When a US citizen marries a foreign national, they can sponsor their spouse for a green card.
If the couple has been married less than two years when the green card is approved, then the foreign national only receives a two-year, temporary green card.
Before the 2-year green card expires, the couple must submit a form called an I-751 form to the immigration service. They have to demonstrate that they are still married and the marriage is real.
If the couple fails to submit this form, the foreign national can lose their status and even end up in deportation proceedings.
Early last year, our law firm was hired to represent a U.S. citizen and his wife. They are both originally from Kosovo.
They have three children and they have lived together every day since they were married.
This couple did file the I 751 on time, but they failed to respond to a request for additional evidence from USCIS. As a result, USCIS denied their I-751 petition.
This couple happens to be members of the Islamic faith. They dress in traditional Muslim garb. S it is not entirely surprising that USCIS sent the woman to deportation court.
This is a bit upsetting, however, given the fact that we have had many clients who come to see us after having not filed there I 751 on time, but without ever being placed in removal. We had a Canadian client who filed it nine years late and he was not placed into removal.
To the best of our recollection, this is the only couple that we have ever had actually sent to deportation for this failure to follow the rules.
After the deportation proceedings began, the couple hired us to try and help.
We filed a new i-751 and submitted a lot of evidence that the couple is still married. The best evidence, of course, is the fact that they have 3 U.S. citizen children between them.
The immigration judge put the deportation case on hold while USCIS decided what to do with the new submission from our office. Last week, we went to a 10 minute interview at the St.Louis field office of USCIS and the case was approved on the spot by one of the supervisors.
We will now be able to take that approval notice and get the deportation case stopped.
We are very happy for a client, especially the wife who has been afraid to go visit her mother back home because of the pending deportation case. Now, she will be able to go visit her family. Our client is also eligible to apply for citizenship now.