A green card changes everything

After four years of delay, “Abdi” (left) finally received his Green Card. Pictured with his ReWA attorney, Oksana Bilobran.
“Congratulations on receiving your Green Card!” “Abdi” had waited four years to hear these words, anxiously checking his mail box and repeatedly meeting with his ReWA immigration attorney, Oksana. Abdi and his family arrived from Somalia as refugees in 2014 and after one year he was eligible to apply for a Green Card. But a process that usually takes six months dragged on for four years as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) made numerous document requests —far more than is normal, according to Oksana. Without a Green Card, Abdi had to renew his work permit each year, but sometimes it would expire while he waited for renewal. On more than one occasion these delays cost him his job, and with a growing family at home, many sleepless nights. Oksana said, “My job is to help ReWA clients navigate this process, push back when the agencies overstep their authority and to make sure our clients’ rights are protected.” Oksana successfully argued that the USCIS request was “overbroad and unreasonable” since the client already met the eligibility requirements according to the law. In the end, the USCIS dropped the case and issued the Green Cards for Abdi, his wife and children. Now, Abdi is master of his destiny. His grin says it all.  Learn more about ReWA’s Citizenship Program.