As a green card holder for twenty years I made the mistake of staying out of the US for over two years due to circumstance. I was not aware at the time that there were petitions you could file if planning on staying out for over a year so when the time came for me to start planning my return I knew I needed to enlist the help of an immigration lawyer. Caro Kinsella was recommended though a friend in Ireland and after mailing here she informed me that she was gong to be in Ireland for a conference and that we should meet up.
Once I explained my case to her and gave her what relevant paperwork and other info she needed it became clear that I may have a tough fight ahead of me because as far as USCIS are concerned I abandoned my green card by staying out of the USCIS for over two years. I was also hoping to return in quite a short period time after we met so things needed to move fast.
I pulled all the info she requested – affidavits, references etc and she built a case for me which I presented to immigration upon returning to the US. They deferred me for an interview with an immigration officer in San Francisco and after reviewing my case he was convinced that I had good reasons for not returning to the US during the time in question. He told me that I had put a good case together and was impressed with the memo that had been drawn up by Caro.
I would like to also just say that this all happened during the holiday season and there were a couple of times that I needed to speak with someone in the office even though they were closed for Christmas and the New Year. Caro took my calls despite being on vacation and was helpful in advising me how to next proceed with them.
I just received my new green card and apart from learning a valuable lesson I have no doubt that I would not be in this position had it not been for the assistance from Caro. I now that all cases don’t end up with an outcome like mine. I’m glad I enlisted the help I did.
Freddie Kirk– Dublin, Ireland