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The office is striving to be COVID compliant. We see clients outside. Only the staff works in the office and remotely. Everyone wears masks and observes social distance when meeting with clients.
09.10.2020 Many years ago, a Mennonite family showed up In our office. When I walked out into the waiting room, I saw the mother, father and 15 adult children, ranging in age from 18 to 35, quietly waiting to see me. I was surprised and explained that there must be some mistake because we are an immigration office, and it seemed unlikely that they would be facing immigration problems. However, I was wrong. They did have enormous immigration problems, as the family had come from Mexico a few years earlier, and their previous lawyer’s application for extension of their visas was denied. They had been living illegally since that time. Their case was compelling, but their immigration situation hopeless, unless we were able to reopen their visa denial. We are zealous advocates and when we put our full force into an immigration case, we can be quite convincing. Still, I did not believe that we could prevail. Not with a 2 year lapse. Ultimately, as part of our immigration strategy, we were able to convince their Congressman to help us champion their case, and through our work, his advocacy and possibly a lot of prayer from the family, we succeeded in reopening their immigration case. I can report that today they have their green cards and are living happy, quite, prosperous lives.
08.15.2020 We were hired to file an immigration appeal for a client from Lithuania. His case was lost by his previous attorney and he wanted us to try to get a reversal. We knew that the immigration appeal was not likely to succeed and we made certain recommendations, primarily to start working on getting his green card through his marriage. When the appeal was denied, he did not listen to us, acted imprudently, resulting in his removal. However, he came back to us and asked us to complete his immigration case. We are happy to report that the immigration case is nearly complete and he will return to the US within the next 6 months with a green card.
This is an opportunity to brag. It reminds us that we do a lot of good work (time to pat ourselves on the back). Five of our clients will become citizens on 2/7/20 because of our hard work.
In one instance, a lovely woman who had been brought to the US by an abusive husband and then abandoned, had a deportation order when she came to our office. By proving that she had been the victim of domestic violence, we were able to reopen her immigration case, and continue her fight till her VAWA case was approved. After, we continued to fight very long and very hard to get her a green card. Now she is getting her citizenship. We are so pleased. She is lovely and well deserving.
In another case, a gentleman who was well in his 70’s, a Vietnam veteran, an arch conservative, found himself in the crosshairs of immigration law and realized that he had never become a US citizen. He was totally unaware that his green card did not automatically bestow citizenship. He had never traveled outside the US, other than in combat and hence had never needed a passport. We were also able to fix his situation, and he too will take his citizenship oath on 2/7/20, 47 years after nearly sacrificing his life for this country.
In yet another case, we were able to get the immigration service to accept the application of an 81 year old woman who had long ago given up the hope of ever learning English. Dementia and other factors often impact on older persons ability to pass the citizenship test, and make the ineligible for citizenship. This can be overcome with proper argument. Our Nigerian client who had done each step of her marriage greencard case with our office, will also be sworn in as a citizens on the 7th.
Lastly, our Albanian client will join his spouse, also our client, who became a US citizen earlier this month. They will both be US citizens after a lengthy immigration struggle.
We are so proud!!
We were so grateful to succeed in obtaining a green card for our client, who was in removal proceedings. His case went to trial before the Immigration Judge. To win, or to get a green card for our client and to stop his deportation, we would have to Our client had sustained a head injury in a work related accident and his US wife was diagnosed as schizophrenia, diabetes and dementia. The client was not able, due to the memory challenges to prove that he had entered the country more than 10 years ago. Although we were confident that the Judge would find that the requisite extreme and unusual hardship existed in this case, we were uncertain that our client could prove presence in the US for the requisite 10 years. We were able to find a witness who was able to confirm the date of arrival and we were successful in obtaining a green card for this client.
We are overjoyed to report that a family of 5 children who were here undocumented for 15 years were granted U visa, which gives all the undocumented members of the family the right to remain in the US and work for the next 3 years. 3 of the 5 children are US citizens, but 2 are still outside of the US. The grant of the U visa applies to them as well and will make them eligible to come to the US on a U visa. After maintaining U visa status for a period of 3 years, each of them will be eligible to file to their green card. This U visa application stemmed from injuries caused to the husband who was forced to work without pay. The US Department of Labor accepted the complaint and then certified the case.
We were approached by a very nice couple and asked for help. They have been married for 10 years and have 2 children. Both have a very good employment situation, but they are out of status, and thus undocumented. The wife had come to the US on a J visa, which allowed her to stay here for 3 months. She never left. Until August of 2018, people who came to the US on a J visa did not accrue illegal presence, which triggers penalties if you leave the US. The employer of both spouses was willing to sponsor either spouse for a greencard. However, for the process to complete, the beneficiary would have to leave the US and have their green card interview at the Consulate. In this case, only the wife was eligible to leave the US because she was on the J visa, which meant that when she left the US she did not trigger the penalties associated with staying in the US illegally. However, in August of the 2018, the Attorney General issued a rule ending the protected status of J visa holders, giving them 6 more months to stay in the US before accruing such penalties. We convinced our client to leave the US in January of 2019 and protect her ability to complete the greencard process. She followed our advice and will be returning to the US with a green card within a year after leaving. While we had hoped the process would be faster, we are delighted.
We are continually amazed how undocumented immigrants who have lived in the US for more than 20 years, never sought immigration assistance until they heard about us. Recently, one of our clients, who himself had a very complicated case and who was told by other lawyers that there was no immigration solution, but is now a US citizen brought us his family member who was in jail facing deportation. First we were able to get his person released on bond and then had to create a strategy to get her a green card. And this is where we are different from other lawyers. We approach even the most hopeless cases by collecting all the immigration information to see if there are other solutions. In the instant case, our client had several adult children in the US who could apply for a visa on her behalf. However, she has to consular process to get a green card, and when leaving, will trigger a 10 year bad time bar. Unless we find a way to get her a waiver from that penalty, she cannot immigrate to the US . We learned that her husband has a parent with a green card. That indicated that we should try to get a green card for the husband, and if we succeeded, then she would have a qualifying relative for her green card. So we proceeded to get the husband his green card. That process is almost finished. As soon as he becomes a lawful permanent resident, he will become a qualifying family member for a green card application and for an application for 10year cancellation. His green card will give her two avenues to a green card. This is an excellent outcome.
One of our clients had come to the US on a summer travel work program, which allows qualifying foreign students to work and travel during their summer vacation. This person had at some point married a US citizen. The marriage had not worked out and his marriage based green card was denied. He was now illegally in the US. He then was offered an excellent job. His new employer offered to do an H1B visa for him, which is available to people who are doing professional work. We advised him to go to his home country to obtain his visa. He had to as he was completely out of status but had not yet triggered the bad time bars. He had consulted with numerous lawyers who had advised against leaving the US, worrying that he would not be issued the visa because of his failed marriage. We thought otherwise and strongly encouraged him to consular process. He was successful, and returned to the US. We were all very grateful.
We are so happy to report that one of our clients who went back to Mexico to consular process his green card application after he missed an immigration hearing due to inclement weather was able to overcome the 5 year "in abstentia" bar, due to our advocacy at the consulate.
Due to our proactive and intense advocacy at the US consulate in DVet Nam, one of our client's green card petition based on marriage was approved. The Consulate was questioning the validity of the marriage, even through the I130 was previously approved. We avoided a rescission and succeed with an approval by submitting a voluminous package containing proof of bonafidetness of the marriage.
A Brazilian pastor arrived in Cleveland as a tourist and was invited by a Portuguese church to stay on as a pastor to serve the Portuguese speaking community. The Boston church opened a branch in Cleveland. We were able to get the religious worker visa approved for our Brazilian pastor. We hope that the Church will continue to sponsor him for his green card.
Many of our clients enter the US by crossing the desert or river at the southern border. Such individuals have to return to their home country to get their green card if they are married to US citizens. If these people have been here for more than one year, they trigger a 10 year penalty to returning to the US. In such cases, we have to file a waiver to forgive the penalty. To succeed we have to prove hardship to the USC spouse. This is often difficult. However we have done this numerous times with a great rate of success. Most recently we were able to have the husband of a close friend of the office return to the US after being stranded in Mexico for 4 months. We were so happy.
The U visa is our favorite right now. It is available and will eventually result in a green card, for people who have been victims of certain crimes which they reported to the police. We were able to get our client released from jail, where he was held without bond pending his appeal. His wife had been the victim of a qualifying crime and had U visa approved. After the I visa is approved, you have to wait 3 years before you can apply for a green card. Our client is a derivative on his wife’s U visa, which according to recent guidelines allowed him to be released from Immigration Detention. He is now back to work and back to his family.
In another U visa case, our client was granted a green card numerous years after commencing his/her case.
In the current anti immigration environment, it is so nice to be able to report a good immigration result. We were deeply disappointed when we were unable to assist a close friend of the office who had married the love of her life, a foreigner. His visa was denied at the Consulate on Public Charge grounds. This recent anti immigration move by the Administration has created new obstacles for poorer people. All of a sudden it appeared to us that only rich people could marry and bring their spouses to the US. In our case, our US sponsor was deemed not to make enough money to sponsor her foreign spouse. A qualified joint sponsor was never a problem until now. Much to our chagrin, the Service refused to recognize our highly qualified joint sponsor. After an ardent fight with the consulate and with the assistance of Senator Portman, we were able to reverse the determination. The Consulate also changed its position on requiring us to refile the waiver. They have issued the immigrant visa. The foreign spouse is returning to the US within a week as a green card holder and the newly weds will live happily ever after.
The entire office celebrated the issuance of a bond to a client who was in Immigration custody for more than 4 months because of false criminal allegations. He has 5 children, one of whom is autistic. We were fortunate to have present at our trial one of the social workers overseeing the autistic child’s education. She cried during her entire testimony in support of our client’s extraordinary relationship with the autistic child. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Judge gave us a bond. His case is not yet finished but he is at home with his wife and children.
The U visa is an immigration path to green card, available to people who have been the victim of a crime. It requires that the crime be reported to the police and the police has to certify the incident, prior to the filing of the immigration papers work. It takes about 5 years from filing to approval of visa. After approval, the immigrant has to stay in U visa status for 3 years prior to filing for green card. I was on the phone with a Mexican girl the other day who told me that she was raped when she was 16 by a boy from school. She was invited to a party. The boy spiked her drink, took her out to his car, asked her to help him look for his home in the back seat. She was naïve. He locked the back doors with the child lock so she could not escape then raped her. She passed out, woke up in the hospital and was told what happened. So horrible. The U visa is a long immigration path, it takes roughly 8-10 years for a person on U visa to get a green card. In this case, we are able to get this person a green card through marriage so we don’t have to pursue the U visa. But I cannot imagine the permanent scars that this child bears as a result of a boys inhumanity. The U visa is a very good immigration path for those who were victims of crime.
One of our immigration lawyers was able to win a removal case, where the alien had divorced his Jordanian wife and married a US citizen, but then learned from CIS that his divorce was fraudulent. His immigration case was made more complicated by the fact that he was now accused of misrepresentation. We had to get him a proper US divorce and refile his immigration case. In the end, the immigration attorney was able to persuade the immigration Judge that this alien was innocent of any intent to defraud the government. The failure to register the divorce was the misfeasance of his foreign lawyers. He now has a green card and his deportation case was permanently closed.
In a recent immigration case, one of our clients had a disorderly conduct conviction after we filed his citizenship. One of our attorneys was able to successfully argue that this disorderly conduct conviction and his prior criminal convictions did not constitute bad moral character and his citizenship application was approved. Sometimes hiring an immigration lawyer will make all the difference in the world.
In Grace vs. Whittaker, the Federal Court ruled that former Attorney General Sessions efforts to eradicate asylum claims based on gang violence and domestic violence violated existing immigration laws. The Government has to bring back to the US anyone deported based on the Sessions decision. This is a huge victory for immigration practitioners and for victims of domestic and gang violence
Sometimes, it appears, I do more than immigration. In this case, I introduced two guys, both immigration clients who lived in the same city. I thought they had a lot in common and could become friends. One of them was married, the other one, the loner, had simply worked since he got to the US and not built any meaningful ties other than his extremely successful business. These guys met. The married fellow introduced the other one to his sister. She is a green card holder. It was love at first sight. They came to see me, madly in love. Neither one of them had had much luck in love before and this meeting was euphoric. They live together and even have a dog. They are getting married, and while at it, my client will resolve his immigration situation and will be able to get his green card. So all will end well, and they will live happily ever after, I am sure!!
In one of our cases, we have an immigration client who filed for her green card through an immigration law known as The Violence Against Women’s Act. This client was married to USC with significant mental health issues. She was terrified by him. She stayed in the marriage because she was afraid to leave the marriage when she had no immigration status in the US. Her husband was institutionalized several time for suicidal inclinations and violent outburst. Despite that she, like many similarly situated people felt hopeless and desperate. Her choice seemed to be to stay in the abusive marriage in which her life was threatened, especially when her husband slept with a hatchet under his bed, or leave the marriage and save her live, but most likely never get immigration status and be deported. After consulting with us, she learned that she could file under VAWA. She did so, and we succeeded in not only getting her a green card, but most likely saving her life. Sadly this brings to mind a similar situation in which a potential client, contacted me from Chicago to ask for immigration assistance in a situation in which she was married to an abusive husband. She was a talented and highly educated person. Her husband became more and more possessive and jealous and abusive. The police prosecuted him and confiscated his guns. When she called me, she assured me she would she would move away from Chicago to a safe place. I told her TPO’s cannot protect you from someone who wants to kill you. She moved with friends to Milwaukee. When we didn’t hear back from her for a few weeks, I googled her name, to learn that her husband found her and hacked her to death with a hatchet. If you are an illegal immigrant and are in an abusive marriage to a US citizen or green card holder, be sure to consult a lawyer about leaving that marriage and filing for a green card under this wonderful law that seeks to protect you. This applies to both men and women seeking immigration status.
For the past 15 years I have both the honor and privilege of working with immigration clients from around the globe. It is through my immigration work here at Svetlana Schreiber & Associates that I have come face to face with the hardships, trials, and tribulations that our immigration clients and their families face on a daily basis. Their escape from terrible sufferings in their home countries, to being hounded in the US while all they are looking for is a chance to live safely and hopeful to obtain green cards, or some other form of permission to stay here permanently, safe from the harrowing dangers of their own countries.
The recent immigration raid in Sandusky, Ohio was no exception. A news story which only existed in print for most folks, directly affected me in my work and tragically showed me again, the direct impact of such raids on our clients, and on their families.
One such client’s father was arrested by ICE two days after his High School graduation. He is only 18 years old and on DACA. When he and his family came crying into our office we immediately set out to help them. His future of going to college in August was in limbo. The family used all his college savings to help pay his father’s bond and help support his mother and two younger siblings. He started working 17 hours a day to make sure he was keeping up with their monthly bills. His family, friends, pastor and local church members worked hard to get us the documents needed to get the father out on bond. This was a community that came together to help each other. This is the American way. As I sat with him in my office I reassured him that we would get through this together and his dream of going to college was in reach. Our office was successful in getting his father a bond. We hope that we will be able to help this family immigrate and get green cards.
Svetlana Schreiber & Associates
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- About Immigration
Lawyer Svetlana Schreiber interviewing a couple at Palomares Social Justice Center.
We are a law firm with expertise in all areas of immigration law, ranging from business and family based immigration to asylum and deportation.
Immigration Attorneys at Svetlana Schreiber and Associates - help immigrants and employers across the world obtain work visas (H-1B, H-2B, B-1, H-1C, H-3, L-1), visitor visas (B-2, J-1), family visa (H-4, F-2, J-2), student visas (F-1, M-1, J-1), healthcare visa (h3B, h3C, O-1, or TN).
We also prepare green card applications including PERM labor certifications, I-130, I-140, I-370, I-485, and handle U.S. citizenship applications, Asylum/Refugee, BCIS Representation and Consular Practice.
The office of Svetlana Schreiber & Associates announces that the recent Supreme Court decision, striking DOMA, has resulted in allowing same sex couples the privilege to pursue all the immigration benefits available to heterosexual couples. So if you are in a long term relationship and plan on getting married, please contact us to discuss your immigration options. You may also be able to use your same sex relationship to qualify for other immigration benefits, such as visa based on domestic abuse, or waivers proving hardship to your US spouse, or U visa, if a family member was victim of a crime. Call us for a free conference.
Remember, we are in Painsville Tuesday and Thursdays and on Saturdays by appointment. Call 216-621-7292 to get more information.
We have Arabic, Romanian, Spanish, German, French, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, Russian, Hindi, Urdu, Maithili, Bangla, Macedonian, Serbo Croatian, Albanian and Hebrew speaking staff.
We also have offices in Cleveland Ohio, New York , Toronto Canada, Bucharest Romania, Tel Aviv Israel.
The firm of Svetlana Schreiber & Associates, LPA is committed to the practice of Immigration and Nationality Law. With an office in Cleveland, Ohio, and associates in Toronto, Ontario and Bucharest, Romania, the firm is well on its way to becoming one of the premier firms practicing exclusively in the area of immigration law.
The scope of the firm's clientele varies from students, investors, executives, managers, researchers and professors, to companies interested in hiring highly technical and professional personnel. The firm's corporate clientele ranges from small businesses to large multi-national corporations. Svetlana Schreiber & Associates, LLP provides a variety of immigration services for these businesses, including H-1B temporary work visas for professionals, L-1 visas for intracompany transfers, labor certifications and I-9 compliance.
The firm also represents individuals and families in seeking political asylum, aliens in deportation proceedings, and individuals interested in obtaining lawful permanent residency (ie. "green cards") for themselves or family members.
Immigration law is highly specialized and technical and is constantly changing. We stay abreast of these changes and provide creative solutions to assist individuals and companies with all their immigration needs.
The attorneys at Svetlana Schreiber & Associates, LPA maintain the highest standards of quality and ethics. It is the firm's goal to remain accessible and forthright to all its clients, and the firm gains the respect of its clients through the diligence and hard work of its attorneys.
We care deeply about our clients. The staff is constantly reminded that our clients have "placed their lives in our hands" and "our work is to save our clients' lives". Simply put, "we are a law firm with heart". We are more like a team, and like a team each member has a special realtionship and role to play in regards to each file. If one team member makes an error, the entire team suffers. Most importantly, each and every staff member was hired and became part of this team because they have the special quality of "compassion". The staff is encouraged to work overtime to make sure that each client's file gets the time and attention necessary to bring their case to a successful conclusion.
How can our Immigration Attorneys help you?
U.S. Immigration lawyers deal with issues relating to foreign nationals who come to this country either temporarily or permanently, including the associated legal rights, duties, and obligations of aliens in the United States. Immigration attorneys also deal with the application processes and procedures involved with naturalization of foreign nationals who wish to become U.S. citizens, as well as deal with legal issues relating to people who are refugees or asylees.
Our attorneys routinely support clients in the matters of non immigrant visas especially for workers coming to the United States to perform temporary service or labor. We assist clients on several other visa matters like, students and trainee visas, visitors for business, visitors for pleasure, exchange visitors, and trainee visas. We routinely communicate with various agencies specially State Workforce Agencies, J agencies, Department of Labor, USCIS, Department of State etc.
Also our lawyers deal with VAWA matters and Religious Workers visas and also assist clients in adjustment of status applications, asylum applications, removal defenses, 10 year and 3 year cancellation applications and other related matters.
If you or a family member is interested in living in the United States, you may need someone who can help you understand U.S. immigration laws and who can help you to apply for legal status .