I-130 For Adopted Child of Green Card Applicant
- Petitioner: Yunji
- Beneficiary: Yunji’s Adopted Daughter, Mei Li
- Applying for: Petition to Include Adopted Daughter onto I-130/IR-2 U.S. Citizenship
- Nationality: Taiwan
- Yunji has already been approved for her visa, but when she applied, she hadn’t adopted her daughter yet. Now she must get her daughter approved as well
- The USCIS transferred Yunji’s application to the National Benefits Center where it languished in delays
- If the delays at the NBC are too long, Mei Li may become too old and thusly ineligible of receiving benefits as Yunji’s daughter
Yunji was ready to move away from her homeland in Asia. She applied for an American visa so she could start a new life overseas. She waited many years for her approval, but while the bureaucracy took its time processing her application, life continued to move on. At home, Yunji was very close to her sister’s family. Some years ago, her sister had married a man that Yunji never approved of. Yunji’s sister had two children and when Yunji met the eldest daughter Mei Li, it was like she had met an old friend she had known from long ago. Yunji looked after Mei Li as she grew up and when Mei Li’s parents were fighting, Mei Li would come to Yunji’s house to hide from the quarreling that festered in her homestead.
One day, the fighting came to a stop; Yunji’s sister demanded a divorce from her husband. He spitefully obliged and once the divorce was final, he left town and took all of his possessions with him, leaving Mei Li’s family without a place to live or a dollar to their name. Yunji invited the family to stay with her, although their home was small and most of them would have to sleep on blankets spread out on the floor, they were grateful to have a roof over their head.
Mei Li’s mother was able to get a job shortly after but still, she couldn’t support two daughters with her modest income. She would never be able to give them a life that she wished she could. This is when Yunji and her sister had a difficult discussion. In the end, Yunji and her sister agreed that Mei Li, henceforth, would be Yunji’s daughter. Yunji and Mei Li were always close and Yunji had never had children of her own. Yunji would be happy to raise Mei Li as if she were her own; to feed her, love her, and give her the best life she could. They went to court and finalized all the paperwork, making Yunji and Mei Li officially mother and daughter.
However, this was when Yunji was approved for her American visa. On her original application, she never mentioned having a daughter, let alone a 15-year old teenager. Without having that on the form, she would be unable to bring Mei Li with her overseas. Yunji and Mei Li needed help if they were both to come to the United States. Yunji was worried that she was not going to be able to bring Mei Li with her until they came to Tsang and Associates.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
What needed to happen here should have been simple; Yunji and Mei Li needed to file an I-130/IR-2 petition that would include Yunji’s now-daughter in her visa. But what transpired is part of a fundamental problem of slow-moving bureaucracies and a lesson in persistence.
On September 7th, 2016, Tsang and Associates filed the necessary paperwork to have Mei Li included on the visa. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) sent Tsang a Request for Evidence (RFE) six months later. Tsang quickly replied with the evidence; a G-28, an I-130, Petitioner’s Certificate of Naturalization, Petitioner and Beneficiary’s Household Registration, Decree of Ruling of Family Affairs from Taiwan Tainan local court confirming adoption and additional evidence to prove two-years of physical presence between the two of them. From the family photos and letters from Mei Li’s teachers, it was impossible to deny that Yunji was a doting and nurturing mother to her new daughter. Three months later, they receive notification that USCIS has transferred Yunji’s case to the National Benefits Center.
From this point, the case almost disappeared into the National Benefits Center. Despite their constant inquiry, they wouldn’t process her case due to “workload factors”. But Tsang and Associates didn’t let up; they kept pressing knowing that they needed to keep these two individuals together. In 2017, they inquired every month. In 2018, they kept pushing, filing service requests, calling, e-mailing and inquiring but still they had not processed her petition.
By the dawn of 2019, Yunji was about to turn 19 years old. If the case went unapproved until 2021, Mei Li would be considered too old to be included on Yunji’s visa. They needed to get this done now because they were running out of time.
In April of 2019, Mei Li’s petition was finally approved. Yunji and Mei Li were astounded by Tsang and Associates’ persistence and could not be more grateful for their help. Now, she and her daughter Mei Li are living in California. They’ve only just arrived, so they’re not quite settled in their life yet, but Mei Li is looking at different colleges to attend and Yunji is starting that new life she dreamt of, all those years ago. They could not be happier the way their lives turned out.
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