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Success Stories & Client Comments

Conditional Green Card Waiver – Client Stories

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Kate’s Story (Extreme Cruelty Waiver)

Kate’s husband learned, as many do, from the immigration officer at her green card interview that her card would expire in 2 years if she and her husband weren’t living together at that time and said nothing about waivers available to her if they were separated. Her husband took that information and used it to control and abuse her, knowing she relied on his cooperation to keep her green card. Her husband would pull her hair and strike her so hard in her upper arm that a round bruise of 2 to 3 inches wide appeared. Confronting him about the abuse proved futile. He denied that he was doing anything wrong. The physical abuse, which happened in private with no witnesses, escalated over time and ended with attempted strangulation.

She was subject to over two years of psychological abuse from her husband as well. He yelled at her whenever he was angry, destroyed her things, treated her as his servant, threatened to kill himself several times a day, insulted and demeaned her, attempted to isolate her from her supportive family and friends, risked her life by having unsafe sex without her knowledge with other women while continuing his relationship with her and engaged in activities to keep her debilitated and exhausted.

Kate also experienced financial abuse from her husband. He forced her to pay all their expenses, lived off of her, refused to obtain work, demanded money from her and stole from her.

The final straw in their relationship and what made her leave was when he threatened to kill her. This last incident forced Kate to seek medical attention. She used her medical records as part of the evidence of the abuse because she was too scared of her husband to get a restraining order against him, worried that he would not obey it.

We worked with Kate on ways to prove the psychological and financial abuse as well and in under 8 months from filing her conditional green card waiver based on extreme cruelty, her case was approved without an interview. She now has a permanent green card. She remains separated from her husband and is now divorced and continues to seek counseling for her symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Kate writes of our services: 

I would recommend your firm to others because you respected and understood my situation, not just legally but also on a personal level. Another immigration attorney referred me to you because of your expertise. I chose you to represent me because of your extensive experience with VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) cases.

I’m in San Francisco and with the location of your office being in Southern California – the distance does not matter; everything went so smoothly. We used a lot of email because that was very helpful to me, because the PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) symptoms made phone calls stressful.  Your services were excellent. My case resulted in an outcome beyond any expectations and hopes.

Thank you, Heather. Receiving my green card made me glow all over. I will use your firm again to apply for citizenship as soon as I am eligible. I chose you to represent me because of the specialized nature of my case. I recommend your firm to others – since my case was successful, there’s a good chance that theirs would be, too.

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Haruko’s story (Good Faith marriage waiver)

Haruko conditional green card was issued in January 2006. The couple separated by August 2007, during her conditional 2 year period. The couple separated after having numerous unresolved arguments over money, whether to have a family, and possibly moving to Taiwan and leaving the U.S. Hayaku, new to English speaking, also had difficulty expressing herself to her husband and this made things worse and their clashing cultural upbringings made it difficult to relate. She tried to go to counseling but the marriage was not saveable. The couple divorced within the conditional period. 

Despite the couple staying less than the conditional period together following the issuance of Haruko’s permanent residency and with limited financial documentation showing the bona fide nature of their relationship, Attorney Heather was able to obtain an approval for Haruko who now has a unconditional permanent residency, and a waiver of the interview. Heather provided CIS with essential documentation proving that Haruko was not to blame for the marital break-up and she entered into the marriage with the intent to stay.

Haruko and her ex-husband write of our services:

Haruko and I really appreciate your professional expertise in assisting her obtain her permanent green card.  Even though we are divorced, we remain good friends.  We understood there were difficulties, especially we weren’t the photogenic type of couple back when we were together so there weren’t a lot of photos of us and with friends.  Your professionalism and prompt responses, despite the language barrier for Haruko, kept us at ease throughout the process.  Thank you again.

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Liliana’s Story  (Extreme Cruelty Waiver)

Liliana experienced escalating physical, psychological, and financial abuse during her relationship with her abusive U.S. citizen husband who convinced her to stay in the U.S., give up her life in Nicaragua, and marry him. Liliana has been left in a constant state of dread throughout her marriage, not knowing when her husband was next going to lash out at her. He showed her early on in the marriage that he was capable of hitting her and feeling no remorse. When he was very upset with her, he pushed her out of the room, shoved her in the back, or grabbed her by the arms and shook her violently. He often raised his hand as if he was going to hit her. He repeatedly hit the doors and walls around her – trapping and scaring her by causing her to believe that he was going to hit her next.

Besides the ongoing threat of physical assaults, Liliana was also forced to endure extreme psychological torment from her U.S. citizen husband. He began treating her as if she was no better than his servant, expected to obey him silently and conform to his every demand, regardless of her feelings. He became so controlling over her every move and their finances that she could only go to the market to buy food if he was with her and if he approved of her purchases. She found herself often in the position of having to beg him for money to buy even the basic necessities. He commanded her how to cook and then watched her to make sure she was doing what she was told. He put her to work in his business and criticized her, despite never sharing in the profits with her, that she was “lazy” . Nothing she did pleased him. Liliana’s husband insulted her repeatedly and hardly ever said a kind word, yelling at her constantly and insulting her in front of her friends and complete strangers. He took advantage of the poor financial position she was in because of his doing. He demanded that she continue to work for him for free yet he refused to pay her.  

Heather filed Lilliana’s conditional green card waiver based on extreme cruelty in January 2007. 1 ½ months later, her case was approved, without an interview. She was issued a 10 year green card. She has been eligible for citizenship since October 2007 (2 years and 9 months since her original conditional LPR card was approved) even though she is divorced from her US citizen spouse because she received an approved extreme cruelty waiver). She hopes to sponsor her son, who lives abroad, for permanent residence, which will be much faster when she becomes a citizen.

Liliana writes of our services: 

“You helped restore my hope, making me believe again that good human beings still exist. Thank you very much.”

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John’s story (Good faith marriage waiver)

John came to Attorney Heather for help after trying to submit the conditional green card waiver paperwork on his own. CIS issued John a “Request for Further Evidence”, claiming the documentation he submitted neither proved his good faith intent to marry his wife nor his joint residence with her. John and his wife had divorced over a year prior and she was not willing to help him obtain access to old joint documentation and records that now she controlled. He was in a difficult situation with less than 60 days to respond to CIS or face a denial and loss of his green card.

Attorney Heather was able to  successfully argue, citing relevant caselaw, that John’s previous submitted evidence (even some from before the conditional period) was relevant to demonstrating that he married his wife in good faith, even though they were now divorced.  The other problem John faced was that he married young and the couple did not have much financial evidence in the form of highly used bank accounts. Again, Attorney Heather was able to argue that credit card statements are just as valid as bank statements and argue against the prejudice andarguably unfair standard of evidence being applied to such a young couple who were barely starting out life and did not have the stereotypical financial holdings such as a mortgage, joint property, or vehicle ownership. Unable to obtain a copy of their lease, Attorney Heather also relied on alternative ways to show their joint residence during the conditional period.

John’s permanent residency was approved within 1 month of Heather submitting the new filing to CIS.

 

David’s story (Extreme Cruelty Waiver)

David, a citizen of Bulgaria, suffered extreme physical, mental and financial abuse from his U.S. citizen wife.His wife had been having unprotected sex with her lover for three months while continuing to have sex with her husband, David, who was unaware of her adultery. Besides the emotional devastation he experienced at hearing this news, he became worried that she had exposed him to HIV and other venereal diseases. After she left him for her lover, he discovered that this was indeed the case. He had contracted genital and oral herpes, an incurable condition that he will have to live with for the rest of his life. He was only 26 years old when he found out.

Before she had left him, she regularly threatened him with deportation and divorce when he told her he needed a break (due to sheer physical exhaustion and pain he was experiencing) from working double shifts to keep up with her financial demands.  She constantly wrote checks against their account when David could not work fast enough to keep enough money in the account to clear her checks.She refused to work at all and yelled at David and became violent when he told her he could not keep up with her spending or could not buy her what she wanted. She constantly demanded money from him, threatening to sabotage his immigration interview. By her forcing him to continue working double shifts, he developed chronic illnesses, which caused him to lose his career since he could not work steadily with the pain. His condition left him reliant on pain pills, shots, and constant doctor visits and laboratory testing.

Besides the incessant risk to his physical health, Mr. David was also forced to endure years of extreme psychological torment and mind games from his U.S. citizen spouse. David’s wife constantly yelled at him the moment he came home from work. She openly insulted him and yelled at him in front of his closest family friend and complete strangers in public. While yelling at him at the top of her voice, she called him a “f*ck”, “self-centered and selfish” and told him, “You don’t work enough” and “You’re lazy”, despite breaking his back trying to provide for both of them.    Even after his wife left, he continued to experience panic attacks, nightmares, drastic weight loss, and anxiety, which led to him being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder by his counselor. 

Heather filed a conditional green card waiver based on extreme cruelty for David in March 2006. Less than four months later, his case was approved without an interview. He received a ten-year green card. David became eligible for citizenship in December 2006 (2 years and 9 months from grant of his initial conditional green card), based on his approved extreme cruelty conditional green card waiver.

David writes of our services:

“Thank you for everything you have done for me Heather. I wish to apply for citizenship as soon as possible. Again thank you, I appreciate everything you have done and do for me.”

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Nanami’s Story (Extreme Cruelty Waiver)

Nanami was physically and emotionally abused her husband. She struggled with constant illness from the stress of living through the abuse, which made her weaker and more difficult for her to defend herself against him. He intimidated her into silence, telling her that with his connections, he could have her killed.  During arguments, he blocked her from leaving the room and repeatedly reminded her of his power over her immigration status to keep her quiet. He constantly interrogated her and played with her mind, trying to get her to question her own sanity and judgment. Even after escaping him, Nanami still suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He continued to follow her, showing up at her new apartment, threatening her and demanding she come back to him.

Heather filed a conditional green card waiver based on extreme cruelty for Nanami in January 2008, a few months after she received her initial conditional green card. Because she and her husband split so soon after her initial green card was issued, she faced a potential finding by immigration that she had committed visa or marriage fraud (i.e., only married for the green card). Heather advised her how she could document her case with help of her doctors, therapist, and witnesses. Less than eight months later, her case was approved without an interview. She received a ten-year green card. She becomes eligible for US citizenship through the naturalization process in 2010, even though she is no longer married to her US citizen abusive spouse because she received an approval of her extreme cruelty conditional green card waiver.

Nanami writes of our services:

“Heather was very confident and encouraging during the initial meeting and I felt that I could trust her. She was linked to the website to support non-violence against women. Heather was great in many ways. She saved me from an extremely terrible situation and I am thankful, of course! I recommend her because she is always going to do her best to help and bring out the result! Thank you for everything! “

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William’s Story (Good Faith Marriage Waiver)

William and his wife separated within six months of William becoming a conditional resident. This raised issues of whether the marriage was real (not used to obtain status for him) and visa fraud. William had to prove that the marriage’s demise was not his fault. Heather helped William argue that he and his wife separated due to her her emotional problems and her anger with their financial situation given his new business. His wife left him and filed for divorce. 

It was a challenging case since the couple had not been together for very long when they separated. We also faced weaker bonafide marriage documentation because most of William’s assets were wrapped up in his business, not spent on the marriage. Heather knew what he was up against and all he had to lose, especially since if he was deported, he would have to give up his chosen profession which was illegal to practice in his home country. 

His case was approved in less than six months.

William writes of our services:

“I chose you to represent me because I really liked the initial consultation. Heather was confident, trustable and warm. Also, she sounded very focused on the matter. The overall quality of the services was very good. Ms. Heather Poole is a great attorney. I would recommend this firm to others because Heather does a great job.”

 

For other client comments, click here.


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99% approval on all Conditional Green Card Waivers based on Extreme Hardship*

100% approval on all Conditional Green Card Waivers based on Extreme Cruelty*

100% approval on all Conditional Green Card Waivers based on Good Faith Marriage*

* As of 6/2011. Success rates are not meant to nor to they guarantee a successful outcome or result in your case. Every case is different. It is unethical and illegal for any Attorney to guarantee you a positive result. What the attorney can do is provide you with her legal opinion as to what the strengths and weaknesses of your case are and her belief on how successful you may be. She cannot nor will she ever “guarantee” a positive outcome or result.