Our client retained our firm after her naturalization application was denied. Prior to obtaining lawful permanent resident status, she had an outstanding removal order. It stemmed from an application filed by an immigration consultant almost 10 years ago. She was unaware of the removal order. USCIS was also initially unaware of the order and granted her application for permanent resident status. She subsequently filed for naturalization. However, at that time USCIS learned of the removal order and denied her application claiming that she obtained her Green Card improperly and by fraud.
Three Steps to Success
The first thing we did was to file a motion to reopen her case. She was unaware of the removal proceedings and it was our position that the Notice to Appear, which placed her in proceedings, was not properly served on her. The Court agreed and reopened the case.
The second thing we did was to file a motion to terminate removal proceedings. We argued that since service of the Notice to Appear was improper, proceedings were never properly commenced. Thus, they must be terminated. Based on our argument, the Court terminated removal proceedings.
The third thing we did was to re-file the naturalization application arguing that her permanent resident status was not issued in error (an application for a Green Card cannot be granted by USCIS with an outstanding removal order except for arriving aliens) because her removal proceedings were never properly commenced.
Attorney Scott Bratton accompanied her to the interview in New York. We are happy to report that her naturalization application was approved. This was a very difficult case and illustrates the importance of utilizing the services of an experienced immigration attorney. Scott Bratton handled the case.