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Case Status Update: Approvals- I-751 (10-Yr Green Card), Fiancé Visa, H-1B Renewal+Labor Cert, Adjustment of Status, Refugee Travel Doc, Cancellation of Removal, and Naturalization!

Part 2 of 2 - As promised, here are more of our case approvals over the last several months. We already have more case approvals that we were unable to add to this update so look for another case status update in the next few weeks! Congratulations to all of our clients whose case was recently approved!

I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residency - Conditions removed, 10-Year Green Card Approved! Both of our clients who have had their I-751s recently approved, had their petitions granted without being called in for an interview with USCIS! This is thanks to the strong supporting evidence that we submitted with the petition. Both clients are already eligible to apply for naturalization, since they have been Permanent Residents for over 3 years, are married to U.S. Citizen’s, and are still married and living with their U.S. Citizen Spouses:

I-797C, Notice of Action - I-751 Approval Notice

  • Native and citizen of Jamaica (whose U.S. Citizen Spouse is a proud member of the U.S. Military):

I-797C, Notice of Action - I-751 Approval Notice

Fiancé Visa Petition Approved - We received an approval notice for a client, (hereinafter, client “U”) who is a naturalized U.S. Citizen. U, a native of Senegal, filed a K-1 Visa petition for her fiancé, who is also a native and citizen of Senegal. Now that U’s petition has been approved, her fiancé has 4 months to enter the U.S. with his K-1 Visa. He then has 90 days to marry U or leave the country. If U and her fiancé wed within the 90 days, U can then file for adjustment of status to become a Permanent Resident.

I-797C, Notice of Action - I-129F Approval Notice

H-1B Renewal Approved after responding to Request For Evidence (RFE) - We received an approval for an H-1B renewal for a client, (hereinafter, client "N"), who is a native and citizen of Ecuador. N is highly-skilled computer and network administrator who, like most applicants in his field, received additional scrutiny from USCIS and were forced to respond to a demanding RFE for approval. Fortunately, we were able to take care of the RFE response for N with no problem. N also had his Labor Certificationapproved earlier this year and has already submitted a I-140, Alien Worker Petitionalong with an application for adjustment of status. We are hopeful that N will be a Permanent Resident before the end of the year.

I-797C, Notice of Action - I-129 Approval Notice

I-485, Adjustment of Status Approvals:

I-797C, Notice of Action - I-485 Approval Notice

  • We also received an approval notice for a client, (hereinafter, client “V”), who is also a native and citizen of Mali.

    • V initially entered the U.S. in 2000 with a B-2 visitor visa. In 2004, V married a U.S. Citizen who filed an I-130 petition on his behalf. The I-130 petition was pending for 5 years when V and his U.S. Citizen Wife were finally called in for a Stokes Interview. A few days after the Stokes Interview, V’s wife wrote a letter to USCIS to withdraw the I-130 petition that she had filed for V. As a result, the I-130 and I-485 were denied and V was placed into Removal/ Deportation Proceedings.

    • V got divorced and then married another U.S. Citizen, (who he already had 2 children with), while he was in Removal Proceedings. USCIS sent a Notice of Intent to Deny the second I-130 petition. This is because, when a person is in Removal Proceedings, there is a higher burden of proof to show that the marriage is real and the Petitioner and Beneficiary have to formally request an exemption in accordance with INA § 245(e)(3). Eventually the marriage petition was approved.

    • We then filed a motion to terminate** V’s Removal Proceedings so that he could pursue his Green Card (aka adjust his status) with USCIS, which was granted in 2016. Ever since then, V has been waiting for USCIS to approve his Green Card. V and his wife are thrilled that he is finally a Permanent Resident, and because they were already married for more than 2 years at the time of the Green Card interview, V received a 10-year Green Card. V will be eligible to apply for Naturalization in 2021, after 3 years as a Permanent Resident, provided that he and his wife are still married and living together.

**We filed the Motion to Terminate prior to President Trump taking office on January 20, 2017. Since that time, many significant changes have taken place regarding how cases are handled in the Immigration Court. For example, DHS is no longer permitted to consent to terminate Removal Proceedings to allow an eligible individual to apply for adjustment of status before USCIS, and the Immigration Judge is no longer permitted to terminate Removal Proceedings for the same reason. Instead, the individual must wait for a full hearing before the Immigration Judge, who can then approve the adjustment of status application. Pursuing a Green Card before the Immigration Court takes years longer than it does before USCIS due to the ever-growing backlog of cases in the system. In all likelihood, V would still be waiting for his full hearing to see if the Immigration Judge would approve his Green Card application if he was unable to terminate his Removal Proceedings in 2016.

I-797C, Notice of Action - I-485 Approval Notice

I-131, Refugee Travel Document Approved - We also received an approval for a client, (hereinafter, client “Z”), who is a native and citizen of Mauritania. Z’s refugee travel document is based on his pending asylum application. In order to receive a travel document with a pending asylum application, you have to prove that there is a humanitarian need for you to leave and re-enter the country. This is not an easy application to get approved. USCIS issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) for more proof that Z’s relative was sick, and since it took so long for USCIS to adjudicate the application, Z had to also prove that he still needed to travel.

Despite the approval, it is always a risk to leave the country when you have an application pending, since the travel document itself does not guarantee you will be admitted. Admission is at the discretion of the CBP officer you encounter.

We are happy to very happy to report that Z and his wife were able to go to Senegal to visit Z's relative and had no problem re-enter the United States! Z will no continue to wait for his asylum interview.

*It is important to note here that if you are an asylum applicant or an asylee and you return to the country where you are claiming that you have and/or will be persecuted, your application will be denied, your asylee status may be revoked (if your application had already been approved), you can lose your Green Card (if you obtained it based on your status as an asylee) and you may not even be permitted back in the United States!

I-797C, Notice of Action - I-131 Approval Notice

Cancellation of Removal Granted for Husband AND Wife - For two clients, a husband and wife, (hereinafter, “HW”), who are natives and citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. HW were in Removal Proceedings together and had there merits hearing before the Immigration Judge back in 2013. At the hearing, HW both credibly testified about the following:

  1. they are persons of good moral character;

  2. they have continuously resided in the United States since their entry;

  3. they have been physically present in the U.S. for at least the 10 years preceding the Notice to Appear in Immigration Court, and;

  4. if they are removed from the country, it will result in an extreme and unusual hardship to their 2 U.S. Citizen children.

As with all cancellation of removal cases, the hardest element to prove is the extreme and unusual hardship element. For HW, we proved to the court that one of their daughters has a debilitating fear of spiders and the other daughter has a serious skin disease. The Immigration Judge found that HW met their burden and granted them Cancellation of Removal. HW is now waiting for the Green Cards to be mailed to them and are so happy to finally have their Removal Proceedings cancelled!

Order of the Immigration Judge - Cancellation of Removal Granted

Order of the Immigration Judge - Cancellation of Removal Granted

N-400, Naturalization Approvals - Finally, we have 3 new U.S. Citizens!

  • Native and citizen of Liberia who initially obtained permanent residence as an asylee derivative (he was listed as a minor child on his father’s asylum application)

N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony

  • Native and citizen of Mali who was applying for the second time. The first time he applied he applied as the spouse of a U.S. Citizen who had been a permanent residence for only 3 years. The application was denied because he did not have enough proof that he was still married and living with his spouse (and this very much was the case). Rather then attempting to appeal the decision, he decided it was better to wait until he had the full 5 years. The application was easily approved this time around.

N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony

  • Another native and citizen of Liberia who was an asylum derivative (based on her husband’s asylum application).

N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony

We wish all of our recently-approved clients the best of luck!

**If you need representation in Removal/ Deportation proceedings or with help filing for immigration benefits, contact an experienced immigration attorney at The Shapiro Law Firm today to get started!**

(*please note that all identification information has been removed in order to protect our clients' privacy and in order to fully comply with attorney advertising rules and regulations*)