Thai Family Gains US Citizenship—after 26 years of trying

by admin on October 14, 2009

A Thai family recently made headlines in the United States after gaining US citizenship—the final result of a long battle with US authorities to prove their right to remain in the country.

Andy Promisiri, a 48 year old college financial aid advisor, was told that he would be deported as a result of his mother’s divorce certificate from 1975. 

Promisiri’s mother, Pai Ciesiolka,  left Thailand in 1971 with her two young sons to join her husband in America who was in the country on a student visa.  Four years later, the couple filed for divorce and Ciesiolka remarried with a Colorado man.  Thus Ciesiolka flew back to Thailand, reapplied for legal permanent residency, was approved, and returned to the US. 

The problem only began when Promisiri and his family attempted to become US citizens in 1998.  Officials responded that not only was their application for citizenship being denied, they were also to be deported because his mother’s divorce certificate was invalid.  Immigration authorities claimed Ciesiolka had actually been married to two men when her Green Card had been approved. 

After the Associated Press ran the story last year, the government held off on deporting the family—and after serious scrutiny—decided to approve them for citizenship. 

This story is yet another reminder of the importance of keeping all important and related documents for future, unforeseen immigration complications.

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