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):
Illegal Entry and Asylum Denial, Now Green Card
Mexico Man Married After Illegal Entry
I-601 Waiver After Accused Fraud
Man from Ukraine Return to the USA
Waiver Granted for Indian Man
Waiver of Inadmissibility Approved
Indonesian I-601 Hardship Waiver
Fake Documents: I-601 Approved Based on Hardship
I-601 Waiver for Chinese Man
Waiving Goodbye to Unlawful Status
After Illegal Entry, Asylum Denial, Man from Mexico Marries US Citizen, His Wife Files I-130 for His Green Card
Mr. P entered the U.S. illegally in 2004, he was put into proceedings in March 2009. In February 2010, Mr. P filed an Asylum application, in which the judge denied in January 2013. On April 2013, Mr. P married a U.S. Citizen. Mr. P has no criminal records and he was not a priority. We submitted an I-130 from Mr. P’s USC spouse, they went to the interview on January 2014, and the officer approved it on the spot. We then filed a Joint Motion to Administratively Close, which was granted in June 2014. The Approved I-130 was transferred to the National Visa Center for Consular processing, we notified the National Visa Center by filing the I-824 that applicant intended to file I-601A. We filed the I-601A for Mr. P and 601A Waiver was approved on May 18th 2017 based on Hardship on U.S. Citizen Spouse. (Back to Top)
Mexico Man Married After Illegal Entry; Administrative Close Due to Hardship
Mr. V.R. a national and citizen of Mexico entered the United States in 2001 without inspection and never left the country ever since. This was his only entry into the United States. He married a U.S. Citizen in 2009. In 2013, his wife filed an I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on her husband’s behalf which was approved in 2014. He hired our office to handle his removal/deportation case. Our office represented him during several hearings while his I-130 application was still pending and we were able to administratively close the case with the court in order to allow him apply for I-601A, waiver of his unlawful presence.
As a way of background, certain immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens may use this form to request a provisional unlawful presence waiver under Immigration and Nationality Act Section 212 (a)(9)(B) and 8 CFR 212.7(e), before departing the United States to appear at a U.S. Embassy or consulate for an immigrant visa interview. To file Form I-601A, Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver, you must be the beneficiary of an approved immigrant visa petition classifying you as an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen. An immediate relative is an individual who is the spouse, child (unmarried and under 21), or parent of a U.S. citizen. Also, you must have already paid the Department of State immigrant visa processing fee (IV Fee) for the case associated with the approved immigrant visa petition.
Our office filed an I-601A for him supported by evidence that established that his U.S. citizen wife would suffer many hardships if his waiver were denied. The I-601A was approved and upon its approval our office requested the court to administratively close this case. Our client received his immigrant visa interview in Mexico and will soon be a Permanent Resident. This case was handled by Attorney Fabiola Cini.(Back to Top)
I-601 Hardship Waiver Approved for Man in Guangzhou China Accused of Immigration Fraud by U.S. Consulate
Our clients are elderly U.S. citizens originally from China. Years ago they filed an I-130 for their adult son, W, who was still in China, to come to the U.S. to join them. After a long wait the son’s priority date was finally current, and he attended his interview at the U.S. consulate in Guangzhou. Everybody was excited for W to come to the U.S.
This excitement turned into shock when the consulate accused W of immigration fraud and denied his immigrant visa. Many years ago W met and married a U.S. citizen who was on vacation in China. The marriage didn’t last long after she went back to the U.S. At first she promised to file papers to bring him to the U.S. to reunite with her, but soon she stopped returning his calls. The consulate felt this was immigration fraud – that W had married a U.S. citizen for green card purposes only.
It was W’s word against the consulate. Sometimes, rather than keep knocking, it’s smart to try another door. Instead of trying to fight with the consulate, we filed an I-601 waiver with the USCIS. We carefully explained the extreme hardships W’s parents would face if he wasn’t allowed to come here. We also told USCIS that we were filing the waiver even though there was no proof of any sort of immigration fraud on W’s part, and we strongly objected to any allegation of fraud.
USCIS sided with us, and the waiver was recently approved. W will soon go to his new visa interview in Guangzhou. This time, he will go with armed with an approved I-601 waiver, and (barring any other surprises) his immigrant visa is practically assured! (Back to Top)
I-601/212 Waiver Helps Man from Ukraine Return to the USA
Mr. X is a native and citizen of Ukraine. He entered the United States in 1996 on a B1/B2 visa. He overstayed the time permitted by his visa. He married a U.S. citizen and tried to adjust status through her but that application was denied under suspicion of fraud and he was placed into removal proceedings. He failed to appear at a court hearing because he had to remain at home watching a younger child while his wife went to the hospital with her son. The Immigration Judge ordered him removed in absentia in 2003.
Over the past 10 years, he tried numerous times to get his case reopened without luck. All the while, ICE was actively trying to remove him. However, we were able to continuously negotiate with ICE so that Mr. X was not detained and not removed. During that time, he divorced his previous wife and married his current wife who is also a U.S. citizen. His current wife filed an I-130 immediate relative petition on his behalf that was approved in 2009. Realizing he was not going to be successful in having his case reopened and adjusting status in the United States, he and his family made the difficult decision that he would return to Ukraine and apply through consular processing.
In June of 2014 we started the packet 3 and 4 processing in order to get Mr. X. the immigrant visa interview. On March 12, 2015 Mr. X had his immigrant visa interview and was denied the visa since he needed a waiver for his unlawful presence in the United States and a waiver due to his old removal order. In April of 2015, our office filed the I-601/212 hardship waivers with evidence of the extreme hardship his wife would suffer if he were not granted permanent residence in the U.S. Mr. X’s wife was having serious financial hardship without her husband in the US and there was a strong argument of the other hardships she was facing by not having her husband with her in the US. The waivers were approved by USCIS on November 10, 2015 and now Mr. X just needs to get his immigrant visa stamp from the US Consulate.
After more than 10 years diligently trying to obtain permanent legal status in the U.S., Mr. X will soon be returning to the U.S. as a permanent resident. His wife was extremely happy with the outcome and appreciated our law firm’s hard work on the case. (Back to Top)
Extreme Hardship Waiver Granted for Indian Man
Our client, Mr. P of India, came to the U.S. as part of a Punjabi dance group. He did enter using a valid passport – but it was not in his name. He ended up staying in the U.S. and married a U.S. citizen who was also originally from India.
Mr. P retained us in May of 2011 to handle his marriage-based green card. Due to religious reasons, he requested that we file his paperwork by the next day. Our office was happy to comply with his request. Mr. P brought in his documents and paperwork the next morning, and the case was filed by the end of the day!
In November of 2011, Attorney William Low attended Mr. P’s immigration interview in New York, along with Mr. P’s wife and small daughter. Our office knew Mr. P would need to file an I-601 waiver for his invalid entry before his case could be concluded. The waiver application would need to show that Mr. P’s U.S. citizen wife would suffer “extreme hardship” if Mr. P were forced to return to India alone or if she were to follow him to India. But at the interview it became apparent to everybody (even the immigration officer) just how much of an extreme hardship Mr. P’s wife would suffer.
Mr. P’s wife had a slight learning disorder that made it difficult for her to speak English. Because of this she was only able to work in jobs that didn’t require her to interact with others. She relied on her husband to help her in all aspects – communicating for her, taking her to appointments and serving as her connection to the outside world. Furthermore, their young daughter had an incredibly severe form of eczema. Even the USCIS officer noted its severity, pausing the interview four times to allow Mr. P and his wife to tend to their daughter’s condition. Mr. P’s daughter also suffered from acute asthma, requiring a nebulizer and monitoring while she slept in the event she stop breathing.
Needless to say the I-601 was approved. The USCIS agreed with us that Mrs. P would suffer “extreme hardship” without her husband or, in the alternative, if she were to return with him to India. Mr. P’s green card was approved in January of 2013, and we wish Mr. P and his family the best! (Back to Top)
Waiver of Inadmissibility approved for Chinese by showing extreme hardship
In September 2012, our office was retained by a Chinese client who originally entered the US on a B-2 non immigrant visa in the late 1990s and then adjusted status to an F-1 and enrolled in school. In 2004 he married a US citizen. Unfortunately, in 2008 he was arrested and convicted of identity theft and sentenced to three years probation. Then in 2010, he was arrested again and convicted of obstruction of official duties. He was therefore eligible for removal. However, if our client left the US, his wife would suffer greatly— both financially and emotionally. Our client and his wife had accrued a lot of debt and his wife suffered from several psychological conditions. If he left, she would not be able to cope with all the stress. We decided to file an application for a waiver of inadmissibility and adjustment of status. We were able to prove that our client’s departure from the country would result in extreme hardship to his US citizen wife. In February 2014, our client was granted a waiver of inadmissibility and an adjustment of status. (Back to Top)
Indonesian I-601 hardship waiver
Our Indonesian client had been living in the United States for a long time when he came to us for help with a very difficult I-601 hardship waiver case so that he could get his I-485 adjustment of status application approved. He already had an approved I-130 through his US citizen spouse. Unfortunately, his case was denied. We were not to be deterred, we knew the client had a meritorious case so we appealed the denial. It was again denied. We filed a motion to reconsider. Another denial. We tried a total of five times with the I-601 hardship waiver, because we knew we could win. Finally, our last I-601, filed in January 2012, was approved. The accompanying I-485 application to adjust to permanent resident status was also approved. The client has received his green card and will be eligible to naturalize in a few years. We are already preparing him for the naturalization process. His wife is happy that their family will remain intact and that she no longer has to worry about her husband’s immigration status, knowing he will able to stay with her for the rest of their days. We do not give up on our clients, and it turns out to be worth it in the end. (Back to Top)
Fake documents used to enter the US. Alien gets I-601 approved based on hardship
In April 2011, an Indian client came to our New York office to see Ms. Wong. He told us the terribly tragic story of how he had come to the US using fraudulent documents in order to be with his wife and sick daughter. He had known that this was probably going to cause him problems in the future, but he was so desperate to see his family that he decided to do it anyway. He now asked Ms. Wong if there was anything that could be done. After an in-depth interview with the client Ms. Wong set the strategy. As our client's wife is a US citizen she could sponsor him for permanent residency. In order to overcome his fraudulent entry, however, we would need to request a waiver from USCIS by filing an I-601. This process, often long and difficult, is based on the hardship that would befall a US citizen spouse should the individual in question not be allowed to remain in the United States.
Following further consultations between the team at Margaret W. Wong & Associates and our client and his family a strong basis for the waiver emerged. It became clear that the emotional state of our wife was precarious. Their young daughter' ongoing medical condition added significant stress to their family's situation. The family relied on our client's economic and emotional contributions and the loss of his presence would be devastating. The option of relocating the whole family to India was ruled out by the threat the environment there would have on their ill daughter. This worry also added to the wife's anxiety putting her on the verge of a breakdown.
In early May we filed the green card application and began preparing the waiver application. At the interview in November, the officer was clearly moved by the daughter's physical condition. In late December, after months of diligent preparation and re view we were ready to the I-601 waiver request. We then began the difficult process of waiting for a decision – hopeful that the impression made by the family at the interview and all our hard work would bring about a positive answer for our client. During this waiting period we continually kept our client's work authorization valid, ensuring he could continue to care for his family.
After almost a year of waiting our legal team submitted a letter to the appropriate government office asking them to follow up on the case. Following this gentle reminder we received our decision a few weeks later. After receiving his green card in the mail our client was very happy to know that he and his family would remain united here in the United States. (Back to Top)
I-601 waiver and termination of case
Our client came to us with a tragic, but all too familiar story. Coming from China in search of a different way of life, he organized to travel using fraudulent documents. After gaining entry to the US he met and fell in love with a US citizen. In the meantime, however, he was arrested by INS and eventually ordered removed from the United States. Desperate to stay in the US with the woman he loved our client came to our New York office to seek Ms. Wong's help. The first thing he told us was that he had just married his girlfriend and wanted to know how they could stay together. Ms. Wong assembled the team of paralegals to get working on the case. First we needed to file an I-130 petition to have the government recognize the relationship and an application for a green card based on the marriage. We informed the client that we would need to put together a waiver request to overcome his fraudulent entry to the country. Concurrently with this effort, Ms. Wong organized for a motion to be filed to have our client's deportation case reopened. Once reopened we would request for the court to recognize that our client would be able to become a permanent resident through his marriage.
We filed the I-130 and I-485 at the end of December, 2011. The interview was set for May 2012. In the interim we secured work authorization for the client. At the interview the officer requested that we file a waiver request by the end of August, 2012. The officer clearly saw the genuine relationship that existed between our client and his wife. The hardship basis for the waiver was related to the fragile emotional and economic nature of our client's wife. Our client had used a US passport with another person's name, thus incurring a permanent bar to the US if we failed. All too aware of how difficult it can be to secure these waivers, even with a sympathetic officer, Ms. Wong remained confident and we continued to work.
We then received a setback. Our motion to have the deportation case reopened was denied. Not allowing this to hold us back, Ms. Wong pushed on and had the I-601 filed. If the waiver could be granted and the green card ostensibly approved, we hoped that the immigration court would eventually be willing to look on our case more positively. With one last review by Ms. Wong we filed the 601 waiver request in early August 2012. Once again, Ms. Wong's intuition proved to be correct as before the month was out we received an approval from USCIS.
Now the case went back to our attorneys who needed to file a motion to terminate the case that would finally bring an end to our client's immigration turmoil. After gathering the required evidence we filed the motion in October. The Board of Immigration Appeals saw the merits in the case and approved the motion at the end of November. The following day our client came to our New York office to pick up the court approval for his new life as a Permanent Resident of the United States.
Our client, a wonderful mother from India, came to us as she wanted to fix her immigration status. She had married a US citizen and after having their first child she now wanted to apply for permanent residency in this country. When first coming to the US, however, she had used a fake visa to enter the country. She had travelled as part of traditional dancing group, but had provided a false name in order to receive the visa. As a result of this, and in spite of her now genuine relationships with her US husband and child, she would require a waiver – a successful I-601 application – from USCIS that demonstrated hardship to her US husband to allow her to become a permanent resident.
Our client's husband is a small business owner who had taken on significant debt to build hisbusiness. He works many long hours as a hopes to build a strong economic foundation for his family. Our client is the primary caregiver to their daughter.
After consulting with Ms. Wong the strategy was set and our team got to work. We quickly put together our client's I-130 application to establish the relationship with her husband and the application for the green card, alongside a request for work authorization. These were filed in July, 2011. We received notice that the green card interview would be in late September, 2011. We continued working on our case for the waiver – demonstrating the economic and emotional hardship to her husband. At the interview, Francis Fungsang, one of our leading attorneys, helped our client present her case when questioned by USCIS officers. At the interview the officers formally requested that she file an I-601 – a request for a waiver. We filed the request in early December and received the approval a month later. Our client is now a permanent resident of the United States and living happily with her husband and young daughter.
A client's lawful permanent resident wife came to us after the client was deported. They had been married for 2 years and had a young child together. We helped the client's wife file an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative for him, which was approved. However, the client was inadmissible and we had to also file a Application for Waiver of Deportation on the basis of extreme hardship to the client's wife and US citizen son, in order for the client to be able to get an immigrant visa. The client's wife suffered from a rare cancer and was also suffering emotionally, financially, and physically due to the absence of her husband. Because of her illness, she was not able to relocate to be with her deported husband abroad. We worked hard to show the extreme hardship the wife and young child were enduring and would continue to endure in the absence of their husband and father. We filed the waiver application but received a request for more evidence, we quickly supplied the evidence and fortified the record, and the waiver application was approved soon after. The client will soon join his wife and son to support them in the United States.
During the summer 2007, a Macedonian man was deported despite an approved I-130 petition by his US Citizen mother, filed in 2002. Since the father was the principal beneficiary of the I-130 petition, his wife and daughters would not be able to receive their green cards until the father was back in the US. The family retained our firm in July to help the father return to the United States and to obtain green cards for the entire family. After extensive efforts of contacting USCIS and the client's Congressman , our firm filed two applications, the I-212 application to apply for admission in to the US after being deported and the I-601 application for waiver of grounds of inadmissibility, so that the father could legally reenter the United States. These applications were filed in March and were approved in August 2010. Once the father returned to the US in September, we began to prepare the green card application forms for the rest of the family. Three I-485 applications for the wife and two daughters were filed in May 2011 Their interview, attended by one of our attorneys, was held in August. Less than three months later, their green card applications were approved in early November 2011. Everyone in the family is now a happy, legal permanent resident of the United States!
Our office was retained to work on an I-601 waiver for an elderly Romanian applicant who was inadmissible under 212 (a)(6)(C)(i) of the INA. We prepared the documents, the hardship material and filed the waiver on June 6 to the US Consulate in Bucharest. After 5 months we learned that the waiver was approved. The qualifying US family relatives of the individual were very happy to hear about the great news. The individual will now be able to go to the Consulate to get an immigrant visa to the US.
We obtained an I-212 waiver to allow a Canadian client be admitted to the U.S. after being removed. Because of USCIS's delay, our client did not get derivative lawful permanent resident ("LPR") status while his parents and siblings did through the green card lottery system. The delay caused our client to no longer be eligible for derivative LPR status. Our client was placed in removal proceedings because his visa had expired so he was out of status. The Immigration Judge granted him voluntary departure. Our client's former attorney did not tell him that he must post bond for his voluntary departure at that time. The attorney helped our client appeal his case to the BIA, but lost. Because our client did not post bond at the right time, after his appeal with the BIA was denied his voluntary departure order was revoked and a final order of removal was issued against him. When our client voluntarily left the U.S. and returned to Canada, he executed his removal order and became subject to the 10-year bar from admission to the U.S.
We prepared a I-212 waiver for our client, including a detailed memorandum about his situation and equities, including the fact that our client's only inadmissibility was his past removal - he had no past criminal history or unlawful presence of more than 6 months. Our client submitted the waiver application with Customs and Border Protection in a preclearance office in Canada. A year later his waiver was granted, erasing his past removal order. He can now reapply for admission to the U.S. and be reunited with his family. He will also be able to adjust status when the priority date of his approved I-130 becomes current.
One of our clients, a national of China, was paroled into the United States as an arriving alien back in the mid 1990's. His mother, a United States Citizen filed an I-130 immigrant visa petition for him before April 30, 2001. He entered with a fake passport and sought asylum which was eventually denied by an immigration judge. Our client was subject to a final order of deportation. He has been in the United States for well over a decade, has a successful restaurant and his ill and elderly mother is extremely dependent upon him. Attorney attended the interview and persuaded the USCIS Officer to grant the case based upon the hardship his mother would experience and the significant equities he accumulated while in the United States. He was statutorily eligible to get his green card. After a month, Attorney continuously contacted the USCIS officer since a final approval was not issued. Finally after several months of persistence the USCIS approved the 601 waiver due to his initial entry on a fake passport and granted our client Lawful Permanent residence. Now thanks to the efforts of our firm, and the persistence of our Attorney, our client can live the American dream!
We were retained by a client and his US citizen wife to process his I-130 and immigrant visa. The client also needed a waiver of inadmissibility (Form I-601). Once the immigrant visa paperwork was complete and we knew of an immigrant visa interview date at the US Consulate in Guanzhou we had the I-601 ready and it was submitted on March 4, 2011. The waiver was adjudicated and on June 23, 2011 we received approval.(Back to Top)
CHINESE WOMAN WAIVING GOODBYE TO AN UNLAWFUL STATUS
We filed two I-130s (petition for alien relative) which allowed the husband to sponsor our client and her son. We also filed I-485 (adjustment of status or permanent residency) form for our client to apply for permanent residency. Because our client was in the United States unlawfully, we filed an I-601A (application for provisional unlawful residence) waiver, including medical records of the unfortunate health incident which justified our client’s unlawful overstay. Ultimately, the waiver was approved, and our client’s I-485 for legal permanent residency was thus approved. Additional documents we filed for our client were I-131 (application for travel document), giving her permission to re-enter the United States while her other documents pended approval, and she received authorization to work in the United States (I-765 form). Other successes include her son’s I-130 approval. Despite our client’s unlawful status in the United States, we successfully earned her permanent residency and continue to work for her entire family. (Back to Top)