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Creative lawyering nets 2 immigrant visas in 22 year old case

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We recently succeeded in getting two immigrant visas for a daughter and son on a case that has been pending for 22 years!
Our client decided to file a Form I-130 application on behalf of her then 5 year old daughter. Our client had obtained her lawful permanent residence status in the U.S. but had been forced to leave her daughter behind. All these years, she wanted to be reunited with her daughter.
Unfortunately, our client started out by filing the case by herself. Then, when there was no progress, she hired an online "attorney" office that prepares forms for people but are not really attorneys. That was her second bad move. They not only took her money but also never filed anything on her behalf.
By the time she met with our office, so much time had passed that normally, her recommendation would have been to start over.
However, there was one interesting wrinkle to the case. The I-130 that the client filed on her own had more or less been forgotten by U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services. There had never been a final approval or denial on the application. We were able to use the fact that the case had never been approved to the client's benefit.
Under the law, lawful permanent residents can only apply for unmarried sons and daughters. This was true when our client submitted her application when her daughter was 5. However, over the long years of waiting, our client's daughter had married. Normally, this would have been the end of the case.
However, our client had also become a U.S. citizen before her daughter's marriage. Making several careful legal arguments, we not only secured an approval on an I-130 visa application that had been pending since the 90's but is happy to report that our client's daughter and her son-in-law have been issued visas to finally join her in the U.S.

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