We recently assisted two mothers of U.S. citizens obtain lawful permanent resident status. While the two cases were somewhat similar, the facts of each case provides an interesting look into the nuances of federal immigration law. These stories also demonstrate why working with an experienced immigration attorney is a good idea.
In the first instance, a woman from Europe had married a U.S. citizen long ago. The couple had a child and the father made sure to establish the boy's U.S. citizenship with the State Department. Some time later, the couple divorced. The mother and the son came to the U.S. and never returned to Europe. The mother began her stay in the U.S. in valid visitor status, but her status had lapsed when she finished school. She did not return home. When she contacted us, her son was about to turn 21. As a minor, he was ineligible to apply for a visa for his mother. That changed upon his 21st birthday. We had all of his immigration paperwork ready to file immediately after his birthday. The young man is a U.S. Marine and we applied while he was home in St. Louis. This week, we attended the interview and the mother's application was approved. As the parent of a U.S. citizen, her overstay out of status was "forgiven" and she was allowed to adjust status to that of lawful permanent resident status.
In the other case, we had represented an Iraqi man who had naturalized late last year. His mother had been visiting him for some time and had not returned home to Iraq due to illness. Once the man obtained his citizenship, we immediately filed for lawful permanent resident status for the mom. Her interview was this morning and her case was quickly approved.
One of the great joys about practicing immigration law is helping people out of sticky situations. In both instances, our clients were very nervous about their respective situations. We were able to counsel them and prepare them for possible outcomes. By attending the interview and making sure the applications were complete, we helped put their mind at ease and help bring about a favorable result. That's a great way to spend a work day.