This is the week of time with loved ones where we let our Valentine know just how much they are loved and appreciated. For me this is a time to let my wife of 14 years know just how lucky I am and that I could not live without her. In fact, I don't know what I would do if we were ever forced apart for any length of time.
I have cause to think about just a scenario because I am reminded of the separation of families with immigration problems on a weekly basis. A typical story involves one member of the family doing all that he can do to get to the U.S., establish roots and earn survivable income while the rest of the family remains in the Philippines quietly acknowledging that it is for the best.
If the family member in the U.S. gives up and returns to the Philippines to be reunited with loved ones hard earned gains in their immigration status are likely to be lost forever. If the choice is to wait continued patience in an immigration system that lumbers along magnifies the sadness of separation. It is a Gift of the Magi type proposition, one in which you know that your kids are growing up without you why you try to pave a better way, a better future for them in the U.S.
In my practice it is quite common for me to hear, "attorney do you know that I have not seen my family for over 15 years," or "attorney I put my faith in you so I can again be with my family." These heartfelt disclosures can put a heavy burden on an immigration attorney and the trust of that family is not taken lightly. There is reason to hope however, success does happen and things can be done to reunite families, Roque can tell you this is true.
Roque separated from his family to come to the U.S. and work for a company in the tech industry. He knew that his departure would require some time away from his family but he realized that it was worth it for his posterity to gain a better life in the U.S.
Not long after he was able to secure his visa in the U.S. his wife and children were scheduled for an interview at the U.S. Embassy in Manila. Their separation from father and husband would soon be over. However, at the time of the interview, the conducting officer discovered a problem with the wife's application and announced that she was not admissible into the U.S. unless she obtained a waiver for a prior violation involving misrepresentation. It seemed that once again things would not work out and the family would remain apart.
Roque came to me and asked if there was anything that could be done, and I let him know that of course there was and we would help.
When an individual is notified by the U.S. Embassy that a violation of U.S. Immigration law has occurred and that a waiver is required it means that this violation may be forgiven. It important to know and understand how waiver requests should be handled as a denial of the waiver will result in the denial of the case and the visa. The good news is that we were able to assist Roque's family and submit the requisite waiver documentation and the case was approved and a family will soon be reunited.
A waiver request can be a complex matter that requires comprehension of just what the Immigration Service is looking for and requires detail and documentation. If you or a loved one is having trouble at the U.S. Embassy and a waiver is required please consult a reputable immigration attorney so that this time next year you can be with your valentine.