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Update: ‘Princess’ bride receives her green card

Editor’s note: In a recent profile of a local immigration lawyer, introduced a client couple. This story updates their immigration status.

Cowboy and Princess cling lovingly to each other during an interview. Her newly issued “green card” is almost as important as their wedding rings. (Photo/David Lyne)

By David Lyne Contributor

The Princess is here to stay.

The immigrant bride of a U.S. citizen and Fauquier County resident she affectionately calls Cowboy got her birthday wish when her “green card,” giving her permanent resident status, arrived Friday in the mail.

(Cowboy says he must remain anonymous because his job with the U.S. government requires a high-level security clearance. Information about Princess, whose real name is Eva, can be revealed now that she is on her way to becoming a U. S. citizen. More about that later.)

“The first thing I did was cry, I was so happy,” she says about receiving the priority mail envelope containing the card “which really is green” from the U.S. Immigration Service.

Donusia Lipinski of the Blue Ridge Immigration Law Center in Warrenton, who guided the couple through the red tape of getting the green card, says she never has seen the process go so smoothly.

Ms. Lipinski accompanied the couple to the Dec. 2 “adjustment of status” interview before an immigration officer in Fairfax.

“We were told the green card probably would arrive in about 60 days. It came exactly one week after the interview.

That’s remarkable,” says Ms. Lipinski.

“I’m so happy,” says Eva. “My birthday is next week (Dec. 15). It’s all I wanted.”

The interview was “very quick, about 15 minutes,” says Eva, who was in this country on a six-month tourist visa when she and Cowboy married in August after a two-year transatlantic courtship.

After the immigration officer confirmed information on the green card application, says Eva, “she asked us when we met, when we started dating, how we stayed in touch, when we got married. That was about it.”

The couple credits Ms. Lipinski with getting all the paperwork in order to make the process go smoothly. “She has been great,” says Cowboy.

Eva’s green card does come with a couple of conditions that are required by Cowboy’s employer.

“We have to stay married for at least two years, and she must become a U.S. citizen within two years,” he says.

(Normally, green card recipients have three years to apply for citizenship.) Also, she cannot leave the U.S. for longer than a year within the two-year period; he cannot be out of the country for more than 60 days at a time.

The beaming newlyweds anticipate no problems in meeting any of the requirements.

Now about Eva

She is from Barcelona, Spain, where she met Cowboy when they crossed paths professionally in 2009. Her mother, married to a Spaniard, is a U.S. citizen because she was born here to immigrant parents, but she lived in the U.S. for only two years. Eva has three siblings. She is a civil engineer who has experience as a project manager and “can design and build. I do buildings, not bridges.” She also speaks Spanish, French and English.

“This will be my first Christmas away from my family,” says Eva. “I will miss them, but now I have a new family.”

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