Practice Area: Immigration
Outcome: Appeal Won at the AAO Court
Description: From time to time we like to share stories about cases that were resolved successfully. We do this to educate our clients, and bring hope to many others in the same situation. This is a story about an American guy that fell in love with a girl from Ukraine. The problem was that the girl from Ukraine entered the US illegally. As a result, even marriage to the US citizen guy, could help her to stay. Absurd, but true. So the only way for the spouse to become legal one day, way to depart the US and face the US Embassy abroad, by seeking a waiver. An Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (Form 601) becomes necessary when a visa applicant has been determined to be “inadmissible” based on one more visa ineligibilities. The most common visa ineligibility is illegal presence/prior visa overstay of more than 180 days, which results in a 3 year ban. More than 365 days of illegal presence results in a 10 year ban. Note that illegal presence under 180 days does not hold a ban and does not require a waiver. The bar takes effect when the person leaves the US, therefore the clock starts ticking at that point. An approved waiver overcomes the ban and results in visa issuance. So the nice coupe followed the rules, she left the country to face the Embassy, filed the necessary paperwork. Filed for the waiver when prompted, and she got denied. The denial was so shocking, because if you read it, you realize that the officer never read the file. I felt that we had a good case, we process numerous waivers an this was one of my best. Yet, the officer never bothered to read the case. He used different names for the applicants and mixed our facts all together. This one officer sealed the life of this young couple. We had no choice but to Appeal to the AAO in Washington. Only problem is that Appeals take 2. 5 years to process. Still we filed the best Appeal we could draft at my office. It was now time for the couple to test their relationship. So they did, and for the past 3 years they stuck together, they suffered together, they cried together. But they nevr lost hope. On February 12, 2009 we received a denial of the Appeal. I couldn't bring myself to break the news to the Husband. But I did, and he was shattered. I couldn't let this stand, and wrote a lengthy letter to the AAO office detailing the case from the start. I knew this letter will end up in the trash, still I did it. On March 4, 2009 we received a reversal of the denial. In fact the Husband was the one receiving it first and he let me know about it. I still wonder what happened in those two weeks from the last denial, I extremely happy for this family and hope that this story will bring hope to many other couples in the same situation. You can read their story on this site www.freevica.com Here is what the husband posted on the site the day of the approval: Breaking News! Our waiver has been sustained on appeal! Finally, someone in government took the time to actually read our evidence, and they came to the conclusion that the original and subsequent denials were in error! Thanks for this monumental break in our case go to our attorney Jacob Sapochnick. He has stayed the course through the various Governmental errors and bureaucracy, taking a personal interest in seeing us once again together. Also, thanks go to Holly Hough, liaison for immigration issues for Congressman Duncan D. Hunter's office. Her repeated inquiries no doubt prompted someone in D.C. to actually take a look at our case. Thank you to all who have played a part, or simply observed our immigration system as it plodded along.