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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: England
Timeline

My story is long and incredibly complicated so i'll try and compact it as much as possible...

9 years ago, when I was 18, I came to the US to visit a guy i'd met online. I arrived on 06/16/01 and was due to leave 09/15/01, obviously the airports were closed on this date due to 09/11, the guy I came to see told me that he had called INS and they had told him that the only way for me to be OK and not be deported from the US was to marry him, so being young and incredibly naive I did exactly that. Our marriage started out pretty good for the most part and we had 2 kids together but he refused to file any of the paperwork necessary for me to become legal in this country. After being married for 3 years he finally found someone else leaving me to fend for myself and move, he told me that if I didn't leave my kids with him after the divorce he would call and have me deported and i'd never see either of them again. I ended up in another, this time abusive, relationship with a guy who used my being "illegal" as leverage to get whatever he wanted by threatening to get me deported and me never seeing me kids again (you wouldn't believe how many people have tried to use this against me since I've been here). I have a son from this relationship as well as 2 boys from my prior marriage. After 8 years of trying to find someone to help me, I met my now husband, we'll have been married a year come Nov. and have a son together as well as raising my son from the prior abusive relationship. We're trying to get my mess sorted out and finally apply for an AOS. Though now after everything that has happened i'm not completely sure how to proceed, I have all the forms and have filled them out to the best of my knowledge but we can't afford a lawyer, we can barely afford the paperwork filing fees. I entered on the VWP and have no idea what to put for my non immigrant visa number on I-485. Really I just need any advice on the whole mess I'm in and to know if it's even going to be possible to fix after this long, I really don't want to be deported because it will kill me to leave my husband and children here.

If there's anything else you need to know please don't hesitate to ask, I really want to get this fixed as fast as humanly possible.


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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Ecuador
Timeline

I am so sorry to hear your story. I must say you are a strong women for enduring through all this pain and suffering. I wish you the best through the process. When you mentioned the being able to afford the paper work and lawyer something picked up in my head. The fact that your husband has to provide an affidavit of support for both you and your kid, and if he is taking any other of your kids into custody then it will be really hard unless he can provide that. The Other thing, what kind of visa did you enter in to the United States? This might be key information to know what kind of things you might have to go through with immigration.


2010-05-15 I-129F Application sent to CSC

2010-05-17 I-129F Application received by VSC

2010-05-19 I-129F Application Forwarded to Dallas Lockbox

2010-05-25 Check cashed

2010-05-25 NOA1 Receipt

2010-07-07 NOA2 Received email that our I-129F application was approved

2010-07-14 NOA2 hard copy received, Petition sent to NVC

2010-07-12 NVC sent Petition sent to embassy

2010-07-15 Called NVC and got case number

2010-07-14 Petition received at Ecuador Embassy

2010-XX-XX Packet 4 letter of instructions from the Ecuadorian Embassy

2010-07-30 Medical appointment scheduled

2010-08-10 Passed medical

2010-09-13 Appointment for visa at Guayaquil Consulate

2011-01-04 Travel to the United States and get married

2011-01-16 Got Married

2011-03-19 Submitted AOS application

2011-04-05 Received RFE

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: England
Timeline

I am so sorry to hear your story. I must say you are a strong women for enduring through all this pain and suffering. I wish you the best through the process. When you mentioned the being able to afford the paper work and lawyer something picked up in my head. The fact that your husband has to provide an affidavit of support for both you and your kid, and if he is taking any other of your kids into custody then it will be really hard unless he can provide that. The Other thing, what kind of visa did you enter in to the United States? This might be key information to know what kind of things you might have to go through with immigration.

Thank you so very much for responding

I Entered under the Visa Waiver program as I had no intentions of remaining in the US back in 2001. My husband is currently supporting me and my 2 children (one of them is his biological son. All 4 of my children are US citizens and have SSN's


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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Vietnam
Timeline

Please don't take the following as any lack of sympathy for your situation. I'm just trying to look at this the way a USCIS immigration officer is going to look at it. Just the facts, m'aam. :innocent:

The biggest problem you've got is the VWP entry. You swore an oath when you entered that you did not intend to immigrate, and waived your right to appeal any decision by USCIS. This gives the immigration officer who adjudicates your case the absolute final say on whether you can remain in the US. Their decision will not be subject to administrative review, or appeal to either an immigration judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals. If the IO says "no", then you're screwed. This is why people usually recommend, rather strongly, not to attempt to adjust status after a VWP entry unless you have a very strong case.

Whether an INS officer actually told you that you have to get married in order to avoid deportation is not relevant. The airports were closed for a relatively short period of time, and you could have returned home after that. You would not have been deported, and you would not have incurred any sort of penalty with an overstay of less than 180 days. If you're hoping that you can blame nearly 9 years of overstay and 3 marriages on a phone call to INS back in 2001, then you should probably rethink your strategy.

The immigration officer is going to be trying to figure out why, in nearly 9 years, you neither attempted to gain legal status nor returned to your home country. Since the VWP entry essentially gives him the power of God over your case, he's going to look for any inadmissibility that he can apply to you. The overstay cannot be applied to the spouse of a US citizen. Likewise, if you worked illegally while in the US then that also cannot be applied to you. Just about any other inadmissibility or deportable offense could be applied. Did you violate any laws while you were in the US? Did you ever claim legal status to an immigration officer, or worse, did you ever claim to be a US citizen? Did you quit your job and/or give up your flat when came to the US to visit (i.e., did you abandon your life in the UK)?

I realize that the cost of an immigration attorney is high, but you have a lot at stake here. You have only one chance to get this right. If your AOS petition is denied then you will be deported. There will be no second chance. You really should consider hiring a very good immigration lawyer.


12/15/2009 - K1 Visa Interview - APPROVED!

12/29/2009 - Married in Oakland, CA!

08/18/2010 - AOS Interview - APPROVED!

05/01/2013 - Removal of Conditions - APPROVED!

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: England
Timeline

Please don't take the following as any lack of sympathy for your situation. I'm just trying to look at this the way a USCIS immigration officer is going to look at it. Just the facts, m'aam. :innocent:

The biggest problem you've got is the VWP entry. You swore an oath when you entered that you did not intend to immigrate, and waived your right to appeal any decision by USCIS. This gives the immigration officer who adjudicates your case the absolute final say on whether you can remain in the US. Their decision will not be subject to administrative review, or appeal to either an immigration judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals. If the IO says "no", then you're screwed. This is why people usually recommend, rather strongly, not to attempt to adjust status after a VWP entry unless you have a very strong case.

Whether an INS officer actually told you that you have to get married in order to avoid deportation is not relevant. The airports were closed for a relatively short period of time, and you could have returned home after that. You would not have been deported, and you would not have incurred any sort of penalty with an overstay of less than 180 days. If you're hoping that you can blame nearly 9 years of overstay and 3 marriages on a phone call to INS back in 2001, then you should probably rethink your strategy.

The immigration officer is going to be trying to figure out why, in nearly 9 years, you neither attempted to gain legal status nor returned to your home country. Since the VWP entry essentially gives him the power of God over your case, he's going to look for any inadmissibility that he can apply to you. The overstay cannot be applied to the spouse of a US citizen. Likewise, if you worked illegally while in the US then that also cannot be applied to you. Just about any other inadmissibility or deportable offense could be applied. Did you violate any laws while you were in the US? Did you ever claim legal status to an immigration officer, or worse, did you ever claim to be a US citizen? Did you quit your job and/or give up your flat when came to the US to visit (i.e., did you abandon your life in the UK)?

I realize that the cost of an immigration attorney is high, but you have a lot at stake here. You have only one chance to get this right. If your AOS petition is denied then you will be deported. There will be no second chance. You really should consider hiring a very good immigration lawyer.

Thanks for your honest response as disheartening as it may be. I've not worked since I've been here nor have I violated any laws to my knowledge. Before I came to this country I lived with my parents. I have only been married twice the middle relationship I was never married. After my divorce I had contacted an immigration lawyer and he told me I didn't stand a chance in hell without being married but I refused to get remarried on that basis, so I stayed in limbo. INS didn't want to help me as I contacted them several times but that's neither here nor there anymore. There's no way I can afford a lawyer so I guess I take my chance and have my bags packed because how you put it i'm screwed, at 18 I had no idea how bad I was screwing up my life. The only thing that's kept me here has been my kids but I guess that's never going to be a good enough reason. Thanks anyways


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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Vietnam
Timeline

Thanks for your honest response as disheartening as it may be. I've not worked since I've been here nor have I violated any laws to my knowledge. Before I came to this country I lived with my parents. I have only been married twice the middle relationship I was never married. After my divorce I had contacted an immigration lawyer and he told me I didn't stand a chance in hell without being married but I refused to get remarried on that basis, so I stayed in limbo. INS didn't want to help me as I contacted them several times but that's neither here nor there anymore. There's no way I can afford a lawyer so I guess I take my chance and have my bags packed because how you put it i'm screwed, at 18 I had no idea how bad I was screwing up my life. The only thing that's kept me here has been my kids but I guess that's never going to be a good enough reason. Thanks anyways

Actually, your kids work very much in your favor. They make you eligible for a hardship claim. More on that in a moment...

Yeah, the timing probably didn't work out in your favor. If your first divorce was less than two years old in 2005 then there's a chance you could have adjusted status with a VAWA claim (VAWA didn't exist before 2005). Your first husband's refusal to help you adjust status, and using your immigration status as a threat, is actually a valid basis for a VAWA claim. A lot of people think VAWA is only for removing conditions and getting a 10 year green card, but the primary purpose of the law was to allow the abused spouse of a US citizen or LPR to adjust status. You can file if you're divorced, providing the abuse was the reason for the divorce. I don't remember if the time limit is one year or two years after the divorce...

Anyway, water under the bridge...

Look, if your AOS is denied then all is not lost. You'll get a 10 year ban because of the overstay. Your husband can submit a CR1 petition (IR1 if your marriage is two years old by that time). Your visa will be denied at the consulate because of the ban, and then your husband can submit a hardship waiver application. You have a good shot at the waiver, considering you have kids in the US, and your husband will be left alone to care for your child. With any luck, the IO who adjudicates your AOS petition will realize that, even if he denies it, you'll probably be coming back in a year or two with an immigrant visa. Maybe that factor will help him use his discretion to approve your AOS.

Good luck!


12/15/2009 - K1 Visa Interview - APPROVED!

12/29/2009 - Married in Oakland, CA!

08/18/2010 - AOS Interview - APPROVED!

05/01/2013 - Removal of Conditions - APPROVED!

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Filed: Other Timeline

For the most part I agree with Jim.

The fact that the airports were closed right after 9/11 is really no reason for not having left the country as soon as they were open again. I assume your husband #1 pulled that stunt on you. He abused you and took advantage of you, but you allowed him to do that. I would have not have sex with him again after the wedding night before I had my AOS receipt in the mail.

Not much better with husband number 2. He abused you, took advantage of you, and you consented once again. With both these abusive men you had children, and now, with 3 children, you got to husband number 3 who tries to do the right thing.

It is anybody's guess how the I.O. at USCIS will evaluate your case. He or she might have mercy, or not. I do not venture a guess. With a visa you could at least see an immigration judge whom I trust more to do what's right than an immigration officer. But since you used the VWP, that's not an option.

Speaking of which, you really do not have any options. You simply cannot continue to live under the radar any longer, presumably without a SSN and without a Driver License, as the net gets tighter every year. Therefore, it's judgment time. File the AOS, and I would strongly suggest to attach a well-written letter telling your story, and hope for the best. If your AOS gets denied, you'll proceed as Jim outlined.


There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all . . . . The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic . . . . There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.

President Teddy Roosevelt on Columbus Day 1915

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: England
Timeline

Husband number 2 is my current husband, I was never married to the father of my 3rd son just to get the record straight. Either way I take all the blame upon myself for letting it get this way, I allowed myself to get dragged down until I got to a point where I no longer knew what to do or where to go for help. I have in a way lost myself through out this entire ordeal and see myself as a shell of my former self for allowing myself to be broken down by my choice in relationships. There's not much more I can say then I was stupid and now living with the consequences of my actions. Let the cards fall as they may, I will have to live with whatever decision they make. I just hope i'm not separated from my family here because after what went down with my ex husband and only seeing my older 2 boys once in the last 5 years, I couldn't handle it.


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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Philippines
Timeline

I must say i find your attitude about your situation refreshing. your not DEMANDING sympathy from the goverment, you realize what you have done and take the blame. wish more ppl on this site and in this country would think this way.

I would write a short story if you will of your life , beginning from the point when you entered the US. include as many details, and surely the abuse.

I wish you all the luck in the world. i think in the end things will work out for you.

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: England
Timeline

[quote name=NVC FAN :(' date='20 July 2010 - 04:39 PM' timestamp='1279658396' post='4076804]

I must say i find your attitude about your situation refreshing. your not DEMANDING sympathy from the goverment, you realize what you have done and take the blame. wish more ppl on this site and in this country would think this way.

I would write a short story if you will of your life , beginning from the point when you entered the US. include as many details, and surely the abuse.

I wish you all the luck in the world. i think in the end things will work out for you.

Thank you for your comment, Trust me, I've gone through the "why me" and the "pity" phase but it didn't get me any further then I am today and I know that the only person that can get me out of this mess is myself, with of course some help from my wonderful husband whom I don't know where I would be without and any advice I can get from people on here, all of which is greatly appreciated :)

I am sorry to hear your story. Even though I have no advise, and I think Jim has covered it all I just wanted to wish you the best of lucks. May you be able to stay here with your children and your husband. :)

Thank you very much for your support in this, it truly is nice to have some support through this as it is the first time I've really brought my issue into the light :)


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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Ireland
Timeline

Apply for AOS, and see what happens. You never know. :) Plenty of people have pretty complicated statuses and they still manage to get a GC. So don't lose hope before you even begin. Make sure you outline everything properly in the petition, explain exactly what went on for the last few years, why you didn't apply with your first husband, etc. Just make sure to tell the truth, if you have worked or anything, don't deny it and don't try to cover it up. It would be a lot worse if they found out you'd lied.

The only concern I would raise are the finances. Make sure your husband earns enough to meet the requirements, or else ensure you have a relative (his parents or a sibling maybe?) who is in a position to be co-sponsor.

Best of luck!


4OvIp1.png

kCtMp1.png

Sept. 6th - Arrived for 3 months to stay with my boyfriend

Nov. 21st - Got married!

February 12th - Mailed paperwork

February 25th - Checks cashed

February 26th - NOAs received

March 4th - Touched! AP, I-130, I-765

March 11th - Received Biometrics appt for 24/03/10

March 12th - Walk in Biometrics completed!

March 15th - Touched. I-765, I-485

March 24th Original Biometrics appt date

March 26th - Received Interview Date for April 27th

April 23rd - Touched!

April 26th - AP approved, EAD approved, card production ordered

April 27th - Interview - APPROVED!

May 3rd - EAD received in mail

May 6th - Approval notices for I-130 and I-485 received

May 11th - Card production ordered

June 1st - GC finally received!

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Filed: F-1 Visa Country: Zimbabwe
Timeline

I dont know much about law but my two sense is try finding a law clinic/non-profit that will help you file your I485 there are quite a few i have seen here in Dallas.

The fact that you have kids works in your favor either way so give it a shot... would love to hear how it turns out too. :unsure:


08/2007 Entered the Usa on F-1

08/2008 Met my wife

06/2010 Got Married

07/19/2010 Mailed I-485, I-130, I-756 and I-131

07/24/2010 Received 5 I-797 notices, emails and texts

07/28/2010 Received Biometrics notice for 08/18

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: England
Timeline

Apply for AOS, and see what happens. You never know. :) Plenty of people have pretty complicated statuses and they still manage to get a GC. So don't lose hope before you even begin. Make sure you outline everything properly in the petition, explain exactly what went on for the last few years, why you didn't apply with your first husband, etc. Just make sure to tell the truth, if you have worked or anything, don't deny it and don't try to cover it up. It would be a lot worse if they found out you'd lied.

The only concern I would raise are the finances. Make sure your husband earns enough to meet the requirements, or else ensure you have a relative (his parents or a sibling maybe?) who is in a position to be co-sponsor.

Best of luck!

Currently my husband makes enough money to sponsor me by himself but as of October of this year he gets laid off from work, in which case his mother will co-sponsor me. Honestly I've nothing to lie to them about, apart from overstaying I've not done anything that would/should effect me like work illegally or commit a criminal offence or even tell someone i'm a citizen when i'm not. I really do hope it all goes well, thank you very much for your comment :)


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