Some times, it is the little victories at immigration that make our job so enjoyable.
We are very lucky to represent a very nice couple in a pending marriage case. Let's call the U.S. citizen Sam and his wife, who is from Romania, Anastasia.
We filed their case in early April. As with any spouse visa case, when we file the green card application and spouse visa, we always request a travel document and work authorization. Anastasia is lucky enough to have a job lined up for August and we focused, at least at first, on making sure that she would be able to start her job at the end of the summer.
Sam and Anastasia are very clearly in love and we have little doubt that the green card application will ultimately be approved. They married in early spring at the St. Louis County courthouse.
But they also had a large family wedding scheduled for mid-July in Romania. They bought 8 round trip tickets to Romania back in April. We all thought Anastasia's travel document would be here in plenty of time for the trip.
April turned to May; May turned to June. Anastasia and Tom reached out to us.
The problem is that if a green card applicant leaves the country before they get their travel document, the green card application can be deemed abandoned by USCIS. The filing fee would be lost and all the time and money wasted.
Our clients called the 1-800 number over and over. No one could help them.
We scheduled an InfoPass appointment and went down to USCIS together. We implored the officer to help us and she checked the notes online. She saw that the case had been delayed, but had no real answer on how to move it along.
So we started making daily phone calls. We reached out to Senator Claire McCaskill's immigration liaison. We only had 2 weeks left before the scheduled flights.
We are happy to report that the travel document arrived on Friday. We do not know the exact reason why the card was finally issued, but issued it was.
Our clients are now free to leave for Romania. We hope they take lots of pictures.