Concepcion and Miguel: Reunited at Last
It was a big risk for Concepcion to return to Mexico. For nearly a quarter of a century, she had made her home in the United States, and she’d never been back to Mexico, not once. She couldn’t. If she went back, she might be stuck there.
Concepcion knew the risk of leaving, but she had a son in trouble in Mexico, and no matter what other ideas she thought up, none of them seemed good enough. Concepcion simply had to go herself. So with heavy heart, she packed her bags and left, her youngest child in tow.
Once in Mexico and reunited with her son, Concepcion applied through the US Consulate for permission to return to the United States. As the mother of four US citizen children, two of whom were old enough to petition for her, Concepcion should have qualified for a green card. But when she went to her interview at the US Consulate, she was informed that because she had previously entered the United States without permission, had lived there illegally, and had then left the country, she was now barred from returning to her home in Seattle.
Barred for ten years.
It was devastating news. It’s impossible to even fathom what a decade living apart would mean. But the news came with a silver lining. Concepcion could file an I-601 Waiver for Unlawful Presence. If she could show extreme hardship to a parent or spouse who was a US citizen or legal permanent resident, she could come home without waiting the whole decade.
The family decided it would be best to contact an immigration lawyer in Seattle for help. That’s how they found Beacon Immigration. During their consultation, they realized that Concepcion had a good shot of being granted a waiver through her elderly, wheelchair-bound US citizen father. His story was sure to convince even the stoniest-hearted immigration officer that Concepcion should be allowed to return home.
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A string of accidents had plagued Concepcion’s father over the course of his working life, dramatically affecting his health. As a result, he was wheelchair bound and unable to work. As his health declined, Concepcion stepped in and made sure her father had everything he needed. She accompanied him to all his doctors’ appointments, cooked for him, bathed him, and took him where he needed to go. But most importantly, she made him feel loved and important.
After Concepcion left, her father’s health plummeted. Even though he had the help of a government-funded caregiver for several hours each day during the week and even though his son-in-law, Miguel, popped in every night and constantly over the weekends, Concepcion’s father was getting worse. He was becoming more physically and emotionally fragile. He was suffering extreme hardship because no one could replace the loving, constant care Concepcion lavished on him. He needed her to come home.
With the help of the team at Beacon Immigration, the family assembled all the necessary documents for Concepcion’s waiver. They each wrote up a declaration explaining their situation. They were committed to doing whatever it took to bring Concepcion home.
With the documents gathered and the legal precedents expounded, the family submitted Concepcion’s waiver, hoping for the best. Having the advice of an immigration lawyer had been critical to knowing how to present their case—what to include, how to frame things, what pitfalls to avoid. They had put together a solid, convincing case, but now, all they could do was wait.
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In the meantime, Concepcion’s husband, Miguel, had his own immigration status to adjust. Almost fifteen years earlier, Miguel’s brother had filed an 245(i) Adjustment of Status through the LIFE Act. Miguel got his application in just before the deadline, but it would be a long wait — about twenty years! Still, he’d gotten his foot in the door. Eventually, he’d be able to get a green card.
Miguel was still waiting for his visa when he and Concepcion consulted with Beacon Immigration about Concepcion’s case. With a few good questions, the immigration team figured out that Miguel could adjust status through his son, who was now an adult. That meant that Miguel no longer had to wait for a visa through his brother. He had a visa immediately available to him through his son. His brother had opened the door and helped him get in line, and now his son helped him jump to the front of the line. So in addition to his wife’s waiver, Miguel had his own application to send in and wait to hear back about.
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It was a lot of waiting for both Concepcion and Miguel, but the end result was worth all the effort. Miguel got his green card, and finally, so did Concepcion. After four long years, she could come home.
It’s hard to even fathom the impact of a forced separation like that or what it feels like being reunited. It had been a long road, filled with worry and longing, but also filled with hope that things would work out. And things did work out. They were finally back together. Not only that, but now Concepcion and Miguel both had green cards. There would be no more worrying about what would happen to the kids if they got caught and deported. No more living in the shadows. They could be a regular American family again, together.
Even if your case looks a lot like this one, we cannot guarantee success because the outcome of every case depends on individual circumstances. Please consult with a qualified immigration lawyer about the strength of your own case.