HONOLULU (AP) – A Chinese immigrant who spent most of her adult life fighting to soften the fallout of a felony conviction in Hawaii plans to visit her parents for the first time in 22 years following an unusual pardon from President Barack Obama.

An Na Peng of Honolulu was convicted in 1996 at age 26 of helping immigrants cheat on tests to earn U.S. citizenship.

Since then, the legal permanent resident has been fighting deportation proceedings, staying in the country with her family to avoid the chance they could be split up if she left.

White House officials told her lawyer this month that Peng would be pardoned, clearing the way for her to regain full rights as a legal permanent resident.

Peng’s lawyer, Maile Hirota, told The Associated Press that during that 17-year stretch, Peng always believed her case had merit.

*Pictured above is President Barack Obama.