[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.]
From the later part of 2018 to early 2021, the Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC team in Cleveland worked with a couple named Sharon, a native Clevelander, and Agapito, her fiance and later husband, who was born and raised in the Philippines.
Sharon, a college professor, had met and fallen in love with Agapito, a software design engineer, while on sabbatical in Manila. Since they were both in their late thirties, Sharon and Agapito wanted to marry and start a family right away so, after some discussion, they decided that it would be best if Agapito immigrated to the United States, where Sharon could connect him with job opportunities, rather than her having to give up her tenure at a highly regarded learning institution in Northeast Ohio.
Accordingly, Sharon, well-aware of the Trump administration’s tough policies regarding immigration and fearful that he might be re-elected in 2020, wanted to make sure that all the necessary paperwork was properly executed and processed so, upon her return to the United States, sought the services of Ms. Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC whom she had met at several social functions in Cuyahoga County.
Therefore, our team got right to work in securing a K-1 visa for Agapito which is a visa issued to the fiance of a United States citizen allowing him/her to enter the United States. By law, Sharon and Agapito would have to marry within 90 days, no problem for them, and then we would apply for lawful permanent residency for Agapito.
To be sure, both Sharon and Agapito were most cooperative in terms of providing our office with the necessary paperwork so we were able to file an I-129F (Petition for an Alien Fiance) by the end of January of 2019 although we warned the couple that, due to backlog, it might take quite a few months before our petition would be approved and Agapito would be able to schedule an interview at the U.S. Embassy in Manila.
Subsequently, the 129F petition was approved by USCIS at the end of July and it was forwarded to the U.S. Embassy several weeks later and an interview at the Embassy was scheduled for the second week of October but, just before that time, Agapito had the necessary medical examination which resulted in additional testing being required.
Therefore, the interview had to be postponed until December much to the frustration of both partners although Sharon had arranged her classes so that she could visit Agapito in Manila at least once a month.
Regarding the extended wait time, one good thing that came out of it was that Agapito extra-prepared for the interview when it took place the week before Christmas; so much so that he was able to arrive at the U.S. Embassy, take part in the interview and supply the additional paperwork always required, and leave the premises in less than forty-five minutes!
A few days after the first of January of 2020, the K-1 visa was approved thus paving the way for Agapito to finally join Sharon who joyfully greeted him at Cleveland-Hopkins accompanied by several of her friends who all waved big signs welcoming Agapito to the United States.
A short time later, just before the Covid-19 pandemic took hold, Sharon and Agapito were married at the home of Sharon’s parents in Avon Lake, Ohio. Certainly, most of Sharon’s family and friends were in attendance, as was the attorney from the Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC team who had been working with them, and Agapito’s family took part in the proceedings via zoom.
A few months later, our team was able to file a package for Agapito that included an I-485 (Application for Legal Permanent Residency), an I-765 (Request for Employment Authorization), and an I-864 (Affidavit of Support) wherein Sharon agreed to support Agapito so that he would never be a “public charge” which caused the newlyweds to laugh outright since Agapito already had several job offers all of which were quite lucrative.
In January of 2021, just after the first of the year, Sharon, who was by then expecting a baby, and Agapito attended the latter’s interview with USCIS. To no surprise, the ISO approved Agapito for a two-year-marriage-based green card immediately.
Right afterwards, they made an appointment to come see the Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC. Wong team in eighteen months so that an application for a permanent green card could be timely submitted.
Along these lines, Agapito assured us that he would place the date on his calendar immediately but asked that our team call and remind him just in case because around that time the expected child would be engaging in the “terrible two’s” and it would be easy to lose track of things.
Of course, we replied that on that point, there would be no problem.