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Hana1220

My questions about I-751 VAWA self petition; Thank you

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Hi, i have some important questions regarding the VAWA I 751 application. Grateful for your input. 

 

1. If I have all the documents and proofs ready regarding bon fait marriage and domestic violence as well as my declaration which explains in detail everything that happened in my marriage (have already got them checked out by a legal advocate), would I still need to have a lawyer to file for removal of condition on my GC? Would it be more acceptable and legit to the eye of USCIS if a lawyer represent me? 

 

2. Do I have to wait until I reach the 90 days time window in order to file? 

 

3. Since most non profit organizations are packed up with tones of immigration cases and wouldn't start my filing before the 90 days window (which will be in 13 months), can I file it myself so that at least, the process gets started without any delay and then after sometimes,  I ask a lawyer to take over my case and represent me to make sure it will move ahead smoothly? 

 

4. I had to change my state 3 weeks ago since the abuser had found the confidential DV shelter that I was at and it wasn't safe anymore to stay in that state. Does my immigration file have to be represented by a lawyer in the new state or I can still get help from a lawyer in the previous state that I was considered resident for a few year? 

 

5. Can I use government services such as food stamp or housing now that I left home and filed for divorce and stayed at a domestic violence center in a different state? Would I be considered public Charge if I do and could it japordize my immigration status? My husband has closed our joint bank accounts and has left me with no financial support. 

 

6. While waiting for my divorce and looking for a lawyer to help me with removing the condition on my GC under VAWA, can I cross the boarder and go to Canada for visit? Note that now, I have to cross the boarder from a different state than the original state. Would that create a problem at the border if they now that I no longer live with my husband and have filed for divorce and have changed my state and am looking into applying under VAWA? 

 

Any input would be appreciated. 🥀🥀

 

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First, there is no VAWA with an I-751. There is an abuse waiver option.

 

1) Use of a lawyer is a personal decision. Having one doesn't make a stronger case, but they can help present evidence you already have.

 

2) No. You can file with an abuse waiver anytime.

 

3) Nothing the lawyer can do there...whether you file it directly or though an attorney, you would need to stay on top of the case. That said, so long as the filing is accepted, it's just a very long waiting game.

 

4) The lawyer can be anywhere. This is a federal matter, not state one.

 

5) Public charge is not an issue for ROC. I'm unsure on use of those benefits here...I know it's not an issue for VAWA but - again - this is not VAWA. I will defer to others.

 

6) No VAWA again. You are an LPR and remain so until you abandon status or an immigration judge revokes status. That allows you to leave and re-enter the US just as you did before. Your relationship with your petitioner has no bearing on entry.

 

That said, keep in mind an abuse waiver requires showing both that the marriage was entered into in good faith ("bona fide marriage") AND abuse. I don't know your specifics. Sometimes it is better to just do a divorce waiver, which is easier to prove (a divorce decree is all you would need + evidence of a bona fide marriage). The abuse waiver piece comes into play to help secure your file from disclosure and so that the case is reviewed by individuals who are more equipped to deal with the issues of obtaining evidence of a bona fide marriage when there is abuse.

I'm not saying which is better...just relaying the requirements of each option so you are aware.


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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On 10/7/2019 at 9:45 PM, geowrian said:

First, there is no VAWA with an I-751. There is an abuse waiver option.

 

1) Use of a lawyer is a personal decision. Having one doesn't make a stronger case, but they can help present evidence you already have.

 

2) No. You can file with an abuse waiver anytime.

 

3) Nothing the lawyer can do there...whether you file it directly or though an attorney, you would need to stay on top of the case. That said, so long as the filing is accepted, it's just a very long waiting game.

 

4) The lawyer can be anywhere. This is a federal matter, not state one.

 

5) Public charge is not an issue for ROC. I'm unsure on use of those benefits here...I know it's not an issue for VAWA but - again - this is not VAWA. I will defer to others.

 

6) No VAWA again. You are an LPR and remain so until you abandon status or an immigration judge revokes status. That allows you to leave and re-enter the US just as you did before. Your relationship with your petitioner has no bearing on entry.

 

That said, keep in mind an abuse waiver requires showing both that the marriage was entered into in good faith ("bona fide marriage") AND abuse. I don't know your specifics. Sometimes it is better to just do a divorce waiver, which is easier to prove (a divorce decree is all you would need + evidence of a bona fide marriage). The abuse waiver piece comes into play to help secure your file from disclosure and so that the case is reviewed by individuals who are more equipped to deal with the issues of obtaining evidence of a bona fide marriage when there is abuse.

I'm not saying which is better...just relaying the requirements of each option so you are aware.

Thank you so much. Appreciate it. Regarding No. 6, I recall on my return to US from visiting Canada about three months ago, the boarder officer asked me if I was still married to my husband and how I financially support myself. I didn't understand why he asked about my marital status while he saw my valid conditional greencard.  And also his second question was strange too. I should add that my return to US was right after the big news about public charge and its affect on the immigrants with conditional residency.  After I left the abuser and filed for divorce, I moved to a different state.  I am planning to visit Canada and I will have to cross the border and enter US through a different state. Would that be a problem since they might ask about martial status and I should tell them the truth?  🙏🙄🥀

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1 minute ago, Hana1220 said:

Thank you so much. Appreciate it. Regarding No. 6, I recall on my return to US from visiting Canada about three months ago, the boarder officer asked me if I was still married to my husband and how I financially support myself. I didn't understand why he asked about my marital status while he saw my valid conditional greencard.  And also his second question was strange too. I should add that my return to US was right after the big news about public charge and its affect on the immigrants with conditional residency.  After I left the abuser and filed for divorce, I moved to a different state.  I am planning to visit Canada and I will have to cross the border and enter US through a different state. Would that be a problem since they might ask about martial status and I should tell them the truth?  🙏🙄🥀

The public charge rule change was actually put on hold by a judge today. But even then, it didn't actually impact you - you already have a green card. The rule impacts those seeking a green card (or those who plan to be sponsors for somebody seeking a green card). The officer likely wasn't up to date on the rule...it's caused a lot of confusion.

I'm unsure why he asked if you were still married, but the answer didn't matter so long as you haven't been abroad for an excessive amount of time that he would question if you actually live in the US or not.

 

Yes, always be honest with CBP...you can get yourself in major trouble if you make a misrepresentation to an immigration official. They take that very seriously, and can record responses that can come up when you try to obtain another benefit and somebody reviews your case.


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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10 minutes ago, geowrian said:

The public charge rule change was actually put on hold by a judge today. But even then, it didn't actually impact you - you already have a green card. The rule impacts those seeking a green card (or those who plan to be sponsors for somebody seeking a green card). The officer likely wasn't up to date on the rule...it's caused a lot of confusion.

I'm unsure why he asked if you were still married, but the answer didn't matter so long as you haven't been abroad for an excessive amount of time that he would question if you actually live in the US or not.

 

Yes, always be honest with CBP...you can get yourself in major trouble if you make a misrepresentation to an immigration official. They take that very seriously, and can record responses that can come up when you try to obtain another benefit and somebody reviews your case.

Thank you much. On my last visit to canada, I was there for couple of weeks only. That's why I didn't understand why he asked about my marital status. This time, I will stay for about a month and a half to take care of some unfinished business. I hope that wouldn't be considered excessive amount of time staying abroad. I will tell them the truth about my marital status if aid get this question again at the boarder but I hope my honest answer will not create confusion. 

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4 minutes ago, Hana1220 said:

Thank you much. On my last visit to canada, I was there for couple of weeks only. That's why I didn't understand why he asked about my marital status. This time, I will stay for about a month and a half to take care of some unfinished business. I hope that wouldn't be considered excessive amount of time staying abroad. I will tell them the truth about my marital status if aid get this question again at the boarder but I hope my honest answer will not create confusion. 

Generally, trips over a year are when you really face issues, or otherwise spending the majority of the time abroad. A few weeks or months in  a year would not be an issue.


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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Have you stopped wearing your wedding ring? Could be why he asked if you were still married... Often they will ask questions for no other reason but to see how you respond. Which can lead to more questions that may be relevant. 

 

Since there is an active 864 you should see how if it all it can help you get financial support in the divorce process. Also I believe if you submit a g28 attny representing you form then your local office is wherever the attny is. So if you get an interview it will be based on the attnys address. Are you able to travel back for an interview if needed? If not you need to remove the attny from the case so it will be based on your address and if needed find a new attny in that area. 

 

Also I know you said you used an attny to check the paperwork you have. I do have a link to a sample of the RFE they send for abuse waiver ROC if you are interested in taking a look at it. You can make sure you are sending exactly what they are looking for and maybe even get ideas of additional info they would consider. http://www.olender.pro/sites/default/files/Conditional Residence - Sample I-751 Request for Evidence.pdf

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Also did you send the address change yet? If not I would MAIL a paper one (notarized) to VSC just to be sure it is processed. For VAWA cases thats the only way to change your address. Im not sure if it also applies to ROC abuse waivers but I assume it probably does because abuse waivers are processed at VSC and there are additional privacy measures that apply to ensure the confidentiality of abuse cases. 

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