Humanitarian Hope for Beneficiaries of Approved Immigrant Petitions Cancelled by the Consulate
By Anish Vashistha
Los Angeles , CA
A common problem among Pakistani citizens who are beneficiaries of immigrant petitions filed by their family members is the failure of these beneficiaries to register with the US Consulate within approximately one year following the approval of the immigrant petition. Many times, such a failure to register is caused by family or professional concerns that require a beneficiary to remain in Pakistan longer than previously anticipated. Such concerns may lead to the beneficiary’s postponing of the registration process or neglecting the timely registration requirement.
Despite these understandable reasons for failing to register in a timely manner with the US Consulate, the immigrant petitions for such beneficiaries are automatically revoked and the beneficiary’s eligibility for the immigrant visa is terminated. On rare occasions, these cancelled petitions may be reinstated but only within one year of cancellation of the petition if good cause is shown. In most cases, the cancelled immigrant petition can no longer be a basis for the beneficiary to obtain an immigrant visa or a Green Card.
Such consequences can be very harsh for beneficiaries who have waited several years to become eligible to obtain an immigrant visa based on their family members’ immigrant petitions. Many times, these beneficiaries are advised simply to have the US-based family member file a new immigrant petition, but such a process can require several more years of waiting. For example, the filing of a new petition by a US citizen for his/her sibling requires more than a decade of additional waiting before the beneficiary can obtain an immigrant visa.
Cancellation of an immigrant petition is particularly burdensome for older or disabled beneficiaries who are not receiving adequate care in Pakistan. These individuals oftentimes require the attention of US-based family members and cannot otherwise receive appropriate medical assistance. Furthermore, because of their age or disability, such individuals are ineligible for any other type of visa to the US.
Nevertheless, despite their ineligibility for a visa, such individuals may be able to enter the US on a humanitarian basis. The US may permit the entry of any individual who is otherwise inadmissible if such entry is due to urgent humanitarian reasons. Such reasons include treatment of a medical condition for which the individual cannot receive proper treatment in his/her home country and other similar circumstances. Although the individual’s entry to the US is granted on a temporary basis, the individual’s stay can be extended without having to depart the US. At the very least, the individual may be able to stay with his/her family in the US while waiting for the priority date of a newly filed immigrant petition to become current.
These individuals’ US-based family members should look into obtaining such humanitarian relief for them. Such relief would not only assist the individual in obtaining the attention he/she requires but also relieves the individuals’ family members in the US from attempting to care for the individual from the other side of the world.
(The author is a licensed attorney with a nationwide immigration-law practice. He is a graduate from Georgetown University Law Center and Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He has helped several Pakistani nationals obtain or maintain legal status in the United States. He may be contacted toll-free at 1 (866) 433-7016 or by email at Anish@HazanyLaw.com)