Last week marked the unofficial beginning of the holiday shopping season with Black Friday. I am not one to get carried away with braving the early morning chaos at the mall to score a good deal, but if you are or if you got all of your holiday shopping done already – bravo! I haven’t even started my shopping.
Although I don’t buy gifts for clients, I am helping one client get one of the best gifts of all for Christmas – her family together for the first time in 15 years.
Tina has been in the U.S. for 15 years and her U status was provisionally approved about 18 months ago.
Unfortunately, she was put on the wait list because USCIS had already given out the maximum 10,000 U visas for 2013. Since she wasn’t able to be given U status, she was placed in deferred action.
For her, living here in the United States, that wasn’t an issue since she was able to work legally, obtain a driver’s license, and live her life.
However, Tina has two sons in Mexico. They were listed as derivative applicants on her U application, but because the case was on the waitlist, they couldn’t be given U visas by the U.S. Embassy in Mexico. They had to wait for their mom to get off the waitlist and for new U visas to become available.
Tina was far enough back on the wait list that she didn’t make the cut-off for 2014, either. That meant another year apart from her boys.
Finally, just a few weeks ago, we found out that Tina was taken off the waitlist and was granted actual U status. This means very little for her here in the United States, but it makes all the difference for her sons in Mexico.
When I told Tina she was finally granted U status, her first question wasn’t about herself, but “Does this mean I can have my family together for Christmas?”
The timing will be close, but I think we can do it.
Her sons will go through the non-immigrant visa process and schedule appointments for their interviews at the U.S. Embassy. If everything goes as planned, it should take about two weeks for them to have their U visas in hand.
So, Tina, I don’t want to jinx anything, but I’m hoping we can get you the Christmas present you’ve been dreaming of for 15 years – your sons here for the holidays.