President Barack Obama's Kenyan aunt appealed her deportation order at a US immigration court Wednesday and will be able to remain in the country at least another 10 months.
Zeituni Onyango did not speak to reporters as she left the court in Boston through a back door after the brief hearing, which was closed to the public at the request of Onyango's lawyer.
Onyango, wearing an imitation fur coat and sunglasses, was escorted by Federal Protective Service officers.
The next hearing date is set for February 4, 2010, said Elaine Komis, spokeswoman for the executive office of immigration review at the Department of Justice.
"At that time she will be able to plead her request and generally a decision will be made at that hearing," said Fatimah Mateen, from the justice department.
Onyango was ordered to be deported from the United States in 2004 but kept living in Boston. In December 2008, following Obama's election victory, a court allowed her to have the case reopened.
Obama, whose father was Kenyan, and is the first black US president, says he never knew his aunt was living illegally in the United States.