Our News

A Brazilian pastor arrived in Cleveland as a tourist and was invited by a Portuguese church to stay on as a pastor to serve the Portuguese speaking community. The Boston church opened a branch in Cleveland. We were able to get the religious worker visa approved for our Brazilian pastor. We hope that the Church will continue to sponsor him for his green card.

Many of our clients enter the US by crossing the desert or river at the southern border. Such individuals have to return to their home country to get their green card if they are married to US citizens. If these people have been here for more than one year, they trigger a 10 year penalty to returning to the US. In such cases, we have to file a waiver to forgive the penalty. To succeed we have to prove hardship to the USC spouse. This is often difficult. However we have done this numerous times with a great rate of success. Most recently we were able to have the husband of a close friend of the office return to the US after being stranded in Mexico for 4 months. We were so happy.

The U visa is our favorite right now. It is available and will eventually result in a green card, for people who have been victims of certain crimes which they reported to the police. We were able to get our client released from jail, where he was held without bond pending his appeal. His wife had been the victim of a qualifying crime and had U visa approved. After the I visa is approved, you have to wait 3 years before you can apply for a green card. Our client is a derivative on his wife’s U visa, which according to recent guidelines allowed him to be released from Immigration Detention. He is now back to work and back to his family.
In another U visa case, our client was granted a green card numerous years after commencing his/her case.

In the current anti immigration environment, it is so nice to be able to report a good immigration result. We were deeply disappointed when we were unable to assist a close friend of the office who had married the love of her life, a foreigner. His visa was denied at the Consulate on Public Charge grounds. This recent anti immigration move by the Administration has created new obstacles for poorer people. All of a sudden it appeared to us that only rich people could marry and bring their spouses to the US. In our case, our US sponsor was deemed not to make enough money to sponsor her foreign spouse. A qualified joint sponsor was never a problem until now. Much to our chagrin, the Service refused to recognize our highly qualified joint sponsor. After an ardent fight with the consulate and with the assistance of Senator Portman, we were able to reverse the determination. The Consulate also changed its position on requiring us to refile the waiver. They have issued the immigrant visa. The foreign spouse is returning to the US within a week as a green card holder and the newly weds will live happily ever after.

The entire office celebrated the issuance of a bond to a client who was in Immigration custody for more than 4 months because of false criminal allegations. He has 5 children, one of whom is autistic. We were fortunate to have present at our trial one of the social workers overseeing the autistic child’s education. She cried during her entire testimony in support of our client’s extraordinary relationship with the autistic child. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Judge gave us a bond. His case is not yet finished but he is at home with his wife and children.

The U visa is an immigration path to green card, available to people who have been the victim of a crime. It requires that the crime be reported to the police and the police has to certify the incident, prior to the filing of the immigration papers work. It takes about 5 years from filing to approval of visa. After approval, the immigrant has to stay in U visa status for 3 years prior to filing for green card. I was on the phone with a Mexican girl the other day who told me that she was raped when she was 16 by a boy from school. She was invited to a party. The boy spiked her drink, took her out to his car, asked her to help him look for his home in the back seat. She was naïve. He locked the back doors with the child lock so she could not escape then raped her. She passed out, woke up in the hospital and was told what happened. So horrible. The U visa is a long immigration path, it takes roughly 8-10 years for a person on U visa to get a green card. In this case, we are able to get this person a green card through marriage so we don’t have to pursue the U visa. But I cannot imagine the permanent scars that this child bears as a result of a boys inhumanity. The U visa is a very good immigration path for those who were victims of crime.

One of our immigration lawyers was able to win a removal case, where the alien had divorced his Jordanian wife and married a US citizen, but then leaned from CIS that his divorce was fraudulent. His immigration case was made more complicated by the fact that he was now accused of misrepresentation. We had to get him a proper US divorce and refile his immigration case. In the end, the immigration attorney was able to persuade the immigration Judge that this alien was innocent of any intent to defraud the government. The failure to register the divorce was the misfeasance of his foreign lawyers. He now has a green card and his deportation case was permanently closed.

In a recent immigration case, one of our clients had a disorderly conduct conviction after we filed his citizenship. One of our attorneys was able to successfully argue that this disorderly conduct conviction and his prior criminal convictions did not constitute bad moral character and his citizenship application was approved. Sometimes hiring an immigration lawyer will make all the difference in the world.

In Grace vs. Whittaker, the Federal Court ruled that former Attorney General Sessions efforts to eradicate asylum claims based on gang violence and domestic violence violated existing immigration laws. The Government has to bring back to the US anyone deported based on the Sessions decision. This is a huge victory for immigration practitioners and for victims of domestic and gang violence

Sometimes, it appears, I do more than immigration. In this case, I introduced two guys, both immigration clients who lived in the same city. I thought they had a lot in common and could become friends. One of them was married, the other one, the loner, had simply worked since he got to the US and not built any meaningful ties other than his extremely successful business. These guys met. The married fellow introduced the other one to his sister. She is a green card holder. It was love at first sight. They came to see me, madly in love. Neither one of them had had much luck in love before and this meeting was euphoric. They live together and even have a dog. They are getting married, and while at it, my client will resolve his immigration situation and will be able to get his green card. So all will end well, and they will live happily ever after, I am sure!!

In one of our cases, we have an immigration client who filed for her green card through an immigration law known as The Violence Against Women’s Act. This client was married to USC with significant mental health issues. She was terrified by him. She stayed in the marriage because she was afraid to leave the marriage when she had no immigration status in the US. Her husband was institutionalized several time for suicidal inclinations and violent outburst. Despite that she, like many similarly situated people felt hopeless and desperate. Her choice seemed to be to stay in the abusive marriage in which her life was threatened, especially when her husband slept with a hatchet under his bed, or leave the marriage and save her live, but most likely never get immigration status and be deported. After consulting with us, she learned that she could file under VAWA. She did so, and we succeeded in not only getting her a green card, but most likely saving her life. Sadly this brings to mind a similar situation in which a potential client, contacted me from Chicago to ask for immigration assistance in a situation in which she was married to an abusive husband. She was a talented and highly educated person. Her husband became more and more possessive and jealous and abusive. The police prosecuted him and confiscated his guns. When she called me, she assured me she would she would move away from Chicago to a safe place. I told her TPO’s cannot protect you from someone who wants to kill you. She moved with friends to Milwaukee. When we didn’t hear back from her for a few weeks, I googled her name, to learn that her husband found her and hacked her to death with a hatchet. If you are an illegal immigrant and are in an abusive marriage to a US citizen or green card holder, be sure to consult a lawyer about leaving that marriage and filing for a green card under this wonderful law that seeks to protect you. This applies to both men and women seeking immigration status.

Christmas Miracle
Expedited I-130/601A waiver/Interview/green card
This lovely family was experiencing extreme hardship wince the wife’s diagnosis of stage II pancreatic cancer. The immigrant husband, had lived in the US for years. We were hired to do all the immigration work, including the filing of the immigrant visa petition and the preparation and filing of the I601 immigration waiver. Everything was ready to go to the NVC, when the wife was diagnosed with stage two Pancreatic cancer. We had seen too many people die too quickly after a pancreatic cancer diagnosis and we very much wanted this couple to have a Christmas miracle and get the husband’s immigrant visa and green card as soon as possible. Through congressional help, we were able to get him to Mexico, fingerprinted, photographed with medical completed and an interview within days. He had his interview on Dec. 20, and received his green card packet the next day. He was home for Christmas. His green card will arrive in the mail very soon. Congratulations!

We represented a client who had immigrated from Canada and then came to the US as an investor. He was married and had several children. He had sought many opinions as to how to convert his E visa to a green card and thus immigrate. He was most concerned about his older child’s ability to immigrate. This child would soon emancipate and thus lose immigration status. The family was planning on remaining in the US permanently. They had consulted many immigration lawyers about their immigration options and were disappointed by the responses. Upon consulting us, we proposed that the spouse, who was the E1 owner of the business sponsor the other spouse as an employee, as long as the spouse was qualified for the position. The entire family would then qualify for green cards as dependents of the employee. The application was successful and the each member of the family now has green card.

We represented a Mexican immigration client with the most dramatic history. Her mother brought her to the US in 1992 , when she was only 11 years old. Her mother’s efforts to immigrate her were thwarted when she was the victim of a violent crime when she was kidnapped and sexually abused. Her kidnapper took her back to Mexico in 1995. He is still in prison. She managed to return to the United States in 1998 at the age of 17 and has since that time struggled to find an immigration solution to her terrible ordeal. She now has a severely handicapped wheel chair bound child. We were especially proud to win her Non LPR Cancellation of Removal case based on the fact that she was the single parent of her severally disabled, wheelchair bound child. She now has a green card, and hopefully will one day be a US citizen.

Two of the immigration law clerks who have been with us for more than one year have passed the bar and are being sworn in tomorrow. Congratulations to Lindsay Cook and Joseph Mamari on being sworn in and becoming Ohio. Each will make a fine immigration lawyer. We are so excited to have them aboard!!

In this anti immigration climate, any win is cause for celebration, particularly thorny cases. We were happy to celebrate the receipt of a citizenship by our Hungarian client and his family. About 7 years ago we were asked to intercede in a case which another attorney had botched. We had very tight time constraints to resolve the immigration situations with the USDOL. Employment based immigration first goes through the US Department of Labor. A company can sponsor an immigrant based on an offer of employment. In such a case, the application cannot be filed by a company until the US department of labor certifies that the petition can proceed through the immigration process. After taking over this very complicated case from the other attorney, we were able to fix all the problems with the USDOL and obtain timely certification, thus allowing the application to proceed through the immigration system. The Hungarian couple was facing deportation and we were able to resolve their removal case and obtain permanent resident status, or green cards. Five years later, the couple came back to seek assistance with obtaining U.S. citizenship. Now, both have passed their naturalization test and have been sworn in as U.S. citizens.

Our office was able ot reunite a Yemeni couple and their children after fighting the case for 15 years. The US husband had filed an immigrant petition for his wife and children. The wife had told an inconsequential lie to the Consulate at their first interview in order to preserve family honor. This lie caused the Consulate to make an adverse finding in the case and kept couple living apart for fifteen years. After numerous petitions and arguments, and various DNA tests we were able to convince the Consul of the legitimacy of the case and have the immigrant visa approved. Now, couple can finally enjoy their life together here in the United States as spouse was finally able to enter on an immigrant visa and obtain her green card. The children accompanied the mother.

We had the privilege to assist an extremely kind woman who was seeking immigration relief for her 2 adopted Mexican children. We advised her that because she was a US citizen she could file a green card application for her children. She had adopted these children years earlier when their mother was deported. The children had been living with her for a few years when the adoption was completed and they were now attending high school. In adoption cases, the children have to be living with the adoptive parent in a legal relationship for two years prior to filing for immigration benefits. The mother had never obtained guardianship when she enrolled the children in public school and thus we faced the challenge of convincing the Immigration Service that the prior years should be recognized and not further delay these children’s green cards. We successfully argued that the school, as an agency of the state recognized her as a guardian and that formed the requisite legal relationship. The argument was accepted and the I-130 immigrant visa petition was approved. Our client and her children had to travel to Mexico for the green card interviews. During that trip they were able to visit with their biological mother and siblings, much to everyone’s joy. The children’s immigration cases were approved and they received their green cards upon returning to the US. They were able to immediately file for derivative citizenship through their US mother and next time they traveled to Mexico, they did so with US passports.

Our Uruguay immigration client was married to a US citizen who was a police officer. He came to see us, after he was placed in deportation proceedings because his US citizen wife, who had initiated the process asking for his green card, changed her mind, and told the Immigration Service that the marriage was a sham.

We were astonished that a police officer would admit to entering into a sham marriage, or commiting fraud. But we were futher alarmed that this police officer went as far as threatening her husband with her service revolver during a family dispute. Based on the threats and the abuse we were able to prove to the Immigration Service that our client was a victim of physical and psychological abuse were successful in helping him obtain a green card under a law known as The Violence Against Women Act, aka, VAWA. This law allows an immigrant get a green card if that person was in a bona fide marriage to either a US citizen or a green card holder and suffered physical, psychological or emotional abuse in the course of that marriage.


Early in the morning of June 5, while the Corso immigration raid was underway, Pastor Elvin of Templo Genesaret located in Fremont and Norwalk, Ohio called us asking for immigration assistance. By the end of the day 112 people were arrested. They were fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, parents and children, brothers and sisters.

We immediately responded and on the evening of June 6, a legal team from Svetlana Schreiber and Associates drove 11/2 hours to Norwalk to meet with the affected family members and try to explain the immigration impact of the raid. We were the first lawyers to respond. There were well over 150 terrified, tearful, heartbroken family members in attendance. We sat down with each and every family member and discussed the individual immigration consequences and immigration possibilities resulting from these arrests. We explained that most of the people arrested were bond eligible and as we carefully reviewed each case, we determined that many people had the possibility of legally immigrating and becoming green card holders. Late at night, when the meeting finally ended, people left looking much relieved. It was a privilege to bring hope to a very dark situation.

AILA members document their experiences on the ground as they offer pro bono services to Central American detainees at the family detention center in Dilley, Texas. To find out more information, visit AILA’s CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project webpage

The Supreme Court has found section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. That means that the Immigration Service and U.S. embassies and consulates will adjudicate visa applications that are based on a same-sex marriage in the same way that they adjudicate applications for opposite gender spouses. This means that the same sex spouse of a visa applicant coming to the U.S. for any purpose – including work, study, international exchange or as a legal immigrant – will be eligible for a derivative visa. A same-sex marriage is now valid for immigration purposes, as long as the marriage is recognized in the "place of celebration." The validity of a marriage will depend on whether it was legally valid in the place of celebration, rather than the place of domicile. A same-sex marriage is valid for immigration purposes even if the couple intends ultimately to reside in one of the 37 states that do not recognize same-sex marriages. The same-sex marriage is valid even if the applicant is applying in a country in which same-sex marriage is illegal. This would apply for same sex fiancé visas as well. Stepchildren acquired through same sex marriages can also qualify as beneficiaries or for derivative Lastly, foreign same sex spouses of US citizens who are the victims of domestic violence, and have suffered physical, emotional or psychological abuse can file for benefits under VAWA, and if successful, obtain a green card.

We opened a new office in Painesville, Ohio
1 Victoria Place Suite 144 Painesville, OH 44127, Phone:440-354-2993, Fax: 440-354-4005
We are in Painsville Tuesday and Thursdays and on Saturdays by appointment. Call 216-621-7292 to get more information.

The office of Svetlana Schreiber & Associates announces that the recent Supreme Court decision, striking DOMA, has resulted in allowing same sex couples the privilege to pursue all the immigration benefits available to heterosexual couples. So if you are in a long term relationship and plan on getting married, please contact us to discuss your immigration options. You may also be able to use your same sex relationship to qualify for other immigration benefits, such as visa based on domestic abuse, or waivers proving hardship to your US spouse, or U visa, if a family member was victim of a crime. Call us for a free conference. Remember, we are in Painsville Tuesday and Thursdays and on Saturdays by appointment. Call 216-621-7292 to get more information.

Immigration Judge granted permanent resident status (through NonLPR Cancellation of Removal) to a client from Mexico whose daughter was born here in the United States without an arm. Immigration Judge granted misrepresentation waiver to a client from Mexico, who lied about his prior history in the United States in order to obtain a visitor visa. After some bad luck with another attorney, succeeded to obtain permanent resident status for an HIV positive client after terminating deportation proceedings. Succeeded in obtaining permanent resident status for a client, who was told by several other attorneys that he would not be able to get permanent resident status because of his criminal history. Succeeded in having immigration proceedings terminated for a lawful permanent resident after his criminal attorney successfully reopened his criminal case because of substantial legal errors made in prior criminal proceedings. Succeeded in obtaining cancellation of removal for a lawful permanent resident after his criminal convictions were successfully overturned because of legal errors.

ICE granted our Request for Stay for our Chiapas client and released him from jail, temporarily ending our 4 month battle to secure his release. After his arrest by ICE, we learned that he had a deportation order from 1994. Our Motion to Reopen was denied by the Miami Immigration Court for being filed so many years after the order. An appeal to the BIA also failed. Kudos to ICE for granting this Stay and releasing him, clearly showing adherence to the new guidelines. We provided a complex psychological report which described in detail the ramifications to the 4 US children of our client in the event of his deportation. Another family reunited for Christmas. We are privileged to be able to do this work and to bring so much joy to clients.

We are proud to report the grant of a green card to our Romanian client who was subject to a 212 e home stay requirement because she had originally come to the US on a Fulbright on a J visa. These waivers are almost impossible to get. However in this case, careful planning together with the detailed work of our attorney made winning this case a reality (after this client was told by at least 5 other lawyers that she would have to go to Romania for the requisite 2 years and that getting the waiver was impossible).

Today an Egyptian family won its long fought deportation case. One of the members was granted a green card based on 3 year, VAWA cancellation. Another member was granted Withholding of Removal and the third member was granted asylum. This family had been in the US illegally for many years before being placed in proceedings. We would not have succeeded without the assistance of Middle East country conditions expert Shaul Gabbay.

Now we also serve Romanian Comunity in Chicago!

Tuesday of October 25th 2011, from 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM and
Wednesday 26th 2011 12:00 PM to 6:00PM we will be at the:
Romanian Heritage Center in the Chicago area
at: 7777 N. Caldwell Avenue, Suite 103 & 106
Niles, IL 60714
directions and some pictures at: www.Ro-Am.NET

The Cleveland Immigration Court granted ten year cancellation of removal to a Mexican mother of four United States Citizen children. The mother has resided in the United States since she was only fourteen years old. Most of family were already residing in the United States legally when she came to the United States. Her family has been her support system throughout the years. All of her children have health issues. She has very limited ties to Mexico today and, as she has lived the majority of her life in the United States, she knows very little about Mexico and its culture today. For these as well as other reasons, the judge granted ten year cancellation believing the children would suffer exceptional hardship in Mexico as the mother could not be able to provide for them there.

A Guatemalan father of a severely disabled child with a final order of removal was granted a stay by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The father is being released from ICE custody and will be under an Order of supervision. In granting the stay, ICE recognized the importance of allowing the father to remain in the United States for the sake of his disabled child. Our thanks goes out to all the ICE officers here in Cleveland for their compassion, understanding and hard work in this matter.