Case Status Update: Approvals: Work Permits, Travel Documents & Naturalization
Naturalization Application Approved - Two weeks ago attorney Shaffer attended a naturalization interview with a client, (hereinafter, client "X"), a native and citizen of Brazil. X aced his interview and will officially be a U.S. Citizen when he takes his oath of allegiance at his upcoming Naturalization Ceremony. X is married to a U.S. Citizen and has been a Green Card Holder now for over 10 years. X is excited to finally become a U.S. Citizen! Congratulations!
Work Permit & Travel Document Approved for VAWA Recipient - Last week we received approval notices for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and Advance Parole Travel Document for a client, (hereinafter, Client "Y"), who is a native and citizen of Jamaica. Y's work permit and travel document is based on her pending Violence Against Women's Act (VAWA) and concurrent green card applications. Y came to the U.S. in 2002 with a B1/B2 Visitor Visa and in 2014 she married a U.S. Citizen. Y thought she had met the love of her life, but unfortunately, shortly after getting married, Y's spouse started to abuse her.
The verbal abuse turned into physical abuse when he punched her in the face. Y was too afraid to go to the police at the time as she was not in the U.S. legally. Last year, Y was finally able to escape her abusive husband and came to us to help her file a VAWA application so that she can finally become a Permanent Resident and straighten her life out. Y explained to us that she in no way married her husband to obtain a Green Card, and in fact he never even filed for her. Fortunately, VAWA does not require the abusive U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident spouse to have previously filed for the immigrant spouse to be eligible for VAWA.
Y is currently waiting for her Green Card interview and is extremely happy that she can work legally while she waits and can also go back to Jamaica to see her daughter who she has not seen in over 15 years.
Our first client, (hereinafter “Z”), is a native and citizen of Indonesia. Z entered the U.S. in 2005 with a B2 Visitor Visa and has not left the U.S. since. Z is currently waiting for her asylum interview.
The second client, (hereinafter “W”), is a native and citizen of Cote d' Ivoire (Ivory Coast). W came to the U.S. in 2013 and filed for asylum within a year of his entry. W is also waiting for his asylum interview.
The work permits allow W and Z to work legally in the United States while they both await their Asylum interviews. Current wait times for Asylum interview if you live in the New York, NY area is about 2.5 years.
Our third client, (hereinafter, "V"), is a native and citizen of Mali. V came to the U.S. in 2000 with a B2 Visitor Visa. V applied for asylum and was placed into removal/ deportation proceedings after the asylum officer did not grant his application. In November of 2016, V's removal proceedings were administratively closed. Although V does not have a future court date, he is still considered "in removal proceedings," which means that his asylum application is still pending, allowing him to apply for EAD renewals. If V becomes eligible for another form of relief from removal, he can file a motion to recalendar his case. For now, V is happy to be able to remain in the U.S. and legally work.
Work Permit (EAD) Approval for Applicant for Cancellation of Removal for Non-Lawful Permanent Resident- Last week we also received a work permit approval for our client, (hereinafter “U”), who is a native and citizen of Senegal. U entered the U.S. in 2005 and was paroled into the country. U and her husband applied for asylum after the 1-year deadline passed and were thus placed into removal/ deportation proceedings. U then submitted an application for cancellation of removal for non-lawful permanent residents based on the extreme hardship to her U.S. Citizen children. Last year, the Immigration Judge administratively closed U and her husband's case. As with asylum applications, U's cancellation application remains pending, allowing her to renew her work permit as needed.
Work Permit (EAD) Approval for Adjustment Applicant (Parent of U.S. Citizen) - We also received an approval notice for both a work permit for our client, (hereinafter “T”), a native and citizen of Jamaica. T had been a Green Card Holder for over 20 years when he received a notice from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) informing him that his previous attorney was now in jail and that he is no in deportation/ removal proceedings because his Green Card was obtained through fraud of his previous attorney and was thus invalid. T was shell-shocked by the allegations as he had no idea that rather than file an labor visa petition for T over 20 years ago, his attorney just paid of someone who worked form INS. T was not involved at all in the fraud and DHS has not implicated in the crime at all.
Unfortunately, T's lack of knowledge or involvement does not eliminate the fact that his Green Card is invalid and that he has actually been here illegally all of this time. Fortunately, however, T has several U.S. Citizen children who were more than happy to file for their father. T can now work legally while he waits for his individual (merits) hearing before the Immigration Judge to adjudicate his Green Card application in 2019.
Work Permit (EAD) Approval for Withholding of Removal Beneficiary - Finally, we received a work permit approval for our client, (hereinafter, Client "S"), who is a native and citizen of Mali. S entered the U.S. in 2000 with a B2 Visitor Visa. After over a decade in Immigration Court, she was granted Withholding of Removal by the Immigration Judge. Withholding of Removal is very similar to Asylum, in fact the same form is used to apply for both, but those granted withholding can never obtain a Green Card. Rather, withholding allows an individual to remain in the U.S. indefinitely and legally work, provided he or she timely renews it every year. Withholding of removal applicants do not have to apply within a year of entering the country.
We wish all of our recently-approved clients the best of luck!
**If you need representation in Removal/ Deportation proceedings or with help filing for immigration benefits, contact an experienced immigration attorney at The Shapiro Law Firm today to get started!**
(*please note that all identification information has been removed in order to protect our clients' privacy and in order to fully comply with attorney advertising rules and regulations*)