This case is about a young mother who had entered the United States without inspection back in 1980. She was a young child and was doing what the adults around her head told her to do. She was also the derivative beneficiary of an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. Her father was the primary beneficiary and the paperwork related to the I-130 gave a priority date of May 2, 2001. This young woman was recently married to United States citizen and the young couple wanted to file for her green card.
One requirement to adjust one status is that the applicant must have been admitted or paroled into the United States. One of the exceptions to this requirement is that if the applicant was the beneficiary of a petition for alien relative (I-130) physically received or postmarked on or after April 30, 2001.
Besides all of the other elements we needed to prove in this case we also had to prove that the I-130 with a priority date of May 2, 2001 was postmarked by April 30 of 2001.
III Our Actions
After discussing this with the young couple we filed the I-130\I-485 packet to include form I-485 A so we could utilize section 245 (i) and pay the additional $1000 penalty.
The case was proceeding normally through the interview. At the interview the adjudicating officer listen to the answers to his questions and accepted our information about eligibility under 245 (i). He stated everything looked good and we should hear from them shortly. And this is where the problems started.
Four months after the interview we received an approval notice of the form I-130 petition for alien relative. This meant that USCIS agreed that my clients were legally married and that their marriage was not entered solely to receive immigration benefits. Unfortunately USCIS denied the young mothers application for adjustment of status, which was her application for a green card. The sole reason for the denial was that the priority date of the earlier filed I-130 was May 2, 2001.
I immediately wrote an email to the Field Office Director (FOD) and in the email explained why the decision was incorrect. The FOD and I spoke shortly afterwards. The director’s position was that it was up to the applicant to prove whether USCIS received the petition by April 30 the 2001. USCIS could not review the records as they had either lost or destroyed the file.
The decision of the FOD was timely appealed and nine months after the appeal USCIS agreed to reopen the case. Approximately 8 months after the case was reopened USCIS approved the adjustment of status and my client received her green card.
The outcome does not guarantee the outcome of similar cases. Each case is different and success in one case does not automatically mean success in another case. Should you have questions about your case, feel free to call us.
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