After NYAC-JFON moved to reopen the case, Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) recently approved a family
petition that a mother from Ghana filed on behalf of her daughter. In 2009, CIS granted a nearly
hopeless family petition (I-130) that the mother’s US citizen stepdaughter had
filed on her behalf. The mother lives in
a homeless shelter. The mother sought help at NYAC-JFON clinic at Chinese United Methodist Church.
She had been represented by a private attorney who filed a previous family petition that failed to prove the existence of the step relationship. The prior petition also failed to establish that customary marriages are lawful in Ghana and should be recognized as legitimate under US Immigration law. In lieu of filing an appeal of the I-130, NYAC-JFON re-filed the I-130, this time with a letter from a foreign law specialist at the US Library of Congress, citations to Ghana law, and detailed affidavits from family members in Ghana to vouch that the petitioner was the biological daughter of a man who took part in a customary marriage ceremony with our client in 1961.
NYAC-JFON had to provide the same volume of evidence to obtain approval of the daughter’s petition since CIS generally deems Ghanaian Birth Certificates to be untrustworthy. NYAC-JFON successfully represented the mom on a prior petition on behalf of the mom’s other daughter two years ago.
Both daughters’ petitions are now approved but subject to lengthy waits before their priority dates become current and they are allowed to immigrate.