In addition to being our success stories, these case studies outline possible pitfalls of filing your immigration application yourself or with a non-attorney.
Marcin, a US citizen
Marcin is a US citizen of Polish descent. He met Kristina, a Polish citizen, while she was a student in New York. Marcin and Kristina got married and decided to apply for Kristina’s green card. Marcin’s friends suggested that he retain an immigration lawyer to work on Kristina’s case, but Marcin wanted to save and decided to file the case himself. Marcin and Kristina spent months researching, trying to navigate conflicting information they were finding in forums, chats and blogs. Not having enough energy or time to continue fruitless and exhausting internet research, they put their best effort, filed the case, paid over $1300 in governmental fees and started anxiously waiting for Kristina’s green card. In a year, Marcin received a letter from USCIS denying the case. The letter stated that Marcin and Kristina failed to appear for the interview. Marcin was furious since he never received an interview notification. Marcin contacted USCIS on multiple occasions by in writing and by phone, but was not able to resolve the problem. In the meantime, Kristina’s employment authorization was revoked by USCIS and she was immediately terminated from her job. Marcin did some research and figured out that he can appeal the denial of his case by USCIS. Yet again, he paid $600 in governmental fees. Six months passed and Marcin still had not heard a decision on his appeal. Marcin realized that his plan to save money by not hiring a lawyer backfired — not only did he spend $2000, which yielded no result, but Kristina was out of work for over a year. In April 2008, Marcin retained Valentini Law Offices to work on Kristina’s case. In June 2008 Kristina received her employment authorization and started working at a real estate company in Brooklyn. In July 2008, Kristina’s application was approved and she became a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). Marcin says that his decision to save on an immigration lawyer cost their family one year of Kristina’s income, hundreds of dollars in unnecessary governmental fees, not to mention two years of nerve-wracking waiting.
Jagdish, United States citizen
Originally from India, Jagdish became a U.S. citizen and decided to file an adjustment of status application for his Indian citizen wife. Jagdish holds a masters degree from a US university and is a top manager in a leading telecommunications company. Jagdish is an exceptionally intelligent individual, but he still made a few mistakes in his application. As a result, his application was rejected and returned. In the meantime, his wife’s employment authorization expired and she was let go from her position at a prestigious international investment bank. Confused and angry, Jagdish retained Valentini Law Offices. Within a few days, his wife’s application was filed with USCIS. Our attorney got in touch with the wife’s job HR department, clarified the case status and made arrangements so that his wife could resume work as soon she received her employment authorization. Jagdish’s wife received her employment authorization and went back to work on Wall Street in ten weeks and, two weeks later, became a proud Lawful Permanent Resident (green card holder).
Volodymyr, Ukrainian citizen
Volodymyr entered the US on a J-1 visa. When his visa was about to expire, he decided he wanted to stay in the US. He went to a store front office in Brooklyn that read “Immigration” and paid a fee to have his visa extended. Months passed by and he never received any kind of response from USCIS. Frustrated by uncertainty, he started calling the “Immigration” office. Nobody ever picked up the phone. When Volodymyr actually went back to that office, he saw that the same storefront is now occupied by a grocery store and no one had heard of the “Immigration” office. Volodymyr called New York State Bar Association to find out that the people he trusted to help him with his immigration case were not attorneys. They were con artists who cheated hundreds of people in the neighborhood. Valentini Law Offices applied for a change of status on behalf of Volodymyr. In two weeks, he received an approval from USCIS.
Farhad, Iranian citizen
Farhad is an Iranian citizen whose parents are US citizens. His parents decided to submit a petition for alien relative on Farhad’s behalf. Due to unfamiliarity with both, the English language and with legal terms, they incorrectly marked on the form that Farhad had previously been deported from the United States even though he had never set foot on American soil. Needless to say, this error caused an extensive delay with his application. After this mistake, Farhad’s parents retained Valentini Law Offices and he was granted his interview within a few months and is now happily residing in sunny California as a US lawful permanent resident (green card holder).