Octavio Perez came to the United States from Mexico in his early twenties, in search of opportunity. For nearly thirty years, he has built a life for himself and his family in Napa, where he works for Duckhorn Vineyards.
In 2013, already a U.S. permanent resident, Octavio knew he wanted to make his goal of becoming a U.S. citizen a reality, but he needed help navigating the complicated system.
Luckily, IIBA had just opened our Napa office, at the invitation of the Napa Valley Community Foundation, to bring much needed legal services to the area.
Octavio became one of IIBA Napa’s first clients. With the help of IIBA’s legal team, he submitted his naturalization application and began studying U.S. Civics, in preparation for his citizenship interview.
Octavio was so determined, he would not let any obstacle block his path to citizenship. Because he worked in the evenings, he could not attend citizenship classes. But he wouldn’t let that stop him. Octavio created flashcards and spent countless hours preparing on his own, even while working a full schedule.
During his first citizenship interview, Octavio was so nervous, he did not pass. Disappointed, he cried as he left the interview. The second time, Octavio cried again, but this time out of joy. He had passed. Finally, he was a U.S. citizen.
Octavio continued to work with IIBA to petition for his wife’s permanent residency, securing his family’s legal foundation. With the travel privileges of permanent residency, now his wife can bring their two boys, ages 5 and 9, to Mexico to visit her family for the first time. Octavio is happy his family can travel with ease, knowing they will always be allowed to return to Napa, the place he calls home.