The 45-year-old Fountain Valley man figured there would be something of a delay in getting his Thai wife an immigrant visa.
Still – pretty certain that Kampong Pinongram and their U.S.-born son would join him in time for the holidays – he bought a Christmas tree and wrapped gifts for both of his loves. Three months later, Grant still waits while the presents under his Christmas tree collect dust.
Some might think Grant, a quick-witted U.S. citizen who served his country as a Marine and is now a disabled veteran, might have the odds stacked in his favor. Instead, the born-and-bred Orange County resident has been forced to navigate through an immigration bureaucracy governed by a law as complicated as the tax code. Exasperated with his ordeal, he’s taken to the Internet to detail his experience.
He insists on bringing his 28-year-old wife to the U.S. legally by petitioning the government.
“I want to do it the right way,” Grant said.
But what was supposed take a few months has become an ordeal of more than a year that’s shaken his trust in the immigration system and tested his convictions. At one point, he was even tempted to bring his wife illegally.
Grant said he is only certain of one thing.
“The system is broken,” he said. “And … trying to get someone to listen to you when you know it’s broken? It’s disheartening. Most people don’t know what you have to go through … the hardship and suffering, I’ve had to go through to legally get my family here.”
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services spokeswoman Mariana Gitomer said the agency cannot comment on specific cases.
“All I can tell you is that we are aware of this case and are looking into it,” she said in a written statement.
LOVE AND MARRIAGE
Grant met his wife in 2006 while he was working in electronics calibration in Chon Buri in Thailand. A first encounter turned to love and the couple became engaged a year later. Grant brought his wife to the U.S. on a fiancée visa and married her in August 2008 in Laguna Hills.
That’s about the time the economy took a nose dive. Soon, Grant was laid off from three different jobs and moved across the country for work. At the same time he and Pinongram had a son, named T.J.
Grant’s precarious financial situation made him ineligible to file for adjustment to her legal status because he wouldn’t meet the income requirements.
Then Pinongram’s mother in Thailand became very sick. That’s when the couple reached a turning point.
Pinongram, who feared her mother would die before meeting her new grandson, knew leaving the United States would be risky because she hadn’t yet received legal residency. Grant knew he’d have to petition for her to return legally from abroad again once she left, but said he couldn’t deny his wife’s desire for their son to meet his grandmother – possibly for the last time.
A VISA JOURNEY
About a year ago, Pinongram left for Thailand. That’s when the nightmare started, Grant said.
As soon as he was able to find a steady job in June, he petitioned for his wife to get another visa. After a minor technicality, Grant received a text and email in late August from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, stating that his petition had been accepted and forwarded to the California Service Center for processing.
However, in September, T.J. got sick. A Thai doctor diagnosed him with bronchitis – a condition that likely stems from a bout with pneumonia when the boy was younger, Grant said.
T.J.’s health problems have since deteriorated. While Pinongram takes her son to a rural hospital, about 45 minutes from her village, Grant believes T.J. needs better medical care in the United States.
Grant said he considered bringing his son back to the U.S. to live with him. But that would present a host of new problems, he explained. Grant works full-time and can’t afford child care, he said. This means he would have to work less or quit his job to take care of his child. The Catch-22 is that he would then become ineligible to petition for his wife because he’d fail to meet the income requirements to do so.
In addition, the boy doesn’t speak English and is very much attached to his mother, having spent very little time with his father.
Instead, Grant asked U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services to expedite his wife’s visa, which required travel to Thailand. There he gathered T.J.’s medical information – translating multiple documents from Thai to English at $25 a page – to complete the application for an expedited request.
Overwhelmed with petitions, USCIS officials told Grant that the agency had transferred his case from California to the Texas Service Center to expedite it. However, back-and-forth correspondence between Grant and various agents show inconsistencies. While one agent told him they’d received his case, other agents told him they hadn’t.
Even though Wade had a reference number showing the agency had gotten the case, agents on the phone told him there was no record of it in their system, he said. At the same time, USCIS sent him a letter stating that his case had been approved.
While he attempted to clear the matter, Grant said he got nowhere with the agency.
“It was a mess,” Grant said.
A veteran who became disabled when he was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in the military, Grant’s illness worsened with the stress.
How to apply for an Immigrant Visa
When it comes to immigration, the US They have strict laws and regulations. The USCIS is responsible for handling all visa and immigration applications from the point of submission of the application until the final decision. Although the process can be complicated and stressful, if proper steps are followed, a permanent visa for the US can be obtained. without any discomfort.
The different ways to present a green card
It is best to opt for specific categories of immigrants to apply for a residence card. The ways in which you may become eligible to obtain a green card are:
- A petition filed by a family member who may be a permanent resident of the US or a US citizen
- A petition filed through an employer that offers a job to the applicant.
- A petition filed after receiving asylum or refugee status.
- The Diversity Lottery, also known as the green card lottery.
There are 6 steps to follow after your application has been approved.
Step 1. Choose an Agent
You can act as your own agent or you can opt for the petitioner, a family member, friend, lawyer, immigration professional or anyone else you trust.
Step 2. Payment Rates
Pay the processing fee required by USCIS. You can pay these fees online.
Step 3. Submit the visa application form. Collect and submit the forms and documents to the National Visa Center (CNV).
Step 4. Submit financial documents or Collect. Complete a statement of support and attach financial documents.
Step 5. Gather supporting documents. Complete the civil documents to support your visa application.
Step 6. Submit documents to the CNV. Submit all the forms collected in steps 4 and 5 in a single package to the CNV.
After paying the necessary fees and submitting the required application for an immigrant visa, affidavit of support, and supporting documents to the National Visa Center (CNV), USCIS staff will check that the file is complete. Once your case qualifies for an interview, CNV will work with the US Embassy. Appropriate or consulate before scheduling an appointment.
How to make an Immigration Appeal
To make an immigration appeal, you must complete the correct form and send it to the appropriate agency. You must pay a filing fee when you submit the form. The form you should use and to whom you should send it will depend on the decision you will appeal.
What is an immigration appeal?
When you make an appeal, you are requesting that a higher authority consider a decision again. For example, if an Immigration judge made a decision about your case that doesn’t suit you, you can ask a higher court to invalidate the Immigration judge’s decision and to rule in your favor. However, there are different forms to use and agencies to appeal. The way you make the appeal depends on what you appeal and the superior authority to which you appeal.
Who can file an immigration appeal?
Only the person who submitted the original application can file an immigration appeal. For example, if your brother filed a petition to obtain a visa to enter the US, he would have to appeal the decision for you.
To whom do I file the appeal?
People whose immigration petition or case is denied will receive a Denial Notice, by mail. This form will indicate the form to be submitted and to whom it should be sent.
What form should I submit?
The form you must submit will depend on the decision you are appealing.
Form I-290B: most USCIS applications
For most appeals, you are required to complete Form I-290B: Notice of Appeal or Motion. Form I-290B is used for appeals to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). You can appeal a decision on the following petitions to the USCIS using Form I-290B:
- Form I-129CW: Petition for Nonimmigrant Transitory Worker of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Only
- Form I-129F: Petition for Foreign Fiance
- Form I-129: Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker H1-B, H-2, H-3, L, O, P, Q or R
- Form I-131: Travel Document Application
- Form I-140: Immigrant Petition for Foreign Worker
- Form I-212: Application to enter the United States after being deported or expelled
- Form I-352: Migratory Link
- Form I-360: Petition for Amerasiático, Widower or Special Immigrant. Please note that only the people mentioned in Part 2, Item A or Part 2, Items C to M can make an appeal using Form I-290B.
- Form I-485: Application for Permanent Residence Registration or Adjustment of Condition. Keep in mind that you can only submit this form for one of these reasons:
- Your request to obtain a permanent resident card (green card) was denied because you could not prove that you had a true marriage while you were in removal proceedings.
- Your request to obtain a green card as an Indo-Chinese refugee under Public Law 106–429 sec. 586 or Public Law 95–145 sec. 103 was denied.
- Your request for a U or T visa was denied.
- Your request to obtain a green card under section 13 of the INA law because of your status as a diplomat was denied.
- Your request to obtain a green card pursuant to Part 2, Item H of Form I-485 as qualified by Life law was denied.
- Form I-526: Petition of Immigrant of Foreign Entrepreneur
- Form I-600: Application to Classify Orphan as Direct Family
- Form I-600A: Application for Advanced Orphan Petition Process
- Form I-601: Application for Exemption from Cause of Inadmissibility
- Form I-612: Application for Exemption of Residence Requirement Abroad
- Form I-800: Petition to Classify a Convention adopter as a direct relative
- Form I-800A: Request for determination of suitability to adopt a child from a Convention country
- Form I-821: Temporary Protection Condition Application
- Form I-905: Application for Authorization for the Issuance of Certificates for Medical Assistance Workers
- Form I-914: Application for Condition T of Nonimmigrant
- Form I-914A: Application for T-1 Receiver Direct Family Member
- Form I-918: Petition for U Nonimmigrant Condition
- Form I-918A: Petition for Family Qualifying as Receiver U-1
- Form I-924: Application for Regional Center according to the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program
- Form I-929: Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant
- Form N-470: Application to Maintain Residence for Naturalization Purposes
- Form N-565: Application for Replacement of Citizenship / Naturalization Document
- Form N-600: Application for Certificate of Citizenship
- Form N-600K: Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate according to Section 322
- Your Certificate of Citizenship was canceled according to the Immigration and Nationality Law (INA) §342. The USCIS canceled your Certificate of Citizenship because it determined that you obtained the certificate illegally.
You must submit Form I-290B within 30 days after the USCIS decision or 33 days after receiving the decision by mail. Persons appealing the cancellation of an immigrant petition that had been approved must make the presentation within 15 days after a verbal decision and 18 days after a decision sent by mail.
To submit Form I-290B, you must include a check or money order for $ 675 payable to the “US Department of Homeland Security.” DO NOT send cash.
Form I-694: applications for temporary residents and exemptions from grounds of inadmissibility
You can file Form I-694: Notice of Appeal Decision according to Sections 245A or 210 to appeal decisions on the following:
- Form I-687: Temporary Resident Status Application according to Section 245A of the INA
- Form I-690: Application for Exemption from Cause of Inadmissibility Under Sections 245A or 210 of the INA
- Form I-698: Application for Adjustment of Temporary Condition to Permanent Resident
You must mail Form I-694 to the address mentioned in your Notice of Denial along with a check or money order for $ 890 payable to the “US Department of Homeland Security.” DO NOT send cash. You must submit your request within 30 days after the date mentioned in your Notice of Denial.
Form N-336: naturalization requests
To appeal a decision on Form N-400: Naturalization Request, you must submit Form N-336: Request for Hearing on Decision in Naturalization Procedures. You can submit the form with a copy of the Notice of Denial and a filing fee of $ 700 within 30 days after receiving the Notice of Denial (or 33 days if the notice was sent to you by mail). You can include any additional documents that would support your case on Form N-336 when you file it. (You can also present those supporting documents at the hearing). Active members of the US service whose Form N-400 was denied they do not have to pay the filing fee of $ 700.
Form EOIR-29: immigrant petition requests
To appeal a decision on Form I-130: Petition for a Foreign Relative or Form I-360: Petition for Widower, you can file Form EOIR-29: Notice of Appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals of a Decision on an Immigration Officer.
You must send the application with a check or money order for $ 110 payable to the “US Department of Homeland Security.” DO NOT send cash. Send the form to the address mentioned in your Denial Notice. DO NOT mail the petition directly to the Board of Immigration Appeals.
To appeal a decision on Form I-130, write the alien registration number (number A) of the relative for whom you make the request at the top of Form EOIR-29.
Form EOIR-26: decisions taken by an Immigration judge
To appeal a decision of an Immigration Judge, you must submit Form EOIR-26: Notice of Appeal of a Decision of an Immigration Judge to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) with a filing fee of $ 110.
You must first “reserve the appeal” after the Immigration judge makes the decision. This means that you ask the court for authorization to appeal or object to the judge’s decision and that you do not give up your right to appeal. Once you have reserved the appeal, the judge will give you an EOIR-26 Form. You must submit this form within 30 days after the Immigration judge has made the decision.
The filing fee for Form EOIR-26 is $ 110. The check or money order must be payable to the “US Department of Justice.” DO NOT send cash. Write your name and number A on the check or money order.
The BIA must receive Form EOIR-26 within 30 days after the judge has made the decision. You must send your request by mail at least one week before those 30 days pass so there is time to send it to the BIA.
Most of the information you will need about who to appeal to and when to file the appeal will be available in your Notice of Denial, so read it carefully. If in doubt, submit your appeal within 30 days after the denial. Never abbreviate the “US Department of Homeland Security” on your check or money order. Write you’re A number (if applicable) on the check or money order along with your name.
How to get a Green Card for Parents
One of the great reasons for those who have the green card and give way to U.S. citizenship. is that you can use that immigration status to help your parents obtain residence cards in the United States.
The US immigration system It puts great value in keeping families together. The way family requests work begins with an immigration chain that can be extended throughout a large family.
Immigrants have chosen the United States to relocate their families for centuries and as citizens of this country, they can be the basis on which their family is established in the United States.
President Obama’s government implemented a stimulus program so that green card holders could apply for citizenship.
But, that leaves a question: how to help a father immigrate to the United States? Here is a summary of how it is done.
Green Card for Parents: Petition
The first step in any family-based immigration process is the filing of Form I-130, Petition for a Foreign Relative.
To better understand how this form is used, imagine that it is part of a conversation between you and the US government. Using Form I-130, he asks the government that his father can reach the United States.
Form I-130 is presented with documents that tell the US government. why his father should be allowed to live in the US In this case, the supporting documents must legally prove that your father is really the person he claims to be.
Often, this can be easily achieved by showing your birth certificate where your father’s name and identity appear on the certificate. However, there are many other documents that can prove your relationship including adoption documents or baptismal certificates.
Green Card for Parents: Immigration
When the petition is approved, work in the immigration process for their parents is now their responsibility (or his or her) to successfully complete the process.
When a visa number is available, your father can apply for immigration to the United States at the consulate of the city where he lives; It can also be applied to adjust your status if you currently live and legally in the US.
There are, of course, many other smaller steps along the way, but this is a general outline of how a US citizen can apply for his parents’ immigration.
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