Pro Bono Client Receives Permanent U.S. Residency after a Seven-Year Wait

May 9, 2022

Pro bono client Ms. Y, who was previously the victim of human trafficking, received approval to become a lawful permanent resident in the United States.

Her journey through the U.S. immigration system began in January 2015, when she was granted a T-1 Visa in the United States as a victim of human trafficking. Though she then timely filed an application to become a lawful U.S. permanent resident, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) failed to make a determination on her application for nearly six years.  At the time she applied, the average processing time for this type of application was less than one year.

In September 2021, in partnership with Sanctuary for Families, a non-profit service provider and advocate for survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and related forms of gender violence, the S&C team filed a complaint in the Eastern District of New York seeking to compel the U.S. Attorney General, the Department of Homeland Security and USCIS to adjudicate her case. This action prompted USCIS to serve new requests for additional evidence in support of Ms. Y's application and finally—after seven years of waiting—her application to become a lawful permanent U.S. resident was approved.

The S&C team includes Lily Wang, Arnaud Camu, Joyce Lee, partner Tracy Richelle High and former summer associate James Jang, with Olivia Chalos and legal assistant Ah Jin Youn providing valuable assistance.