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Young Immigrant denied Green Card for being too late

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A Yugoslavian immigrant was brought to the U.S. when she was just 1 year old. Her parents applied for a visa but missed the deadline by a few months. Growing up in the U.S., now years later, she is fighting for the right to stay in the only place she knows as home and asking for an exception.

Immigrant asking for deadline exception

Almira Kolenovic brought suit against her former attorney who she claims did a bad job and caused her family to miss the deadline for a green card application. Kolenovic is now 34 and resides in New York where she has lived out her entire life.

Her parents received temporary amnesty in 1989 when Ronald Regan signed immigration reform legislation, but the family did not apply for a green card within the three year span they had. Kolenovic’s paperwork eventually was submitted, but 19 months past the due date. She states in court papers that her incompetent attorney was to blame and she should have an exception made even though she missed the deadline.

Missed deadline has huge repercussions

Unfortunately, immigration officials are not taking the missed deadline lightly nor do they care that Kolenovic was just a baby when this was all happening. In 1995, immigration officials ended up removing the temporary right to stay in the U.S. and although she tracked down her files and filed a suit against United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, Judge Ronnie Abrams, who is presiding over the case, has not decided in her favor.

The judge wrote, “The court is not without sympathy for Kolenovic,” however, Congress does not allow for the court to review late immigration status applications that were denied. The judge dismissed Kolenovic’s case and while it is unknown if she will try to appeal or not, she will most likely have to get in line with the rest of undocumented immigrants asking to receive a  green card.

If you have questions regarding applying for a visa or immigration laws, contact us at 314-961-8200 or visit our contact page.


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