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US immigration support case study

A family reunited after a near-decade-long struggle

A Freshfields pro bono team has helped secure the long-awaited reunion of our client and her son, who had been separated for nearly 10 years.

They last saw each other in 2011, when our client left the Philippines to work for a family in Qatar. Upon her arrival, she had her passport and employment contract taken away from her, was forced to work under difficult conditions and was unable to return home.

In 2013, the employer family brought our client with them to the US under false pretences. Upon arrival, she once again had her passport taken from her. In January 2014, our client eventually managed to escape and fled to New York City, where she has been living ever since.

With help from Sanctuary for Families, Freshfields successfully obtained status for our client in the US and obtained a US visa for her son.

However, while our client’s son was originally scheduled to arrive in New York in March 2020, his travel was cancelled due to COVID-19.

After several months of uncertainty, in July, our client and her son were happily reunited at JFK Airport in New York. After getting home with her son, our client sent us the following text message to thank us: ‘I’m so very happy. This is the greatest thing that’s happened in my life. Again thank you very much.’

We now look forward to assisting our client’s son in applying for an employment authorization document.

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