Aanna Farhang (0:00) - Sherwin, if you could please introduce yourself to the audience.
Sherwin Nezhad (0:07) - This is Sherwin Nezhad and I have been here in the United States for around like 9 years. What do you want more to know?
Aanna (0:19) - What was your case and how have you worked with the U.S. immigration system and how have you interacted with it?
Sherwin (0:29) - Actually it was kind of like you know complicated but I got my citizenship in 2017 and after that I applied for my parents and after that I went to Iran to go to my brother’s wedding where I met my wife and we got married. And I came back.
Aanna (0:57) - With Passage did you work with them on your wife’s case.
Sherwin (1:03) - Yes on my wife’s case that’s right I was actually working with Passage.
Aanna (1:08) - And was she getting a permanent residency or a green card or…?
Sherwin (1:15) - She has a green card right now but it is conditional. And she can apply for permanent residency.
Aanna (1:29) - I’m curious what your immigration experience was before hiring Passage.
Sherwin (1:36) - Actually the first one, the first actually law firm I worked with them they were really good but they were so busy and the hard part with them was getting in touch and I had to call everyday, and push that they dont’ forget that. It was okay, they were really good, but we thought maybe they would forget that and they wouldn’t call back and stuff like that. But when I came to Passage I told you guys that I would pay in front but I want anytime I call I want respond back by email or phone, it doesn’t matter, and I said that as long as you can make that promise then yeah we promise you. We’ll call you and get back to you as soon as we can. And that happened you know and I actually referred you guys to just a couple of my friends and just a few days ago someone asked me about this immigration process, how they can come here under business you know. I would just give your address you know at Passage Law the email and you can just call and contact them and they are really helpful. And I mentioned that if you aren’t a hundred percent sure then you can just go to their website and read the reviews and five stars. Honestly, I had a really great experience with you guys because I had peace of mind that you are following the process and I didn’t have to push you. It was really good.
Aanna (3:57) - So would you say then that the main difference between Passage and the other law firm you went to was customer service?
Sherwin (4:06) - Customer service responsibility that’s right yeah. And really expert people. And honestly before I knew about you I just read all of these reviews and just everyone was mentioning what you are doing and you know that is the most important for me.
Aanna (4:30) - And then in the broader context of just the U.S. immigration system what made the system difficult to navigate for you whether it was in your naturalization case or your wife’s residency case?
Sherwin (4:47) - Yes, for actually my part the problem was because of the sanctions it was hard at that time to come here to the U.S. but you did a great job, you guys got that waiver for my wife so that she could come here because a lot of people at that time couldn’t make it because of the travel ban. But they got the waiver for her and she could come here.
Aanna (5:30) - How did the political situation in Iran affect the way you had to interact with U.S. immigration with some difficult relationships between the two countries.
Sherwin (5:43) - Honestly, for the past 22 years they did horrible things that gave us a hard time, the islamic republic government. And some people just told me oh yeah are you pissed off with the U.S. government here and I’m like no! They are doing whatever they have to do, that’s our government. That’s some of the problem people just don’t respect the rules and that’s why people struggle here. And I totally understand when they do a travel ban for the U.S. people and all the time I really appreciate this country because they let us be here and work here and have our own business and be free like everyone. For your question, for the past 42 years there have been all these problems and not even with the U.S. but everywhere, they make too many problems with everyone everywhere. It actually affects us as Iranian people because everyone looks at us like oh my god. But I’m so happy that people know what’s going on and once you explain that you know people are totally different than their government they are like yeah we didn’t know that. I mean that’s the great thing when you talk to people here and explain the situation. And you know they are so nice, I love the people here, the country.
Aanna (7:49) - I think that’s where there has been a culture shift whether it’s in documentaries or anything but I feel like Americans are starting to realize that people don’t represent their government and especially with Iran too now
Sherwin (8:10) - Yeah that’s right.
Aanna (8:16) - And what do you think would’ve made the whole government immigration process easier to navigate or what would you hope to change about the system?
Sherwin (8:29) - One of the problems with the whole process is that it is so complicated. For example when I applied for my parents at the end of the whole process they returned back to us and they said that oh we need for example like this birth certificate to send again, and I called the lawyer and I was like we sent it that’s right, and they said yeah. But they said it is about being vertical or horizontal and I was just like it’s a click, they can do it easily it’s not hard, and they said yeah but that’s really depending on the officer working on your case. Sometimes it's the same like cases and some of them goes fast and others take long for no reason and that is all about the officer sitting there like if they don’t like your face or whatever. They don’t care, you know, that’s the problem. I went to immigration like 50 times for my parents' case and honestly most of the time I felt like I knew more than them. Yeah I went over there and there was a lady and she was totally out of sorts and I told her honestly who hired you, she laughed and was like why, because I know more than you. You are sitting here behind the desk and you are supposed to know all of the answers. If you don’t know you should just call and laugh but she was just sitting there and this is why this process is so long and they make it so hard for everyone but that’s how it is.
Aanna (10:41) - Thank so very much for putting aside time to talk to me today.
Sherwin (10:45) - Oh you’re welcome, you’re welcome.