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What to expect while in removal proceedings? Help needed

#1 bustedpriest

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 06:17 AM

It's a little complicated case and to be honest, I am writing in this forum hoping I might get some valueable replies from exprienced members here.

I am originally from Pakistan and came to US in December 2003 on a F-1 visa and stopped going to school in August 2009 due to some personal reasons. I was reported to DHS in December 2009 and ICE was on my doorstep on March 2010. Luckily, I was not home and they couldn't arrest me. When I came to know, I was scared to death and hired a lawyer immediately who advised me to get married on the same day, night actually. Now, let me mention here that I was already dating and living with my girlfriend at that time. She is a US citizen and hence we got married on the same day at my lawyer's office. The same night my attorney filed the form I-130 for me. After couple of days, we went to the local DHS office in Minneapolis, paid them the bond money and got my fingerprints done. After few days I appeared at the court and my lawyer asked for extension until my I-130 gets approved and the judge granted that. On the same day, we filed I-485, I-765 and I-131. I didn't have my birth certificate translated neither I had my medical exam at that time but my lawyer assured me that it would be OK if I send them in after couple of months. One month later, I got a notice to get my fingerprints done and few days later another notice saying my I-765 was denied since I was in removal and the pending I-485 was not filed with the immigration court while filing the I-765. According to my attorney, it's just a matter of getting I-130 approved and I would be good to go. In the meanwhile, he also filed another application of I-765 with the Missouri center.

Now I am not sure if my lawyer is doing the right thing here. Does anyone here has an idea what's going to happen now? Will my I-765 get approved this time? By the way, it was filed on July 19, 2010 and still I have not heard anything from DHS so far. Secondly, how long would it take for the I-130 to get approved? Last but not the least, what about I-485? It was filed on May 19, 2010? How long do we have to wait more? What are the chances here? My next court date is coming up in November. HELP PLEASE......

Edited by bustedpriest, 23 August 2010 - 06:20 AM.

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#2 HappyKnappy

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 06:35 AM

I am sorry to hear about your situation, hopefully someone like Jim will shed some more light into what can happen. The only thing that I can tell you, aside from the judge that gave you a break, people in overstay (out of status) or in removal proceedings may encounter problems when it is obvious that they got married to avoid deportation. In your case, I think it's true, but with the difference that you had lived with your then gf and then married, proving in a way your relationship was in good faith to begin with.

To USCIS you are still in removal proceedings, resulting in your denied petition. I am sure that your I-130 will get approved, but no so sure about your AOS. Jim?
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#3 bustedpriest

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 07:40 AM

I am sorry to hear about your situation, hopefully someone like Jim will shed some more light into what can happen. The only thing that I can tell you, aside from the judge that gave you a break, people in overstay (out of status) or in removal proceedings may encounter problems when it is obvious that they got married to avoid deportation. In your case, I think it's true, but with the difference that you had lived with your then gf and then married, proving in a way your relationship was in good faith to begin with.

To USCIS you are still in removal proceedings, resulting in your denied petition. I am sure that your I-130 will get approved, but no so sure about your AOS. Jim?



Yes, we got married in order to avoid deportation but we already had wedding plans. OK the two big proofs for DHS that our marriage is pretty legitimate:

1. My father in law co-sponsored me for I-485 since my wife does not make enough money/year.

2. My wife is pregnant and almost 6 months due.

Do you still think I'll face problems getting I-485 approved? One more thing, I sent in my I-485 without getting the medical exam done. Since according to my lawyer I can always turn that in when I get a RFE. What do you think? Anyone? Jim?

Edited by bustedpriest, 23 August 2010 - 07:42 AM.

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#4 finallyfree

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 08:07 AM

Do you still think I'll face problems getting I-485 approved? One more thing, I sent in my I-485 without getting the medical exam done. Since according to my lawyer I can always turn that in when I get a RFE. What do you think? Anyone? Jim?



WTH! at the bolded part. If it was me, that lawyer was fired yesterday! :bonk:
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#5 Bobby+Umit

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 08:29 AM

Without the underlying 485 on file, your EAD and AP have no basis to be filed.

Without the medical (for the 485) - they could either RFE you or deny the whole thing - until they have record of that 485 filing (it's accepted) - you will not get the EAD/AP. (I would not even bother with the AP - since your status is kinda shaky and the last thing you would want to do is leave the US).


You are going to have a tough case, since you got married after they came looking for you, and it appears you did it just to avoid deportation.

Getting the i-130 is great - but you need the 485 along with that (that actually changes your status, the 130 just requests a visa number for you and shows the relationship between the petitioner and you).

What is the current status of your 485? Is it in process? Did you get the NOA from it? After 3 months - you should of heard something - did you pay with a check? - your case number is on it - if it was cashed.

Did you do your medical for it yet?
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My Advice is usually based on "Worst Case Scenario" and what is written in the rules/laws/instructions. That is the way I roll... -Protect your Status - file before your I-94 expires.

WARNING: Phrases in this post may sound meaner than they were intended to be. Read the Adjudicator's Field Manual from USCIS

#6 bustedpriest

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 08:43 AM

Without the underlying 485 on file, your EAD and AP have no basis to be filed.

Without the medical (for the 485) - they could either RFE you or deny the whole thing - until they have record of that 485 filing (it's accepted) - you will not get the EAD/AP. (I would not even bother with the AP - since your status is kinda shaky and the last thing you would want to do is leave the US).


You are going to have a tough case, since you got married after they came looking for you, and it appears you did it just to avoid deportation.

Getting the i-130 is great - but you need the 485 along with that (that actually changes your status, the 130 just requests a visa number for you and shows the relationship between the petitioner and you).

What is the current status of your 485? Is it in process? Did you get the NOA from it? After 3 months - you should of heard something - did you pay with a check? - your case number is on it - if it was cashed.

Did you do your medical for it yet?


Yes, I got my medical done but not sure if I should wait for a RFE or just send it right away. Secondly, for the 485 I got my biometrics done on July 2nd. Haven't heard anything from USCIS since then.

Edited by bustedpriest, 23 August 2010 - 08:44 AM.

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#7 Bobby+Umit

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 08:47 AM

Yes, I got my medical done but not sure if I should wait for a RFE or just send it right away. Secondly, for the 485 I got my biometrics done on July 2nd. Haven't heard anything from USCIS since then.


You can't send it in unless they RFE you - (it's more likely it will get lost - since you can't connect it with the case/worker).

I would suggest you make an INFOPASS with USCIS and see what is going on with your 485. Your lawyer should be making these inquires.
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My Advice is usually based on "Worst Case Scenario" and what is written in the rules/laws/instructions. That is the way I roll... -Protect your Status - file before your I-94 expires.

WARNING: Phrases in this post may sound meaner than they were intended to be. Read the Adjudicator's Field Manual from USCIS

#8 JimVaPhuong

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 09:56 AM

WTH! at the bolded part. If it was me, that lawyer was fired yesterday! :bonk:


He was in a time crunch and his attorney knew it. If he didn't get the bond paid and get a hearing scheduled then he was at risk of being arrested. The only way to stop the removal proceedings at the hearing was to file an I-485 and ask the immigration judge to wait for it to be adjudicated. He didn't have time to get a medical completed, and his attorney knew he'd get an RFE for the I-693 later. I think his attorney probably did the right thing.

bustedpriest, what do you mean about the I-485 not being filed with the I-765 at the immigration court? You said your attorney filed the I-485, I-765 and I-131 on the same day. Were they not all filed together? It sounds like it was denied because it wasn't concurrently filed with the I-485. If your attorney waited until you got an acceptance notice on the I-485 before resubmitting the I-765 then it should be approveable, presuming nothing happens to sink your I-485 application. USCIS is not going to be in any hurry to approve your I-765, and may sit on it waiting to see if they can find a reason to deny your I-485 outright. They don't really care if you are authorized to work while waiting for your I-485 to be adjudicated, and probably aren't inclined to go out of their way to do you any favors.

Ok, USCIS is required to presume the marriage is a sham because you got married after removal proceedings had begun. This substantially raises the bar on proving the marriage is bona fide. Correspondingly, it also lowers your chances of being approved. The fact that you had a relationship with your wife before the removal proceedings began is a definite plus. You should be gathering as much evidence as you can to prove this as your case may depend on it. You can expect your I-485 to take longer than normal because USCIS is going to be going over your case with a microscope to try to find evidence of fraud. They are also going to be doing a thorough background check on you and your wife. I hope you haven't had any criminal convictions while you were in the US.

I'm no going to fault your attorney for any advice he's given you so far. Recommending you marry in order to stop the removal proceedings may be questionable, but if you'd planned on marrying previously then he's not really suggesting you do something illegal. Rather, he's suggesting you change the timing of your plans in order to help get you out of a tough situation. It sounds like he's doing what he can to keep you from being deported. He may tell you that everything is fine because you got the right forms filed in time. You should interpret this as meaning you've done what you can, but there is still a strong chance you could be denied. You should be prepared for a tough interview, and plenty of evidence to show that your marriage was planned prior to your being placed in removal.

I'm a little confused why your attorney thought it would be a good idea to submit an I-131. Even if it's approved, you won't be able to use the travel document.

If your I-485 is ultimately denied, and if by that time you've been in the US for 10 years or more, and if you have been a person of "good moral character", then you may be able to apply for a cancellation of removal. Those aren't often approved, but it would be worth a shot.

Do not send any other documents to USCIS unless you get an RFE. The likelihood of any other unsolicited documents you send getting joined up with your petition is slim to none.
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#9 bustedpriest

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 11:52 AM

He was in a time crunch and his attorney knew it. If he didn't get the bond paid and get a hearing scheduled then he was at risk of being arrested. The only way to stop the removal proceedings at the hearing was to file an I-485 and ask the immigration judge to wait for it to be adjudicated. He didn't have time to get a medical completed, and his attorney knew he'd get an RFE for the I-693 later. I think his attorney probably did the right thing.

bustedpriest, what do you mean about the I-485 not being filed with the I-765 at the immigration court? You said your attorney filed the I-485, I-765 and I-131 on the same day. Were they not all filed together? It sounds like it was denied because it wasn't concurrently filed with the I-485. If your attorney waited until you got an acceptance notice on the I-485 before resubmitting the I-765 then it should be approveable, presuming nothing happens to sink your I-485 application. USCIS is not going to be in any hurry to approve your I-765, and may sit on it waiting to see if they can find a reason to deny your I-485 outright. They don't really care if you are authorized to work while waiting for your I-485 to be adjudicated, and probably aren't inclined to go out of their way to do you any favors.

Ok, USCIS is required to presume the marriage is a sham because you got married after removal proceedings had begun. This substantially raises the bar on proving the marriage is bona fide. Correspondingly, it also lowers your chances of being approved. The fact that you had a relationship with your wife before the removal proceedings began is a definite plus. You should be gathering as much evidence as you can to prove this as your case may depend on it. You can expect your I-485 to take longer than normal because USCIS is going to be going over your case with a microscope to try to find evidence of fraud. They are also going to be doing a thorough background check on you and your wife. I hope you haven't had any criminal convictions while you were in the US.

I'm no going to fault your attorney for any advice he's given you so far. Recommending you marry in order to stop the removal proceedings may be questionable, but if you'd planned on marrying previously then he's not really suggesting you do something illegal. Rather, he's suggesting you change the timing of your plans in order to help get you out of a tough situation. It sounds like he's doing what he can to keep you from being deported. He may tell you that everything is fine because you got the right forms filed in time. You should interpret this as meaning you've done what you can, but there is still a strong chance you could be denied. You should be prepared for a tough interview, and plenty of evidence to show that your marriage was planned prior to your being placed in removal.

I'm a little confused why your attorney thought it would be a good idea to submit an I-131. Even if it's approved, you won't be able to use the travel document.

If your I-485 is ultimately denied, and if by that time you've been in the US for 10 years or more, and if you have been a person of "good moral character", then you may be able to apply for a cancellation of removal. Those aren't often approved, but it would be worth a shot.

Do not send any other documents to USCIS unless you get an RFE. The likelihood of any other unsolicited documents you send getting joined up with your petition is slim to none.


Thanks a lot Jim for such a detailed answer. Well here are the answers to some of the questions you asked:

My lawyer filed I-485, I-765 and I-131 altogether. After about a month, I got the biometrics appointment letter from USCIS and right after that I got another letter saying that the I-765 was denied. I will quote the reason for denial right from that letter here, "In order to be eligible for employment authorization the application for relief [I-485]must have been filed with the immigration court prior to the filing date of Form I-765. You submitted a copy of form I-485 and filed form I-765 concurrently." Now is the immigration court different than USCIS? Sounds like a dumb question but it's confusing. What does this all exactly mean? I asked my lawyer and he said once I-130 is approved, the judge would drop the removal charges and everything would be fine. Not sure if that's true, is it?

I do not have any criminal record, I have many witnesses and proofs that we had been dating since 2007 like pictures, videos, phone records etc. Well, if you noticed I got married the same day when ICE officers showed up at my place. How could I get married without a marriage license right? That's the biggest proof right there that I already had a marriage license issues by the state of Minnesota earlier. Another strong evidence would be my wife's pregnancy and our actual reception that happened couple of weeks ago.

As far as the I-131 is concerned, I asked my attorney to file it; incase I had to travel although I have no intentions to travel until I get my Green Card.

Edited by bustedpriest, 23 August 2010 - 11:53 AM.

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#10 NINA80

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 03:19 PM

I had friend who was in the same situation and she got her green card. well her green card takes a long time but she got it anyway!!! just don't understand, you said they didn t find you but why did you get married so fast!!!
just try to collect as mush proof as you can to show to the judge that your marriage is real!!!
inchalah you will be just fine :thumbs:
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#11 JimVaPhuong

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 10:06 PM

Thanks a lot Jim for such a detailed answer. Well here are the answers to some of the questions you asked:

My lawyer filed I-485, I-765 and I-131 altogether. After about a month, I got the biometrics appointment letter from USCIS and right after that I got another letter saying that the I-765 was denied. I will quote the reason for denial right from that letter here, "In order to be eligible for employment authorization the application for relief [I-485]must have been filed with the immigration court prior to the filing date of Form I-765. You submitted a copy of form I-485 and filed form I-765 concurrently." Now is the immigration court different than USCIS? Sounds like a dumb question but it's confusing. What does this all exactly mean? I asked my lawyer and he said once I-130 is approved, the judge would drop the removal charges and everything would be fine. Not sure if that's true, is it?


I've read a lot about the immigration law, and I've read quite a few court transcripts, but I'm not real familiar with the order of events and procedures in removal proceedings. What I read are summaries of cases, how they turned out, and why they turned out that way. People rarely post a "blow by blow" account of their removal proceedings, from beginning to end.

In other words, I don't know if there are technical differences between an AOS filed with an immigration judge and one filed with USCIS, but apparently there are differences. From the contents of the denial letter you got, it sounds like a technicality. They apparently won't accept a concurrent filing from the immigration judge. If I understand that correctly, it should mean that they'll accept the I-765 if a copy of the receipt notice for the I-485 is included. I'm PRESUMING the category for the I-765 is "c9", which is pending AOS, since they specifically mentioned the I-485 in the denial letter. If so, then there should be no filing fee, even if it's not filed concurrently.

It sounds like your attorney is dancing around the daisies a bit. The approved I-130, by itself, doesn't stop the removal proceedings. What it DOES do is make your I-485 approvable, and that WILL stop the removal proceedings while the I-485 is adjudicated. If the I-130 is denied, then your I-485 cannot be approved, and the removal proceedings will continue. What the I-130 does is establish that an immigrant visa is immediately available to you, which is one of the three primary requirements to become a legal permanent resident in the US.

I do not have any criminal record, I have many witnesses and proofs that we had been dating since 2007 like pictures, videos, phone records etc. Well, if you noticed I got married the same day when ICE officers showed up at my place. How could I get married without a marriage license right? That's the biggest proof right there that I already had a marriage license issues by the state of Minnesota earlier. Another strong evidence would be my wife's pregnancy and our actual reception that happened couple of weeks ago.

As far as the I-131 is concerned, I asked my attorney to file it; incase I had to travel although I have no intentions to travel until I get my Green Card.


I don't know the laws in Minnesota. In California, you can walk into a county clerk's office with your fiancee and picture ID, and walk out a married couple 20 minutes later. The did away with things like blood tests and waiting periods here a long time ago.

Now, if USCIS never sent you any notice that you were in removal proceedings (doesn't matter if you ever received the notice - only matters if they ever sent it), and you can prove you got the marriage license before you knew anything about the removal proceedings, then that's pretty strong evidence in your favor. Same goes for the wedding reception, or ANY other plans you made for the wedding BEFORE the removal action began.

Your wife's pregnancy is not relevant. All it proves is that you were having sex before you were placed in removal proceedings, but it doesn't prove you planned to marry. This is America - EVERYONE has sex before they get married. :blush:

You have more than 180 days of unlawful presence. If you get the AP travel document and actually leave the US then you'll be hit with an automatic 3 year ban - you won't be allowed to return, and having an AP travel document won't change that. You don't need any travel document to actually LEAVE the US. You could leave anytime you like. You just wouldn't be able to come back. It doesn't hurt anything to apply for the AP, especially since it doesn't cost anything, but the document won't be useful for anything other than a souvenir.
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#12 bustedpriest

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 03:04 AM

Alright I am posting after almost 10 months again. Here's the link to my previous post:
http://www.visajourn...41#entry4148941

And here's my current situation:

My I-130 was approved in January 2011 but USCIS did not terminate the removal proceedings since the I-485 filed with the Texas center was incomplete (without medical examination) so my lawyer refiled the I-485 along with medical and the approved I-130 with the IMMIGRATION JUDGE. According to my lawyer, the I-485 would get transferred over to a USCIS office at some point and I'll get my Green card pretty soon. Well, my removal proceedings were terminated on March 29, 2011 and since then I've not heard a single thing from the USCIS. I do not have any new receipts for the new I-485 or nothing of that sort that proves that my lawyer just re-filed a new I-485 application. I called the USCIS and discussed this matter with one of the customer reps and after few days I got a reply saying that they are still investigating my case (please remember that I provided them with the old receipt number for I-485 that I filed in May 2010 and was finger printed for that as well). Now I have no clue about the current status of my green card. My EAD is going to expire in Oct 2011 and I have no idea whom to contact since I fired my lawyer as well. According to my friends (including the people on this forum), he was not doing the right thing and that's what I thought too. Could you please help me out?

Thanks

Here's the timeline if it helps:

Got married : March 16 2010 (while in removal proceedings)
Filed I-130: March 17, 2010
Filed I-485 , I-765 and I-131 on May 25, 2010
I-765 was denied on June 30, 2010 (for not filing I-485 with the immigration judge)
Refiled I-765 with Missouri Center on July 18, 2010
Received EAD on October 22, 2010
I-130 interview at the local St Paul MN office on December 16, 2010
I-130 approved in January 2011
USCIS denied to grant the motion of terminating the removal proceedings only based on approved I-130 and further asked to re-file the I-485 with the immigration judge along with the medical examination
New I-485 filed with the Immigration Judge along with the medical examination in March 2011
Immigration Judge terminated the removal proceedings on March 29, 2011

FIRED MY LAWYER IN MAY 2011

And since then waiting on my AOS or Green card

Help please !!!!!!!
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#13 RICARDO4EVA2

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 04:21 AM

the link you posted does not work. To me seems the process is going along well. USCIS is investigating your case and you must await their action. Nothing you are able to do but just await processing / review time to take place,

Best of luck
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Dec 30 2010 - Notice of Action 1 (NOA1)
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#14 JimVaPhuong

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 09:31 AM

I'm not sure what you want help with. A few hiccups aside, things are going pretty much as you would want them to go. The immigration judge accepted your AOS application and suspended the removal proceedings. Pretty much all you can do now is wait for USCIS to make a decision. You should be able to renew your EAD if your AOS is still pending.
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#15 bustedpriest

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 09:44 PM

Thanks RICARDO4EVA2 and JimVaPhuong for your replies. As I mentioned above that Immigration judge suspended the removal proceedings on March 29, 2011 and since then I have not heard anything from USCIS. I am concerned about two things here; first of all, should I expect another appointment for fingerprinting and biometrics? Although I was fingerprinted in July 2010 for I-485. Secondly, how long do I have to wait until I get an interview call from USCIS? In order to track my case online, should I still use the same old receipt number for the original I-485 that was filed last year? And one last question, where do you think my case is being processed right now? In the local USCIS office in St Paul, MN or in the Texas Center?

I really appreciate your help people. Thanks
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