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Immigration Judge Grants I601 Fraud Waiver

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Russia
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Success Story: Immigration Judge Grants I-601 Fraud Waiver

Over 10 years ago, Mrs. Mali (not her real name) made a serious mistake. When she was denied a temporary visa to visit the U.S., she purchased a fraudulent visitor's visa and corresponding passport under a phony name. She entered the United States without any trouble. The picture on the false passport was her own and began a life here. She began working and eventually fell in love and got married to a U.S. citizen. She never thought that the manner of her entry would give her immigration problems.

Mrs. Mali ran into trouble when she applied for a green card through marriage. The application for adjustment of status asks the applicant for how he or she entered the U.S. and if the person used any other names. On this form, she admitted that she had entered with a fraudulent visitor's visa. She probably would have fared worse if she had omitted the entry information, which would suggest that she had entered without inspection-an application for adjustment of status's death sentence, so to speak.

Mrs. Mali was denied a green card at her interview. The USCIS told her attorney at the time that Mrs. Mali needed to file an application to waive her fraudulent entry into the U.S. This I-601 application needed to be submitted with evidence that although the applicant is inadmissible, her inability to remain in the U.S. would result in extreme hardship to a spouse or parent who is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.

The attorney submitted the waiver application and evidence to show that Mrs. Mali and her husband's lives had been established in the U.S., and that having to return to the Philippines would impair her husband's economic livelihood. Although he was originally from the Philippines, he had lived in the US for many years and no longer had family ties in his native country.

The USCIS denied her waiver application and the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) in Washington, D.C. denied her subsequent appeal due to a lack of evidence that Mr. Mali would suffer extreme hardship if he had to return to the Philippines. Because he is Filipino and speaks Tagalog, the hardship that he would suffer if he were forced to return to the Philippines was not deemed to be "extreme".

Mrs. Mali's case took a turn for the worse. She received a Notice to Appear in Immigration Court to see an Immigration Judge. The denial of her application for adjustment of status had triggered removal proceedings, which could lead to her deportation.

At this point, Mrs. Mali came to our law office to request a second opinion.

Attorney Elif Keles of our firm reviewed her file and interviewed both Mr. and Mrs. Mali. Attorney Keles ascertained some facts she believed would improve Mrs. Mali's waiver application. She and her husband had been undergoing in- vitro fertilization treatments in the U.S., which would be difficult to continue in her home country. Her mother, a legal permanent resident, had also recently come to live with them. She depended on her daughter and son-in-law for financial support and home care, and would suffer extreme hardship without her daughter.

Also, Mrs. Mali had experienced great success in her career as a registered nurse in the U.S. and had also performed volunteer work as a nurse for various organizations. She had been involved in various medical aid organizations; she had volunteered at the blood drive, was involved in a charity camp for children with heart problems, and donated to other organizations. Mrs. Mali's previous attorney had never asked her about her charitable activities.

With this additional evidence, Attorney Keles was able to convincingly demonstrate the extreme hardship that Mrs. Mali's husband and mother would suffer if she had to return to the Philippines and leave them behind. The I-601 waiver must show evidence that her husband and mother would experience extreme hardship not only if they had to return to the Philippines, but also in the event that she returned to the Philippines and her husband and mother were left in the U.S. without her. The new waiver application which Attorney Keles submitted included more evidence of extreme hardship in both scenarios.

While good works are not necessarily a deciding factor for the I-601 waiver, Mrs. Mali's volunteerism and philanthropy illustrated her commitment and ties to her new community here in the U.S. It certainly doesn't hurt to show that a person in removal proceedings is a contributing and valuable member of society, and that the charitable organizations she is supporting would suffer from her departure.

At the hearing, Mr. Mali testified that in the event of his wife's deportation, he would not be able to return with her to the Philippines. Due to financial hardship, he would need to continue working in the U.S. His testimony and the evidence compiled by Attorney Keles convinced the Immigration Judge that the removal of Mrs. Mali would cause extreme hardship to her husband and mother.

Mr. and Mrs. Mali and Attorney Keles were delighted when the Immigration Judge approved both the I-601 waiver and Mrs. Mali's application for adjustment of status. The government's attorney did not appeal the Judge's decision.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ireland
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Bye: Penguin

Me: Irish/ Swiss citizen, and now naturalised US citizen. Husband: USC; twin babies born Feb 08 in Ireland and a daughter in Feb 2010 in Arkansas who are all joint Irish/ USC. Did DCF (IR1) in 6 weeks via the Dublin, Ireland embassy and now living in Arkansas.

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