[Please note: The Client’s name and case key details may have been altered to preserve the identity of the client. This Success Story is not intended to be an offer of service or case plan. Every case is unique. The Success Story is presented for information purposes only.]
Born and raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Marie traveled to Georgia on an F-1 student visa to study science and technology at a prestigious learning institution. During her stay, she met a wonderful man named Joseph, a successful businessperson and green card holder also from the Congo, and the attraction was immediate. After a while, they decided to marry which they did in July of 2018 and very soon thereafter booked an appointment with the Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC. Wong team in Atlanta to discuss their situation.
As previously noted, Joseph was a legal permanent resident, but he had filed to become a United States citizen at the beginning of 2018. Marie had just begun her OPT (i.e. optional practical training) which was scheduled to end in February of 2019. If Joseph had been a U.S. citizen at this time, our team could immediately apply for a marriage-based green card, but since he had not yet achieved that status, the process was more complicated.
Subsequently, we advised Joseph to file an I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) on his wife’s behalf in order that Marie be placed on a waiting list and issued a priority date to ensure that she had a foothold to gain legal permanent residency even if Joseph did not become a U.S. citizen.
Because of Joseph’s stellar reputation, however, we believed that he would be soon be a citizen; in fact, his USCIS interview was scheduled for March of 2019. As soon as Joseph became a U.S. citizen, Marie’s status could be upgraded to that of “immediate relative” and we could begin the expedited green card application process.
As far as Marie’s being able to legally remain in the United States until Joseph gained his citizenship, she arranged for her OPT to be extended with very little problem because the company that she was working with really liked her and the CEO was even talking about sponsoring Marie for an H-1B Visa and an employer-based green card.
To no surprise, Joseph became a U.S. citizenship at the beginning of June of 2019 and by the end of the month our team had filed for legal permanent residency for Marie. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic which begin in Spring of 2020, it took longer than expected for Marie to obtain an interview with USCIS but it was finally granted, and a date just before Thanksgiving of 2020 was assigned. As a result of the interview, Marie became a two-year-marriage-based green card holder two weeks before Christmas.
Our team was very happy for the promising foreign-born couple who undoubtedly had great lives and careers ahead of them, so we all got together for a champagne toast that, for sure, was conducted virtually… but it was still a toast.
Certainly, Marie promised to use our services when it came time to apply for a permanent green card in just eighteen months. By then, she reasoned, the pandemic will hopefully have subsided, and she could give all of us a hug that she believed was richly deserved.