couple forgot their pictures, so Mr. Lorenzon stalled the interview for about 20 minutes while the husband went back to get his photos. The interview went ahead and was recommended for approval! Our client has another avenue in which to get his Green Card and stay permanently with his wife in the United States.(Back to Top)
I-130 Approved and I-485 in Process with Guidance from the Firm
Our client is an Indian National who has married a United States Citizen. An interview on the pending I-130 was conducted in the USCIS office and after careful preparation with the client and the client's spouse, the bona fides of the marriage were submitted and the I-130 was approved. The I-485 is still pending due to the medical report not being properly completed by the doctor, but one of our attorney's made sure that the doctor 's report was updated and refilled the same day.(Back to Top)
Italian Enters with Visa Waiver, Marries, Gets Green Card
An Italian national entered the United States under visa waiver and was authorized to stay for three months. He later married his US citizen girlfriend. We filed his I-130 and I-485 Applications within his authorized stay expired. Client received his I-485 approval notice right after his interview. It took less than three months from the filing date for him to get his Green Card.(Back to Top)
Immigrant Visa Licensed to Wife of US Husband
An alien from Hong Kong entered the United States without inspection. She later married her US citizen husband and had two children. The alien retained our firm to assist her for adjustment of status. Our firm filed I-130 petition on behalf of her husband for her and the petition was approved in five months. After filing Pkt.3 with National Visa Center, the alien was scheduled for an interview at the US Consulate in Hong Kong. In the meantime, we prepared the I-601 waiver application for her to submit during the Consulate interview. The I-601 was approved in 2 months and the alien was issued immigrant visa to return to the United States right away and she received her Green Card shortly after her admission.(Back to Top)
Ghanaian National’s Overstay Save With I-130
A Ghanaian national was placed in deportation proceedings and charged with overstaying his visa. Our office filed an Asylum Application as he was fearful of returning to his country. About a week before his individual hearing, our client got married. Our office assisted his wife in filing an I-130 immigrant petition days before the hearing. Our Attorney attended the individual hearing and convinced the Immigration Judge to grant a continuance due to the pending I-130 immigrant visa petition which when approved will enable him to adjust his status to that of a legal permanent resident. The clients attended their interview at USCIS and everything went fine since our office assisted them in filing the visa petition with the correct exemption requests. The I-130 visa petition was approved and our client will be able to adjust status with the immigration court at his next hearing!(Back to Top)
Chinese National Married During Deportation Process an Gets Green Card
One of our clients a Chinese National was placed in deportation proceedings. He did get married after being placed into deportation proceedings. Our team filed an immigrant visa petition I-130 with USCIS with the appropriate exemption requests (this ensures that the USC spouse is aware that the alien is in deportation proceedings). Because this is a New York case, when a person is in deportation proceedings and gets married to a United States Citizen, they are subject to a "Stokes interview." This is where the couple is separated and asked the same questions. Then they are brought back together and given an opportunity to rebut the discrepancies. Attorney Jason Lorenzon prepared the couple for a grueling interview. Attorney Lorenzon also attended the interview. The interview lasted well over four hours. Attorney Lorenzon argued that this was a bona fide marriage after the Officer was looking for a "typical marriage." No Federal Case Law exists defining what a marriage should or should not be. This I-130 was approved and our client will be able to apply for adjustment of status (aka Green Card)!(Back to Top)
Canadian Client Gets Permanent Residence After Overstay
One of our clients a Canadian National entered the country and had several H2-B visas. His last H2-B visa expired in 2001 and he remained in the United States and fell out of legal status. He never left the country since. In 2003, he fell in love with a United States Citizen. He married her in 2006. Our firm filed the I-130 immigrant visa petition along with the I-485 adjustment of status application in December of 2009. Our Attorney prepared the couple and the Canadian national for their interview going through the bona fides of marriage and some of the pitfalls that immigration would look for. Our Attorney attended the interview and the application for permanent residence was granted the very next day. Less than three months from filing to approval!(Back to Top)
I-130 Process Sped Up by Firm
Our client had an I-130 petition pending several years before hiring our firm. This was based on his marriage to a United States citizen. We needed an I-130 approval in order to proceed with adjustment of status with the Immigration Judge. We were able to push USCIS and get an I-130 interview in North Carolina. In March 2010, the I-130 petition was approved after an interview. Scott Bratton is handling the case.(Back to Top)
Green Card Approved in a Week for Client's Mother
An Indian national who is also a naturalized United States citizen retained our firm to process his mother's I-130 immigrant petition for alien relative and I-485 application for permanent resident after his mother, a Canadian citizen, entered the United States with visa waiver. We filed the applications in April 2009. We received a Request for Evidence Notice in August 2009 requesting for birth records of both petitioner and beneficiary. However, our clients did not have such documents. After our instruction, client was able to obtain alternative evidence. In early November 2009, shortly after the submission of the response to the RFE, we received the I-130 Approval. A week later, we also received the I-485 Approval. His mother's Green Card was granted without an interview.(Back to Top)
Client's Stepson Given immigration Opportunity Through I-130
Our client from Togo retained our firm to file an I-130 Petition on his behalf for his step-son who is living in Togo. The Service issued a Request for Evidence to establish the parentage of the child and to verify the step-relationship. We responded to the request, and the I-130 Petition was approved. Now, our client's step-son will be able to apply for consular processing to immigrate to the United States to live with his family.(Back to Top)
I-130 and Permanent Residence Approved After Marriage
One of our clients, a Mexican National, married an American Citizen. Our client originally entered as a student and had a valid H1-B visa. The couple was married for a very brief time before filing an immigrant petition, the so called I-130 application for an immediate relative. The I-130/I-485 application was filed by our senior paralegal. Our Attorney prepared the clients and he prepared them as if they would experience a "notorious" Stoke Interview in New York City. These are interviews were the couple is separated and asked a series of questions and the answers must be similar or the same, such as who woke up first, what is his favorite food, what is his favorite meal? The couple was well prepared, the interview lasted about 15 minutes and our client received an I-551 stamp in his passport, meaning that the I-130 was approved and he received permanent resident status that very day.(Back to Top)
Immigrant Visa Approved Quickly for Wife with USC Family
One of our clients, a Chinese national was placed into proceedings. Our team represented her in proceedings and found that she was married to a USC spouse and had two USC children with her spouse. Our Paralegal filed a I-130 petition with the necessary exemption requests, since the spouse was in deportation proceedings. Because she was in proceedings and her husband filed an immigrant visa petition (I-130), she and her husband faced the notorious "Stokes" interview in New York City. In a Stokes interview, the couple is split apart and the interviewing Officer asks grueling questions of each spouse for about an hour. Each question is asked of the other spouse and the answer must be the same or similar. Our Attorney Jason Lorenzon prepared our clients for this grueling process. Because she was without status in the United States, she was unable to show the paper record necessary to prove a bona fide marriage. Attorney Jason Lorenzon attended the interview and pointed that fact out to the interviewing officer. He understood the complexities of her situation and since they were so well prepared for the Interview, the immigrant visa petition was approved that day! She will be able to adjust status and receive her Green Card in the near future.(Back to Top)
Permanent Residence Card granted as Complicated History Is Sorted Out
Our Malaysian client thought he was legally married to a U.S. Citizen on December 2005. The US Citizen wife was married back in the eighties, but her spouse died in Laos in 1987. In the nineties, his wife lived together with a boyfriend in Colorado. They never went to a minister or to Court to get married. They just lived together until they eventually separated sometime in 2005. In December 2005, she married our client. His wife filed an I-130 Petition for our client and his two children. They were represented by different counsel back then and on their interview in June 2006, the Immigration Service found out that the US Citizen wife was still "married" to his old boyfriend through the common law marriage laws of Colorado and that the death certificate of his first husband was not authentic. They also pointed out issues on their living arrangements and denied the case due to the invalidity of their marriage. Our client and his two daughters were then placed in Immigration Court proceedings in Denver and our office was retained.
We had the US Citizen spouse divorce his "boyfriend / husband" so that he could re-marry our Malaysian client. We also contacted the US Embassy in Laos and the wife's sister in order to properly obtain a valid death certificate - or at least something that would be acceptable by the Immigration Service. We filed a new I-130 and requested continuances with the Denver Immigration Court. At the I-130 interview, our attorney accompanied our clients in Denver. The Officer took issue regarding the death certificate and the living arrangements of the family (husband moves back and forth from new York to Denver and daughters live in New York during school months). The officer issued a Request for Evidence addressing this issue. On response we submitted affidavits and more documentation, arguing that our client has to move around due to his work and that the kids are in New York to take advantage of school scholarships, and that regardless of that issue the marriage is still a good marriage. In February 2009, the I-130s were approved. We filed termination with the Immigration Court in Denver and the Immigration Judge granted our termination. In August of 2009, our client and his two daughters, accompanied by our attorney, went to their Green Card interviews in Denver Colorado. The interview lasted over two hours but all issues were resolved and documented. There was not even any request for more evidence. Our client and her two young daughters recently received their permanent resident cards.(Back to Top)
Client Slowly Being Taken Out of Detainment With Firm’s Efforts
Our client is in proceedings and is being detained. A new I-130, immigrant petition for alien relative was filed on his behalf for his wife by our office. Several Master Calendar hearings went by, client is still detained and the I-130 was not adjudicated. One of our attorneys scheduled an InfoPass with USCIS to figure out why the petition had not yet been approved. After being called all kinds of expletives by the USCIS Supervisor, Attorney was able to speak directly to the interviewing officer and asked to arrange for a "Stokes" interview which assess whether or not the marriage is viable and valid. The Officer called our Attorney back and was ready to the interview the very next morning, but we had difficulty getting a hold of our client. Our Attorney asked the officer to schedule the interview for the following week, and after several days of phone calls, it was finalized on a Monday afternoon for a Tuesday morning interview. Attorney Margaret W. Wong attended the interview and assisted our clients in this process which ultimately lead to the approval of the I-130 petition and our client will be able to present that to the Court at his next master calendar hearing.(Back to Top)
Gambian Client Saved From Deportation With I-130
M.T., a citizen of Gambia, entered the US in 1994 on a B-2 visitor visa. He later married a US Citizen who filed an I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Their marriage ended in divorce, therefore our client was not able to pursue his Green Card application, I-485, with CIS. He was put in removal proceedings for having overstayed his visa. Margaret Wong & Assoc., CO. LPA was retained to represent his before the Immigration Court. Our office filed an application for cancellation of removal before the court since our client had been continuously resided in the US for at least 10 years before the NTA (Notice to Appear) was issued, and he had US Citizen Children who would suffer unusual and extreme hardship if he would be ordered deported. In the meantime, our client married his second wife, a US citizen. His second wife filed an I-130 Petition. Once the petition was approved, our office filed an application for adjustment of status, I-485, before the immigration judge. This application was approved in 2009 and our client is now a Legal Permanent Resident (the cancellation application was withdrawn since we pursued the I-485). Attorney Deborah Lee handled this case for Margaret Wong & Associates, CO. LPA.(Back to Top)
Canadian Father and Acquire Green Cards After Deportation Threats
Our clients, a father and son both citizens and nationals of India, were "waived in" at the US Canada border when they entered the United States in 1994. At the time of entry, only the father was a permanent resident of Canada and his son was only 3 years old. Both overstayed since 1994. The father filed for a Labor Certification application with assigned 1994 priority date making him a beneficiary of a US visa petition before the first 245 (i) cut off date of January 14, 1998. In 2001, the father, after divorce, got married to a US permanent resident. The step-mother legally adopted his son and the Decree of Adoption was issued in the United States in May 2001. In 2003 the step-mother as permanent resident filed an I-130 petition for the legally adopted step-son and the petition was approved in March 2007. In August 2008, the step-mother became a naturalized US citizen. With the quota opened, it upgraded the approved I-130 petition for adopted step-son to an immediate relative. In November 2008 we filed for the stepson an I-485 application for a Green Card and I-765 application for a work authorization. USCIS sent us a request for additional evidence with major issues focusing on the legal entry of the stepson who entered the United States as a citizen and national of India without a visa. We argued that the step-son was covered by 245 (i) and therefore eligible to adjust status. The Green Card was approved at the interview 6 months from filing the case.(Back to Top)
Tanzanian Client Gets Green Card/I-130 Through Wife
A client came in on a visitor's visa from Tanzania. He was put into removal proceedings. While he was in proceedings, he married his U.S. citizen girlfriend. She filed an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative on his behalf. They appeared together for their interview without an attorney, and the adjudicating officer asked them to come back for a second interview based on discrepancies made during the interview. The client retained our firm to accompany them to the second I-130 interview. After the interview, CIS issued a notice of intent to deny because of what appeared to be serious discrepancies in the testimonies of the client and his wife. We filed a response to the notice of intent to deny with ample supporting documents to explain the nature of those discrepancies. CIS approved the I-130 Petition. The Immigration Judge approved the Green Card application.(Back to Top)
I-130 Approved on Behalf of Self-Deported Client,Gets Approved After Several Applications
A client from Romania came in on a visitor's visa. He and his father applied for asylum, and the applications were denied by the Immigration Judge. Our client fell in love with a U.S. citizen and married her. Several days later he self-deported to Canada. With the help of an attorney, the client's wife filed an I-130 immigrant visa petition on his behalf. The petition was denied for failure to include evidence that the client had left the country. The former attorney filed the I-130 petition a second time, and it was denied a second time for failure to show that the client actually resided outside of the United States for a two-year period. Our firm took over and filed a motion to reopen the denial of the I-130 petition, which was denied. We filed a new third I-130 petition with all supporting documents to show that the marriage was indeed valid, and the I-130 petition was approved.(Back to Top)
I-130, I-485, and I-765 About to Be Approved for Wife of Client
Our client came to the US with a B-2 visitor's visa in 2001. When her visa expired, her father, who got his Green Card in 2006, filed an I-130 (petition for alien relative) for her. However, by 2006, our client was already over 21 years old. On the other hand, our client's mother came to the US as a beneficiary of an I-130 petition filed by her sister (the client's aunt) in 1994. Additionally, our client was the derivative beneficiary of her mother for the same I-130 petition that was filed in 1994. On behalf of the client, our office filed for a new I-130 with her mother as the petitioner, and an I-485 (to adjust our client's status to permanent resident) as well as an I-765 (application for employment status).(Back to Top)
Tedious Process Will Result in Green Card for Venezuelan Native
A native of Venezuela married an American Citizen. This client previously had an approved I-130 petition but aged out due to the complicated CSPA regulations. Our attorney, Larry Hadfield prepared the client and our client's spouse for the interview. Our attorney attended the interview with our client and spouse assisted them in this tedious process. The Officer recommended approval of the Adjustment of Status Application and after the pending background checks are complete, the Client will receive a Welcome Notice and a Green Card within 7-8 weeks!(Back to Top)
Mother a Beneficiary of USC Son and Receives I-130
I-130/485/765 filed July 2008 with petitioner being the USC son (Korean) for beneficiary mother whose Green Card expired for overstaying in her home country. She subsequently entered the US with a B-2 visa. The work permit was approved in September 2008 and the I-130 was approved in January 2009 without an interview being set.(Back to Top)
Long Struggle Results in Green Card for Client’s Overstay
A South American client came to USA in 1966. He entered legally, with a visa, but overstayed through the years. He had lost his I-94 and unfortunately when he entered USA his passport was not stamped in USA. In 2004 we filed an I-485 petition requesting for a Green Card based in his entry date and having stayed in USA all those years, since by then he was eligible under current law. Then we found out of a bigger problem: there was not enough evidence to prove that he lived in USA for four years of all his life here. We tried to gather documents, reports, and we could not find anything, as those years showed blank in many documents; therefore his application unfortunately was denied. Apparently his employer during those years had found out he was illegal and managed to disappear all his work records. The family was going through problems, especially due to our client's health condition. We helped them file for a second I-485, this time based on a petition from his son (US citizen). When the time came for interview USCIS insisted on the need of an I-94 to prove he entered legally. We had applied for a copy of his I-94, but were not given one, since the database of the office that had to issue the copy was created in the early 80's, and our client arrived to USA in 1966.. We had to insist with the Immigration Officer and submit a letter from USCIS where they informed of this, and finally, after four years of struggling for this client, his Green Card was approved in September 2008.(Back to Top)
Canadian Native Living in the US for 30 Years With Wife Receives Permanent Residence
Our client, a native of Canada, had been living in the United States, continuously, for over thirty years. Our client's father lived in Cleveland, Ohio, working under the auspices of a work authorization document, while he patiently awaited approval for permanent residency. In the meantime, his wife still resided in Canada, pregnant with his son, our client. Our client's family remained separated by distance until our client's father, who was now a permanent resident of the United States, brought his wife and new born son to live with him in Cleveland. Our client remained in Cleveland his entire life, obtaining an education via the Cleveland Public School System and making economic and industrial contributions as a machinist. In November of 2007, our client contacted us with hope of becoming a permanent resident. Our client filed an I-485, an application to adjust to permanent resident status. Soon thereafter, his status was adjusted based on continuous residence, and became a proud permanent resident of a community of which he was so long a part.(Back to Top)
Green Card Attained for Client Through Patience
The arduous process of immigrating into the United States, along with the many challenges involved, proved to be a test of resolve, character, and commitment for our client from Ghana. Furthermore, the diligence and persistence through which our client's case was handled undoubtedly led our client to obtaining a Green Card, and securing a future abounding with opportunity. Although our client was fully committed to becoming a permanent resident of the United States, his heart was devoted to reuniting his family; a family separated by distance, but held together by the dream of a new life in a new country. Our client was the direct beneficiary of an immigrant petition, filed by his wife, a citizen of the United States. Soon thereafter, I-130's-an immigrant petition for a relative-were filed for his three children, all of whom were waiting half a world away in Ghana, while our client was hard at work in Cleveland, Ohio. After months of dedication, the longest of hours, and personal devotion, our attorneys, paralegal caseworkers, and various staff were very much pleased to receive a phone call from our client, both excited and proud to inform us that he received his Green Card in the mail! Our client is now an excited permanent resident of the United States, and is proud father of three children, all of whom are now together, living a new life in a new country.(Back to Top)
Client’s Parents Able to Say With Quick I-130/ I-485 Approvals
Although we take pride in the success of each and every case, the joy we receive in keeping a family together is a feeling that often remains unparalleled. We recently filed a family-based immigrant visa petition for a family with whom we have a longstanding history. It has been our pleasure to successfully file all immigration matters for them. Our client retained our services with the goal of filing an I-130 and an I-485 for his parents, the two people in the world that had done so much for him. With the hope of keeping our client's entire family together, we filed two separate I-130/I-485 petitions. Following the diligent work and commitment of our attorneys and staff, both applications were quickly approved! Such a story does not simply underscore our ability to successfully practice law, but it highlights our absolute devotion to each and every client, each and every family.(Back to Top)
Green Card Received for Father of Client Through Arduous Application Process
In January 2007 we were retained by a US Citizen to get a Green Card for her father, citizen of Canada. He entered the country in August 2006 to visit her, and still had a valid visa. The daughter definitely wanted him to stay in USA. We filed four petitions for them at the same time: petition for alien relative, Green Card, work authorization and travel document (I-130, I-485, I-765 and I-131, respectively). We had requests for additional evidence twice in this case, and we timely filed the responses. However, the problem was, they made our client go three times to have his fingerprints taken. Twice we received notices saying that "the fingerprints were rejected for not being visible". Apparently something in our client's skin made them impossible to read. We constantly did follow up in this case. His travel document was approved in March 2007, followed by the approval of his work authorization in April 2007, valid for a year. However, since the fingerprints' delays took so long, we had to request a renewal of the work authorization in December 2007 and it was approved in three months. We insisted in this case and persuaded USCIS to disregard the requirement for and FBI background check. Instead we offered to provide Police background checks from the County Police and the Police Department in two cities where he had lived. We got the documents and were able to prove he had no criminal records, nor had he ever been arrested. Finally, the other two petitions were approved in May 2008 and our client received his Green Card. He is now having a good time living with his daughter and family.(Back to Top)
Green Card for Client's Parents who Overstayed
In 1996, this client came from Philippines to visit her parents, who were living in USA for three years. They had come with a visitors' visa and had overstayed. After being with her parents for a while she decided to take the same risk as them, and stayed too. Later she met a good man who was a US Citizen and they got married. She received her Green Card and was very happy, but she felt sorry for her parents, who had no legal status.
In 2005 we had worked on her case for I-751 (removal of conditions to receive a permanent resident card instead of two-year, due to marriage). We advised her that she could file a petition for her parents, but her chances would be better if and when she became a US citizen. In 2007 she had been a resident for 3 years, so she retained us to file for her naturalization, which we did. By September 2007 she became a US citizen, so in December 2007 we filed I-130 and I-485 (Petition for relative and Green Card) for both parents. They were all very happy just to be able to start this case. In January 2008 their fingerprints were taken and we received an RFE (request for evidence), where they were asking for the father's birth certificate. Problem is, he did not have one and it would be too expensive and would take a long time to have him get one in his country.
We replied the RFE with a sworn affidavit from the father regarding his basic biographical data. Shortly after that, they were scheduled for an interview which took place in the end of June 2008. We prepared them for the interview and one of our attorneys assisted. In the end we were told that our clients would be approved and that USCIS would not require his birth certificate. Three weeks later the parents received their Green Card and the family was lawfully reunited and happy. Well almost everyone: they have a son who is still living in the Philippines, and chances are they will ask for our help to file a petition for him.(Back to Top)
Daughter Over the Age of 21 Gets I-130 Passed in Order to Stay With Parents
The opportunities to succeed and live well in the United States are only two reasons we were contacted by our English client, a client with a wonderful family, whose friendship we have valued for many years. Our client originally immigrated into the United States on F-1 visa status, which is a non-immigrant, full-time student visa that allows those from outside of the country to obtain an education in the United States. Our client fell out of F-1 status, but longed to remain in the United States and share her life with those whom she loved: her parents. Both our client's mother and father filed an I-130, an immigrant petition for a relative.
Unfortunately, our client was over 21 years of age, thus establishing her I-130 petition as second preference. This technicality lengthened the amount of time for the quota to open, thus affecting our client's eligibility for adjustment of status. Fortunately, our client's mother became a naturalized citizen of the United States and filed an I-130, which was upgraded to first preference, thus opening the requisite quota. Our client also benefited from being the beneficiary of a previously approved I-130 petition filed by her father.
With the help and hope of her parents, accompanied by the diligence and knowledge of our attorneys, our client was fast approaching a new life in the United States. Soon, our client's I-485 application to adjust to permanent resident status was approved. That our client's adjustment was the direct beneficiary of an immigrant petition was in large part based on a previous I-130 petition filed by her mother when her mother maintained permanent resident status. Our client now strives to provide opportunity for a new generation: her two wonderful daughters, born in USA and proud citizens of this country.(Back to Top)
I-130 and Immigrant Visa Approved for Couple in Canada Planning on US Residence
This story is about a man who was a Canadian citizen married to a United States Citizen woman. They got married in 1998, and since then they have been coming to USA to visit the in-laws. Now that the wife's parents are retiring, the couple wanted to move from Canada to USA so that they can be close to their parents. Their love and affection for parents knew no borders, so in December 2006 our clients decided to approach us and find out a solution. As always, our office was ready to help them. For that purpose we first filed I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) in January 2007, since the wife was a US Citizen and it was approved in June 2007.
Our next step was to apply for an Immigrant Visa. Since the husband was residing in Canada, the DS-230 forms and supporting documents evidencing their purpose to live permanently in USA were sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) in November 2007. In April 2008 the husband was scheduled for an interview at the U.S Consulate in Canada. We worked hard to prepare the client for his interview, and as a result he got his Immigrant Visa in May 2008. Now the couple has moved to USA and are happily living close to their parents.(Back to Top)
CIS Proved Incorrect by Firm to Get Case Passed
Our client retained Margaret Wong and Associates after her I-130 had been denied. We appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals. We argued the CIS' decision was erroneous and was based on factors it could not consider in adjudicating the case. The Board agreed and remanded the case to CIS for adjudication under the proper legal standard.(Back to Top)
Complicated Case Ends With Green Cards for Entire Family
In January 2007, USCIS sent interview notices for the mother and youngest daughter only, forgetting about the oldest daughter, for whom we submit a Mandamus Complaint. We insisted that they needed to set an interview for the oldest daughter before she turned 21.
In the meantime, we discovered that both the oldest and youngest daughters had criminal records with Juvenile Court (for under aged alcohol possession and other). We followed up and talked to Immigration officers and Juvenile Court on how to make sure those records would not affect the case (the charges in one daughter's case had been dropped). We finally got a call from the Immigration officer in charge of the Mandamus complaint, and got an appointment for the oldest daughter...for two days before her 21st birthday!
The mother and second daughter got their approval notices shortly after their interview, and the oldest one was approved eight days after her 21st birthday. Later we heard that everyone had got their Green Cards by mail, except for the youngest daughter, so we had to work with USCIS follow up her case until she received it.(Back to Top)
Saudi Arabian Woman Wins Motion to Reopen, Green Card through Naturalized Husband
Mrs. M, of Saudi Arabia, was married to a Green Card holder. Together they had three children born in the U.S.
Unfortunately Mrs. M had a long history of immigration proceedings. She had applied for asylum, which was denied. She was placed in court proceedings and ordered removed. It was at this point, in 2008, that she approached the Law Office of Margaret Wong and Associates. She was in a bleak place, but there was hope: her husband was due to naturalize in one more year.
We needed to buy time. We filed an appeal with the BIA, which was unfortunately denied. We then appealed to the 6th Circuit, and were again denied. Happily, her husband received his citizenship and filed an I-130 Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative on her behalf. We used this I-130 to request that the BIA reopen Mrs. M’s removal proceedings so that she could obtain her Green Card through her husband.
After so many rejections, the BIA did agree to reopen Mrs. M’s case. We terminated her removal proceedings with the immigration court, and filed for her Green Card with USCIS. Attorney Rebecca Tseng in our Los Angeles office attended the couple’s adjustment interview in San Bernardino. After so much turmoil and such a long case history, Atty. Tseng reported that the interview went very smoothly and the officer asked no questions about Mrs. M’s former case history. He asked only for a copy of the immigration judge’s order terminating her proceedings.
Mrs. M’s Green Card arrived in the mail one day shortly thereafter. It took many years, but Mrs. M and her husband never gave up. After so many years of living in fear, Mrs. M was finally a lawful permanent resident.(Back to Top)
MOTHER-DAUGHTER DUO TRIUMPHS AFTER TWO YEARS
After her divorce from a United States citizen, our client needed another petitioner for her legal permanent residency. She already had a Green Card, but it was set to expire soon. Her daughter, as a United States citizen, became the petitioner and helped our firm file her mother’s I-130 (petition for an alien relative). After two years of her case pending and our firm constant push for a decision, our client’s I-130 was finally approved. During the case’s processing, our firm ensured that our client did not go out of status by filing an I-90 (application to replace Green Card). Now, because the sponsorship was approved, we can file her I-485 (application for legal permanent residency)!(Back to Top)