SUCCESSFUL REENTRY INTO THE U.S. CASE

Applicant: Mr. Khatri*

Nationality: India

Applying for: Reentry Permit & Reissuance of Permanent Resident Card/Status

Agency: Custom Border Patrol (CBP)

Challenges: Danger of Abandoning Permanent Residency Status

Out of the United States for over 2 years

Never resided in the United States

Did not even know he was permanent resident

Background

Mr. Khatri had applied for lawful permanent resident status through his wife, from whom he subsequently became estranged while on an extended, eight-year stay in a foreign country for an employment opportunity. Unbeknownst to Mr. Khatri, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had approved his application and granted permanent resident status, while he was abroad; unfortunately, due to a breakdown in communication with his estranged wife, Mr. Khatri was not aware of his newly-granted legal status back in the United States, and, as more than a year had passed since his approval as a lawful permanent resident, he was considered by USCIS to have abandoned his permanent resident status.

While abroad, Mr. Khatri consulted with many immigration attorneys, who all wrote him off and turned him away as a hopeless and lost case, assuring him that, if he attempted to fly into the United States, his encounter with immigration officers at the airport would only serve to validate the revocation of his lawful permanent resident status, and he would be immediately sent back to the country from which his flight originated. In 2017, Mr. Khatri was able to obtain a visitor visa to make a trip to the U.S., yet oblivious to the fact that he was an approved lawful permanent resident of the U.S. and that his permanent resident card would have sufficed to gain entry into the country.

One of the circumstances surrounding his case that complicated matters for Mr. Khatri most was that his marriage had fallen apart while he was employed abroad for eight years, and his now-estranged wife, who was living in the U.S., withheld critical information relevant to Mr. Khatri’s lawful resident status. Given that Mr. Khatri had been residing outside of the country for so many years, and without having established domicile in the U.S., according to the law, he was considered to have forfeited his status as a lawful permanent resident. Finding himself in this legal predicament but clinging onto the last hint of hope that there could still be a satisfactory legal resolution to his case, Mr. Khatri conducted some bit of research online to find an attorney that could take on his case and give substance to his hope. It was then that he landed on the page of Tsang and Associates and decided to contact the office for a consultation on his case.

Keys to Success

Tsang and Associates recognizes that there is always more to a case than meets the eye and more to the facts of a case than what is presented at face value. This case was no different.

After discussing the case with Mr. Khatri over the phone for a number of hours, and upon further review (including checking with the USCIS system), it was then discovered that Mr. Khatri had, in fact, received his permanent resident card through his estranged wife years before, at which point in time she kept the card from him – and, with it, knowledge about Mr. Khatri’s approved status as a lawful permanent resident – and never so much as attempted to communicate with Mr. Khatri about the newest developments in the application process for lawful permanent resident status.

The goal for Mr. Khatri, now, was to return to the U.S. and petition to have his permanent resident card reissued and replaced. To accomplish this, we had to conduct extensive and exhaustive research on all relevant aspects of Mr. Khatri’s life, in order to compile a comprehensive package that demonstrated with strong proof, among other things: that his intention was not to relinquish his status as a lawful permanent resident of the U.S.; that his lack of knowledge regarding his approved status as a lawful permanent resident was directly due to the lack of communication that resulted from conflicts with his wife and an ensuant breakdown in his marriage; that he had solid, unequivocal, and irrefutable ties to the U.S., including having laid the financial and administrative groundwork for himself as part of his plans to make contributions to the U.S. as a dutiful, law-abiding, productive member of American society; that chief among his various ties to the U.S. were his family ties (given that his sister, an American citizen, and his parents, both lawful permanent residents, all were long-time residents of the U.S.) and his employment ties with Motel 6, having held a position as manager for the motel chain once before.

In addition to putting together this detailed case package, we also prepared Mr. Khatri for his one-way trip back to the U.S. from the country in which he had been temporarily employed. We scheduled many sessions over the phone, in order to practice how he should present himself to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers upon arrival at the airport. With the package we compiled, we provided Mr. Khatri with the pertinent documents demonstrating, in no uncertain terms, his full intention to remain in the U.S., along with a keenly persuasive letter that he was to hand over to CBP officers, explaining that his reentry into the U.S. and reinstatement of his Green Card should not be denied due to having suffered a personal, marital conflict, and that penalizing him would jeopardize his ability to fulfill his dream and would sacrifice his best intentions.

Outcome

Upon his arrival at the airport, Mr. Khatri was questioned in a meeting with a CBP officer for three hours. There was so much at stake for Mr. Khatri in this one meeting held not in a courtroom but in a small dark room in an airport, one meeting held not before a judge or in front of a panel of decision-makers, and not with a lawyer present, but only with one CBP officer, getting ready to make a decision that would prove to be life-changing for Mr. Khatri. Along with all the heartache and hope that hung in the balance, if his reentry was not approved and lawful permanent resident status not reinstated, he risked having left his prior country of residence and quit his job of eight years in that country all in vain, and he would have simply slipped through the cracks of justice, with no chance for an appeal.

Once the officer thoroughly reviewed the package that we had prepared for Mr. Khatri and after rigorously questioning Mr. Khatri, who answered the officer’s questions to his satisfaction, the officer made the decision to approve Mr. Khatri’s reentry into the U.S., putting him on the path to regain his card, designating him a lawful permanent resident.

Conclusion

We, here at Tsang and Associates, recognize that cases like this particular one are rare; but we have also seen how it is too often the case that individuals who find themselves in the same predicament as Mr. Khatri found himself in are turned away by many attorneys who declare cases like Mr. Khatri’s to be sure losses, hopeless cases, or, simply put, cases that are dead on arrival. Nonetheless, we also fully understand that it is the essence of good lawyering, a genuine interest in helping individuals who slip through the cracks tell their stories, and the discipline of advocating for these individuals in order to produce the best results that truly brings cases like Mr. Khatri’s case back to life, finding their peace in a positive, satisfactory resolution.

 

*Name has been changed to protect client identity.