(COLUMBUS, OH, 11/7/19) – The Columbus, Ohio, chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Columbus) announced today the successful resolution of a lawsuit against the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad for unreasonably delaying an immigrant visa for the Pakistani husband of a U.S. citizen.
Irum, a U.S. citizen, met Ahmad in Lahore, Pakistan in 2013. They got married in 2016. The couple filed the appropriate applications immediately thereafter. The USCIS approved their petition, and the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad interviewed Ahmad. However, his visa application was put on “administrative processing” without any further explanation.
Three years passed without Ahmad receiving his immigrant visa, forcing him and his wife to live apart. The couple contacted the embassy dozens of times pleading with them to process Ahmad’s application.
The family also contacted the office of their congressional representative to seek help in expediting the visa processing. However, none of these efforts were successful. The U.S. Embassy gave no guidance as to why the application was not being processed.
For three years, the couple put their lives and careers on hold and faced significant financial strain as Irum had to frequently travel to Pakistan to spend time with her husband.
In desperation, the family contacted CAIR-Columbus to seek assistance in this matter. CAIR-Columbus filed a federal mandamus lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State in order to force the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad to process the application.
The lawsuit was successfully resolved three months later with Ahmad receiving his visa, which finally allowed him to travel to the U.S. and reunite with his wife.
“Nobody should be forced to be away from their spouse for years for no legitimate reason. Immigration benefits should not be held hostage, and no one should be forced to resort to lawsuits to obtain a benefit which is their legal right,” said their attorney Romin Iqbal of CAIR-Columbus.
The couple said that they are extremely indebted to CAIR-Columbus because their long ordeal is finally over and they are now ready to move on with their lives.
Muslims in Ohio who are facing similar delays are urged to contact CAIR-Columbus for assistance by filing an incident report online.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
The CAIR-Ohio Affiliate has three chapters – Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati.
CONTACT: CAIR-Columbus Executive Director Romin Iqbal, Esq., 614-783-7953, firstname.lastname@example.org