Client I-130 & adjustment of status denied with other law firm

The other law firm

In 2008, our client’s attorney from another immigration law firm lost our client’s Adjustment of Status request for a Green Card, following his wife filing an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. Our client entered the US in October 2003 with K-3 Nonimmigrant Spouse Visa (this visa shortens the physical separation between the foreign-citizen and U.S. citizen spouses by permitting the foreign-citizen spouse to enter the US to await approval of the immigrant visa petition). Soon after, working with another law firm, our Client’s wife filed I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, but then revoked it, writing a letter to CIS about trouble in the marriage – she mentioned physical abuse. However, later she re-applied the I-130, and it was granted.

The Master Calendar hearing was held in August 2007, but the man’s attorney requested a longer hearing, with the client’s wife as a witness, which was scheduled for April 2008. After the hearing, the adjustment of status application was denied due to lack of credibility: neither client nor wife could remember the exact year of the marriage; wife complained of physical abuse in her first withdrawal of I-130, and husband denied to court having ever physically abused her. Although they sought marriage counseling with an imam, no other marriage counselor was consulted, so court thought marriage possibly not stable.

Order for Removal 

An order for removal to Jordan was initiated. The client hired our firm because the first attorney lost the case. We filed the BIA appeal on the date required by the court. Then we filed a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) to discover as much as we could about the case, and an I-765 work authorization request so our client could continue to work. BIA appeal was granted in August 2010, with the Master Calendar hearing in October 2010. At that time we requested a two hour hearing, and it was scheduled for March 2011. 

Meanwhile we obtained a two-year Employment Authorization (EAD), which meant our client could update his driver’s license. The client started a business, and didn’t file taxes, so the IRS charged him with a misdemeanor. He also had a traffic violation. The March 2011 Individual Hearing (IH) was delayed due to another case going long. We returned to court the next month. Individual Hearing was scheduled to occur April 2013, however in November 2013 it was rescheduled to occur May 2014. We submitted another EAD work authorization request, and an EOIR-33 address change notification. We told client we would try to expedite the case. We filed the motion to expedite, but the IJ (immigration judge) denied the request.

We submitted another EAD work authorization. However, we never got either the Receipt Notice or the Fingerprint Notice. When we called they said we had the wrong zip code on our G-28. Our copy was correct, but we refiled anyway. We submitted the case with supplemental exhibits, eight moral character support letters from the client’s employer and family, and complete financial and tax documents, showing the couple was still together. Prior to the hearing, we spoke extensively to the client. Our attorney prepared any motions he would need, such as the MTS (motion to suppress); and I-864 Affidavit of Support (where the client’s spouse assures the court she will support him and he will not seek public assistance). The April 2013 hearing was good. The court took testimony on discretion despite prior credibility issues.

Finally

Our client’s testimony was very good. We now faced the Argument and Order Individual Hearing (IH). We described this to the client. Then prepared another EAD work authorization. The next hearing, in light of the history of the case, would be tough. Our client is not a 100% credible person, and the court knows this. So we rely more on character witnesses, time married, time in the USA, work records and financial records. The Individual Hearing (IH) on May 16, 2014, went smoothly, and the client’s Adjustment of Status request was granted.

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