[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.]
An enterprising young man named Diego came to the United States in 2005 from Colombia as an undocumented immigrant. When he first entered the United States, Diego spent a lot of time in Florida where he met and married a woman named Adriana, a United States citizen of Hispanic heritage whose family mostly lived in Pittsburgh.
As a budding entrepreneur, Diego was attracted by the offer of his wife’s family to come to Pittsburgh and take over the management of a restaurant whose popularity was steadily increasing and, with Adriana’s encouragement, decided to accept the invitation. Over the years, Diego and Adriana had two children and, under his supervision, the restaurant became a big success.
In early 2017, though, Diego experienced an injury that damaged his spinal column so he had to cut back on his working hours which, as bad as it was, had an important benefit because time could finally be allotted to address the issue of Diego’s undocumented status which he had put off doing because of his responsibilities with family and business as well as his frustration with governmental bureaucracy.
Let it be noted, however, in 2015 Adriana had executed and filed an I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) on Diego’s behalf with the National Visa Center (NVC) but, due to their busy schedule, the couple never followed-up on it.
So, in April of 2017, Diego and Adriana booked an appointment with the Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC. Wong team in Cleveland to see what could be done to remedy the situation and put the matter behind them.
No doubt, part of their motivation was the fact that Donald Trump had just been elected President of the United States and the family was worried about Diego, although he was a respected member of his community, being apprehended by ICE and deported.
What’s more, they were also concerned because Diego’s family in Columbia had recently threatened by an ominous cartel which gave them the ultimatum of either participating in the production of illegal substances or face dire consequences. Therefore, to be sure, the thought of having to return to Columbia was not a savory option.
Upon hearing Diego’s story, the Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC. Wong decided to base our case on Diego’s being married to a United States citizen and being a very productive member of society. In terms of Diego’s unlawful entry into the United States, we arranged for him to obtain a travel document which enabled him to leave the United States, for a short time, legally re-enter, and then receive a waiver pertaining to his unlawful presence.
We then filed a I-485 (Application for Permanent Residency) for Diego but we didn’t file an I-130 because Adriana told us that she had already done this and produced a receipt. Unfortunately, when Diego’s USCIS interview took place in February of 2019, we learned that the NVC had destroyed the file containing the I-130 because no further action had been taken on this case within one year which was standard policy.
Because of this, our team had to start all over again which involved filing a new I-130 and a new I-485 and in August of 2020 all of us sat down for another interview with USCIS except for Adriana who was rushed to the hospital to give birth to yet another child just two hours before the hearing was to begin.
Subsequently, Diego was quite nervous, but the ISO proved to be very understanding and, after a careful review of his case, approved Diego for legal permanent residency adding that his green card would be permanent because, with two kids and one very much on the way, it was obvious that Diego and Adriana had a relationship that was bona fide.
To no surprise, immediately after the interview, Diego left for the hospital to visit his wife and newly born son. Before he left, Diego winked at our team and said that good things have really been happening to him lately because, in addition to a new baby and a new legal status, his physical recovery had been commencing quite well and he could now return to work full time and properly support his family.