From Grief to Green Card: Obtaining U.S. Residency in Unforeseen Tragedy


Mourning the loss of a beloved family member is incredibly difficult. And it is made even harder when your dream of a green card may be lost too. But all hope may not be lost. Reeves Immigration Law Group was recently able to obtain green cards for a client and family in the wake of their personal tragedy.

How far would you go for the American Dream? Would you be willing to push past grief, sorrow, and unexpected tragedy? This was the case for a recent client of Reeves Immigration Law Group, who we will refer to as “Anthony” to protect his privacy.

With the help of Attorneys Devin Connolly and Geoffrey Lamoureux, Anthony’s unfavorable narrative turned into a story of victory and triumph. Anthony, along with his wife and two sons, were able to obtain permanent resident status in the United States (green cards) despite unbelievably challenging circumstances.

Anthony and his family were petitioned by Anthony’s U.S. citizen father. The family dreamed on one day soon being reunited in the United States. Unfortunately, though, Anthony’s father unexpectedly passed away before Anthony and his family were issued their immigrant visas. Due to this tragic circumstance, the entire course of Anthony’s impending green card became derailed.

In the event that a petitioner passes away prior to the beneficiary being granted permanent resident status, the petition is automatically revoked. Following this automatic revocation, the beneficiary typically must apply for Humanitarian Reinstatement if they want the petition to be reinstated. This is a discretionary form of relief which is designed to reinstate the petition on humanitarian grounds. However, the harsh reality is that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services can sometimes be merciless in cases of Humanitarian Reinstatement. They deny many of these requests, in addition to frequently taking a significant amount of time to reach a decision.

Anthony was aware of all the above, and so in the wake of his father’s death, he thought things were hopeless for himself and his family and their American dreams. Nevertheless, he called Reeves Immigration Law Group amongst juggling the bereavement of losing his father, as well as the fleeting hope of still obtaining a green card.

Attorney Connolly was able to introduce Anthony to a window of hope after all. First, Attorney Connolly had a long discussion about Humanitarian Reinstatement and what it takes to be successful. Attorney Connolly explained that our firm has indeed had many successful Humanitarian Reinstatement cases, but he still suggested an alternative route giving the particular facts of Anthony’s case.

Attorney Connolly told Anthony about Section 204(l) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which was enacted slightly over a decade ago. This clause serves as a beacon of hope for those enduring circumstances as detrimental as Anthony’s, as it allows people an alternative to requesting Humanitarian Reinstatement. Since Anthony was residing in the U.S. at the time of his father’s death and was still residing in the U.S., Attorney Connolly suggested that Anthony and family file applications for adjustment of status along with a request for Anthony’s father’s petition to be reinstated under on Section 204(l) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

The challenging part, however, was going to be establishing that Anthony and his family resided in the U.S. at the time of Anthony’s father’ death since they had only entered the U.S. a short time before his passing. But Attorney Lamoureux made a brilliant legal argument that clearly showed how Anthony and his family met the requirements of Section 204(l). Attorney Lamoureux’ brief was supported by relevant case law as it applied to Anthony’s case. Due to Attorney Lamoureux’ ability to make Anthony’s case favorable in the eyes of the powers that be, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services granted Anthony and family their green cards!

It is the grace, compassion, and aptitude of the attorneys at Reeves Immigration Law Group that allow for miraculous decisions – even in the case of unforeseen tragedy.


Los Angeles

(626) 795-6777

San Francisco

(415) 568-3777

Walnut Creek

(925) 310-5080


+011 (632) 8-651-6530


WeChat (微信) - yimin7788