Andrew and Katya
"So I felt like Erick and the Passage
team really cared about making
sure that I was successful and
that they were really invested in
understanding, you know,
why I was applying,"
Aanna Farhang (0:00) - So Andrew, if you could please introduce yourself to listeners.
Andrew Savory (0:05) - Yeah, sure. My name is Andrew Savory and I'm originally from the United Kingdom.
Aanna (0:11) - And what was your case that you went through with Passage?
Andrew (0:15) - Passage helped me with an immigration case, getting… What was it called? Permanent residence visa, I guess.
Aanna (0:30) - So you got your green card, correct? That's it?
Andrew (0:32) - That's what it's called. Yes. Yeah.
Aanna (0:35) - I think it's an adjustment of status, right?
Andrew (0:39) - That's right. I originally had a visa through my employer to give me permission to work in the us. And but the reason I came to the U.S. was to marry my wonderful wife. And so after we did that, we decided it probably made sense to apply for a change of status. And she sponsored me as my spouse to get my green card.
Aanna (1:05) - So I'm wondering, did you have any other experience with any other lawyers before you decided to go with Passage?
Andrew (1:11) - Yes, I did. Unfortunately. Yes. So my first experience was working through my company to, to or my employer to get my, my original visa application done. And that was incredibly painful compared to working with Passage.
Aanna (1:29) - Well, could you maybe describe an overview of why it was so painful?
Andrew (1:34) - Yeah, absolutely. So it was all done via mostly via their online portal, which really wasn't very good. And then an awful lot of back and forth fire email, which mostly seemed to be me chasing them, telling them what probably needed to happen next, which was very, very bizarre. And they were very slow to respond. They were very impersonal. And yeah, they seem to be on a mission to generate as much paperwork as they possibly could. Which, you know, working with Erick was completely opposite. Erick was very personable. The whole team at Passage was super helpful. And it was much more of a focus on how could they help me through the journey rather than how much paperwork they could generate.
Aanna (2:32) - Yeah. So we talked a little bit about what was difficult working with a different firm, but also what do you think was difficult just working with the U.S. immigration system? What made it difficult to navigate?
Andrew (2:44) - Well I'm an IT professional and I spend a lot of time focusing on small details. So when I saw the process that I needed to follow to go through the us immigration process, I felt pretty confident in my ability to complete the paperwork and actually submit something. But after doing a first pass, it was just a staggering amount of information that was needed. And an awful lot of it seemed to be very oriented towards, you know, a paper process rather than a more easy online process. And I took my my, my working, my, what I'd worked out to, to Erick and said, you know, how does this look in the initial consultation. And he was super nice and super helpful and just said, well you know this, this is okay, but there are a few things that I would probably recommend any, you gave me lots of really, really great pointers. At that point I figured, well, you know, I could probably carry on on my own. But it was clear that he knew exactly how the process should work, everything that needed to be done and I figured it was worth it for peace of mind to make sure that everything works properly to, to to, to work with Passage.
Aanna (4:07) - So I guess to sort of sum it up the lesson from that was that even for a detail oriented person, it's a lot to handle by yourself, like with such a sensitive topic around getting your green card.
Andrew (4:21) - Absolutely. And, and it's just, it would have been incredibly stressful to have to deal with the back and forth with the U.S. customs and immigration service. They actually, you know, once we submitted the paperwork came back with a couple of requests for clarification, and I think if I'd have done all of that myself, I would have been a nervous wreck when I got those. But the team of Passage were fantastic. Again, they just said, oh, you know, that's totally standard. That's nothing to worry about. It means, your case is being looked into, you know, just send us over this and then we'll get it sent off to them. And that was, it was just really reassuring to have them that.
Aanna (5:07) - So you've been touching on this a little bit about the ways Passage helped you, could you maybe sum it up in a few points, just like a few quick points?
Andrew (5:18) - Yeah. Expert guidance. They coached me at every stage on what to expect. They ensured that there were no surprises and they allowed me to relax and focus on, you know, my, my day job and stop worrying about the process and for all of those things, I would work with them again every time
Aanna (5:58) - With all of the paperwork that immigration cases generate. What would you hope to change about the immigration system if you had the chance?
Andrew (6:08) - If I was to, if I had a magic wand there is a lot of duplication, a lot of the information that was submitted as part of the green card process was already some should already have been somewhere in the system as a result of my initial work visa. So there's a lot of duplication there. And I guess just like, it seemed archaic that we were completing endless bits of paper, filling out endless forms rather than just doing it all online and submitting it that way.
Aanna (6:50) - Related to sort of the personability you've talked about with Erick, was it different to have a smaller community-based firm rather than the more corporate firm I think you dealt with before? Right?
Andrew (7:05) - Yeah. So it was, it was night and day. So I felt like Erick and the Passage team really cared about making sure that I was successful and that they were really invested in understanding, you know, why I was applying. I met with my wife, they, you know, we had some really good conversations. And they, they just genuinely seem to want to make sure that they got to the right outcome with me with the large legal firm that my employer had retained previously, it was completely impersonal. I got the impression they had no concern either way on whether the process was successful. They would just, you know, billable hours and probably be built by the number of sheets of paint they generated.
Aanna (8:00) - And finally, just to the people who are watching, who are currently going through immigration processes of their own, or who are potentially gonna hire Passage or other law firms to help them with the process what would you advise them to on how to get through some of the challenges that you faced?
Andrew (8:19) - My first bit of advice would be don't hesitate to reach out to Passage. Don't hesitate to work with, with some, I can't say enough about how, how much they made the process easier. And, you know, if you got any questions. I had some questions around, in a change of address and things like that. When you're working with Passage their, you know, a quick email response away and it's just really great to have that level of support compared to the days or sometimes weeks, it would take a large company to.
Aanna (8:57) - And do you have anything else to add? You don't have to feel like you have to say something else. I just want to leave the space for you if you need to say anything else.
Andrew (9:09) - I think it was just, it's been really nice seeing all of the, you know, the weekly or monthly updates that come out from Passage. You know, since I signed up with them, it's really cool to see the announcements of all of the other people that they've been helping. And it makes me feel like I'm part of a small and very lucky group of people who've been helped by Passage. And I look forward to that group getting into a large amount of time.
Aanna (9:42) - Thank you so much, Andrew, for your Time.
Andrew (9:44) - You’re very welcome.