Immigration Client Success Stories
Success Stories of Clients represented by the Boston immigration attorneys at FitzGerald Law Company
Note: All the names of our clients in the stories below have been changed in order to maintain our client’s privacy and confidentiality.
- A Person Can Have a Marriage Petition and a Green Card Approved
- Marriage Petition and Cancellation of Removal/Deportation
- Cancellation of Removal/Deportation
- U Visa
- E-2 Visa
- Cancellation of Removal/Deportation
- Residency Petition for Same Sex Marriage Petition and Prior Order of Deportation
- I-601 Waiver due to Immigration Visa Fraud
- OUI Victim Obtains U Visa Status as well as Monetary Compensation
- U.S. Residency through Cancellation also for TPS holders
- TPS to Green Card via Marriage
- Spouse of a Same Sex Married Couple obtains Legal Permanent Residency after DACA
Immigration /Criminal Defense Client Success Stories
- Armed Assault and Battery Criminal Trial Success Story and U.S. Residency
- Vacating a Criminal Conviction and Immigration
- Motion to Vacate Conviction and Reopen Criminal Case to avoid Immigration Problems
- Citizenship Approval with Criminal Defense and Deportation Proceedings
- Residency Reinstatement with Criminal and Deportation/Removal Proceedings
- Criminal Defense and Removal of Order of Deportation
- Immigration Custody and Immigration Court Success Story and Assault and Battery Criminal Case
- Abused husband obtains Green Card under VAWA
Immigration /Personal Injury
A Person Can Have a Marriage Petition and a Green Card Approved
The following client success story is an example of how with the appropriate legal representation, a person can have a marriage petition and a Green Card approved, even if they had a prior failed marriage residency petition and past criminal charges.
John was born in Ghana and entered the United States with an F-2 visa in 2002 when he was 14 years old. He enjoyed living in the United States and wanted to remain here for the rest of his life, but he had overstayed his visa and his options were now limited.
When John was 20 years old, he met Nancy through his mother. They began to build a relationship based on common interests, such as movies and basketball. They fell in love and got married, excited to begin their lives together. Nancy, who was a U.S. Citizen, petitioned for John to become a Lawful Permanent Resident, and everything appeared to be on track. However, things began to fall apart when Nancy lost her job and she turned to drugs and alcohol. John did his best to help Nancy through this crisis. They moved into his mother’s house so that they could worry less about financial issues and focus instead on their marriage, but the relationship fell apart and after over 3 years of marriage, Nancy and John divorced. Read the entire client success story
Cancellation of Removal/Deportation
Our client “Ricardo” entered the U.S. from Colombia, as a teenager in 1985. In 2008, “Ricardo” began a cancellation of removal/deportation case with our office as he had been in the U.S. for over 10 years, demonstrated good moral character and had evidence of exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to US citizens if he were deported. His U.S. citizen daughter has, as a consequence of lead paint poisoning, a severe learning disability. During the entire process (2.5 years), our office collaborated closely with Ricardo to obtain supporting records and affidavits to demonstrate hardship to his U.S. citizen children if he were to be deported from the United States.
In preparation for the final court date, Massachusetts Immigration lawyer, Desmond P. FitzGerald met with Ricardo, who was unable to obtain all of the requested therapy records, which generally has a negative impact on a case for lack of evidence of hardship. However, through extensive preparation meetings, Attorney FitzGerald was able to elicit testimony from the client that focused on the hardship his U.S. citizen daughter would face if he was deported. At trial, our client was prepared, consistent and honest in his answers and the Judge granted him Cancellation of Removal. Finally, after years of hard work and perseverance, our client is now a permanent resident of the United States and will be eligible to apply for citizenship in a few years.
Marriage Petition and Cancellation of Removal/Deportation
Our client, “Claudia” contacted our office for a marriage petition case. She is from Colombia and entered with a visitor visa, but stayed in the US beyond the permitted time on her I-94. Claudia married a US citizen and thought that she would need to return to her country in order to apply for the marriage petition. Boston Immigration Attorney Desmond P. Fitzgerald informed her that she could apply inside the US because she was inspected and admitted to the US. We worked with our client to get all the information required to prepare the marriage petition, and prepared Claudia and her husband for the interview. Claudia’s residency based on her marriage was approved and afterwards we helped her remove the conditions of her conditional residency and she obtained legal permanent residency. She will be able to apply for citizenship in 2013.
Unfortunately, her only son, “Julián”was over 21 and could not be included in her applications. Mr. FitzGerald reviewed the case and advised our client that her son could apply for a cancellation case based on the extreme hardship that his mother would suffer if he got sent back to Colombia. (Claudia suffered from anxiety and a delicate health condition). During the course of the case, Attorney FitzGerald found out that Julián was receiving special education which normally is a disadvantage in cancellation cases. However, attorney FitzGerald was able to prove that Julián’s condition could not be properly cared for in his home country, and that his departure would severely affect the psychological and physical health of his mother. The case was granted and Julián is a permanent resident of the US.
Our client “Maria”, a Mexican national, entered the United States across the border without a visa, with her only child at the time to reunite herself with her husband who had arrived a few months earlier in the same manner. During her first few years in the US, her husband (who was also undocumented) severely abused and mistreated her. He used her inability to communicate in English and her undocumented status to his benefit and scared her from seeking the help she needed. Finally, after a particularly violent episode where her husband pushed her and caused her to break her arm, our client filed a police report and a restraining order against her husband. Although the restraining order provided Maria one means of protection within this country, she remained without legal status, and was unable to legally work and provide for her children on her own. Our client felt helpless until she saw a television program during which, Massachusetts immigration Attorney, Desmond P. FitzGerald explained the process of obtaining a U-visa.
Maria, although reluctant to tell her difficult story, decided to contact our office. She met with attorney FitzGerald, who carefully reviewed her case and told her that she could qualify for the U visa, but that it was necessary that the police department agree to certify on her U visa application that she was helpful in the investigation regarding the abuse. Although it was difficult for Maria to relive her experience, we were able to assist our client in creating a strong U-visa application, including a personal statement describing the hardship both she and her children have suffered as a result of the abuse. Maria waited patiently for the processing of her U-visa to go through, and after 9 months, the USCIS made a favorable decision in her case based on the application and documentation prepared by our, Boston immigration law office. Our client was granted U-visa status, and will be able to apply for her legal permanent residency in 3 years.
Our client, “Juán”, is a national of Spain, and is the CEO of a growing multi-subsidiary company. Prior to our consultation, our client had formed a subsidiary of his company in the U.S. This company, although growing, has the potential to produce even greater revenue and profit within the U.S. Our clients’ goal was to further develop this subsidiary and create a stronger international network. His presence was necessary to direct the managers and employees within the company and expand the company’s general operations. After meeting and consulting with attorney FitzGerald, it was ultimately determined that an E-2 treaty investor visa would be most appropriate for Juán, as it would allow him the opportunity to invest significant time and funds into the company within the US, while maintaining his relationship with the Spanish parent company, and allow his wife and children to relocate, study and work in the US.
The US subsidiary company was still young to show significant profits, so we had to rely on future growth projections and the profitability of the parent company in Spain. Our Boston immigration law firm assisted our client, all the while in Spain, in reviewing and presenting a more detailed business plan and comprehensive revenue and profitability forecasts for both, the US and parent company, as well as a detailed executive statement in support of the E-2 visa petition. After processing the visa at the US consulate in Madrid, the E-2 visa was ultimately approved for Juán and his family members, and they successfully relocated to the US in order for Juán to fulfill his role as CEO of the US Company.
Our client “Sara” entered the US in August 2002 with a tourist visa and she overstayed her visa. In early 2008, she was questioned by an immigration officer at Logan airport while she was waiting for her mother’s arrival. She was subsequently presented with a Notice to Appear before the Immigration Court and was placed in deportation proceedings. During that time, Sara was involved in a serious relationship with a US citizen and decided to marry in mid 2008 and file a marriage petition with the immigration service. Unfortunately, the relationship became physically abusive and our client sought two restraining orders against her husband.
In 2009, she submitted visa petition under VAWA (Violence Against Women’s Act) due to the physical abuse she suffered from her husband without the help of an experienced immigration attorney. In 2010, Immigration issued a request for more evidence (RFE) of the abuse and at this point Sara decided to contact us for help. Our Experienced Boston immigration lawyers worked extensively to obtain and prepare a detailed affidavit from our client, detailing the abuse and mistreatment she suffered from her husband. We carefully reviewed her documents and found specific language in the restraining orders that proved she was being “battered” by her US citizen husband. In early 2011, Sara’s VAWA petition was approved and she has hired us again to help her with her permanent legal residency petition.
Cancellation of Removal/Deportation
Our client, “Julieta”, entered the United States in 1992 through the Mexican border without a visa. In 2007, she submitted a marriage petition with her US citizen husband with the assistance of a notary. Unfortunately, she was not eligible to adjust status to a legal permanent resident because she had entered without a visa and she was not eligible for 245i relief under the Immigration & Nationality Act. She was subsequently referred to the Immigration Court for removal proceedings. Upon review of her case, we determined that Julieta was eligible for Cancellation of Removal as she had been here for 10 years, was married to a US Citizen, had good moral character, and was able to show that her husband would suffer exceptional and extremely unusual hardship if she were to leave the US or if he were to move with her to her native Colombia.
Julieta’s husband suffered from several serious medical conditions and depended highly on her financial, emotional and medical care. In addition, Julieta’s husband’s mother suffered with a severe illness, and was highly dependent on our client’s help as well. With our assistance, Julieta was able to show the extreme difficulties that her deportation would cause her husband and his mother (both US citizens) and the cancellation of removal/deportation was granted. She is now a US resident.
Residency Petition for Same Sex Marriage Petition and Prior Order of Deportation
Our client, “Fernando”, contacted out office for help with his same-sex marriage petition case. He had been in a relationship with his US citizen spouse for over 12 years, and had sought legal help resolving his case for many years. Fernando had been ordered deported after his claim of asylum was denied many years ago, so he was very reluctant to submit any additional applications to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). When Fernando’s mother, a United States Citizen, became seriously ill and needed her son’s help to attend her medical appointments, Fernando was granted a temporary waiver to enter the US and care for her.
Our Boston immigration and deportation lawyers determined that, since Fernando had obtained a temporary waiver from the Department of Homeland Security to care for his mother, he would be eligible for other immigration benefits such as adjustment of status on the basis of his marriage to his US citizen husband. A significant accomplishment in this case was that we were able to obtain residency for Fernando without having to submit a deportation/removal waiver (I-212) outside the US. Fernando’s adjustment of status application was approved, and now Fernando is a permanent resident of the United States and allowed to live permanently with his husband and mother.
I-601 Waiver due to Immigration Visa Fraud
Our client, “Luz” contacted our office for help with issues stemming from her entering the United States with her sister’s tourist visa. Luz sought to escape poverty and a dangerous situation in her native Colombia, and provide more educational and employment opportunities for herself and her two children. Luz was ineligible to receive her permanent residency without first obtaining a waiver, due to her entry into the United States using another person’s visa.
Luz married a United States Citizen, “George”, several years ago. Unfortunately, shortly after the wedding, George began to suffer from heart disease and kidney failure. Throughout this entire process, Luz would accompany George to all of his medical appointments, and she would even cook him special meals each day that contained no salt and complied with his doctor’s orders. Our Boston immigration lawyers determined that, since George, a United States Citizen, would suffer an “extreme hardship” if Luz were to be removed from the United States, she could apply for a waiver of her unlawful entry into the United States. Her Waiver application was approved, and she is currently a permanent resident of the United States.
OUI Victim Obtains U Visa Status as well as Monetary Compensation
A Colombian woman, “Marta” who was in the U.S. without status, was a victim of a terrible accident, she was struck while walking home from work by a car operated by a drunk driver. Our Boston personal injury lawyers represented Marta in connection with her personal injury claim against the driver and we obtained a settlement for the full limit of the auto insurance policy as well as additional funds to cover her lost wages from the Victim Compensation & Assistance Division of Massachusetts, even though she was working without a valid social security number. When the driver was charged with numerous criminal offenses our Boston Immigration attorneys thought she may have a claim for a U visa as the victim of a crime.
The law identifies several criminal offenses that can be the basis of a U visa claim and while Operating Under the Influence is not listed, Felonious Assault is. The Boston Immigration Attorneys at FitzGerald Law Company drafted a legal memorandum that showed the similarities between Operating Under the Influence and Felonious Assault and the USCIS accepted her U
U.S. Residency through Cancellation also for TPS holders
Diana G. contacted FitzGerald Law Company several years ago for assistance with the renewal of her TPS. During the initial meeting Diana G. asked if there was any way for a person with TPS to get Legal Permanent Resident status in the U.S. because she was concerned that TPS might end someday.
The immigration lawyers at FitzGerald Law Company knew Diana had been living in the U.S. for more than 10 years and asked her if she had any family in the U.S. Diana told them that she had 2 children, both born in the United States. Our attorneys proceeded to ask her about the health condition of the children, and found out that one was having trouble in school because of his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Attorney FitzGerald recommended that Diana apply for Legal Permanent Resident status through Cancellation of Removal/Deportation, also known as the “10 year law” (INA Section 240A(b)). This law allows U.S. residency to be issued to an individual who:
- Has been in the U.S. for 10 years without a deportation/removal case,
- Has been a person of good moral character and not involved in criminal activity,
- Has an immediate family member (specifically a parent, spouse or child) with U.S. Citizenship or Residency who would suffer an extreme and exceptionally unusual hardship (because they have a “special condition” like ADHD), if the individual had to leave the U.S.
With the assistance of the immigration attorneys at FitzGerald Law Company, Diana filed an I-589 petition with USCIS. She was granted an Employment Authorization Document and within 1 year (processing times were faster at that time—now a case like this could take 7-9 years) she had completed her interview with USCIS and had her case filed with the Immigration Court. The Immigration Judge heard her testimony about how her child would suffer if Diana had to return to El Salvador and granted her Legal Permanent Resident status.
TPS to Green Card via Marriage
Veronica was a TPS (Temporary Protected Status) applicant from El Salvador, married to a United States Citizen. Veronica’s husband was worried about her temporary immigration status, but they did not want to move forward with a marriage residency petition because they were afraid of having to travel to El Salvador to wait for her Green Card and be separated for a long time.
In December 2016 they decided to seek legal advice, and they hired the services of our immigration lawyers at FitzGerald Law Company. After attorney FitzGerald and his team evaluated Veronica’s case, they learned that Veronica entered the United States without inspection in 1998 and she was granted TPS in 2001 but had never left the U.S., even after she married her American husband in 2009. After reviewing the facts of her case, the legal team found a path for her to obtain Legal Permanent Resident status while staying in the United States.
The strategy of our immigration lawyers was to divide the case in 2 parts:.
- The first part was for Veronica to obtain legal admission to the United States. We filed an I-131 application with USCIS based on her TPS status, which authorized her to travel to El Salvador and re-enter the U.S. with inspection by an immigration officer.
- The second part was the filing of the marriage Green Card petition which was ultimately approved and since Veronica had entered the U.S. legally with her travel permit, I-131, she was able to file her I-485 (adjustment of status application) and receive her U.S. residency without having to travel outside to receive it at the U.S. Consulate.
Nowadays, Veronica enjoys the benefits of having U.S. Permanent Residency and together with her husband she loves to travel back and forth to El Salvador and help children in need.
Spouse of a Same Sex Married Couple obtains Legal Permanent Residency after DACA
Daniel, from Peru, entered the United States through the U.S. Mexico border when he was 14 years old in July of 2000. He met Brandon in 2008, they fell in love, and got married in 2011. At the time, same sex married couples could not obtain immigration benefits, but the Supreme Court changed that in 2013. Nevertheless, Daniel’s options were limited even as the spouse of a U.S. Citizen, because of his illegal entry to the United States. That all changed when former President Obama announced the DACA program in 2012. The immigration attorneys at FitzGerald Law Company knew that Daniel would be eligible for DACA as long as he satisfied the educational requirement and could show good moral character. By obtaining DACA, Daniel would be able to apply for permission to re-enter the U.S. after traveling abroad. The attorneys knew that having this legal entry would finally open up the pathway to Lawful U.S. Permanent Residency for Daniel.
After obtaining his GED, Daniel satisfied the educational requirement for DACA and his application was granted in December of 2014. Daniel was now authorized to work in the U.S. and was eligible to apply for both a Social Security Number and a driver’s license. More importantly, he could finally travel back to Peru as long as he could show that the travel was for educational, business, or humanitarian purposes. In Daniel’s case, his mother was ill and had an upcoming surgery and Daniel needed to assist her with the recovery. The immigration lawyers at FitzGerald Law Company filed the Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, with USCIS, arguing that Daniel’s need to travel was for a humanitarian purpose.
In 2015, his Form I-131 was approved and he traveled to Peru. Upon his return to the United States, he was paroled into the country, which meant that he now had a lawful admission to the U.S. Daniel and his husband could finally begin the process of obtaining his Lawful Permanent Residency. As a result of being able to enter the U.S. with permission, Daniel could now adjust his status to obtain his residency within the U.S., instead of having to leave the country to process his residency at the U.S. Consulate in Peru.
Shortly before their sixth wedding anniversary, Daniel and his husband attended an interview with an immigration officer. With evidence that their marriage was genuine in hand, the Officer approved the petition. Daniel is now a Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States and eligible to apply for citizenship in 3 years as the spouse of a U.S. Citizen. Less than 5 years after former President Obama announced the DACA program, Daniel’s life has changed dramatically and he and his husband can now live their lives and raise children without any immigration concerns.
Motion to Vacate Conviction and Reopen Criminal Case to avoid Immigration Problems
In 2006, our client “Manuel” was charged with operating a vehicle with a suspended license and waived his right to counsel with no idea how this charge could potentially impact his immigration status in the future. In 2010, Manuel was placed into removal/deportation proceedings before the Immigration Court and was ineligible to renew his Temporary Protected Status (TPS), as pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, this conviction made him ineligible for TPS. After reviewing the client’s criminal dockets, Attorney FitzGerald noticed that Manuel had waived his right to counsel in one of the cases, but there was no indication that the waiver had been interpreted to the client in his language to ascertain he understood his rights and the consequences of relinquishing such rights.
After collaborating with the client to recall the events, collect all the relevant evidence in the case, and reviewing the Massachusetts practice and waiver of counsel rules, attorney FitzGerald determined that it was clear that our client had not understood his rights and filed a motion to vacate the conviction and reopen the case, which was subsequently approved by the Judge. A new hearing was scheduled (five years after the original disposition date) and attorney FitzGerald obtained a favorable disposition of license suspension case (the charges were decriminalized) which did not negatively affect Manuel’s immigration status. He now is eligible to present a TPS claim before the Immigration Court.
Citizenship Approval with Criminal Defense and Deportation Proceedings
Our client, “Katerina” is a legal permanent resident who applied for citizenship. At the citizenship interview she informed immigration that she had been convicted many years before for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Immigration denied her citizenship application and had just notified her that she would be placed into removal/deportation proceedings, when she came into our office seeking assistance. After submitting a timely filed appeal to immigration, we determined that there were technical legal errors in the processing of the case, therefore her criminal conviction was in violation of her constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel. Our Boston Criminal and Immigration lawyers submitted a motion to vacate the criminal conviction and reopen the case which was subsequently granted by the criminal court. After the case had been reopened, the case was successfully litigated so that the charges were dismissed. We informed immigration of the dismissed charges and the client was interviewed a second time to determine if the previous denial of her citizenship application should be changed. The deportation proceedings were stopped and Immigration granted her citizenship.
Residency Reinstatement with Criminal and Deportation/Removal Proceedings
Our client, “Peter”, had been a legal permanent resident of the United States for many years when he came into our office seeking assistance. He had traveled outside the US many times without any problems, but on his most recent trip, while attempting to enter the United States, he was stopped by immigration and his residency was terminated due to a criminal conviction from many years ago. Our client was placed into removal proceedings and faced being deported from the United States and being separated from his family.
After a thorough review of his situation our Massachusetts criminal and immigration attorneys realized that his criminal conviction was in violation of the individual’s statutory rights to receive “alien warnings” when tendering a guilty plea. The alien warnings ensure that the individual is accepting guilt with full knowledge of the consequences of the guilty charge. We quickly submitted a motion with the criminal court to vacate the conviction and reopen the criminal proceedings. The criminal court granted the motion to vacate and the criminal case was reopened. We represented Peter in the re-opened criminal case and it was successfully dismissed. We informed the immigration court that Peter’s conviction no longer existed and the Immigration Judge dismissed the charges of removal/deportation, allowing him to remain a legal permanent resident of the United States.
Criminal Defense and Removal of Order of Deportation
Our client “John” had come to the US to get an education and to improve the living conditions of his family. He was able to finish his education in nursing and obtain a good job where he enjoyed helping others. One day, all of that changed. John was accused of sexual assault in criminal court. A person he worked with claimed the assault occurred in the stairway of the clinic during their shift. He found a lawyer who told him to accept a disposition under the Massachusetts law called “continuance without a finding”, which requires an “admission of sufficient facts” to conduct that meets the legal elements of the crime. While he did not understand why he should admit to doing something that he didn’t do, he was assured that he would have no problems as long as he stayed out of trouble for one year. Although he stayed out of trouble for more than a year, problems soon followed. Because he was not a citizen of the U.S., John found himself being ineligible to remain in the U.S. with his family, since a “continuance without a finding” qualifies as a criminal conviction under the immigration law. In addition, John was required to register as a sex offender and was not even allowed to attend his own children’s school and sporting events.
At this point, John needed help with his immigration status and was recommended to our firm by a friend. Upon reviewing the court records and police reports, it became clear to attorney Desmond P. FitzGerald that John had not committed the offense and that he could help him reopen the case (vacate the conviction) and to defend the case to prove his innocence. This was not only necessary to allow him to remain in the US but it would also allow him to improve his quality of life. Ultimately, our office was able to have his conviction vacated, to get the criminal charges dismissed by the court, and obtain permission from immigration for John to remain in the U.S., through a petition for legal permanent resident status. John is now able to attend school events with his children and is no longer in fear of being deported and separated from his family.
Immigration Custody and Immigration Court Success Story and Assault and Battery Criminal Case
Roberto was arrested and charged with numerous charges, including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, trespassing, and resisting arrest; after there was a fight outside a bar. Unfortunately, at the time he was arrested, Roberto was not in lawful immigrant status and after he was released on bail on the criminal case, the immigration authorities took him into custody. His family came to our office after he had been detained for several months and it became clear that the only way to get him released from jail was to have him found not guilty of the criminal charges and to identify an immigration benefit he could qualify for.
Attorney FitzGerald reviewed the police reports and met with Roberto in jail to discuss the incident. Roberto was not a tall individual and was relatively thin. In contrast, the victim was identified by Roberto and the police report as a big and heavy set man. Roberto claimed that he had actually been the victim of an assault by the larger man and he had escaped the fight and which is why he was found running away from the police on someone else’s property.
We prepared Roberto to testify at trial and we advised him that if he married his fiancée, who was a US citizen, and she filed an immigration residency petition for him, as her husband, he may be able to be released from immigration custody, if we won the criminal case. There was one significant problem. The rules in Massachusetts make it virtually impossible for an inmate to get married due to prison security concerns. Therefore, we determined the only place where this marriage ceremony might be performed was at court during the criminal trial. At our suggestion, Roberto’s fiancée obtained a marriage license and made arrangements for a justice of the peace to come to the court house during the trial.
The criminal trial began and the government’s witness/ alleged victim testified first. The alleged victim made statements during the trial that were markedly different than the statements he had made to the police originally. When attorney FitzGerald was cross examining the alleged victim, he stated that Roberto had knocked him down with a punch and then proceeded to kick his face with his boot 20 to 30 times. The police report however, contained no description of any mark on injury to the alleged victim’s face and when asked by attorney FitzGerald, the witness could not explain how it was possible that he did not receive any visible injury from such a violent assault. At the conclusion of his testimony, it was clear that the witness was not the victim he claimed to be.
After the alleged victim’s testimony, the court took a lunch recess and during this time the marriage ceremony between Roberto and his fiancée was performed. By the time the court came back into session, Roberto was a married man to a US citizen and now he was eligible to apply for US residency via his US citizen wife. Roberto testified as to his version of the incident and after attorney FitzGerald’s closing remarks, the jury found him not guilty. After we provided the immigration court the evidence of Roberto’s marriage to a US citizen he was released and allowed to return to his family.
Abused husband obtains Green Card under VAWA
Even though VAWA means Violence Against Women Act, Women abused by their US resident or citizen spouses are not the only ones that can benefit under this law to obtain the US legal Permanent Residency. Men abused by their spouses, children abused by parents and parents of children abused by their parents can benefit as well. In all cases, under this law, the abuser must be resident or American citizen, unlike for the U Visa for Victims of Crime, where the legal status of the abuser does not matter. This was the case of our client Alfonso.
Alfonso, a colombian immigrant, met his wife and the mother of his son when they were working together. Laura, his wife, was also known for her aggressive temperament, however Alfonso did not see it because he was so in love. A while after they knew each other, Laura got pregnant and she tried to change everything in Alfonso’s life, even they way he dressed. Alfonso’s family started to notice this situation and they tried to warn him, but he preferred to stay away from them.
When Alfonso and Laura’s son was born, Federico, the situation improved a little but later it got worse. The abuse was not just verbal and emotional now, but it was also physical. Alfonso was attached to the idea of providing a good home for his son, that he tolerated the abuse. They even underwent family therapy but Laura’s behavior did not change at all. One day, in the middle of a fight, Laura was so violent that she even hurt Federico. This made Alfonso react and he reported the incident to the police. After that, there were many more incidents and in one of them, Alfonso was arrested because Laura accused him of domestic violence.
This is when Alfonso contacted our office to find an attorney who could represent him in court and defend him against the domestic violence charges. Our Lawyer Desmond P. FitzGerald successfully defended the criminal charges that were filed without any basis. After listening to everything that happened between Alfonso and Laura, Attorney FitzGerald determined that Alfonso was eligible to apply for US legal permanent resident trough VAWA.
After the visit of a social worker who informed Alfonso and Laura that if the situation continued, they might lose the custody of Federico, Alfonso decided to leave the house trying to avoid more incidents. But Laura didn’t stop and she kept harassing and manipulating him by not letting him visit his son. Alfonso had to call the police several times to make Laura leave the house and he even tried to obtain a restriction order but it was denied. Attorney FitzGerald gave Alfonso instructions about how to collect evidence of the mistreatment and the importance of keep continuing to go to therapy.
Not only is it difficult for a male to obtain immigration status through VAWA, but it is particularly difficult when there have been charges of domestic violence filed against the male. Fortunately, attorney FitzGerald was able to defend the client against those domestic violence charges, in order to preserve his eligibility for VAWA benefits.
In this case, the USCIS made a request for additional evidence that tried to require the client to obtain special police clearances from all the places he had lived in the US. This request is not only time consuming and difficult to comply with, but it is also not required by the regulations.
Attorney FitzGerald notified the USCIS that his client did not have to comply with this request and that the USCIS was required by law to process our client’s application with the evidence that had been submitted. Attorney FitzGerald’s argument was convincing and the USCIS promptly approved the petition. Alfonso is now a US resident and may be eligible to become a US citizen in a few years.