Case Status Update: Approvals: Naturalization & Work Permits
Naturalization Application Approved - Two weeks ago attorney Shaffer attended a naturalization interview with a client, (hereinafter, client "X"), a native and citizen of Haiti. 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 excited to finally become a U.S. Citizen! Congratulations!
Work Permit Renewal Approved for VAWA Recipient - Last week we received an approval notice for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), (hereinafter, Client "Y"), who is a native and citizen of Nigeria. This is a renewal work permit for Y and is based on his pending Violence Against Women's Act (VAWA) and concurrent Green Card applications. Y came to the U.S. in 2015 with a B1/B2 Visitor Visa and married a U.S. Citizen shortly thereafter. Y's good faith marriage came to an abrupt end when his wife and a few friends maced him and stole his wallet when he refused to give her more money. Y had to be treated at the hospital and thankfully is doing much better.
Although this horrific incident forced him to separate from his wife, he is clearly a victim of domestic abuse and thus was able to keep open his Green Card application by filing a VAWA petition.
Our first client, (hereinafter “Z”), is a native and citizen of Nigeria. Z, her husband and son entered the U.S. about a year ago with a B2 Visitor Visa and quickly filed for asylum. Z and her family are currently waiting for their asylum interview.
The second client, (hereinafter “W”), is also a native and citizen of Nigeria. W and her family also came to the U.S. in 2016 and filed for asylum within a year of their entry.. W and her family initially had their work permits approved back in February, but their EAD cards were stolen from their mailbox. As a result, W and her family were forced to file for a replacement EAD. W and her family are also waiting for their asylum interview.
The work permits allow W and Z (and their family members who applied) 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 - 3 years.
Our third client, (hereinafter, "V"), is a native and citizen of Ghana. V first came to the U.S. as a child in 1994 and continuously resided here until 2011 when V decided to return to Ghana to see his 95-year-old Grandmother before she passed away.
Back in Ghana, V became active in an opposition political party. It was not long before the government came after V and his friends who were attempting to bring to light government abuse and corruption. Fearing severe bodily harm and death, V fled Ghana and attempted to re-enter the U.S. with someone else's passport. At the airport, V immediately admitted that he did not have permission to enter the U.S. and was detained by immigration and given a credible fear interview. Upon finding that V had a credible fear of returning to Ghana, V was released from detention. He subsequently filed for asylum and withholding of removal and placed into removal/ deportation proceedings.
Despite having a strong Withholding of Removal claim and an approved marriage petition filed by his U.S. Citizen wife, V faced many inadmissibility hurdles, including possible fraud and misrepresentation, so in November of 2015 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.
Our last work permit approval for an asylum applicant is a client, (hereinafter, "T"), a native of Niger and citizen of Mali. T entered the U.S. without inspection in 1997. T, a victim of the horrific practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), did not apply for Asylum until 2013, so she was referred to the Immigration Court after her Asylum interview earlier this year. Since T did not file within the 1-year filing deadline, she will not be eligible for asylum, but will be eligible for Withholding of Removal. T is also a mother of 5 U.S. Citizen children and is looking to file an application for Cancellation of Removal for non-Lawful Permanent Residents. While T waits for her first hearing before the immigration judge, she will be able to 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 Trinidad & Tobago. U entered the U.S. in 2000 with a B2 Visitor Visa. 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.
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*)