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About Andy

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    Expired.... almost!
  • Member # 6

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    Virginia, US
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    United Kingdom

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  1. The INA, and USCIS policy gives broad authority for immigration officers to examine cases in whichever way they see fit. For sure, judgements, particularly from immigration appeals can create additional guidance, but rarely result in the USCIS modifying regulations governing the work of field offices. The emphasis remains on officers having broad discretion in operational terms, with a view that in the event they overstep and a judge pushes back, it is only evidence that they are doing their job - even if a little overzealously in a few instances. By the way, material misrepresentation does not need to be willful, which is why I said that it can be 'in order to gain entry' or 'lead to entry'. The weight given to a material misrepresentation may be determined by whether it is intentional or not, but it would remain a misrepresentation. This is nothing to do with 'preconceived intent', and not related to it, hence raised separately. In terms of cases where preconceived intent has been found and AOS denied - there have been many cases over the years. It's important to note the 'substantial equities' issue in this instance, because rulings are not that preconceived intent was insufficient to deny AOS, but that where substantial equities exist in the case, these must also be considered. In many cases, these factors are not sufficiently present (for example, visa waiver holders, who cannot request voluntary departure, or where a non-immigrant would suffer an automatic bar to re-entry and thus be unable to return to their home country and apply for a visa in the appropriate way). That is why I made the point that benefits cannot accrue directly from unlawful entry. For those entitled, they can accrue indirectly, via such things as voluntary departure, or of course appeals where the individual is entitled to pursue due process. EDITED TO ADD: The reason I raise these aspects of this case is that in my time actively participating here (many years ago), one of the principle aims of the forum as a whole was not just to answer the specifics of each question, but also to explain the context and interpretations for the benefit of other readers. In those days there was very little in the way of coherent information about US immigration procedures, policies and practices, and Visa Journey was one of the first (and best) places for broader explanations and detail.
  2. There are two things here. The first is evidentiary: is there, or is there not, evidence of intent at the time of entry. If there is no evidence, merely a supposition, that supposition cannot in itself form the basis of an AOS denial. However, the lack of evidence of intent at that point does not prevent the immigration officer from, in practical terms, raising the bar on relationship evidence to more closely examine the marriage to determine if it is genuine, or for the purposes of obtaining a green card. Secondly, whether at the time of entry the visitor provided a material misrepresentation in order to gain entry, or which led to entry. If there was a material misrepresentation, the entry was unlawful, and benefits cannot accrue directly from it. That latter point is why it is significantly more hazardous for visa waiver users, because their entry is based on them having waived their right to due process. Thus if a material misrepresentation is judged to have occurred at the time of entry, they cannot file to stay deportation, because they have waived that right.
  3. This is both right, and wrong. Intent is a primary determinant at the port of entry, because if a non-immigrant visa holder (or visa waiver user) is considered to have intent to remain, their entry will be refused. However, subsequent circumstances may color, or change, the perception of intent, and at an AOS interview, the immigration officer is quite within his/her rights to reconsider the question of intent, in the light of events after entry, for which the official at the port of entry could not have known or considered. These situations where non-immigrant visa holders, or more riskily, visa waiver users, marry, stay and file for AOS have clear potential for fraud and are generally considered carefully in the light of possible intent. Even in circumstances such as being described here, where a B2 holder has entered the US before meeting the US citizen - that would appear to remove all possibility of intent - but an immigration official at AOS could, if there is reason to doubt, wonder if the couple did in fact have any prior contact, or, depending on other factors, whether the visitor may have had intent to find a partner and marry if it proved possible to do so - that would again raise the issue of intent. What tends to demonstrate there was no intent, is the degree to which the visitor did not take actions to close out their lives in their home country, and thus had a job to go back to, bank accounts, savings, financial commitments and the like, all of which had to be wound up later. Of course, some immigration officials aren't interested in delving into these details and focus instead on the relationship and the possibility of green card fraud. But that is certainly not the case for all, and personally I would not want to take a chance on getting one of the more compliant ones at interview.
  4. It's not just joint names on documents that you need to think about, it is documentary evidence that you live at the same address, so a drivers license with the address, vehicle registration with your name (or joint names) and that address on it. Insurance documents in your name (or joint names) at that address. Think official, so documents from authoritative sources such as local, state or federal government, financial institutions, phone companies, and the like which show you or both of you at that address are the most helpful. The more of these kind of documents you have that connect your name to the address, the better. Less authoritative documents such as photos or greetings cards addressed to you both are also useful, but because they don't represent something official, carry rather less weight. However, don't think so much about single things as the overall weight of evidence of your relationship that you can present. Every couple are different, so immigration officers are used to dealing with all kinds of evidence and circumstances. What you do need to understand however is the need to demonstrate that you both live in the same place, so evidence tying you both to the address is important. Ironically, rather more important than the existence of a baby.
  5. Andy

    Forged My Wifes SIgniture on I-864

    A forgery prosecution in England and Wales would be predicated on evidence of an attempt to gain a form of benefit under the laws of England and Wales. While technically you have committed forgery in the context of signing your wife's name on US immigration documents, the benefit you sought (accidentally or otherwise) is not within the jurisdiction of English courts, so there is no realistic hope of conviction. As such a prosecution would be unlikely, unless the US embassy forwarded details to UK authorities and requested a prosecution. Unless an argument could be made against you that you were seeking to avoid something such as payment of a debt legally owed in the UK, by emigrating before action could be taken against you, there would be little of a viable case for a court to hear. If you are a resident of Scotland, the law is a little different, but even then, without the US embassy forwarding details of the fraud, the authorities would have no way to know it had been perpetrated. The benefit you sought was under US law, and you could face criminal charges there, under federal law (US immigration is federal, so the benefit you sought was in federal jurisdiction), but unless you are within the jurisdiction of a federal court (meaning you are present within the US or one of its territories), the authorities there cannot act against you directly, other than to bar you from entry. They could, of course, seek your extradition, but that seems very unlikely when they would see a bar on entry as being significant punishment. In any event, seeking to withdraw your visa application may help mitigate any further action than a probable ban.